From Grace to Grace
Adam and Eve were the first of humankind, the parents of humanity, and the first recipient of…Continue reading.
More than one hundred twenty thousand children will perish if the word of God is not delivered to them, and Jonah preached the word to them, and they were spared from the wrath of God after they turned. When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring the destruction he had threatened upon them. Jonah 3:10
“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord.” Jonah 2:8-9
“The apostle wanted to commend the grace that has come to all nations through Jesus Christ, lest the Jews should boast of themselves at the expense of other peoples on account of their having the Law.
First, he says that sin and death came to the human race through one man [Adam] and that righteousness and eternal life also came through one [Christ]. Then he adds that “the Law entered, that sin might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound, so that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so, might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom. 5.20-21)
There was a need to prove to the man how corruptly weak he was. Against his iniquity, the holy Law brought him no help towards good but increased rather than diminished his iniquity, for the Law entered that sin might abound. Thus convicted and confounded, a man might see that he needed not only a physician but even God as his helper to direct his steps so sin would not rule over him, and he might be healed by fleeing to the aid of divine mercy. In this way, where sin abounded, grace might much more abound, not through the sinner’s merit, but by the intervention of his helper.” (6.9)
An end is called, therefore, to all bargaining for salvation. Man is not a free, strong, and independent (but subordinate) being dealing with a powerful adversary. He is a helpless, self-shackled creature, first acknowledging error in the face of the Law, then accepting the gift of redemption through the grace of the New Testament. This is the most profound meaning of the duality of the testaments.
“The difference between the old covenant and the new is noticeable. In the former, the Law is written on tablets, while in the latter, it is written on hearts. In one, one man becomes a transgressor through the letter that kills, and the other becomes a lover through the life-giving spirit.
Therefore, we must avoid saying that God assists us to work righteousness and ‘works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure’ (Phil. 2.13) by addressing external commands of holiness. He gives his increase internally by shedding love abroad in our hearts by the holy spirit that is given to us.” (25.42)