BY GRACE ALONE (PART 7)

As the old saying goes, ‘Where there’s life there’s hope'. It is equally true to say, ‘Where there is no life there is no hope’, and this is precisely what is meant in Ephesians 2:12 when Paul the apostle describes man's post-Fall condition as: "...without Christ…having no hope, and without God in the world" (cf. Eph. 4:18). This verse covers every source of hope that could possibly exist: hope within man, hope in other men, hope in the Saviour Jesus Christ and hope in God. Man has no hope within himself, nothing he can do that can rescue him from his spiritually dead state. He cannot make up for his sin nor establish a righteousness acceptable to God. The Scripture does not merely say that man is without hope, but refers to man having no hope. Man is in a perpetual and eternal state of hopelessness. Man’s spiritual death is extant, it has remained intact and wholly unaffected through all of mankind’s religious pursuits. Man remains without hope no matter what he does. That is the nature of sin, once committed there is no escaping its consequences. No matter what a man does, he is always without hope, without Christ and without God in the world. Nothing within man can defeat his hopelessness, or overcome it, for he is inherently and eternally hopeless because of sin. Only what God does saves a man. The will of GOD, the purpose of GOD, the love of GOD, the goodness of GOD, the grace of GOD and the mercy of GOD are the only things that can vanquish all hopelessness. Man’s natural condition is a state of constant and continual hopelessness. Everything a man does, and everything a man thinks only serves to show how hopeless he is, for no action, deed or word can relieve him of spiritual death, nothing which emanates from within can restore spiritual life to him. Man is not temporarily without hope, he is eternally hopeless. The natural man is without hope FOREVER. If no man has any hope within him then it is of a certainty that if no man can help himself he also cannot be helped by any fellow man. For what hope is there of help in, or from, a hopeless man. People go on, ad nauseam, about free will while not factoring in the irrefutable truth that every man by nature is without hope. If man is without hope, then he must be without free will, not free will to choose right from wrong and wrong from right, but free of the will to choose God. The saved are not a generation of choosers but “…are a chosen generation…” (1 Pet. 2:9). The matter of free will is a dead issue, it is a non-issue in light of the glaring Biblical fact of man’s utter hopelessness. Just as man is naturally without hope, he is without God. The only hope which exists is God. But Scripture says that man is also without the Messiah and eternally without God in this world. That man in his natural state is not a child of God who is loved by the Father, but is in fact a child of God's Wrath, for he is at enmity against God, and, therefore, totally hostile to and without God in this world. So from where, it may well be asked, does a man get the ability to summon up enough free will to break down his own state of hopelessness, and choose God? How can you choose God, or even want the only true God when you are without hope? How can you choose God when everything about you does not want Him or seek Him! Without hope means you haven’t got that power, you do not possess that ability, nor the desire to know, let alone, choose the true God. You are dead, LIFELESS, in your sins, and, therefore, can do NOTHING! What a terrible, deplorable and appalling state man is in by nature, who once lived in perfect harmony and unity with God in a Garden of Paradise, but whom the Scriptures now describe "...is a worm" (Job 25:6). The saddest part about being without hope, apart from being without God, is that the hopeless man will always believe he has hope.

 

The problem for lost people who say, ‘But I love God and have no trouble coming to God’, ‘I sought God and found Him’, or, ‘I came to Him, and prayed the sinner’s prayer and my life changed’, etc., is that the ‘God’ they believe in is not the true God. He is not the God of the Gospel of salvation by grace alone. Lost people hate the God Who saves by grace alone through the gift of faith alone in the Righteousness of Christ alone. Any ‘God’ who waits for you to seek him, or find him, or come to him, and do before he can save you, is NOT the Sovereign King of kings and Lord of lords, but a mere fabrication, a powerless fantasy born out of a lost man’s imagination. Scripture says “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 Jn. 9 cf. 1 Jn. 1:3,6). ONLY the person who believes the Gospel of Christ is the one who has both the Father and the Son. Believe in any false gospel and you do not have the true God, but a worthless imitation who cannot save you. Those who do not have the only true God, who do not believe HIS Gospel, are praying to idols of their own or another’s imagination. Many there be who pray to a god that cannot save them. Scripture states quite clearly that those who do not abide in Christ’s doctrine, follow false gods, “…have NO KNOWLEDGE…and pray unto a god that cannot save” (Isa. 45:20). “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are LOST: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Cor. 4:3,4). “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is NO LIGHT in them” (Isa. 8:20). “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, KNOWING NOTHING…” (1 Tim. 6:3,4). So little attention, if any at all, is paid to the aforementioned Scriptures and others like them, including “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT SHALL BE DAMNED” (Mk. 16:15,16 cf. Jn. 3:15,18,36; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; 2 Thess. 2:10-12). A man’s ‘Christianity’ is today judged not on what he believes, but on how nice he is, how loving and kind and thoughtful he is regardless of what he believes. If a man does not abide in the teachings, or Gospel, of Jesus Christ wherein He is exclusively revealed, then though one may be calling their god ‘Jesus’, though one may sincerely believe that the ‘God’ they believe in is the God of the Bible, Scripture testifies against them. Simply because you say that you believe in the God of Abraham, or the God Who created everything, or the God of the Bible, does not automatically mean that you believe in the one true God defined, identified and revealed in, and by, the doctrines of the Gospel of the grace of God. The God of the Scriptures is actually a very telling phrase. The true God is described and defined by His Word, not what people sincerely believe about Him. To believe you love ‘God the Creator’, believing him to be the one who sent his son to die for every sin of every individual who ever existed is believing in a false god. To believe in lies and truth cannot save you. Scripture declares believe the Gospel of God and you will be saved. Believe in the testimony that God has given of His Son as it is revealed in the Gospel, and you will be saved. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the Witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not THE RECORD THAT GOD GAVE of His Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 Jn. 5:10-12). Saved people SPECIFICALLY and EXCLUSIVELY believe in the Son of God Whom God testifies to in His Gospel, and no other. There is no salvation in any other ‘Jesus’ other than the One Who is GOD!

 

Believe the truth, the true and only doctrines of the Gospel of grace which identify the only true God Who sent His Son to the earth to die on a cross as a Sacrifice for the sins of HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE, and you will be saved. Everyone believes they believe in the God of the Scriptures, from Mormons to JW’s to Seventh-Day Adventists to Roman Catholics to Arminians and Calvinists, everyone claiming to be a Christian is convinced they believe in the God of the Bible. However, all are believing different things, they are trusting in doctrines which make up counterfeit gospels that reveal false plans of salvation. THE KEY IS TO BELIEVE THE DOCTRINES OF THE GOSPEL OF GOD WHICH ALONE REVEAL THE TRUE GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AS WELL AS HIS SON WHO DIED FOR THE SINS OF HIS PEOPLE. Believe THE GOSPEL, and you will be saved. Believe in the God of THE GOSPEL, and you will be saved. Believe only in the specific doctrines which describe and identify the only true God as God, and you are a saved person. If one does not know or believe the Gospel of God, then one can be assured that God does not know them (see Matt. 7), and will not save them (see Mk. 16:15,16). If you do not believe the only Gospel which reveals the only true God’s plan of salvation for His elect people, you are, at this moment in time, lost (see 2 Cor. 4:3,4). If one has embraced a definition of God which is simply not true, then one has embraced a false god. If one believes in a counterfeit god of a false gospel one cannot have the true God, they cannot have the unique faith which God gives to all His people so that they would receive and believe exclusively in the truth about Him as revealed in His Gospel, and no longer believe in lies which can only portray a false god. If you are trusting in things that the true God simply has not done—particularly things pertaining to how God saves—then your faith is a work of your own, and not a gift from God. No one is saved who trusts in a false way to salvation propagated in a gospel which is not authored by the only true God. The faith which God gives His people trusts in Him alone, and what He has done for His people, and repudiates anything which differs from it. The gift of faith, referred to as “…the faith of God’s elect…” in Titus 1:1 (see also Titus 1:4; Eph. 4:5; 1 Pet. 1:5), and the “…faith of the gospel” in Philippians 1:27, believes only in HIS Gospel, and no other. Only this faith believes in the only Gospel of salvation by grace through faith, not works. Salvation is believing in God by grace through the gift of faith. There is no other way. No works of ours, only His Righteousness which saves. Righteousness by grace through faith WITHTOUT works. These are gifts given to God’s chosen ones so that they will believe in Him. These are gifts given by God to His chosen ones so they will savingly trust in Him and His only Way of salvation. To not believe in the doctrines of the Gospel is to not trust in God’s only Way of salvation. Salvation is fully of the Lord. Salvation is His gift, not the result of any man’s works. God says: "...let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth ME..." (Jer. 9:24). IF YOUR DOCTRINE IS WRONG THEN THE GOD YOU WORSHIP IS FALSE.

 

Doctrines are like D.N.A., they unmistakably define, identify and reveal which God/god you believe in. What you believe shows whether you are a true Christian, or a lost person who has been taught a false gospel, and a counterfeit god who cannot save. You cannot describe the true God by false doctrine. Likewise, true doctrine can never define a false god. The doctrines you believe are a witness either for you or against you, in terms of your believing the true God, or a false god. The doctrines you believe reveal what is in your heart (see Matt. 15:19). They reveal who you believe in. You may be loving, kind and sincere, but if the gospel you believe in does not reveal who the true God is and how He saves, then you are not believing in the doctrines of the Gospel of the only true God, and you, therefore, have not God, or His Son. Simply because you are sincere does not in any way guarantee that the one you are sincere about is the only true God. At best, sincerity only reveals conviction, but it is not conclusive evidence that what a person believes is correct, or who a person is believing in is the true God. There are billions of people who pray to a god that cannot save, even people who firmly believe they are Christian. How can one give an accurate description of something if they have been fed false information concerning it? You can have all the sincerity and conviction that is humanly possible, but if your beliefs are based on false information, fake facts, then all you have is a worthless counterfeit. CHALLENGE WHAT YOU BELIEVE!! Look closely at the verses of Scripture which somehow always make you feel uneasy about the doctrines you have embraced. You have nothing to lose. If the doctrines you believe are the true doctrines of God’s Gospel, then you are vindicated and can rest easy. If, however, you discover that what you have been believing is not the Gospel of God, then you have escaped the lie and been brought to the truth by God.

 

Whilst man is physically alive this in no way qualifies or implies that he is in any way spiritually alive. Having religious feelings does not mean you have the true God. They are not the sign of life. Feelings and experiences are among the most dangerous things that people can use to convince, or reassure, themselves that they are saved. However good you may feel does not mean you have the true God. Turn the spotlight on WHAT you believe, for this will tell you WHOM you believe. THE ONE YOU BELIEVE IN WILL ALWAYS BE REVEALED BY THE DOCTRINE YOU HOLD TO. Feelings and experiences are at best unreliable, and at worst an extremely dangerous way to judge whether you are truly saved, or not.  If you believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone ever born, then you have another jesus, and not the true Jesus of the Bible Who laid down His life for His sheep (see Jn. 10). Christ died for His people, the people Whom the Father chose before the foundation of the world and gave Him. “As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him… I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine” (Jn. 17:2,9 cf. Matt. 1:21). Believing Christ died for all, changes what He did upon the Tree, and so, defines and identifies a ‘Jesus’ whom the Father knows nothing about. Trusting in what a false jesus did, is trusting in lies about the true Jesus. YOU CANNOT BELIEVE IN LIES AND BE TRUSTING IN THE TRUE JESUS. You cannot believe in a false gospel and expect to be saved. Truth, lies and error, not feelings, emotions or experiences are the distinguishing elements as to whether or not one is believing in the true God, or a false god that cannot save. These things are the reliable signs that show which direction we are heading in. If a teaching is in accordance with an accurate, Scriptural, understanding of the Word of God, then we are heading in the right direction. However, if a teaching, no matter who teaches it, or how long you have believed it, contrasts with what the Word of God says, then we can be assured that no matter the feelings, emotions or experiences that may accompany it, it is not truth. And, if it is not truth then it is not of God. God Almighty sent His Son to the earth to save His people—the ones whom He entrusted to the Son—from their sins, not to merely make salvation possible for all. The entire concept of Jesus dying for all, so that all would have a chance to choose Him, completely collapses when one is reminded of the fact that not everyone hears about the true Jesus. God gives the gift of faith to His people so they will trust in Him, the only true God, and what He has done to save them. Belief in a false gospel belies a faith which is not from God. Those who believe in another jesus call God a liar, for they are not believing God’s testimony concerning His Son. “…he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that GOD gave of His Son” (1 Jn. 5:10). What you believe reveals whether you are of God, or of the world.

 

Scripture places great emphasis upon believing the truth, the truth about God, and the truth about what He has done to save. In fact, you cannot have the true God without the truth of God. Thus what a person believes is of the utmost importance, for this invariably reveals whom they are trusting in, and what they are believing in for their salvation. If you are without the truth you are without God. If you are trusting in lies, you are not saved. If your hope is in a false way to salvation you are not currently in a saved state. If you cannot see, understand and therefore believe the true Gospel you are without God, and consequently lost: “But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Cor. 4:3,4). If the true God has not revealed Himself to you, you are lost. If your trust is in a false gospel, how can you possibly be saved by grace through the gift of faith given to believe exclusively in GOD’S Gospel? If you are without God you are eternally without God, and, therefore, you are eternally without hope. If you believe exclusively in the God of the Gospel of grace it is evident that you have been given the gift of faith, and you will be saved. If you are without God, then you do not have God, and, therefore, cannot currently be a believer in the True God of the True Gospel. To be without God is to be without His love, grace and mercy forever. This does not mean such a person cannot be saved, but that if you are without God, then you will forever be without any hope if God, by grace, does not save you. To be without God is to be without hope is to be without ANY help. To be without God is to be beyond the reach of any help. Man, by nature, is utterly bereft of God, and, therefore, without any hope. Perhaps the best explanation of man's being dead to God is that man is DEPRIVED of God, or more accurately has deprived himself of God through sin. God has withdrawn Himself from man because of sin. As without life there is only death, so too, without God there is only death, for He is the Life-Source, and the Life-Giver (see Col. 1:17). You cannot be dead if there remains in you even a spark of life. You cannot be dead in sins, in total disconnect from God, if there remains even the slightest desire to want the True God. Man does have a desire for a supreme being. Much of mankind—approximately 86%—believes in the existence of a supreme being, but none, by nature, know, or seek after the True God. An inherent desire for the True God would be a sign that there remained some lingering connection with God. Therefore, God would have had no right to say man would die if after man sinned he would still possess some degree of spiritual life, some desire for the only God and, therefore, some hope. God would rightly be accused of an improper use of the word 'die' if after eating the fruit there remained the faintest hint of spiritual life, some form of familial connection, of togetherness, of unity with God. But, as is seen in the actions of Adam and Eve immediately after the Fall (see Gen. 3:7,8), and in God’s act of clothing them (see Gen. 3:21), signifying atonement, nothing of the kind exists because man is utterly, hopelessly, dead in sins, for he is altogether dead to God.

 

Just as there is death there must also be life, so too, if there is bad news, there must also be good  news. Spiritual death is the bad news, and spiritual life is the Good News. Spiritual death in Adam, spiritual life only in Christ. If the bad news was anything other than death, then it wouldn’t really be bad news at all. Real bad news is not that you are in a deep hole, but that you are DEAD inside a really deep hole. Real bad news leaves you with no hope, it does not leave you with any way out. God’s Gospel is the Good News of spiritual life. The good news is found only in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and not in gospels that have salvation dependent on what a man does. The Gospel of God is the good news, all other so-called gospels are nothing but fake news. The bad news is that mankind has sinned against God, and, has, therefore, become an accursed race which is without God and without any hope of recovery. The good news is that God Almighty has chosen not to abandon mankind, as mankind has abandoned Him, but by sheer grace and mercy has chosen to restore some to life again: those whom He has elected to love before the foundation of the world. The lost hate this teaching, for they fail to realise that after the Fall, man became a creature that was without God, and without ANY hope! They fail to realise that after the Fall, man became a creature that needed to be made alive, to be made a new creature in Christ by God. They fail to realise that without God, man has absolutely no hope of doing anything to come to Him and be saved. How else would anyone reach Heaven if it were not for God’s mercy and grace!! HOW ELSE??? If God had not chosen to love, how would any have loved Him, for a man loves God ONLY because God loved the man first! (see 1 Jn. 4:19). Yes, mankind is a cursed race deserving of nothing but the full fury of God’s unadulterated Wrath. Anyone preaching anything that comes short of this is not telling you the truth. Man has no leg to stand on in any appeal he may venture to make to Almighty God, for he does not know God, does not seek God and does not want the true God. THE REALITY IS THAT MAN IS AT EMNITY AGAINST GOD, WITHOUT GOD AND WITHOUT HOPE!! And the enemies of the cross have the audacity to speak of free will!! The fact that any man worships God and loves God is purely, simply and totally because of God. If a man loves the true God we know that it is only because the true God loved him first. Addressing believers, the Word of God states: “We love Him, because He first loved us…God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (1 Jn. 4:19 & Rom. 5:8).

 

No man has any hope of salvation if God does not love him, so how can any man have a free will to love the only true God. Love is not something God is obliged to do, love is what God chooses to do. Everything a Christian has is because God loved him first. Grace is God doing, and God doing first. Grace is before everything, and mercy is given to one who has done, and can do, nothing. Grace and mercy cannot be preceded by anything of man's other than his guilt. There is no need for grace or mercy if there is only innocence. There is no need for a man to be made spiritually alive if he is not spiritually dead. Because of grace, mercy has replaced God’s Wrath in a saved man’s life. All of mankind stands guilty before a Holy and Just God. In order for God to remain Holy, and a God of Justice, the guilty cannot be acquitted, or excused from the punishment due unto them, but must be punished. The price for their sin MUST be paid. Moreover, God is under no obligation to have any mercy or grace upon anyone, to love the unlovable, or save the unsavable. Both grace and mercy are unmeritable, therefore, God is not obliged to give them. They cannot be earned, only given. You cannot gain grace, or merit mercy by what you do. Man is not responsible for any part of salvation, he is not the cause of his being saved, for salvation is of the Lord. Everything a saved man has, has been given him by God through grace and mercy. Grace and mercy are given because of God’s goodness, not because of any man’s goodness. The glory of God is the fact that He has grace and mercy on those whom He wills to be gracious and merciful to. Moses beseeched God “…show me Thy glory” (Ex. 33:18), and God said: “…I will make all My GOODNESS pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be GRACIOUS to whom I will be gracious, and will shew MERCY on whom I will shew mercy” (Ex. 33:19). A man can only be saved according to God’s Goodness, Grace and Mercy motivated only by God’s Will to love in order to fulfil God’s Purpose. “The glory of the Lord lies in His goodness, and that appears in the works of His hands, in the methods of His providence, especially in the distribution of His Sovereign grace and mercy, and particularly in His pardoning grace and mercy, through the blood of Christ”.

 

You will never understand the goodness and glory of God until you understand man’s utter inability to merit anything from God. You will never understand God’s Sovereign grace if you do not believe man is dead in trespasses and sins. The glory of God is the goodness of God is the grace of God is the mercy of God. The glory of God is the goodness of God in choosing to be gracious and merciful to His chosen ones. God’s willingness to save him is a man’s only hope. God is not merciful to whomsoever choose Him, but only to those He is willing to be merciful to, “Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth” (Rom. 9:18), “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:16). Mercy and compassion are God’s choice. God has mercy and grace upon whomsoever He wills, because no man can choose Him. God’s mercy is according to HIS will, and no one else’s. In showing His goodness—not severity, not unfairness, not cruelty, but His GOODNESS—God told Moses that He will show mercy and be gracious to those HE CHOOSES according to HIS WILL. One can only be merciful to one who cannot help himself, who is guilty and has no recourse or any redeeming feature. Mercy is for those who cannot pay back, who cannot recompense for sin committed. Mercy and grace are for those who can be loved by no other way than by the mercy and grace of the one who has chosen to be merciful and gracious. God has elected to show His grace and mercy on some who have no claim on Him, but who deserve nothing but Wrath. There is nothing unfair in this, for it is a display of nothing less than the great goodness of Almighty God.

 

Scripture clearly teaches that God is Almighty, and if Almighty then it is assured that God doeth whatsoever He wills, which in turn shows that there is nothing which God wills that He does not do, or causes to come to pass. “But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased” (Psa. 115:3). Nothing can hinder, interfere with or stop the will of God, otherwise, He would not be God. It then stands to Biblical reason that if the Lord God does whatsoever He pleases, whatsoever He pleases, or wills, is what is always done. This corresponds perfectly with the fact that all are His servants, “…all are Thy servants” (Psa. 119:91). “O Lord, there is none like Thee, neither is there any God beside Thee…” (1 Chron. 17:20). God says of Himself: “…I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me…My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isa. 46:9,10 cf. Isa. 40:18,25; 46:5). “…He is in one mind, and who can turn Him? and what His soul desireth, even that He doeth” (Job. 23:13). “Yea, before the day was I am He; and there is none that can deliver out of My hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” (Isa. 43:13). “…when God wrought the work of creation, there was no opposition to it, or hindrance of Him; and in providence all things are done as He pleases; so all His purposes and decrees, which are His works within Him, are exactly accomplished according to His pleasure, and none can resist His will. The work of redemption is finished just according to the draught of it in His eternal mind; and when He works upon the heart of a sinner at conversion, whatever obstructions and difficulties are in the way, these are removed, and the work is begun, and carried on, and performed, until the day of Christ. The work of the Lord in his Churches, and the setting up of His Kingdom in the world, in a more visible and glorious manner, shall be done, and none will be able to hinder it: ‘who can turn it back’? either His work, or His hand in working; His purposes cannot be disannulled; His power cannot be controlled; His work cannot be made void, or of no effect; He always succeeds, for He is Perfect; He has no superior that can obstruct Him. God has done all things in creation according to the good pleasure of His will; and He does all things in providence according to the counsel of it, and as seems best in His sight; and so He does all things in grace, chooses whom He will, predestinates to the adoption of children according to the good pleasure of His will: redeems whom He pleases, and calls by His grace, and brings to glory whomsoever He will be gracious to (see Psa. 115:3). What He designs, He effects; what He promises, He performs; SAYING AND DOING ARE NOT TWO THINGS WITH HIM.” Saying a thing is as good as having done it, to God. The Lord says: “…I am the Lord: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass…” (Ezek. 12:25); “I the Lord have spoken it: it shall come to pass…” (Ezek. 24:14); “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19); “So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa. 55:11); “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away” (Lk. 21:33 cf. Psa. 119:152; Jn.10:35).

 

“To argue that man is a free moral agent and the determiner of his own destiny, and that therefore he has the power to checkmate his Maker, is to strip God of the attribute of Omnipotence. To say that the creature has burst the bounds assigned by his Creator, and that God is now practically a helpless Spectator before the sin and suffering entailed by Adam’s fall, is to repudiate the express declaration of Holy Writ, namely, ‘Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain’ (Psa. 76:10). In a word, to deny the Sovereignty of God is to enter upon a path which, if followed to its logical terminus, is to arrive at blank atheism. The Sovereignty of the God of Scripture is absolute, irresistible, infinite. When we say that God is Sovereign we affirm His right to govern the universe which He has made for His own glory, just as He pleases. We affirm that His right is the right of the Potter over the clay, i.e., that He may mold that clay into whatsoever form He chooses, fashioning out of the same lump one vessel unto honor and another unto dishonor. We affirm that He is under no rule or law outside of His own will and nature, that God is a law unto Himself, and that He is under no obligation to give an account of His matters to any. Sovereignty characterizes the whole Being of God. He is Sovereign in all His attributes. He is Sovereign in the exercise of His power. His power is exercised as He wills, when He wills, where He wills. This fact is evidenced on every page of Scripture.”

 

God does whatsoever He pleases, and none can stop His will. “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand” (Prov. 19:21). The counsel of God “…can never be frustrated by the devices of man's heart, though there are many, 'There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the Lord' (Prov. 21:30 see also Psa. 33:10,11; Isa. 46:10; Acts 5:39). This may be applied to the Gospel, and the scheme of salvation in it, called the whole counsel of God in Acts 20:27…all things in this world are ordered as God pleases, and all things are done as He has ordered them; all His purposes are or will be fulfilled; His designs will be accomplished in the world and in His Church, in spite of all the schemes, contrivances, and opposition of men and devils. No human schemes whatever, formed with the greatest wisdom and prudence, can ever prevail against God, or set aside or hinder the execution of any design of His; nothing that is pointed against His Church, His cause, and interest, His truths and ordinances, in the issue shall succeed; all that are found fighters against Him shall not prosper, let them be men of ever so much sagacity and wisdom; though there may be ever so many devices in a man's heart, and these ever so well planned, they shall never defeat the counsel of the Lord…no wisdom of the creature can stand before Him, it presently vanishes and disappears.” This is the true God. He does whatsoever He wants, whenever He wants, with whomsoever He wants. If there is no weapon, no means, formed against the people of God which shall prosper, how much less can anything that is designed against God prosper (see Isa. 54:17). God has done, and continues to do, all His good pleasure. Nothing, and no one, has ever been able to stop the will of God from occurring, and nothing and no one ever will. How can any stop the One Who is ALL-POWERFUL?

 

Grace and Mercy. Surely there cannot be two more sweeter sounding words in the entire universe than Grace and Mercy. The God Who has been so horribly sinned against by mankind, so dishonoured, so hated, so blasphemed, so rebelled against has chosen, according to His Counsel, not to rightly vanquish all of human kind and consign them to an eternity of Hell, but to mercifully and graciously show kindness to some. The very thought that God would choose to show everlasting mercy and grace toward any is surely an awesome thing, an unexpected thing, in light of the sheer outrageous effrontery that sinning against Him is. Without grace and mercy salvation is unthinkable. There is absolutely no basis for salvation outside the dominion of grace and mercy. The very thought that Almighty God, the GOD Who needs NOTHING, has sent His Beautiful Son to the earth, to take upon Himself the sins and guilt of all His chosen people, to die upon a tree for the sins of His people, is quite breathtaking. We feel so sad when some innocent child, or harmless animal, is violently mistreated, mocked and shamed, yet, man seldom stops to think just what mankind has done in sinning against the Most High and Holy God. The beauty of God, His Character, etc., has been violently and unjustifiably sinned against, when all God ever did was create beauty, and be kind and loving. Despite the presence of sin, God has not only chosen to show His love to His chosen ones—who were all children of Wrath even as others before He saved them—but to also give Himself, to give of Himself, to reveal Himself to them. He has chosen freely to sacrifice His only begotten Son for His chosen people while they were yet His enemies so that His selected portion (“the word ‘selection’ involves thoughtful and deliberate consideration”), of mankind may have eternal life and live with Him forever (see Rom. 5:8-10). Is there any unrighteousness in this? Is there any unrighteousness or unfairness in a God Who has chosen to love and save some from a pool of sinful, contemptible wretches who had no redeeming feature within them, and no desire for Him? Is there any unrighteousness or unfairness in a plan to save some who were deserving of nothing but God’s eternal and fiery Wrath, who had no hope of ever appeasing God, of making up for what they have done and of what they are. Is there any unfairness in God having loved those who had no love for Him? Surely not. Nothing unfair has been performed on those whom God has not chosen unto salvation, for they are deserving of nothing but Wrath. Those who will be saved have received grace and mercy from God, and those who will be damned deserve nothing less than damnation. Love and grace are not sinful, just as justice and punishment are not unwarranted, and do not infringe upon anyone’s rights.

 

The reprehensible, despicable and unfounded claim that saving grace being restricted to God’s chosen is something unfair, that it is, somehow, an unrighteous act, along with the accompanying slanderous assertion that such grace is so unloving to be poured out on only a select few and not on all, is such a sad testament to man’s miserable sinful, wicked, state. All such complaints are a denial of the Biblical fact that man is spiritually dead. Is God not God? Is God not Righteous and Just? Cannot God do as He pleases? Will not everything that God wills to do be perfectly Righteous? Is there any unrighteousness in the Holy and Righteous God? Surely not. Then cannot God do what He wills? Can we not be assured that whatever God does is Perfect and Just and Righteous? Cannot God save by grace those whom He wills to save, and rightly condemn all others? OF COURSE HE CAN!!! OF COURSE HE SURELY HAS!!! OF COURSE HE SURELY WILL!!! Would these all be Righteous acts? OF COURSE THEY ARE!!! The Righteous God can do anything He wills to do, and if the Righteous God has done it, one can be assured that whatever He has done, does, or will do, will be perfectly RIGHT and JUST! The only injustice is lost man’s inability to discern the true God and properly interpret the doctrines which identify Him. Lost man, spiritually dead man, judging God by man’s twisted sense of what is right and what is wrong is the INJUSTICE! The need for, and presence of grace in salvation is the unchallengeable evidence that man is spiritually dead in sins, deserving nothing but Wrath. No one can be saved by any other way than by God choosing whom He will save according to His good pleasure. God saves by grace because there is no other way. GOD CAN SAVE A MAN, BUT A MAN CANNOT CHOOSE TO BE SAVED BY GOD. As beggars cannot be choosers, so too, no man dead in sins can choose his way out of spiritual death. Man is dead in sins and has no way to change what he is. He must be called out, he must be appointed to salvation, he must be made alive/born again/saved by grace, for only grace can save a man. The work of grace is not to enable a man to choose God, but to save him, thereby, revealing to all that he has been chosen by God. Grace is God saving by God doing because no man can do.

 

Were it not for God all would have deservedly plunged headlong into Hell. God choosing to save some is the living, breathing example of the goodness of God, and not of any unfairness on His part as is so slanderously reported. Ironically, none would have complained if all had been appointed to Hell. All were guilty, so it would have been perfectly appropriate for God to condemn all to Hell. Nothing wrong with that. So how could God expressing love and forgiveness through grace and mercy possibly be accused of unfairness, unrighteousness by choosing to save some! Moreover, none would have complained if all had been appointed to salvation. If God had chosen to save everyone by grace it would have been considered a magnificent and gloriously Righteous act. Nothing wrong with that. So how could God expressing love and forgiveness through grace and mercy possibly be accused of unfairness, unrighteousness, by choosing to save some! JUST WHEN DID ANY ACT OF GOD BEGIN TO BE JUDGED TO BE RIGHTEOUS OR UNRIGHTEOUS, ACCORDING TO HOW MANY OR HOW FEW HE HAS CHOSEN TO BLESS? If God had chosen one person to be saved, it would have been a Righteous act. If God had chosen no one to be saved, it would have been a righteous act. Everything God does is as Righteous as everything else God does. There is nothing He does which is any more Righteous, or any less Righteous than anything else He has done. Everything God does is perfectly Righteous. God saves some men out of the miry clay of death, whilst rightly appointing others to His eternal Wrath, and this is somehow wrong! ALL ARE GUILTY! There is no sin in condemning the guilty, and there is no sin in God choosing to save some by His grace and mercy. There is no sin in grace and mercy, as there is no sin in justifiable Wrath. IF THERE WOULD BE NOTHING WRONG IN GOD CONDEMNING ALL, THEN THERE IS NOTHING WRONG IN GOD SAVING SOME!! Where is the sin in saving an innumerable number of people from among the guilty masses who could never have done anything to save themselves? Upon what ground can any base the ridiculous argument that the only Righteous act concerning the guilty would have been to save them all? The question is not, ‘Why did God not save all’, but WHY SHOULD GOD HAVE SAVED ANY!!!  What obligation was God under to save any? Who, in their right mind, would falsely accuse a human judge of unfairness by his rightly condemning the guilty?  Even worse than this, who would dare to question the Authority of Almighty God, the Justice of God, the Holiness of God in justly damning the guilty? To question the Righteousness of God in having chosen to save only His elect by grace alone, is to question the Righteousness of Jesus Christ dying for their sins, and imputing His Righteousness to them. God saves men by His Son the Saviour Jesus Christ having fully paid the penalty their sin deserved, and by imputing His Righteousness to them, and having their unrighteousness imputed to Him. The saved go to Heaven because of Christ’s Righteousness, and the lost rightly go to Hell because of their filthy-rag righteousness. Many say that this is entirely unfair. ‘Why doesn’t God choose everyone and save everyone, seeing He is love and the God of grace and mercy’. People who think like this have overlooked the fact that mankind has sinned against the Holy God, and that no one has any recourse to call God unfair when He shows grace and mercy to some, and Wrath to others. The guilty have no right at all to judge what is fair and unfair. The guilty deserve Hell. The guilty have no legitimate voice, for they have been forever silenced by their sin!

 

God has every right to do with men as He sees fit. “…cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in Mine hand…” (Jer. 18:6 cf. Isa. 64:8; Rom. 9:20,21). God has every right to love one and hate another (see Rom. 9:13-16). These are foundational truths as to Who God is and what God is like. “That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things” (Isa. 45:6,7). God also says, “[I]… will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (Ex. 33:19 cf. Mk. 3:13,14). THE GOODNESS OF GOD IS HIS GRACE AND MERCY. The goodness of God is His glory. “The glory of the Lord lies in His goodness, and that appears in the works of His hands, in the methods of His providence, especially in the distribution of His Sovereign grace and mercy, and particularly in His pardoning grace and mercy, through the blood of Christ; for as it is the ‘glory’ of a man ‘to pass over a transgression’ (Prov. 19:11), much more it is the glory of God, of which this goodness is afterwards interpreted.” God’s choosing His people, God’s predestinating His chosen, God’s adopting His children by Jesus Christ to Himself according the good pleasure of His will, is: “TO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE…” (Eph. 1:6). God does whatsoever He wants to do, and if you do not agree with this, if you find something offensive about this, then it is YOU who have the problem! It is YOU who are being unrighteous and judging according to your sinful bias and enmity filled mind! God does not love those who do not believe Who He is, what He does and how He does it.

Why should God have mercy upon any? Why should God be gracious towards any? BECAUSE HE WANTS TO! And what God wants is always right. God does not do what is right, what God does IS right. Nothing but that which is pure and right can come out of the Righteous and Holy God. Why should God not punish the guilty? Why should God not save His elect? Why is God’s goodness, His grace and mercy not right in the eyes of many? Why do so many who call themselves Christians believe God saving whom He wills is somehow an unrighteous act? These are questions which all those who falsely accuse God of unfairness in saving some and not all must answer. THERE IS NO CASE FOR GRACE OTHER THAN ITS BEING THE WILL OF GOD! The fact that the guilty are punished speaks for itself. The guilty should be punished, and the chosen should be saved. Few people realise that whilst God is love, God is also the God of vengeance (see Psa. 94:1). God is a God Who keeps “…mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty…” (Ex. 34:7). God the Son WILL come “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power” (2 Thess. 1:8,9 cf. Rev. 6:16). And for this God is treated with disdain by many who falsely claim to be ‘God’s people’! There is no reason why God should have mercy upon any based on what they have done, and there is equally no reason why God should not punish the guilty based on what they have done. All are equally deserving of nothing but the torment of the eternal fires of Hell. God chooses to save some from that just punishment, and people, including most who claim to be Christian, accuse God of being unfair? Such is the madness of lost men. How presumptuous is sinful man to accuse the true God of unfairness, when man himself is the guilty one! Man sinned against God, and God reacts with love grace and mercy for some who have sinned so shockingly against the Righteous and Holy God, and for this He is falsely and maliciously accused of unrighteousness! God must punish sin, for He is the Holy God of Justice. God punished the sins of His people in Christ, and He punishes sin in those whom He did not entrust to His Son. No unrighteousness, no inequity here. God has obliged Himself, because He has committed Himself to His chosen ones, to be merciful to those whose sins have been punished in Christ, for this is His will.

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