The Paradox of Grace

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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In “the gospel of the grace of God” we find a striking paradox: God Himself condemning the righteous and justifying the wicked; forsaking the perfect and helping evildoers.

Behold the spotless Lamb on Calvary as He cries, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”  Judas kisses Him in base betrayal; wicked men spit in His face, mock Him, smite Him, scourge Him, crown Him with thorns and nail Him to a tree!  And God, the Judge of all, does nothing to stop them!  Indeed, He Himself unsheathes His sword and smites the one Person in all history who could truly say, “I delight to do Thy will, 0 my God.”

And this is not all, for on the other hand God saves Saul of Tarsus, Christ’s bitterest enemy, “a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious,” his hands dripping, as it were, with the blood of martyrs.  To him God shows “grace…exceeding abundant” and “all longsuffering” (I Tim. 1:13-16).  Indeed, He sends him forth to proclaim openly to all men that:

“To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Rom. 4:5).

How can all this be right?  The answer is that the One who died in agony and disgrace at Calvary was God Himself, manifested in the flesh.  There, at Calvary, God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (II Cor. 5:19).  It was the Judge Himself, stepping down from the throne to the cross to represent the sinner and pay for him the full penalty of his sins.

And who will say this is injustice?  Injustice?  It is perfect justice and more.  It is grace!

Under the terms of the Law we find God “showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments” (Ex. 20:6).  But grace is infinitely more: it is the riches of God’s mercy and love to “the children of disobedience…the children of wrath” (Eph. 2:2-7), paying the penalty for their sins Himself in strictest accord with perfect and infinite righteousness!

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.


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