A Few Words about Grace

Oct 8, 2011
Winfield, Mo.
The Nature of Grace

1. Grace is the Father acting freely, according to His own nature as Love; with no promises or obligations to fulfill; and acting, of course, righteously—in view of the Cross.

2. Grace, therefore, is uncaused in the recipient: its cause lies wholly in the Giver, in the Father.

3. Grace is also sovereign. Not having debts to pay, or fulfilled conditions on man’s part to wait for, it can act toward whom, and how, it pleases. It can, and does often, place the worst deservers in the highest favors.

4. Grace cannot act where there is either desert (permanent departure—NC) or ability: Grace does not help—it is absolute, it does it all.

5. There being no cause in the creature why Grace should be shown, the creature must be brought off from trying to give cause to God for His grace.

6. The discovery by the creature that he is truly the object of Divine grace, works the utmost humility: for the receiver of grace is brought to know his own absolute unworthiness, and his complete inability to attain worthiness: yet he finds himself blessed—on another principle, outside himself!

7. Therefore, flesh (the sin nature—NC) has no place in the plan of Grace. This is the great reason why Grace is hated by the proud natural mind of man. But for this very reason the true believer rejoices! For he knows that “in him, that is his flesh, is no good thing”; and yet he finds the Father glad to bless him, just as he is (then makes him as He desires—NC)!

The Place of Man Under Grace

1. He has been accepted in Christ, who is his standing.

2. He is not on probation.

3. As to his life past, it does not exist before the Father: he died in Christ on the Cross, and now Christ is his Life.

4. Grace, once bestowed, is not withdrawn: for the Father knew all the human exigencies beforehand—His action was independent of them, not dependent upon them.

5. The failure of devotion does not cause the withdrawal of bestowed grace, as it would under law. For example, the man in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, and also those in 11:30-32, who did not “judge” themselves and so were “judged by the Lord—that they might not be condemned with the world.

The Proper Attitude of a Man Under Grace

1. To believe, and to consent to be loved while unworthy, is the great secret.

2. To refuse to make resolutions and vows; for that is to trust in the flesh (we trust in what God does and has done, and not in what we have done or do. Our source is always to be derived from His “work” - Phil 2:13, not from ours. Our work derives from desire to please Him and nothing more—NC).

3. To expect to be blessed, though realizing more and more lack of worth.

4. To testify of the Father’s goodness at all times.

5. To be certain of the Father’s future favor; yet to be ever more tender in conscience toward Him.

6. To rely on the Father’s chastening (child-training) hand as a mark of His kindness.

7. A man under Grace, if like Paul, has no burdens regarding himself, but many about others.

Things Which Gracious Souls Discover

1. To hope to be better is to fail to see yourself in Christ only.

2. To be disappointed with yourself is to have believed in yourself.

3. To be discouraged is unbelief—as to the Father’s purpose and plan of blessing for you.

4. To be proud is to be blind! For we have no standing before God in ourselves.

5. The lack of Divine blessing, therefore, comes from unbelief, and not from failure of devotion.

6. Real devotion to the Father arises, not from man’s will to show it, but from the discovery that blessing has been received from Him while we were yet unworthy and not devoted.

7. To preach devotion first and blessing second, is to reverse God’s order and preach law, not grace. The Law made man’s blessing depend on devotion; Grace confers undeserved, unconditional blessing: our devotion will follow, but does not always do so in proper measure.

- Wm R Newell (1868-1956 - from his book Verse by Verse, Romans, end of chapter 6)

Excerpt from MJS devotional for July 5:

“I do not see the Cross truly if I only see it as opening a way of escape for me, and yet allowing that in me to escape which has incurred the judgment of the Cross.

“In the present day (1867) the truth is lowered to the measure of man’s need; hence if the need is met, which grace does, the convert makes little or no advance; he rests in the satisfaction of his need, instead of being directed to the scope of God’s thought, which only begins with his need.”

- J B Stoney