But God

In these two words, we see the gracious initiative of a just and loving God.   I’m probably echoing what others have already said, but “But” points to a reversal of fortunes.  We were dead, enslaved and convicted, heading to eternal condemnation.  The downward progression of the state of man had reached its terrifying conclusion in “objects of wrath.”  And then, the “But” pierces the darkness with a brilliant radiance.  What we knew to be completely unsalvageable and beyond hope (us) may yet have a future.God is an even more exciting word than but.  There didn’t have to be a “but” – thru grace, there was.  And the “but” could not stand alone (it never can) and no word could follow it except for God.  A sentence ending in “but” would be a terrible thing – leaving us wallowing in uncertainty.  And yet, combined with the word “God,” it foreshadows all the blessings of salvation.  As John Stott ably says, those two words move from “the depths of pessimism about man…to the heights of optimism about God” and there is no embarrassment or awkwardness in that transition.

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