Grace and faith are both essential ingredients in our walk with God. However, emphasize either to the exclusion of the other and the imbalance will make it difficult to receive from God. The lack of understanding will lead to confusion, frustration, and disappointment in the body of Christ. It’s a combination of both grace and faith.
People can take one truth of God and take it to an extreme or they can just exclude one truth and they lose the balance between the two. For instance: People say that it is by faith alone we are saved and won’t include works. But then what do we do with what James said in Chapter 2, verse 26? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. It’s a matter of believing it in your heart and then “act” on it!
Saving faith alone saves, but saving faith is never alone. There always has to be action. We live what we believe! It’s the same thing with grace and faith. People that only believe on faith and don’t balance the grace of God, will always feel burdened that they have to earn His favor. A Christian will never have the rest and peace that God intended for us to have if we don’t balance the two.
Ephesians 2:8 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (Verse 9) not of works, lest anyone should boast.
We are not saved by grace alone. We are saved by grace through faith. We aren’t saved by faith alone either.
Ephesians 2:5 – even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, (by grace you have been saved).
But then Paul goes on in verse 8 to clarify that “you are saved by grace through faith…” Grace is God’s part, faith is our part. We aren’t saved just by what God does. Some people believe that it’s all God’s grace so it doesn’t matter what we do. God did not choose some people beforehand to go to heaven and some to go to hell, that’s “predestination.” But that’s not correct. It does matter what we do! God gives each one of us a choice. The Bible says, “Whosoever will.”
God by His grace provides salvation but then we have to respond with faith. God doesn’t “make us get saved.” He won’t save us without our cooperation. Grace plus faith releases the power of God!
Some people believe like a pendulum swings, too far to one side. They will preach faith to the point that they are believing and teaching, “You have to do this and you have to earn your way to God.” Then the pressure builds to the point where a person believes that they’ll never make it. Before long they are totally into works and legalism.
However, it is true that we can build ourselves up in faith and learn to receive from God. If there has been an abuse of extreme faith, don’t go completely in the opposite direction. We have to come to a proper balance. It’s not one or the other. There is a balance.
Every truth in God’s word is balanced by an apparent opposite contradictory to truth. And we have to learn the balance between those two to really see the power of God manifest.
When grace is emphasized without faith, it will bring all kinds of sinful acts. Why? Because they believe it’s just all up to God no matter what they do. The abuse of faith, if you leave out grace, becomes legalism. These are those who look down and condemn anybody that they think is not living up to their standards. But when we put grace and faith together then it releases the power of God to give us stability in our lives.
If people don’t have a balance of grace and faith in their lives, they won’t stick with Christianity very long. This is one reason that many walk away after a short time.
Our faith is not independent of God because even our faith comes from God. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. That Word brings faith to us. This gift from God called grace, came long before you or I were even born, so there is no way that we had anything to do with it, it was all God.
There is a movement going on in the churches today that is called “Hyper grace” teaching. Their thinking is that people don’t truly need to seek salvation because it really doesn’t matter what a person does, it’s just up to God’s grace whether they get saved or not. This is simply not true.
Grace is not only what God does for us, but we have to respond with faith. Faith is not something we do to get God to respond to us! Faith is our positive response to what God has already done by grace! Faith is not something we have to make God move on our behalf. Too many have been taught that in order to make God do something for us we have to have more faith. That’s just not true. We aren’t going to make God do anything.
But does grace alone provide us with what we need? Grace makes the provision, but it will not come to pass in our life until we reach out and respond positively to what God has already provided. Think about that for a little while.
It takes our response of faith before what God has already provided to manifest. Think about it this way: Jesus didn’t just die yesterday for you and me to get born again today. He died over two thousand years ago, meaning that the provision for us to be born again today was already done! Our provision was already there by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. It’s simply up to us to respond!
If grace alone saved us, then every person would be saved. Why, because Titus 2:11, says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. But we know all people are not saved, don’t we? Jesus died for all, but all don’t respond to that saving grace even though Jesus died for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:2 – and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. God, by His grace through Jesus paid for all the sins of even those who reject Him!
God, by His grace provided for everyone’s sins to be forgiven, but people have to respond to that grace by faith in His Son. Before anyone had ever sinned, God had already made a provision for our sins:
Revelation 13:8 – And all who dwell on the earth will worship Him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the “foundation of the world.” God’s grace was put in motion long before any of us existed!
How sad to think that a full pardon is given to every human being for their sins, but yet many will simply say, “I don’t want it!”
What God has done, meaning “past,” was already provided for: 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. This is all past tense!
Most have been taught that if they pray more, fast, give more and do everything right, God will respond to their faith. They think because things aren’t moving it’s because they’re not praying hard enough or their faith is weak. That is not accurate. God by grace anticipated every sickness; every disease; every problem that would ever happen in the history of the world. His Son, Jesus, bore those sicknesses and diseases in His body. Healing is a done deal! That’s what Scripture says, so why don’t people believe it? We trusted Him for our salvation, all sin forgiven, so why not believe the rest of the provision, like healing?
We do have to reach out by faith that our healing was already provided for and thank Him and receive it! We speak to that mountain by the authority that is given to each believer through Jesus Christ! “By His stripes, we were healed!”
Romans 8:11 – But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue,…
We learn to say what God says in agreement with what He’s already provided. Then thank Him and receive it! We thank Him before we ever see the end results because if He said it, it will come to pass. We take a stand in agreement with what He’s said and already done.
Did you believe you were saved when you got saved? Yes, you did. So why is it to some, so hard to believe that He’s going to provide everything else that a believer needs? He will and He does!