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Voluntary, Unrestrained, and Unmerited

May 13, 2014 | by: Mike Law | 0 Comments

I’ve often pushed an agenda of meditating on God’s grace to us in Christ. I’m not sure that we can do that enough, so I’m going to push that agenda again. Take 10 minutes this week, maybe even today, and reflect on God’s grace to you. Marvel at God’s grace and pray that he would give you more of it for your good and his glory.

In Volume 2 of his Reformed Dogmatics, Herman Bavinck wrote,

“Ascribed to God, grace is the voluntary, unrestrained, and unmerited favor that he shows to sinners and that, instead of the verdict of death, brings them righteousness, and life.” [Bavinck, Herman, Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 2: God and Creation, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008). P.214].

What does it mean that God voluntarily extends grace to us? He does it of his own free will. Just consider what Paul says in Romans 5:15,

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.

What does it mean for God to extend his grace to us in an unrestrained manner? He does not hold any of it back. No good thing will he withhold from his children. We read in Romans 8:32,

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

What does it mean that God to extend his unmerited favor to us? No good, merit, or righteousness in us causes him to bestow his heavenly favor upon us, and yet he does. So we read in Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Dear Christian, rejoice in God’s voluntary, unrestrained, and unmerited favor toward you in Christ. In other words, rejoice in God’s grace.

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