There is a sermon just in the meaning of the word. It is one of these words that are very little understood at the present time, like the word gospel. Now grace means unlimited mercy, undeserved favor, or unmerited love. I had a man come to me today to see me, and his plea was that he was not fit to be saved. He said there was no hope for him, because he had sinned all his life, and there was nothing good in him. I was very much gratified to hear him say that. There is hope for that man — and I suppose he is here tonight; and there is hope for any man who thinks there is nothing good in him.
Now let us get at the source of this stream that has been flowing through the world these hundreds of years. You know that men have been trying to find the source of the Nile. Wouldn’t it be as profitable to try to find the source of grace, because this is a stream we are all interested in? I want to call your attention to the 1st chapter of John, the 14th and 17th verses: “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Then the 17th verse: “For the law is given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Then in the 5th chapter of Romans, the 15th verse: “But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if, through the offence of one, many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” Now bear in mind that he is the God of all grace. We wouldn’t know anything about grace, if it wasn’t for Jesus Christ. I tell you, if you want to get any grace, you must know God. He is the God of all grace. He wants to deal in grace; he wants to deal with that unmerited mercy, undeserved favor, unmerited love; and if God doesn’t love man until he is worthy of his love, he won’t have time for very much love for him. He is the God of all grace.
A man who believes that he is lost is near salvation. Why? Because you haven’t got to work to convince him that he is lost. Any man or any woman here tonight who will repent and turn to God, God will save him. It don’t make any difference what your life has been in the past. I was preaching one Sunday in a church where there was a fashionable audience, and after I got through the sermon, I said: “If there are any that would like to tarry a little while, and would like to stay and talk, I would be glad to talk with you.” They all got up, turned around, and went out. I felt as though I was abandoned. When I was going out I saw a man getting behind the furnace. He hadn’t any coat on and he was weeping bitterly. I said, “My friend, what is the trouble?’ He said: “You told me tonight that I could be saved; that the grace of God would reach me. You told me that there wasn’t a man so far gone but the grace of God would reach him.” He said: “I am an exile from my family; I have drunk up $20,000 within the last few months; I have drunk up the coat off my back; and if there is hope for a poor sinner like me, I should like to be saved.” It was just like a cup of refreshment to talk to that man. I didn’t dare give him money, for fear that he would drink it up; but I got him a place to stay that night, took an interest in him, and got him a coat, and six months after that, when I left Chicago for Europe, that man was one of the most earnest Christian men I knew. The Lord had blessed him wonderfully. He was an active, capable man. The grace of God can save just such, if they will only repent. I don’t care how low he has become, the grace of God can purge him of all sin, and place him among the blessed.
Salvation is a gift from God. If a man worked it out, he would boast of what he had done and say, “Oh, I did it.” A Scotchman once said it took two persons to effect his salvation — “God gave me his grace, and I fought against him.” It is not then for men to work, or they will boast of it; and when a man boasts, you may be sure there is no conversion. We do not work to get salvation; but we work it out after we get it. If we are ever saved, it must be by grace alone. If you pay anything for salvation, it ceases to be a gift. But God isn’t down here selling salvation. And what have you to give him, if he was? What do you suppose you would give? Ah, we’re bankrupt. “The gift of God is eternal life;” that’s your hope. That grace is free to all — free to every policeman here, every fireman, every usher, every singer, every man, woman and child, every reporter, all of you. What more do you want God to do than he has done? Oh, I hope the grace of God will reach every heart here. Oh, sinner, hear those words! Oh, may the grace of God reach your heart tonight.
~ This is from “Grace” in The Gospel Awakening