Back in the early days of our poor efforts to preach the gospel, we were asked to speak at an association of Primitive Baptists where the doctrines of grace were generally held in low esteem. Knowing we were being observed with squinty-eyed cynicism, we nevertheless spoke as we had been taught of the Lord; on the Grace of God. As best as can be recalled, the Lord gave a portion of light and liberty for about three quarters of an hour, and we then took our seat, expecting the worst; and we got it.
An old Elder arose, braced himself with both hands on the pulpit, and slowly rolled his eyes over the congregation; ominous eyes, lit like coals of fire dancing over a dry brushy meadow. His angry and vitriolic speech went something like this. "We have heard enough from these young preachers trying to destroy the very foundations of the church. All they can preach is grace, grace, grace! If they could, they would rock God's children to sleep in the cradle of grace." On and on he went, waxing bold for a long period of time, and then dismissed the assembly for lunch. Out on the grounds the old Elder made for this little troubler in Israel, and was about to open up anew. Being somewhat warmed up by this time, we spoke first. "Elder ... I cannot speak for others, but grace did not put me to sleep. It was grace that woke me up from the sleep of death. I owe my very hope to the grace of God. And, if at any time I must sleep, I certainly prefer to sleep in the cradle of grace than to sleep in the shaky hold of arminian works." With that we were done, and left the place.
About that same period of time, another Elder, of similar sentiment with the first, remarked at a meeting that he was "sick and tired of hearing about grace every time I go to church. It is high time we hear something about what we are doing for God, instead of always hearing about what God does for us." He then proceeded to brand this weak one as a terrible Absoluter; a charge we could not deny.
These sad incidents are related to confirm the antagonism there is towards the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It should be noted, however, that most are not honest enough to say what they believe, preferring rather to sow wild gourds with subterfuge and cunning. We find, though, to our great pleasure, that the flock of God has not been deterred by these gainsayers, but rather are more and more confirmed that truly, "grace tis a charming sound, harmonious to the ear." And for this reason, we list some of the many texts that convey to us the wonders of the grace of God. We will give only the leading theme, and supply the reference so that the reader may look them up for themselves.
We feel the above texts are ample evidence to the little remnant of God's grace, that indeed grace is a wondrous theme, flowing the entire span of the Word of God. Let the cavillers rave on about the supposed over-use of the word grace; the flockwill feed here in this green pasture. And now, a final and portentous text for those characters who are the enemies of grace: "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." Jude 4.
Volume 3, No. 6
November - December, 1989