Is God’s Grace for You?
Church sign theology is notoriously unreliable. The messages on church signs are typically expressions of the heresy of universalism. If the sign is not questioning whether Noah had representative termites, or some other joke, it is probably a well-meant offer suggesting universal inclusion.
“God’s grace is for you,” is a seemingly harmless statement. One would expect something pertaining to God on a church sign. Also, God’s grace is a voluminous topic in the Bible. The “is” suggests we will learn something of what is in the state of grace. “For you” is the phrase that completes the sentence, but it is also where our problem is centered.
Truth and error often hinge on the slightest difference in meaning. In this case, we must ask, “Who is ‘you’?” There is actually three possibilities. Because the meaning of “you” can have variations, we must acknowledge only one meaning can be true. This registers the other two meanings as false. Thus, we must consider the truth of God’s grace.
Grace is the lifeline that is tethered with God in heaven. It is the avenue on which God’s blessings flow. Absolutely no one merits grace from God. This is why grace is often defined as, “the unmerited favor of God.” Grace brings the goodness of God to people. Which people?
The Universalist’s church sign reads, “God’s grace is for you,” meaning all people, at all times, and everywhere. The Arminian’s church sign says, “God’s grace is for you,” but there is a hidden condition not visible to the sign reader. Implied is the notion that you have to do something to warrant God’s grace. You have to generate your own repentance and your own faith in Christ before you can receive grace.
The third option, in our quest to figure out who is “you,” discerns that God’s grace is for His elect people. It precedes any action on the part of ungodly sinners, spiritually dead in trespasses (1 Cor 2:14; Eph 2:1).
God’s chosen people are saved by God’s grace alone. This means they do nothing at all to receive grace from God. God Himself connects the lifeline from heaven to the chosen objects of His grace. God is gracious in choosing to set apart a people to be His own possession (1 Pet 2:9).
Jesus Christ was gracious to suffer and die on the tree, crucified in the place of His beloved bride, the church, who He gave Himself for, by laying down His life for the forgiveness of their sins, saving His people from the judgment and punishment they deserve in eternal hell. Grace humbles its select recipients because the object of grace acknowledges what he has been saved from…and to.
Not all people have received nor will receive the grace of God, which ruins the Universalist’s argument. If grace is rendered inoperative in the sovereign will of God, then it is impotent. Impotent grace is not the grace of God, who is all-powerful. This ruins the Arminian’s conditional argument.
Theologians call grace, “irresistible,” because no one can resist the will and power of God. If God graciously connects his lifeline to a dead man, that man will live because the glorious riches of grace dwell in him. Nothing can separate the lifeline that connects God and His beloved (Rom 8:35–39).
In conclusion, we must state that common grace, that is, grace that does not save, is not grace. Common grace is a myth. Surely, God exercises providential care over all His creation, but God’s grace is exclusively for His elect church, for whom Christ died.
It is the baptism of the Holy Spirit that introduces grace to an unregenerate heart, although grace was there at his or her election in eternity past. Grace brings all the spiritual blessings to the new believer, who remains the object of grace forever and ever.
This grace is sufficient for the child of God, as God lives in the most intimate union with those He is conforming into the image of His Son. This grace abounds, and it is God’s grace for you, if you have received it by His grace.
August 30, 2021