To say Grace Alone (Sola Gratia), we are saying that the CAUSE of our salvation is the Grace of God alone. We did not “do” anything to earn his favor. God did NOT “look down the corridor of time” and find that we pleased Him, and so choose us.
In fact, His selection of His own rests in the perfection of His will, His goodness, His Justice, His Satisfaction in Christ. Nothing about us, all about HIM.
The question is asked, “if you were the only person on earth, would Christ have died for you?” It’s a false dilemma, not worth even thinking about.
Before the creation of the World, God chose us in Him. Before he said “let there be Light” He had Himself a BOOK, and He wrote the names of His own in that book. WHY?
For some reason he chose a select few to not get the just consequence they deserve.
What does this mean for us?
There is a story of a servant who owed his master beaucoup bucks. His master called him in for payment. and he could not pay. His master ordered that he and his family be sold in lieu of the debt. The servant fell on his knees. “Please give me time,” he said. “I will repay you!” The master had compassion on the servant, and he took the books and crossed out the debt. For no reason except the compassion of the master.
Later that day, the servant goes out and hits up another servant. “You borrowed money from me. I want it paid back!” “I cannot pay, please give me time!” the second servant begs. The first servant puts his chin up and says, “No. I want it now.” He calls for the police to take the servant to jail until he could pay.
Now the other servants of the household, who had seen what the Master had done earlier, run to the Master and tell him what happened. So, again the first servant is dragged before the Master. “What have you done?” he asks. “I forgave your great debt just this morning! Why do you not have the same compassion on your fellow servant? Because you have failed to pass on this compassion, I rescind my forgiveness of the debt. I want you to either pay me off or be sold to pay the debt.” And he was taken out to who knows what end.
We must be very careful to deal with others with the same measure of compassion as Christ showed us. Turning the other cheek, loving our enemies, going the second mile, giving in secret. All of the “secrets of the Kingdom” are meant to turn the tables on the way this world does things. They are each ways to show generous, unexpected compassion to our fellow man. The Kingdom Way is approaching them with grace alone.
When we think of the GRACE of GOD, we should think of David. He was a shepherd of a flock. And yet when danger came against his sheep, he turned into a fighting machine. The Lord is our shepherd. He guides us in good things, and He taps us back on the road with his rod and staff. His compassion has two sides: prescriptive and preventative. His Grace is the way He brings us to Himself.
This is a big part of the picture. When He calls, we cannot but answer. “Lazarus, Come Forth!” He called to His friend. And Lazarus heeded and came. He did not consider one way or the other. “I am ALIVE! JESUS CALLS ME!” We cannot but come.
IN THE BOOK: TRUNK OF SCROLLS
While Byziana and her family pursue the life the Scrolls speak of, they do not trust that God is their Shepherd. They do not truly rest in the compassion of God. When God shakes their world, they begin to walk toward a deeper understanding of the grace and mercy of God.