Grace is for the Undeserving
"But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." James 4:6
The key to receiving the grace of God is to be humble, which is why God repeatedly commands man to humble himself (Exodus 10:3; Deuteronomy 8:2, 12; II Chronicles 7:14; 34:27; Jeremiah 13:18; Matthew 18:4; 23:12; James 4:10; I Peter 5:6).
The opposite of this is pride, which is the root of why Lucifer fell. It stands in stiff-necked contention against God and against His ways. Pride hardens the heart so that we cannot receive the things of God...even His grace (Daniel 5:20; Obadiah 1:3).
We have spoken previously on the topics of eternal security, predestination, and free will. However, in the following video, David Pawson discusses the topic of God's sovereignty and His grace. What is sovereign, irresistible or unconditional grace? What does it mean to be "saved by grace"? Minister Pawson examines what a Scriptural understanding of grace is so that we can truly appreciate God's gift.
To expound upon this topic, he evaluates the 5 points of Calvinism - which not only did not come from John Calvin, but also contradicts some of his own beliefs. Commonly called by the acronym TULIP, these points include:
- Total Depravity
- Unconditional Election
- Limited Atonement
- Irresistable Grace
- Perseverance of the Saints
"THE WORD which came to Jeremiah from the Lord: Arise and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear My words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and behold, he was working at the wheel. And the vessel that he was making from clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he made it over, reworking it into another vessel as it seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the Lord came to me: O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does? Says the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel." Jeremiah 18:1-6 [Amplified Version]
This Scripture is often used to justify a perverted understanding of God and His grace. The text does not show a potter arbitrarily determining to make some vessels of honor and others vessels of dishonor. The potter desired to make a particular type of vessel, but the vessel itself became spoiled in his hands. Yet we know that this was not the potter's plan because had to change his intended use of the vessel and make it into another vessel.
In the next chapter, God instructs Jeremiah to shatter the perverted vessel as an illustration of how God will deal with Israel. Why? "Because the people have forsaken Me.." (Jeremiah 19:4). It is the vessel which became perverted in the hands of the potter; the potter did not willfully create it to be so. What God had created to be a vessel of mercy, now became a vessel of judgment; not because God chose it to be this way, but because the vessel was spoiled.
The video starts off as a rather academic discussion, but soon gets into a question and answer session as he addresses common questions about God's grace and how we experience that in our lives.