What Grace Is
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
Never let the devil deceive you into supposing that God planned sin as “a gracious means to a glorious end,” for then salvation from sin would be simple justice, not grace. No, you cannot legitimately charge God with your sin. It is to the guilty, the undeserving, far and wide, that God offers “the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).
There are two significant phrases in Eph. 2 which shed clear light upon the character, the nature, of grace. They are found in Verses 2 and 3, which speak of the unsaved as “children [Gr., huiois, full-grown sons] of disobedience” and “children [Gr., tekna, born ones] of wrath.”
Meditate for a moment on these phrases: “Children of disobedience” and “children of wrath.”It is against this dark, black background of deserved wrath, that we read further:
“BUT GOD, who is RICH IN MERCY, for His GREAT LOVE wherewith He loved us,
“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us [given us life] together with Christ (BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED),
“And hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
“That in the ages to come He might show THE EXCEEDING RICHES OF HIS GRACE IN HIS KINDNESS TOWARD US THROUGH CHRIST JESUS” (Eph. 2:4-7).
Somehow it takes a load off one’s heart and mind to come to the end of his rope, as it were, and admit that he is a sinner, deserving God’s wrath. How sweet to the ears of such is the wonderful message of redemption by grace, through the finished work of Christ at Calvary. We were all the “children [full-grown sons] of disobedience”: and therefore “by nature the children [born ones] of wrath”: “But God!” When hope seemed gone, He intervened and now offers salvation to all by grace, through faith.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).