We return today to Daniel Whittle’s hymn “I Know Whom I Have Believed”. The first stanza of this hymn contains the key idea for God’s unmerited Grace. Whittle wrote, “I know not why God’s wondrous grace to me he hath made known, nor why, unworthy, Christ in love redeemed me for His own.” Unworthy clearly states our condition. Grace clearly states God’s response.
Why was God moved to save sinners such as us? Was it our good looks? Was it our natural abilities? Was it our keen intellects? Was it our good conduct? Was it our financial standing? Was it our important standing in the community? Was it the good benefits that we could offer Him? Obviously these were not the reasons. Paul told the Corinthians that God did not choose the wise, the mighty, or the noble. Rather, God chose the weak, the foolish, the despised and those which are accounted as nothing.
We bring nothing to God. Our best efforts, Isaiah said, are just a pile of leprosy infected rags. Peter said our money can’t buy God’s blessing of Jesus Christ. Paul said that we can’t bring God our works or we would have something to boast about. We come to God naked, poor, needy and sick. We come to God as completely tainted failures. We come, as Daniel Whittle said, unworthy.
That is what makes grace so wonderful. We do not merit it. God gives it. God pours out His matchless love, His matchless care, His matchless provision not in response to our value but in response solely to His grace. Such a gift is too high for us to comprehend. Such a sacrifice is too great for us to understand. Our comprehension or understanding, however, is not necessary. What God wants is for us to receive His grace. He wants us to take the gift He offers. He wants us to become His children. He wants to display His grace to the world by displaying His grace in us, unworthy, unfit, unclean sinners who have been changed by the grace of God. Let us respond to this great grace by having our lives conform to the familiar words of Elvina Hall’s great consecration hymn “Jesus Paid it All”. The third verse and chorus read, “For nothing good have I, whereby Thy grace to claim. I’ll wash my garments white in the blood of Calvary’s Lamb. Jesus paid it all; all to Him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.” Thanks be to God for His unmerited grace.
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