Thursday, January 11 Triune Grace
This blog will be a little complex. The theology could be a little hard to follow and it will probably be a new spin on anything you’ve thought about before. The core issue is grace. Some days ago, I arrived at the truth that God’s grace is demonstrated all day every day. Lately, I’ve been impressed that grace is not just for believers. It’s both constant and universal. Everyone on earth is blessed by God with air to breathe, food and water, a complete set of conditions to support life. That’s grace. I finally concluded that there are three main areas of grace—universal grace as just described, saving grace, and sanctification grace. Saving grace includes God’s redemptive plan, Jesus’ death in payment for our sins, the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting men of sin, and God’s patience through the centuries giving doomed sinners an opportunity to accept the free gift of salvation. Once brought into the family of God, God sets out to make us righteous. That’s sanctification grace. All that is not too hard to grab. But what we forget or take for granted is that it cost God something. Grace is not just because of God’s goodness. Sin is an affront to a holy God and must be paid for before he can offer us anything but eternal judgment. The penalty for sin had to be paid for. That penalty was paid on the cross about 2000 years ago. You might object to that. How can God redeem Abraham before the penalty for sin was paid? The answer to that is that in God’s view, the penalty was already paid. His decree was in effect throughout history because when God decrees something, it’s as good as done. It has to happen. In other words, God’s grace is retroactive. Even grace extended to unbelievers is due to the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. And that helps me understand 2 Peter 3:9 “. . . He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Yes, the lost are still lost when there is no repentance. Understanding the scope of God’s grace excites me and promps me to worship him as never before.