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Unmerited, Unexpected, Unlooked-For Grace

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by KenH, Mar 31, 2024.

  1. KenH

    KenH Well-Known Member

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    "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, to-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise."—Luke 23:43.

    My soul, hear the gracious words of thy Jesus. This was the third cry of the Redeemer on the cross. And Oh! how full of grace, rich, free, unmerited, unexpected, unlooked-for grace, to a poor lost perishing sinner, even in the very moment of death. Let the self-righteous pharisee behold this example of redeeming love, and wonder, and be confounded. Surely no one will venture to suppose that this man's good works were any recommendation, when the poor wretch was dying under the hands of justice. What was it then that saved him but the complete salvation of Jesus? The Son of God was offering his soul on the cross a sacrifice for sin, and being between two notorious sinners, gave a rich display of the sovereignty of his grace, and his love to poor sinners; and in confirmation, snatched this one as a brand from the burning—took him from the very jaws of hell, and that very day led him in triumph to heaven; thereby manifesting to every poor sinner, in whose heart he puts the cry for mercy, that, that cry shall never be put forth in vain. And mark, my soul, how powerful the grace of the Lord Jesus wrought upon this man. He and his companion both knew that before night they would both be in eternity. The thought affected neither; they joined the rabble in insulting Jesus. "Save thyself and us," was the language of the heart of both, until the grace of Jesus wrought on this man's mind, and changed the reviler into an humble suitor. What could there be in Jesus thus to affect him! Jesus hung upon the cross like a poor Jew. Jesus had been always poor, and never more so than now. And yet, in the midst of all these surrounding circumstances, such a ray of light broke in upon this man's mind, that he saw Jesus in all his glory and power, acknowledged him for a King, when all the disciples had forsook him and fled, and prayed to be remembered by him when he came into his kingdom. Precious Lamb of God! bestow upon me such a portion of thy grace as, under all the unpromising circumstances around, may call forth the like conviction of thy power, and my need. And Oh! that this pattern of mercy might be reviewed by thousands of poor perishing dying sinners! Methinks I would have it proclaimed through all the public places of resort, through all the haunts of licentiousness, among the numberless scenes of hardened sinners who fear that they have sinned beyond the possibility of forgiveness. Oh look at this example of Jesus's love, ye that are going down to the grave full of sin and despair! behold the thief! behold the Saviour! And Oh for a cry of grace like that of the dying malefactor—"Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom;" and Jesus's gracious answer—"To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

    - Robert Hawker, The Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portions, April 11, Morning
     
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