“When God shows mercy to the miserable sinner, he does it without respect to any merit in him. He does it freely, ‘without money and without price.’ It is a pure act of grace on the part of God. ‘By grace ye are saved.’ If he were to deal with us according to our own deserving, we would never be saved. But we are saved because he is gracious. The doctrine of salvation by grace was early taught. God himself was the revealer of it, and was the first preacher of it, and he commanded his prophets, apostles, and ministering servants to the end of time to preach it. It is the only doctrine that can meet our case as sinful, unworthy, and lost in ourselves, the only doctrine that can give hope to the poor sinner struggling under a sense of sin and misery, and needing to be saved. God is graciously disposed to save sinners, and he made a provision of grace in the eternal covenant to save such as we are.”
So said Donald Macfarlane in a sermon on Exodus 34: 4-7, the account of what Jehovah said when he wanted Moses to know him and his character: “The Lord passed by before him and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness in truth…”
[I’m only going to be at the computer sporadically from now until the start of next week. Just in case it matters.]
Donald Macfarlane, Sermons on the love of God and cognate themes. (Sermon VI, God’s Name Proclaimed.) FPP.