Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 18, 2017

“Grace Alone”: “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”

Today’s devotion comes from Isaiah 65:1-16.  Here is a link to this Scripture –  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+65&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me;
I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me.
I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’
To a nation which did not call on My name.
“I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,
A people who continually provoke Me to My face,
Offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on bricks;
Who sit among graves and spend the night in secret places;
Who eat swine’s flesh,
And the broth of unclean meat is in their pots.
“Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, do not come near me,
For I am holier than you!’
These are smoke in My nostrils,
A fire that burns all the day.
“Behold, it is written before Me,
I will not keep silent, but I will repay;
I will even repay into their bosom,
Both their own iniquities and the iniquities of their fathers together,” says the Lord.
“Because they have burned incense on the mountains
And scorned Me on the hills,
Therefore I will measure their former work into their bosom.”

Thus says the Lord,

“As the new wine is found in the cluster,
And one says, ‘Do not destroy it, for there is benefit in it,’
So I will act on behalf of My servants
In order not to destroy all of them.
“I will bring forth offspring from Jacob,
And an heir of My mountains from Judah;
Even My chosen ones shall inherit it,
And My servants will dwell there.”  Isaiah 65:1-9.

—————————— 

Today’s Scripture elicits the Call of the Reformation “Sola Gratia” which means “Grace Alone”. 

In verse 1 of today’s Scripture, Isaiah prophesies of God’s work of grace for the Gentiles who had no hope and were without God in the world;  “remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”  Ephesians 2:12. 

I permitted Myself to be sought by those who did not ask for Me;
I permitted Myself to be found by those who did not seek Me.
I said, ‘Here am I, here am I,’
To a nation which did not call on My name.”  Verse 1.

25 As He says also in Hosea,

“I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’
And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’”
26 And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”  Romans 9:25-26.

20 And Isaiah is very bold and says,

“I was found by those who did not seek Me,
I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me.”

21 But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”  Romans 10:20-21.

And, although the LORD details the Jews’ rebellion in today’s Scripture, through much of the Book of Isaiah, and elsewhere in Scripture, there is also hope for the Jews in verse 9 of today’s Scripture.

“I will bring forth offspring from Jacob,
And an heir of My mountains from Judah;
Even My chosen ones shall inherit it,
And My servants will dwell there.”  Verse 9.

“I say then, God has not rejected His people, has He?  May it never be!  For I too am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.  God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?  “Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.”  But what is the divine response to him?  “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”  In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice.  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”  Romans 11:1-6.

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