Sense of sin may be often great, and more felt than grace; yet not be more than grace. A man feels the ache of his finger more sensibly than the health of his whole body; yet he knows that the ache of a finger is nothing so much as the health of the whole body.
The hardest part about grace – swallowing our pride and saying, “I don’t deserve this any more than that criminal does.”
So [God] supplies perfectly measured grace to meet the needs of the godly. For daily needs there is daily grace; for sudden needs, sudden grace; for overwhelming needs, overwhelming grace. God’s grace is given wonderfully, but not wastefully; freely but not foolishly; bountifully but not blindly.
To live by grace is to live solely by the merit of Jesus Christ. To live by grace is to base my entire relationship with God, including my acceptance and standing with Him, on my union with Christ.
Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
Grace comes not to take away a man’s affections, but to take them up.
The way to open our hearts to others is by receiving afresh the grace of God and appreciating what it means: seeing our own need of Christ; coming to receive His mercy; sensing how undeserved His love for us is; remembering how He has also opened His heart to those whose hearts are closed against us. Then we will see that the heart which is too narrow to receive a fellow Christian is too narrow to enthrone the Lord Jesus Christ. But the heart that is opened to receive the grace of Christ will learn to welcome all those whom Christ Himself has welcomed.
The greatest expression of God’s grace in a person’s life is not its demonstration toward others, but its response to God and His cause.
Motion is the most perfect discoverer of life. He that can stir his limbs, is surely not dead. The feet of the soul are the affections. Hast thou not found in thyself a hate and detestation of that sin whereinto thou hast been miscarried? Hast thou not found in thyself a true grief of heart, for thy wretched indisposition to all good things? Without a true life of grace, these things could never have been.
Giving is a “grace” as it demonstrates that God has met your needs and that His grace has inclined you to give to others.
The “gravity of grace” works like the earth’s water system, which always flows from the highest to the lowest. Just as the waters of Niagara roll over the fall and plunge down to make a river below, and just as that river flows ever down to the even lower ranges of its course, then glides to still more low-lying areas where it brings life and growth, so it is with God’s grace. Grace’s gravity carries it to the lowly in heart, where it brings life and blessing. Grace goes to the humble.
The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God.
Don’t buy the lie that cultivating condemnation and wallowing in your shame is somehow pleasing to God, or that a constant, low-grade guilt will somehow promote holiness and spiritual maturity. It’s just the opposite! God is glorified when we believe with all our hearts that those who trust in Christ can never be condemned. It’s only when we receive his free gift of grace and live in the good of total forgiveness that we’re able to turn from old, sinful ways of living and walk in grace-motivated obedience.
It is a sure mark of grace to desire more.
God’s grace to His people is continuous and is never exhausted. Grace knows no interruption and no limit. In contrast with the Law it stresses the dynamic character of the Christian life. Law can be mastered. A man may acquire merit by conforming to it. He knows the precise requirements that are demanded of him. But grace is always an adventure. No man can say where grace will lead him.
To deny the special love of God, and to believe that Christ loves all men equally, is to suppose that Christ has done no more for those the Father has given to Him than for mankind at large. But if Christians are no more loved than those who will finally be lost, the decisive factor in salvation becomes, not God’s grace and love, but something in them, and their perseverance becomes dependent upon themselves.
If God finds incentives for grace within Himself, then nothing in us can disqualify us from His grace – nothing except a proud unwillingness to be loved on terms of grace alone.
Grace is glory begun, as glory is grace consummated (Francis Turretin).
When grace penetrates into the depth of an anguished soul, joy in the Lord anchors faith (William VanGemeren).
Grace comes to those who have no other alternative than to accept it (Bernard B. Scott).
Men are afraid to have good thoughts of God. They think it is a boldness to eye God as good, gracious, tender, kind, loving. I speak of saints. They can judge Him hard, austere, severe, almost implacable, and fierce (the very worst affections of the very worst of men, and most hated by God). Is not this soul-deceit from Satan? Was it not his design from the beginning to inject such thoughts of God? Assure yourself, then, there is nothing more acceptable to the Father than for us to keep up our hearts unto Him as the eternal fountain of all that rich grace which flows out to sinners in the blood of Jesus.
Grace is indeed required to turn a man into a saint; and he who doubts this does not know what either a man or a saint is.
Growth in grace is growth downward. It is the forming of a lower estimate of ourselves. It is a deepening realization of our nothingness. It is a heartfelt recognition that we are not worthy of the least of God’s mercies.
Just as the sinner’s despair of any hope from himself is the first prerequisite of a sound conversion, so the loss of all confidence in himself is the first essential in the believer’s growth in grace.
The man who has nothing more than a kind of Sunday religion – whose Christianity is like his Sunday clothes put on once a week, and then laid aside – such a man cannot, of course, be expected to care about growth in grace.
When I speak of a man “growing in grace,” I mean simply this – that his sense of sin is becoming deeper, his faith stronger, his hope brighter, his love more extensive, his spiritual-mindedness more marked. He feels more of the power of godliness in his own heart. He manifests more of it in his life. He is going on from strength to strength, from faith to faith, and from grace to grace.
And when I face reality and see the utter awfulness of my sin contrasted with beauty of His holiness, my never-ending refrain will be that He is a God of amazing grace and that He has given me amazing grace.
Evidence we really understand God’s grace will be seen in our desire and ability to show God’s grace.
I wish I saw more of this understanding of God’s grace among people who profess to be God’s children – the forbearance, love, mercy, gentleness, forgiveness, the humility, the ability overlook sin if appropriate and the absence of legalism, haughtiness and self-righteous spirits. I’m tired of the condemning remarks, the fight to win attitudes, the always expecting my way pursuits and grace-less relationships that are too frequently seen in Christian marriages. No wonder a young girl in a church once prayed, “Lord, make the bad people good and make the good people friendly.”
The higher a man is in grace. The lower he will be in his own esteem.
We hold that man is never so near grace as when he begins to feel he can do nothing at all.
Between here and heaven, every minute that the Christian lives will be a minute of grace.
Although God is gracious in His eternal being, He need not be gracious or shower His grace upon anyone. If grace were at any time an obligation of God, it would cease to be grace. God’s grace, therefore, is distinguishing. He graciously saves some but not all, not based on anything present in the creature either possible or actual, foreseen or foreordained, but wholly according to His sovereign good pleasure.
Grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to bestow it in the presence of human merit…. Furthermore, grace ceases to be grace if God is compelled to withdraw it in the presence of human demerit. Indeed, grace is seen to be infinitely glorious only when it operates, as Packer says, “in defiance of” human demerit. Therefore, grace is not treating a person less than, as, or greater than he deserves. It is treating a person without the slightest reference to desert whatsoever, but solely according to the infinite goodness and sovereign purpose of God.