by Don Fortner

“For who makes you different from anyone else?
What do you have that you did not receive?
And if you did receive it, why do you boast
as though you did not?” 1 Cor. 4:7

The only difference there is between the believer and the unbeliever,
between the righteous and the wicked, between the seed of Christ
and the seed of the serpent, is the difference which grace has made.
This we must acknowledge- "By the grace of God I am what I am!"
God's grace is always particular, distinctive, and distinguishing.
Those who are saved by the free grace of God in Christ have been
and forever are distinguished from those who are lost by these
five distinct acts of grace--

The first distinguishing act of God's grace is his ETERNAL ELECTION.
If you can, with the eye of faith, trace every spiritual blessing that
you now enjoy, and those which you hope to enjoy, back to the place
of their original source, the place of their origin would be spelled
"E L E C T I O N" (Eph. 1:3-4; 2 Thess. 2:13; Jer. 1:4; 31:3).

The second act of grace by which God has distinguished his elect
from the rest of mankind is EFFECTUAL REDEMPTION.
By his precious blood, poured out unto death upon the cross, the Lord
Jesus Christ has effectually ransomed and redeemed God's elect from
the hands of divine justice, by satisfying the claims of justice against us
(Isa. 53:8-11; Gal. 3:13; Heb. 9:12).

The third act of grace by which the Lord has distinguished us from
the rest of the world is his ADORABLE PROVIDENCE.
Our God governs all the affairs of this world. And he has governed
all the affairs and circumstances of our lives to bring us to the place
where we now are, and to eternal glory in Christ and with Christ in
heaven (Matt. 10:29-31; Rom. 8:28).

The fourth act of grace by which we are distinguished from all other
The only thing that makes you different from any other being on this
planet, if you are born again, is the fact that God has saved you.
He gave you life and faith in Christ by the irresistible power and
grace of his Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:1-10).

The fifth act of grace by which God distinguishes his elect from
the unbelieving is his MERCIFUL PRESERVATION.
The only thing that keeps us in grace is grace itself. The only thing
that holds us to Christ is Christ himself (Jer. 32:38-40). The Lord
Jesus says, with regard to all his people, “I give unto them eternal life,
and they shall never perish.” The salvation he gives is eternal salvation.
The life he gives is eternal life. That means that all who are saved by
him are saved forever!