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  • Writer's pictureVic Bernales

Grace That is So Amazing

Only unbelievers whose hearts have been hardened by sin would not wish for deliverance from sin and salvation from God's wrath. They would not because they could not.

Left on their on, rebellious sinners wouldn't mind continuing in their wickedness. Although deep in their heart of hearts, they know they deserve judgement and they are without any excuse, they deny it or refuse to accept it.

Being created in the image of God, they know they are guilty before the One who made them and given them life. Their consciences accuse them. Yet in their unrighteousness they suppress the truth of God. They try to cover their sin and the reality of God's wrath.

However, for us who have been set free from the corruption and power of sin, we long for others to be freed from the wrath of God as well. We should not take the holiness of God or His wrath toward sinful men lightly.

This wrath is fiercely portrayed in Scripture as "the fiery lake of burning sulfur," which is "the second death" (Rev. 20:10, 14; 21:8). It is prepared for the devil and his cohorts and those who persist in their wickedness.

We long for people in bondage to sin to be set free from it and to receive the gift of God's grace in Christ. We plead the Lord to save sinners from His judgment.

"John Calvin said, 'We should be so minded as to wish all people to be saved.' I could not agree more," says Dr. Michael Horton. "God said, 'I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked' (Ezek. 33:11). Neither can we.

"When we make the general proclamation, 'Jesus Christ saves sinners,' the Spirit of God internalizes that and makes it relevant to particular individuals. This assures us that when we preach the gospel, God sees to it that his Word 'will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire ' (Isa. 5:11). That makes the evangelistic enterprise exciting! It really *is* fishing for people.

"We learn from all this that even the application of salvation is God's gift. We look in vain for a rack upon which to hang our hat of conceit. He chose us before we chose him (election), came to us before we came to him (incarnation), made friends with us while we were hostile enemies (redemption). He even accepted us before we accepted him and made us alive while we were dead (calling). The Spirit's calling grace is the 'straw that broke the camel's back.' And that camel's back is *Pride*" (Michael Horton, "Putting Amazing Back into Grace" [Baker, 1994], 162).

May the Lord be pleased to save more people from sin as we continue in preaching the good news of salvation in Christ! May He draw more sinners to Him before Christ returns!


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