Tuesday, December 18, 2007

From the Archives: Classic Bruce

But Paul's pre-eminent contribution to the world has been his presentation of the good news of free grace- as he himself would have put it (rightly), his re-presentation of the good news explicit in Jesus' teaching and embodied in his life and work. The free grace of God which Paul proclaimed is free grace in more senses than one-free in the sense that is sovereign and unfettered, free in the sense that it is held forth to men and women for their acceptance by faith alone, and free in the sense that it is the source and principle of their liberation from all kinds of inward and spirtual bondage, including the bondage of moral anarchy.
The God whose grace Paul proclaimed is the God who alone does great wonders. He creates the universe from nothing; he calls the dead to life; he justifies the ungodly. This third is the greatest wonder of all: creation and resurrection are consistent with the power of the living and life-giving God, but the justifying of the ungodly is prima facie a contradiction of his character as the righteous God, the Judge of all the earth, who by his own declaration 'will not justify the ungodly'(Exodus 23:7). Yet such is the quality of divine grace that in the very act of extending it to the undeserving God demonstrates 'that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus' (Romans 3:26).
(F.F. Bruce, Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free, pp.18-19)


Michael J. Gorman said...

The original (British) title of this book was (or was scheduled to be) "Apostle of the Free Spirit," but American editors/publishers thought that would be misleading!

Matthew D. Montonini said...

How funny!

Mike, it's good to hear from you, Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!