Grace does not contemplate sinners merely as undeserving, but as ill-deserving. So often we are inclined to think of ourselves prior to our salvation as in some sense "neutral" in the sight of God. We are willing to admit that we have done nothing to deserve his favor. Our works, regardless of their character, are unacceptable in his glorious presence. But this is entirely insufficient as a background to the understanding of divine grace. It is not simply that we do not deserve grace; we do deserve hell! Fallen and unredeemed humanity is not to be conceived of as merely helpless but as openly and vehemently hostile towards God. It is one thing to be without a God-approved righteousness. It is altogether another thing to be wholly unrighteous and thus the object of divine wrath. It is, then, against the background of having been at one time the enemies of God that divine grace is to be portrayed (Rom. 5:10).