“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7
Today we are going to look into the grace of God as we continue on the course of following through, chapter by chapter, the book The Attributes of God by AW Tozer. Grace along with the concept of mercy often get lumped into the same pile. And, although these two attributes of God are very similar, they have different purposes and are displayed by God in different ways as we can see in the verse above. It is by God's mercy that He acts towards our redemption, but it is by grace that our redemption is sealed against His judgment of our sinful nature.
Here is the excerpt from Tozer that I chose today to share with you regarding the necessity of God's grace towards our salvation.
“'A certain man had two sons...'And this ungrateful boy, who had demanded his share before his father's death and thus violated one of the tenderest conventions of human society...A long time ago...I'd heard the prodigal sons was a backslider...He couldn't be a backslider and fit all the circumstance. I'd heard he was a sinner, but I couldn't hear God say of a sinner, 'This, is my son, was dead and is alive again.' It didn't fit the circumstances...But God said to my heart, 'The prodigal son is neither a backslider nor a sinner. The prodigal son is the human race; they went out to the pigsty in Adam and came back in Christ, My Son.'...Jesus was saying [in His parable], 'You went away in Adam, but you're coming back in Christ. And when you come back you'll find the Father hasn't changed...'This my son was dead, and is alive again.' (Luke 15:24) This is the grace of God.” AW Tozer
For me to try to explain the grace of God is beyond all the words I could pile on this page. What I would write here I know would not even scratch the surface of being able to explain all the human heart needs to realize to understand the necessity of the cross in being able to stand before God as an alive son. A heart that has seen its depravity in the pigsty of Adam is the heart that must come to the conclusion there is no coming back unless the Father who stands before him when he returns is a Father filled with grace.
I am going to leave you today with some scripture verses that just add onto this concept of the disconnect between our natural dead state and the alive state Jesus offers. It would be wrong to say that baptism saves us...that any religious activity saves us...that God's love would just overlook our offenses...that we can just do better on our own and be accepted by God just on His mercy towards us. No, in order to receive the grace of God towards the forgiveness of all of our sins, we must return “in Christ” and that only happens when we acknowledge the need for the cross and the blood of Christ to cover us and make us alive before our Father in heaven.
“All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6
“...who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1