Grace Not Earned
Posted By Pastor Cornelius R. Stam On In Two Minutes With the Bible
Have you ever noticed that God does not hold the great men of Scripture up to us because of their personal goodness? Almost invariably their records are marred by failure and sin, but God bids us look at their faith, to see what their faith did for them. Even those who lived consistently good lives are not held up to us for their personal worth, because God knows their imperfections. Thus Rom. 4:2,3 says:
“For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory– but not before God. For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”
And Verse 6 goes on to say about David:
“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.”
This is because man cannot live a life good enough to make him acceptable to God, for with God only perfection is good enough. One sin spoiled the earth; God will not allow one sin to spoil heaven too. This is why in grace He gave Christ to die for our sins and to pay the just penalty for us. Because of the all-sufficient payment of Christ in our behalf, God can now be “just, and the Justifier” of those who place their faith in Christ (Rom. 3:26).
The famous eleventh chapter of Paul’s letter to the Hebrews bears out the fact that salvation, or acceptance with God, is obtained, not by human effort, but by faith. This great chapter on the heroes in God’s “Hall of Fame,” begins with the words: “For by it [faith] the elders obtained a good report,” and then goes on: “By faith Abel …,” “By faith Enoch…,” “By faith Noah…,” “By faith Abraham…,” etc., and closes with the declaration:
“…these all…obtained a good report through faith…”
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.