Grace Works Through Faith – Part 1
Some believers think that they can live by grace (what God does) such that they don’t need faith (what we do). Others think that by faith they can have anything they want even if is not provided for by grace.
What does the Bible say about this? Is everything totally up to God? Or, is everything dependent on what we do? The Word of God shows that there is a balance between grace and faith.
Ephesians 2:2-9 NKJV says, “8 For by GRACE you have be saved through FAITH, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast”.
Before we get into details about this subject I would like to highlight three basic truths we need to understand about God’s grace:
1. WE ARE NOT SAVED BY GRACE ALONE. Titus 2:11 says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.” But, not all people are saved. 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all come to repentance”. This verse shows that God wishes that everybody be saved but He will not force anyone, hence we have people who are not saved even though grace has appeared to all, as the Bible says. So, God’s grace (provision) does not benefit us if we do not receive it by faith.
2. GOD’S GRACE IS THE SAME TOWARD EVERYONE BECAUSE IT IS NOT BASED ON WHAT WE DO. Jesus paid for the sins of those who believe in Him and those who do not believe in Him. Those who do not believe in Him do not benefit from this provision, but the fact is He did pay for their sins, they are just not receiving what is freely given to them. 1 John 2:2 says, “He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins – and not only our sins but the sins of all the world”.
3. GOD’S GRACE PROVIDED EVERYTHING FOR US BEFORE WE CAME INTO EXISTENCE. Remember that Jesus died for sins over two thousand years ago. Grace provided for our salvation before we even committed our first sin. So, grace forgave our sins before we even sinned! It is up to us to receive this forgiveness and live in harmony with God or reject Him and live without Him. This is the reason the Holy Spirit convicts the world of one sin only – John 16:8-9. Jesus has taken care of all sins except for the sin of not believing in Him. God does not remember our sins and lawless deeds – Hebrews 10:16-18 and 2 Corinthians 5:18-19.
Now, as much as grace provided for our salvation over two thousand years, at the same time grace also provided for our healing – 1 Peter 2:24 “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes YOU WERE HEALED.” The Bible says we were healed by the stripes Christ received for our sins. This is grace making provision for our healing before we even came into existence. This shows why the grace of God is consistent (it is the same toward everybody), it is because it is not dependent on what we do but what God did for us.
GRACE HAS PROVIDED EVERYTHING FOR US: Ephesians 1:3-4 says, “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who HAS BLESSED us with EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He CHOSE us in Him BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before Him IN LOVE.” We are not holy and without blame before Him because we do not commit sin, WE ARE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLAME, IN HIS EYES, BECAUSE IN HIS LOVE HE MADE CHRIST TO BECOME SIN FOR US SO THAT WE CAN BECOME GOD’S RIGHTEOUSNESS – 2 Corinthians 5:21. This is GRACE!
(To be continued…)
“REST IN THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST!”