GRACE, "the unmerited complement of need," is God's saving love,
self-prompted, reaching out to the utmost bounds of sinful humanity. It is as unavoidable
as the condemnation into which Adam brought us (Rom.5:18-20). Grace comes unasked as well
as undeserved. In Rom.5:12-21 grace exquisitely rings the changes on the "all."
And the "much more" is always on the side of grace. Over ever-increasing sin God
has a super-excess of grace. Grace exceeds sin in quantity, quality, and duration. Grace
rises high above all the provocation. Great sin only magnifies inexhaustible grace. Grace
must submerge and extinguish sin in its glorious flood.
This is now the dispensation of grace. The world is conciliated (Rom.11:15; 2 Cor.5:19)
and grace reigns. Grace and works are mutually exclusive for the purpose of justification
and conciliation (Rom.11:6). Efforts to earn grace bar its acceptance (Rom.4:4,5). Faith
is the only channel by which grace can come (Rom.4:16).
The law ineffectively forbids and must condemn sin, while grace enables, and declares
there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Rom.6:14; 8:1). The burden of
true evangelism is grace, which beseeches men during the present grace to be conciliated
to God. Through faith we are saved for grace, that to us grace may be displayed to the
full (Eph.2:4-8). Alas! That the majority of men now receive this grace in vain (2 Cor.6:
1). A peddler in a Scotch village asked a woman for a drink of water. Handing it to him
she said, "Do you know anything of the water of life?" "By the grace of
God, I do," said he. He drank, and said, "Let us pray." He prayed as
follows: "O Lord, give us grace to feel our need of grace; O Lord, give us grace to
receive grace; O Lord, give us grace to ask for grace; O Lord, give us grace to use grace
when grace is given."