What Is Grace?

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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“The father of lies” always hates the truth, but he does not always oppose it by the same methods. If he fails to succeed as a roaring lion he may appear as an angel of light, suggesting that surely a God of love will not condemn Christ-rejectors forever. Sinners, he will contend, are not responsible for their sins anyway, for does not Eph. 1:11 teach that “[God] worketh all things after the counsel of His own will”? And thus God Himself is supposed to have conceived the idea of sin as “a gracious means to a glorious end,” and to have caused man to fall into sin so that He might finally save him from it!

Why an almighty, all-wise, all-loving God permitted sin to enter the universe must, for the time being, remain an impenetrable mystery to us, but one thing is certain: He is not the author of sin, and never accepts the responsibility for it — except that in grace and love He bore its penalty for man.

God calls sinners “children of disobedience” and “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:2,3), explaining in the clearest language that He hates sin and that His anger is kindled against it (Rom. 1:18; Eph. 5:6; John 3:36). But if God meant man to sin and caused him to sin, how was man disobedient and what cause could God have to be angry? Those who would shift the responsibility for sin from themselves to God should remember that He proclaimed His standards of righteousness in the Law “that every mouth may be stopped and that all the world may be brought in guilty before God” (Rom. 3:19).

The contention that all will finally be saved may at first sound like wonderful grace, but actually there is not one particle of grace in it, for it is based on the theory that since God got us into sin it is only just that He save us from its penalty. But grace is God’s mercy and kindness to the undeserving. In Eph. 2, after calling sinners “children of disobedience” and therefore “children of wrath,” the Apostle Paul goes on to say:

“BUT GOD, who is RICH IN MERCY, for His GREAT LOVE wherewith he loved us… hath quickened us… raised us up… 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).

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

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