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Page 128


Is Jesus a Helper of the spiritually helpless or of those helping themselves? Is He a Savior of those spiritually lost or of those fmding their own way? Explain.


 

But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us,

Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).

- Ephesians 2:4-5

And if 'by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

- Romans 11:6

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

- Ephesians 2:8-9

 

What rich, gracious comforts are missed by those who deny the truth that salvation is totally from God's grace and not dependent upon man's works?

    A minister once made the following statement in his sermon, "Many today preach that God helps those who help themselves, but I preach to you a God who helps those who can't help themselves!"

    What did the minister mean by this statement? How does this truth relate to common and saving grace? How does the truth of God's free, sovereign, saving grace glorify God to the highest and abase man to the lowest?

God's saving love is a pure, wonderful, gracious love. It does not depend upon reasons or improvements to be found in the sinner. God found reasons in Himself, in His eternal heart of love, to freely, love His children. The following story faintly illustrates the freeness of God's fatherly love for His children.

    A child of God was seriously ill and bedridden. He had several young children and worried about how his family would survive with his extended illness. This anxiety produced rebellious thoughts against God and inward murmurings against His dealings. As a result, little love for God was in exercise and experienced.

    He poured out his heart's sorrows to his visiting minister. "Reverend, I cannot believe that the Lord can still love me. I find no expressions of love toward Him in my life. I do not long for Him, I seem to disregard Him. If the Lord would come - fine, and if not - fine. That is how I feel. Surely, the Lord cannot love such an unappreciative and unresponsive creature as I am. It is nothing with me. All I do is give the Lord problems and difficulties!"

    Noticing the man's three-month old daughter sitting in her infant seat on the carpet near his bed, the minister responded, "John, I believe it is impossible for you to love your little daughter."

    He was surprised and somewhat taken aback by this remark and replied, "Of course I love her! Why shouldn't I?"

    "John, let me use your own words. She doesn't express her love in return to you, does she? Doesn't she disregard you? She probably wouldn't even notice if you were here or not. Can you love such an unappreciative and unresponsive creature? I think all she does is give you problems and difficulties!"


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