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Free, Sovereign, Unconditional, Immutable,
Eternal, Indestructible Grace
Grace is never spoken of in the Book of God as GodŐs response to manŐs choice, but just the opposite. According to Holy Scripture the believerŐs faith in Christ is the result of GodŐs eternal choice of his people in Christ. Grace is not conditioned upon something in us. Grace cannot be earned, won, merited, or even attracted or influenced by us in any way. Grace is Ňunmerited favor.Ó Grace is GodŐs sovereign, eternal, and free favor toward sinners who fully deserve his wrath.
Were I to choose one passage of Holy Scripture that spells out GodŐs grace most clearly, one passage that identifies and defines GodŐs sovereign purpose of grace in Christ, it would be Romans chapter 8. In this eighth chapter of Romans the Apostle Paul, writing by divine inspiration, plainly declares what God has done for chosen sinners in Christ and why he has done it. Look at what our great God has done for us by his great grace in Christ, our great Savior.
1. He has freed us from all condemnation and from the cruel, oppressive, galling bondage of the law (vv. 1-4).
2. He has given us new life in Christ by his Spirit (vv. 5-14).
3. He has given us his Spirit, the Spirit of adoption (vv. 15-16).
4. Grace has made us heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (v. 17-18).
5. Grace gives us the hope of the resurrection (vv. 19-25).
6. The Lord God has given us the earnest of the Spirit, the pledge and seal of resurrection glory with Christ (vv. 26-27).
7. And God has given us the knowledge and assurance of his wise and good providence (v. 28).
But, why? Why has the holy Lord God done all these things for us? What is the basis of his gracious operations? What is the source from which we have all these blessings, privileges, and benefits of grace? — All the blessings, privileges, and benefits of grace flow to us from and were infallibly secured to us by GodŐs eternal purpose of grace, according to which he created, rules, and disposes of the universe (vv. 28-30).
In verses 29 and 30 we have the Holy SpiritŐs own commentary on verse 28. Here he explains to us what is meant by those words Ňaccording to his purpose.Ó Our experience of salvation in time is the result of GodŐs accomplishment of our salvation in eternity Ňaccording to his purpose.Ó
With regard to the accomplished redemption of our Lord Jesus Christ and the salvation of GodŐs elect, God the Holy Ghost says, Ňthe works were finished from the foundation of the worldÓ (Hebrews 4:3). All the works of grace, by which believing sinners shall at last enter into that rest awaiting us with Christ in HeavenŐs Glory, Ňwere finished from the foundation of the world.Ó That is to say, all the works of GodŐs free, saving grace in Christ that sinners come to experience in time were done from eternity.