God's creative workmanship in man was marred when Adam sinned in partaking of the forbidden fruit. The LORD had said to Adam prior to his fall, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Death, which is the wages of sin (Rom. 6:23), is not just physical; it is also spiritual and eternal. Dead in trespasses and sin (Eph. 2:1), man is incapable of restoring spiritual life to himself and reconciling himself to God by good works or acts of obedience.
If man is to be delivered from the penalty of his sins and restored to fellowship with God, then God must do the necessary redemptive work Himself. No man can justly claim that he deserves to be saved from the consequences of sin because he sinned willfully. Having no merit in himself or any of his deeds, man is dependent upon the grace of God for salvation (Eph. 2:8, 9). God's grace is extended freely. To Moses, the LORD said, “. . .[I] will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (Ex. 34:19).
Having chosen a people for His own in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world and given them grace (Eph. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9), God in due time sent His Son into the world to redeem them from sin by dying in their stead. The price He paid for their redemption was His own blood. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7). God's greatest workmanship is that of redeeming fallen man. Those who were once dead in sin are now alive unto God. At one time the enemies of God, they are now reconciled to Him (Rom. 5:10). Deserving of death and hell, they are now worthy of the kingdom of God. They cannot boast, however, of anything they have done because their salvation is all of God's marvelous grace!
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