I wonder sometimes how much wisdom we miss in the gathered wisdom of earnest believers in years past. We all know names like Calvin and Luther, but how many other Saints joyfully proclaimed the truth of the Gospel and are never read?
In that vein, I was reading a not-so-old-but-not-contemporary book on Romans by William R. Newell, published in 1938. It happened to be on my shelf, and several sections really caused me to pause and think… in a good way.
So I share a couple of sections with you, from Newell’s Romans Verse By Verse, pp. 246-247. May they also cause you to reflect on the wondrous grace that has been poured out on us in Christ!
“A FEW WORDS ABOUT GRACE”
[The first two sections were also good, but I’ve left them out for space constraints.]
“III. The Proper Attitude of Man under Grace
1. To believe, and to consent to be loved while unworthy, is the great secret.
2. To refuse to make “resolutions” and “vows”; for that is to trust in the flesh.
3. To expect to be blessed, though realizing more and more lack of worth.
4. To testify of God’s goodness, at all times.
5. To be certain of God’s future favor; yet to be ever more tender in conscience toward Him.
6. To rely on God’s chastening hand as a mark of His kindness.
7. A man under grace, if like Paul, has no burdens regarding himself; but many about others.
IV. Things Which Gracious Souls Discover
1. To “hope to be better” is to fail to see yourself in Christ only.
2. To be disappointed with yourself, is to have believed in yourself.
3. To be discouraged is unbelief,-as to God’s purpose and plan of blessing for you.
4. To be proud, is to be blind! For we have no standing before God, in ourselves.
5. The lack of Divine blessing, therefore, comes from unbelief, and not from failure of devotion.
6. Real devotion to God arises, not from man’s will to show it; but from the discovery that blessing has been received from God while we were yet unworthy and undevoted.
7. To preach devotion first, and blessing second, is to reverse God’s order, and preach law, not grace. The Law made man’s blessing depend on devotion; Grace confers undeserved, unconditional blessing: our devotion may follow, but does not always do so,-in proper measure.”