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Romans 11:6– Grace alone

31-08-2021 - Posted by Hans

Now if it is in grace, it is no longer out of works else the grace is coming to be no longer grace. Now, if it is out of works, it is no longer grace, else the work is no longer work.

God Himself guarantees that there is a “remnant” in every era. A remnant that is faithful to Him. That, however, is “according to the choice of grace” (11:5). So that even in the darkest times there is always a ‘core’ with which God continues his way, is not a merit of the ‘remnant’. It is not by their own choice or faithfulness that such a ‘remnant’ exists. In that case, it would be an achievement and credit of their own. So “out of works”. But then it is not “according to the choice of grace”.

For Paul, this principle is black and white. It is either ‘grace’ (=for free) but then no ‘works’ (=earnings) or ‘works’ but then no ‘grace’. Grace ceases to be grace when a man can count anything as his merit. Even if that is only a minuscule contribution. Free does not mean that something costs little but that it costs nothing. Grace means free. ‘A little bit free’ is just as silly as ‘a little bit pregnant.’

‘Grace alone’ is the common thread throughout this letter. It is the essence of the Gospel. “For all . . . are justified freely by His grace…” (Rom. 3:24).