by David Murray
The doctrines of grace are not just rooted in the grace of God, and demonstrate the grace of God; they should also produce grace in those who believe these truths. Here are five fruits that result from a full embrace of the doctrines of grace.
1. A Profound Humility
Total depravity does not mean we are as bad as we possibly can be; it means that we are so corrupted in every part of our being that we are rendered disabled for any good work, faith, repentance, etc. Total depravity may be better named, Total inability.
However most people, including most Christians, do not believe in total inability. A recent survey by Ligonier Ministries and Lifeway Research found that
- 67% agree, “Everyone sins at least a little, but most people are by nature good,”
- 40% agree “God loves me because of the good I do or have done.”
- Only 16% agree with the doctrine that says “people do not have the ability to turn to God on their own initiative.”
- 71% of Americans agree that “an individual must contribute his/her own effort for personal salvation.”
- 64% of Americans agree “a person obtains peace with God by first taking the initiative to seek God and then God responds with grace.”
This has serious repercussions because unless we know how serious our sickness is, we won’t see our urgent need of the Good Doctor, Jesus Christ, and will be slow, or refuse, to call upon Him for mercy and grace. On top of that, if we think we have any spiritual ability left, we will give ourselves at least part of the credit for salvation, especially if the decisive cause of our salvation is in ourselves.
The doctrines of grace show us what we are and what we truly deserve. They therefore humble us, bring us low, puncture pride, eliminate self-righteousness, drive us from self-sufficiency, and silence all boasting. As the Apostle said: “No flesh should glory in His presence” (1 Cor. 1:29).
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