If a king's pardon is rejected once, he is not bound to offer it any more. Grace is most needful because it fits us for communion with God. It is by grace that we keep a constant fellowship with heaven. Let me with the greatest zeal and earnestness, persuade all who have souls to save—to endeavor after grace. Grace will be desirable at death; it is useful now—and more seasonable to look after.
The heart is a spiritual cabinet into which the jewel of grace should be put; we should desire grace above other things, above the gifts of the Spirit, nay, above the comforts of the Spirit. Comfort is sweet—but grace is better than comfort, just as bread is better than honey. We may go to heaven without comfort—but not without grace. It is grace which makes us blessed in life and death. I shall show you twelve rare excellencies in grace. I shall set this fair virgin of grace before you, hoping that you will be enticed to fall in love with it.
They are walking dead men Ephesians 2: The life of sin—is the death of the soul; a sinner has all the signs of one who is dead. He has no pulse —the affections are the pulse of the soul; his pulse does not beat after God. He has no feeling. Dead things are not capable of privilege; the dead heir is not crowned. But grace is the vital artery of the soul; it not only irradiates, but animates.
Therefore it is called "the light of life" in John 8: Believers are said to have their grave clothes pulled off, and to be alive from the dead Romans 6: By grace the soul is grafted into Christ, the true Vine John Grace puts forth a divine energy into the soul. Faith is an enriching grace. Faith entitles the soul to the promises. The promises are full of riches: The riches of grace excel all other riches. Grace "is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. These riches make a man wise. Wisdom is the best possession; other riches cannot make one wise.
A man may have a full purse and an empty brain. A rich heir, though he lives until he becomes of age, may never comes to years of discretion; but these riches of grace have the power to make a man wise. Grace makes a man wise to know Satan's devices and subtleties 2 Corinthians 2: Grace puts the serpent's eye—in the dove's head. These spiritual riches sanctify other riches. Riches without grace are hurtful; they are golden snares ; they are the bellows of pride and the fuel of lust. They set open hell's gates for men; they are unblessed blessings.
But grace sanctifies our riches; it corrects the poison; it takes away the curse; it makes other riches beneficial to us. These riches shall be certificates of God's love, wings to lift us up to paradise. Thus grace, by a divine chemistry, extracts heaven out of earth —and gives us not only venison—but the blessing. Grace satisfies while other riches cannot Ecclesiastes 5: Riches can no more fill the heart—than a triangle can fill a circle; but grace fills up every chink and space of the soul.
It dilates the heart, and ravishes the affections with joy Romans Grace puts a beauty and luster upon a person.
You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. That is the way the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. A gracious soul is the image of God, meticulously drawn with the pencil of the Holy Spirit. A heart beautified with grace is the angels' joy Luke Grace changes corruption into perfection ; nothing so graces a man as grace does. Grace is the purest complexion of the soul, for it makes it like God.
- The Beauty of Grace.
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Grace is the flower of delight which Christ loves to smell. Grace is to the soul—as the eye to the body, as the sun to the world, as the diamond to the ring—it bespangles and beautifies. A soul decked with grace is as the dove covered with silver wings and golden feathers! By nature we are defiled; sin makes things filthy 2 Corinthians 7: A sinner's heart is so black that nothing but hell can equal it; but grace is a spiritual laver—and therefore it is called "the washing of regeneration" in Titus 3: The grace of repentance cleanses. Mary's tears, as they washed Christ's feet—so they washed her heart.
Faith has a cleansing virtue. Grace is of a celestial nature; though it does not wholly remove sin—it does subdue it. Though it does not keep sin out, it does keep it under control. Though sin in a gracious soul does not totally die—yet it dies daily. Grace makes the heart into a spiritual temple which has this inscription on it: Grace enables a man to do that which exceeds the power of nature. Grace teaches us to mortify our sins, to love our enemies—and to prefer the glory of Christ before our own lives.
Thus the three Hebrew children in Daniel, by the power of grace, marched in the face of death; neither the sound of the music could allure them—nor the heat of the furnace frighten them Daniel 3: Grace is a Christian's armor, which does more than any other armor can—it not only defends him, but puts courage into him.
Grace makes us not only bear suffering—but rejoice in suffering Romans 5: A soul steeled and animated with grace, can tread upon the lion and adder Psalm Thus does grace infuse a heroic spirit and drive strength into a man—making him act above the sphere of nature. Grace is a divine spark which ascends. When the heart is divinely touched with the magnet of the Spirit—it is drawn up to God. A Christian, by the wings of grace, flies aloft; the saints mount up as eagles Isaiah A believer is a citizen of heaven; there he trades by faith.
Grace shoots the heart above the world Psalm Grace gives us conformity to Christ and communion with Him. Grace makes us a sweet fragrance to God. Hence grace is compared to those spices which are most odoriferous and fragrant: There is a double perfume that grace sends forth. How renowned was Abraham for his faith, Moses for his meekness, or Phinehas for his zeal?
What a fresh perfume their names send forth to this day. The very wicked cannot but see a resplendent majesty in the graces of the saints; and though with their tongues they revile grace—yet with their hearts they reverence it. Thus grace is aromatic; it embalms the names of men. When a gracious person dies—he carries a good conscience with him, and leaves a good name behind him. There is such a foul stench coming from a sinner's duties, that God will not come near! Who can endure the smell of a dead corpse? I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
I won't even notice all your choice peace offerings.
Away with your hymns of praise! They are only noise to my ears. I will not listen to your music, no matter how lovely it is. But grace gives a fragrance and redolence to our holy things.
God accepted Abel's offering. God smelled a sweet fragrance in it, for He accepted his gifts. If it is asked what this testimony was that God gave of Abel's sacrifice, Jerome said that God set his sacrifice on fire 1 Kings And if grace so perfumes you, wear this flower not in your bosoms—but in your hearts! Grace ennobles a man. Grace makes us vessels of honor; it sets us above princes and nobles. Theodosius thought it more dignity to be Christ's servant, and wear His livery laced with the silver graces of the Spirit—than to be great and renowned in the world.
Sin debases a man. Christ tells wicked men of their pedigree in John 8: An ungracious person is a vile person. He is pliable to anything; he is like wire, which will be bent any way. He will snare his conscience, stain his credit, and run as a slave after the sinful injunctions of men. But grace ennobles; he who is divinely inspired, as he is high born 1 John 3: He hates whatever is hypocritical and sordid. The saints are called kings and priests for their dignity Revelation 1: Grace brings safety along with it.
You all desire to be safe in dangerous times; if sword or pestilence comes, if death peeps in at your windows—would you be safe? Nothing will secure you in times of danger—but grace. Grace is the best lifeguard; it puts Christians out of gunshot, and frees them from the power of hell and damnation. Yes—but righteousness delivers from the sting of the first death, and the fear of the second death. It was the saying of one, "I am not afraid to die—but to be damned. Grace is God's own image stamped on the soul—and He will not destroy His own image! Xerxes the Persian, when he destroyed all the temples in Greece, caused the temple of Diana to be preserved for its beautiful structure.
Just so, that soul which has the beauty of holiness shining in it, shall be preserved for the glory of the structure. God will not allow His own temple to be destroyed. Would you be secured in evil times? Get grace and fortify this garrison; a good conscience is a Christian's royal fort. David's enemies lay round about him; yet, he said, "I lay down and slept. I woke up in safety, for the Lord was watching over me" Psalm 3: A good conscience can sleep in the mouth of a cannon.
Grace is a Christian's coat of armor, which fears neither the arrow nor the bullet.
True grace may be shot at —but can never be shot through. Grace puts the soul into Christ, and there it is safe—as the bee is safe in the hive, and as the dove is safe in the ark. Therefore a man void of grace is called a double-minded man in James 1: He acts for and against—as if he had two souls. Today he will hear a preacher who is orthodox, tomorrow one who is heterodox.
He will be as the times are—and change his religion as fast as the chameleon does his color. Hearts unsanctified will be unsettled; they will join the popular side. They will follow not what is best—but what is safest; they are not for that religion which has the Word to guide it—but for that which has the sword to back it.
The Beauty of Grace
This is what Seneca called a mind that rolls up and down, and settles nowhere. But grace consolidates and fixes the heart. Grace keeps the heart upright; and the more sincere, the more steadfast. Grace carries the heart to God as the center, and there it rests Psalm ; Psalm 7. A gracious heart cleaves to God, and let whatever changes come, the soul is settled as a ship at anchor. Grace prepares and fits us for glory. Glory is the highest peg of our felicity; it transcends all our thoughts. Glory can have no hyperbole. Now grace tunes and fits the soul for glory. First you cleanse the vessel, and then pour in wine.
God first cleanses us by His grace, and then pours in the wine of glory. The silver link of grace draws the golden link of glory after it! Indeed, grace differs little from glory. Grace is glory in the bud—and glory is grace in the full flower. Glory is nothing but the consummation of grace. Temporal things are for a season—but grace has eternity stamped upon it.
It is called "durable riches" in Proverbs 8: Conversely, it also includes the bestowal of good and the excitation to do good. The second type of grace is special, saving or salvific grace and this is the grace that God extends to those who are His people. Because we are evil, God-hating creatures, every measure of grace is entirely undeserved. There is certainly nothing unethical about it. You see, the word unfair suggests duplicity or unfairness. But because grace is, by its very definition, a free gift, it cannot be given in a way that is unfair.
Consider, for a moment, an example. But out of the chaos came some wonderful stories of compassion and grace. Of course no single person could open his home to more than a few refugees. So was it in any way unfair that a particular person chose to extend grace to only a few people? Of course it was not. His act of grace was unmerited, so no one would dare complain that this person was unfair to refuse to open his doors to every person escaping the storm.
This analogy, while being as weak as most analogies are, does show an example of undeserved merit. I could also speak of homeless people.
If I were to come across an intersection in which there was a homeless person on each corner, I would be in no way unjust to single out one of them and invite him to share lunch with me. This would not show unfairness or injustice towards the other.
The Beauty of Grace (She's Beautiful, #1) by Nicole Richard
My invitation and the subsequent gift of lunch stands as unmerited favor. Now assuming that we are discussing saving grace in particular, I believe we have left one important concept out of our equation. The grace that is extended to those who would believe is composed of two factors. A simple equation is grace equals justice plus mercy. Our very natures tell us that a crime deserves punishment.
We have committed an infinitely grave crime in forsaking the Creator and this is a crime that deserves an infinite punishment. So He fulfills the requirements of justice and mercy so that we can receive grace. The lyric for the song we considered earlier, then, takes into consideration the undeservedness of grace, but then suggests an element of unfairness that has no part in grace.
So is grace unfair?
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No, not at all. Grace cannot, by definition, be unfair.