The Discipline of Grace -- By: Howard C. Zabriskie

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 093:370 (Apr 1936)
Article: The Discipline of Grace
Author: Howard C. Zabriskie

The Discipline of Grace

Howard C. Zabriskie

There is probably no subject more obscure in the mind of the average Christian than the subject of the Grace of God. Many are quite ready to admit that they are saved by grace, but when they are asked to explain just what this includes, they are unable to make any clear declaration. Grace has been defined by L. S. Chafer as, “the unmerited favor of God to man.”1 Cook defines the term as, “God’s loving favor to the undeserving.”2

The fact that God has exercised His grace is certain; but how God, who is righteous, can exercise His grace to a sin-cursed, hell-deserving sinner is a question that baffles the mind of the ordinary person. The Scriptures clearly set forth God as a being who is absolutely righteous and holy. The nature of His Being, therefore, precludes the slightest possibility of His ever tolerating anything sinful.

The Bible shows that man cannot come to God in his own strength, for he has no power to rid himself from the awful grasp of the tempter. Titus 3:6 plainly declares that man is saved not by his own works but rather according to the mercy of God. Again in Eph 2:8–9 one reads, “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast.” Man can do absolutely nothing to save himself. Cook has forcefully brought out the truth that if there was one thing he could do in any way to assist God in this great work of salvation, there would be discord in heaven, ”...for there the redeemed sing but one song, and that a song of praise to him alone who saved them. Rev 5:9, ‘And they sung a new song saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and

people and nation.’”3 The Bible is clear, then, that man is saved by grace, and that the only righteous ground by which God can exercise this grace is through the death of Christ on the cross.

There is much evidence in the Bible to show that God is sacrificial in His nature. In the very first chapters of Genesis this essential characteristic of God may be seen, and mention does not cease to be made of it until the Bible concludes with the twenty-second chapter of Revelation. Just as the Jew under law could not approach God without a sacrifice, so men today cannot spea...

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