Is Grace Resistible?
- Published in Covenant Reformed News
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Prof. Herman Hanko (Wife: Wilma)
Ordained: October 1955
Pastorates: Hope, Walker, MI - 1955; Doon, IA - 1963; Professor to the Protestant Reformed Seminary - 1965
Read: Romans 5
All the blessings of salvation follow our justification.
Our teacher emphasizes in our lesson the greatest of all such blessings: the forgiveness of sins. Here it is: “I have grossly transgressed all the commandments of God, and kept none of them, and am still inclined to all evil; notwithstanding God, without any merit of mine, but only of mere grace, grants and imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness and holiness of Christ, even so, as If I never had sinned nor committed any sin: yea, as if I had fully accomplished all the obedience which Christ has accomplished for me.”
How precious is the gift of the forgiveness of sins.
I sin against God in thought, word and deed. I commit sins of omission (by failing to do that which is my duty to do) and sins of commission (I do those things I know are wrong and contrary to the will of God. Knowing what is sin and knowing God disapproves, I do these things anyway.)
I do not do them once or twice, or even one hundred or two hundred times; I do them over and over again.
Yet when the day is finished and I prepare to seek sleep, I bring my sins to the throne of grace to confess them and express my sorrow for them. Every time the Lord forgives and tells me that he will not hold these sins against me, for he has punished them in His own dear Son.
And after rejoicing at the great blessedness of forgiveness, the next day I commit the same sins over again. Again I confess them, and God forgives.
My sins intrude on everything. My confession of sin is not always as sincere as it ought to be. Sometimes I ask the Lord to forgive, but not to keep me from that same sin. Sometimes I ask to be delivered from a sin, but add, not yet. Wait a few days. Our prayers, our singing to God, our thankfulness – all our activities, even the most holy, are sinful. Yet God forgives. I see, God says, no sin in Jacob, neither transgression in Israel.
When we lay our heads on death’s pillow, the words of our teacher come to our minds: “Death is not the penalty for sin, but the door to glory. What comfort do we have while we live and when we die? Our sins are forgiven us.”
Hebrews puts it so beautifully: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:15-16).
How blessed is he whose trespass
Hath freely been forgiven.
Whose sin is wholly covered
Before the sight of heaven. (Psalter No. 83)