Pristine Grace

By Grace Are You Saved
by John Newton
By Grace Are You  Saved

For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.  Ephesians 2:8

    I believe no sinner is converted without his own hearty will and concurrence. But he is not willing till he is made so! Why does he at all refuse? Because he is insensible to his own state: because he knows not the evil of sin, the strictness of the law, the majesty of God whom he has offended, nor the total apostasy of his heart; because he is blind to eternity, and ignorant of the excellency of Christ; because he is comparatively whole, and sees not his need of this great physician; because he relies upon his own wisdom, power and supposed righteousness. Now, in this state of things, when God comes with a purpose of mercy, he begins by convincing the person of sin, judgment, and righteousness; causes him to feel and to know that he is a lost, condemned, helpless creature; and then discovers to him the necessity, sufficiency, and willingness of Christ to save them that are ready to perish, without money or price, without doings or deserving’s. Then he sees faith to be very different from a rational ascent; finds that nothing but the power of God can produce a well grounded hope in the heart of a convinced sinner; therefore looks to Jesus, who is the author and finisher of faith, to enable him to believe. For this he waits in what we call the means of grace; he prays, he reads the word, he thirst for God as the heart pants for the water brooks; and though perhaps for a while he is distressed with many doubts and fears, he is encouraged to wait on; because Jesus has said ‘him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out’. The obstinacy of the will remains while the understanding is dark, and ceases when that is enlightened. Sinners are called and warned by the word; but they are wise in their own eyes, and take but little notice, till the Lord gives them light, which HE is not bound to give any, and therefore cannot be bound to give to all. They who have it, have reason to be thankful, and subscribe to the apostles words, ‘By grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves is the gift of God’.