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Man's Pride Against God's Grace.

Man's Pride Against God's Grace.

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"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." —
1 Cor. i. 30.

"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." —
1 Cor. i. 30.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 11, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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MA'S PRIDE AGAIST GOD'S GRACE. BY JOSEPH P. THOMPSO, D. D., "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." — 1 Cor. i. 30. The whole controversy between man and his Maker on the subject of religion, may be reduced to a question between the pkide of man and the grace of God. God offers grace to all men through his incarnate and cru- cified Son. But grace implies guilt and need in those to whom it is oflered ; and therefore the offer stirs up pride, even to enmity. o man ever refused a tem- poral favor because it was the gift of God. Multitudes enjoy such favors without acknowledging the giver; but the thought that any such gift comes from God does not depreciate it in the view of its possessor. The man of genius, however he may pride himself upon his gifts in comparison with those of his fellows, does not suffer any mortification in the thought that he has received his own talents from the Creator. Indeed, lie may even make this an additional ground of exultation, as if he were in some way the favorite of heaven. One Vvdio is born to rank and wealth does not feel discredited by the intimation that Providence has favored him abov( others, but even counts himself the chosen of fortune 112 GRACE. 113 Tlie ancients had special divinities of Poetry, of Fame, of Fortune, under wliose patronage individuals were pre- sumed to be born and to flourish, and these presiding divinities received the special homage of their proteges.
It is no offence to men that they receive temporal favor or personal distinction from a higher power. But when it comes to the question of a holy character, the suggestion that this must be sought through the grace of God, stirs up pride in the heart of man, because it carries with it the implication of guilt and need. One may accept temporal benefits at the hand of God, and, instead of being humble and grateful, may be vain and boastful, as if he were in some way worthy — even as the Pharisee, who thanked God that he was not as other men in their outward seeming. But one cannot accept the grace of God w^hich bringeth salvation, without owning himself a sinner, in need of grace — gnilty, lost, ready to perish, unless God shall interpose to save. Only sin- ners have need of grace ; only sinners can be saved by Christ ; and among sinners, such only as feel and confess their guilt, and therefore come to him for pardon, for  justification, and for a new spirit. This is the main point in the chapter now before us. "The preaching of the cross," says the apostle, "is to them that perish foolishness ; but to us which are saved it is the power of God." The pride of men contemns God's method of salvation. " The Jews require a sign ;" their supersti- tious trust in outward ordinances demands some new miracle which shall minister to their vanity as the cliosen people of God. They are ready for a Christ who will achieve their national independence, and make their name great, as it was before Egypt and the Canaan- ites. The Greeks, given to the culture of taste and the pursuit of philosophy, " seek after wisdom ;" demand a religion that adapts itself to their views of reason and 114 THE EW YORK PULPIT. propriety. "But we preach Clirist cruciiied, to the Jew^s a stumbhng-block," ofFeiiding their pride, touch-
ing their national honor, the very opposite of all their opinions and hopes : " and to the Greeks, foolishness ;" for their system of rationalism, of the development of the understanding in the worship of nature, disdains the idea of a reforming powder in the blood of one crucified as a malefactor ; " yet to them which are called," who are made to feel their guilt and their need, this same Christ crucified is " the power of God^'' greater than all miracles, and ^ " the wisdom of God^'' higher than all philosophy. ¦• 'And this humbling doctrine of the cross, is to the very intent that no flesh should glory in the presence of the Maker and Lord of all. This brings us back to the very issue named at the outset — the conflict in this matter of personal religion between the jpride of man and the grace of God. Tlie Scriptures ascribe the salvation of men, in all its steps, entirely to the grace of God ; and therefore they ascribe to him also the glory. The text enumerates the several benefits which Christ brings to us, and traces these all to " the gift of God." If we analyze these, we must see that, at every jpoint of our moral necessity^ Christ is the adequate provision / that he comes to us as the expression of God^s grace j and that through the same grace we are led to accept him unto salvation, " Of him \i. e.^ of the w^ill of God] are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God \i. e.^ by the appointment of God] is made to us Wisdom, and Righteousness, and Sanctifica- tion, and Eedemption. The text declares, 1. That Christ becomes to believers Wisdom, Righteous- ness, Sanctification, and Redemption. 2. That Christ thus becomes the source of all spiritual good, by the appointment of God the Father. 3. That it is solely through the grace of God, that we

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