GRACE IS NEVER MERITED, BUT ALWAYS FREE
“Being justified freely by His grace.” –Romans 3:24
It is because grace is free that it can reach us. How free is the sun in sending forth its enlightening, warming beams; how free the clouds in discharging their watery treasures; how free the dew in falling from the face of heaven; how free the wind in blowing where it wills. Now these are scriptural types and representatives of the free grace of God. It shines as freely as the sun; drops as freely as the rain; falls as freely as the dew; and blows as freely as the wind. But not in grace, as in nature-to all men. I mean not that; but all to whom it comes it comes freely. And whenever it so comes it communicates precious things with it.
As the sun lights and warms, as the rain fertilizes, as the dew softens, as the wind invigorates, so it is with the grace of God which comes out of the fullness of Christ. It enlightens the understanding, warms the heart, fertilizes the soul, softens the spirit, and invigorates the whole new man of grace. And all this grace does freely, without charge or cost, without money or price, needing nothing, asking nothing from us but a kindly return.
The best debt to a benefactor is the debt of gratitude; the best return of kindness is the return of love; the best acknowledgment of a favor is good words and suitable deeds. The best thanks which the earth can give to the sun, rain, dew, and wind of heaven is to be fruitful–to manifest by the goodness of the crops, the goodness of what falls from heaven upon it. So it is in grace–“Whoso offereth praise glorifies Me” (Psalm 50:23). A believing, loving heart; a prayerful, thankful lip; and a holy, godly life are the best returns for grace.