(Article for publication week of 6-29-2011 AD)
“If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (I Peter 2:3).
Oh! How wonderful to read in the scriptures that the Lord is gracious! Well did John Newton express it in his well known hymn “Amazing Grace”, “how precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.” Grace is indeed precious to a believer who has come to the end of himself and believed in Christ for his whole and sole righteousness. Grace is indeed precious to one who knows himself to be undeserving, ill deserving and hell deserving. Grace is indeed precious when we first believe in Christ, but it appears more precious day by day to the child of God.
When the Lord shows one of His elect children how vile and loathsome he is by nature, he is first of all struck with fear knowing that God is all holy and he, the wretched sinner is all unholy. God brings His children to the place where they are made to see that they well deserve eternal damnation. And again as Newton wrote, ”twas grace that taught my heart to fear.” It is a painful experience that we must go through to come to the place that we are ready to quit all our own efforts and trust in Christ Alone as the Rock of Ages of our souls. But it is the way the Lord leads His chosen ones. What dread and foreboding filled my soul when I realized I was in the hands of a Thrice Holy God Who could and would send sinners like me to hell.
But, Oh! how sweet did this grace taste to us when this same grace that taught us to fear God, relieved our fears! How strange is the course a Christian must walk. The same grace that brings him low at last sets him on high! The same grace that kills his self righteousness, makes him alive in Christ. The same grace that strips away his rags, clothes him well from top to toe with the robe of Christ. The same grace that wounds, also heals. Oh! How wonderful to believe and know that we are in the hands of a God Who has said He will be gracious to sinners!
Poor sinner, do I write of your own experience? Have you come to see that you deserve nothing from God but His everlasting contempt? Are you mourning deep down in your soul because of your desperate situation? Well, let me drop a word of cheer and comfort into your soul. God is gracious! He saves real sinners. Though you may feel yourself too bad for God to save you, He is gracious. Remember , Christ, Who was full of grace and truth came into the world to save the chief of sinners.
Now, here is set before you a well from which you may drink and taste the grace of God. Taste that the Lord is gracious. You know, only the thirsty are interested in a well. So it is true spiritually, only those who are thirsty in their souls are interested in drinking from the well of salvation. Poor sinner, such a thirst is from God! He Who provides the well of grace, works in His children in such a way as to make them thirsty for the grace He provides. Come poor sinners. Come and taste of the sovereign grace of God. Come and believe in Christ for salvation. You are in the hands of the God of heaven and earth Who has said He will be gracious to sinners. I give you this gospel promise on the authority of Him Who cannot lie , and has revealed in His Word that He is gracious. May the Lord bless His dear children.