It is a wonder that God is gracious to sinful men. It is a wonder that man has been given the opportunity to repent and turn to God. It is a wonder that God sets his love upon sinners and even works to save them.
In The Sinfulness of Sin, Ralph Venning, Puritan pastor and writer, expresses his wonder at the grace of God to sinners. He does that without downplaying the seriousness or sinfulness of man’s sin. I provide an excerpt below.
Men’s sins are not only many and great; they are both multiplied and magnified, aggravated by many circumstances.
Men increase and heighten their sin by not repenting of it, and aggravate their impenitence by despising the goodness of God which should lead them to repentance (Romans 2:4). This makes them inexcusable, and incapable of escaping the judgment of God.
Men sin against deliverances, as if they were delivered to do all manner of abominations, and to sin more than before (Jeremiah 7:8-10).
Men sin against their resolutions and promises, vows and protestations, made on sea or land, on sickbeds or at any times of danger, and return like dogs to their vomit. They bargain with God in time of fear and danger, but put him off with nothing when the danger is, as they think, over.
Men sin against means, and the means of grace. They have precept upon precept, line on line, and yet sin still and more. Whatever way God takes with them, nothing will suit them. God says, This and this have I done, yet you have not returned (Amos 4:6-11). Mourn or pipe to them, it is all the same, they will not hearken.
And, what is more, men sin against knowledge and conscience. Though they know God, they glorify him not as God (Romans 1:21). They know their Master’s will, but fail to do it (Luke 12:47; James 4:17).
It would be useless because impossible, to count all the aggravating circumstances of men’s sins, which make them more sins, the degree, multitude, and magnitude.
Yes, notwithstanding all this, God waits to be gracious! Oh, grace, grace unto it! Is it not a wonder that men are spared, especially if we consider how quickly God cast away the angels that sinned! Wonder of grace!