This statement of the Lord Jesus Christ shows that He has sovereign right to give to whom He will as it pleases Him. When He gives, it is undeserved and therefore gracious. Men do not like it when the Lord does what He wants with His own. Men do not like it when He gives to the ill-deserving and undeserving. Men do not like this because they think they are more deserving than those to whom He is gracious. Ultimately, this is nothing more than men thinking they are more righteous than God. If Christ does what He wants with His own; if He does what pleases Him with what is His; if He gives to those who do not deserve it, even gives in spite of their undeserving; then if men find fault with Him, they are claiming that their justice, their own judgment in the matter, is better than His, the Lord of glory! This is arrogance of the highest order!
God’s glory is seen in His grace. God’s grace is given through His condescension. The glory of His grace is never brighter than when He saves the undeserving by humbling Himself to assume their nature and become their sin. How could any rational creature fault this grace?! Yet this is precisely what we do. If we don’t have a problem with God being gracious -- or more gracious from our vantage point -- to one over another, then we imagine that our bad deeds or our good deeds limit or enhance our standing with God.
But in saving a man, God deals exclusively with him on the basis of pure, sheer, free, sovereign grace. This is so because man is nothing but evil. (Ge 6:5; Rom3:10-19). If man is truly evil with no goodness in him whatsoever (and this is the truth of scripture), then all good that comes to man is owing entirely to God’s goodness. No reason is ever found in man for God to be gracious. All reason for God to be gracious is found in God only. Nothing from the man, everything from God. This simple truth is the basis of true worship.
When we are dull and find it impossible to believe that God could accept us entirely for Christ’s sake, the fact is, we exhibit the same attitude as the hypocrite. We think that the lack of our evil would improve our standing before God. Our self-perceived goodness becomes the basis for joy, and not Christ’s righteousness. The fact is, we are so thoroughly evil that unless our unbelief is turned to faith, we will hold this view and die in our sins. We are entirely dependent upon God, both for righteousness and the faith to believe Christ. Can anything more solidly testify to the evil in our heart than our complaints at God’s free and sovereign grace, and that only in Christ are we accepted, righteous, sanctified and made sons!?
-- Pastor Rick Warta