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The Work of Grace (9 of 23)
The Hope of the Gospel
1 Corinthians 15:10
In one sense that is true of every man-believer and unbeliever, Christian and non-Christian. Whatever a man is-he is it by the grace and favor of God. We sometimes draw a distinction between the kingdom of nature and the kingdom of grace. The distinction is one that we find convenient and practically useful, but it may very easily become a false distinction if we understand by it that grace is the realm of God's working, while nature is a realm from which God's operations are excluded. As a matter of fact, God is in nature as well as in grace. He is in the common events of the common day just as certainly as He is in the great spiritual experiences of life. He is all in all. He girds men, though they do not know Him. He orders their paths and their lying down. They are what they are by the Divine permission and grace. Here is an illustration of what I mean right to my hand. I take up a coin of the realm and I find graven on it the words, "George V, by the grace of God King of the Britains." King, how? By succession, by hereditary right? Yes, no doubt. But in the deepest sense of all, "King...by the grace of God." George V is monarch of these realms only by permission and favor of God, and he will continue our monarch just so long as God permits him. By the grace of God he is what he is.
And what is true of the king is true of everyone. In God's hand our breath is, and His are all our ways. In Him we live and move and have our being, and apart from Him we would not be at all. Have you noticed that sometimes when an artist is billed to appear at some concert or other entertainment, the information is added that he appears "by permission of so and so"? What it means, I suppose, is something like this. Sometimes impressarios bargain with artists for their entire and exclusive services. If any such artist appears under any other auspices during the term covered by his engagement ...
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