Pristine Grace

The Offensiveness of the Gospel
by Jim Byrd
The Offensiveness of the Gospel

    I do not want to be negative, but it is a fact that there are many who find the doctrine of salvation by the sovereign grace of God to be greatly offensive.  To say to the natural man that it is the will of God that reigns supreme in all things, including salvation, and not man’s will (Romans 9:16), is to go against the tide of popular religious belief.  Why do people become adamant in their opposition to salvation by absolute, divine-distinguishing mercy?  Here is the reason:  they are opposed to the GOD who is sovereign, who “does His will among the armies of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth and none can stay His hand or say unto Him, what doest Thou?” (Daniel 4:35). They are not happy that man has nothing to do with salvation, but that it is of God only!  “The salvation of the righteous is of the LORD” (Psalm 37:39).  

    Man will have God to be anywhere in His vast universe except upon His throne of independent authority giving salvation to one while withholding it from another.  We know that it is not the mere mention of “grace” or “salvation” that unbelievers find offensive.  It is when grace and salvation are designated by the Lord for particular individuals and not made available to everyone that the rebel sinner cries “unfair!”  The Jews of Luke 4 heard the Master’s message on sovereign grace.  He spoke of many widows being in Israel in the days of Elijah during a famine and God bypassed all the widows of Israel and commissioned His servant to only help a Gentile widow.  Additionally, the prophet Elisha was only directed by the Lord to heal a Syrian leper, but was not sent to heal any of the numerous lepers in Israel.  Upon hearing of such selective mercy, the enemies of our Lord sought to kill Him; the truth of discriminating grace offended them.  Of course He slipped through their midst unscathed because His hour was not yet come.  The preaching of sovereign grace offends the natural man for it gives God all the glory and leaves men with no reason to boast.