Sunday, August 08, 2010

Grace, Not Graces

This week's installment from The Fundamentals

by Rev. Thomas Spurgeon
London, England

Our own graces can never satisfy as does God's grace. He who is not far from the kingdom, nevertheless inquires, "What lack I yet?" One might as well think to lift himself by hauling at his boots, as expect to win heaven by the deeds of the law. The fact is, that fallen human nataure is incapable of perfectly keeping the law of God. It is well when this is understood and humbly acknowledged; it may be the dawn of better things, even as it was with one of whom I have heard, who was brought to Christ by the Spirit's application of the words, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?

Gulliver tells of a man who had been eight years upon a process of extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers. The sunbeams were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in inclement weather. This was folly indeed, but it is even more ridiculous to think of extracting righteousness from a depraved heart. "They that are in the flesh cannot please God."

That was good advice given to a seeker: "You'll never know peace until you give up looking at self, and let all your graces go for nothing." The black devil of unrighteousness has slain its thousands, but the white devil of self-righteousness hath slain its tens of thousands. Salvation is by Grace, not by Graces."

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