Where Faith Meets Grace
Romans 10:17 (ESV) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. We must hear the message of Jesus Christ for faith to be awakened. Faith is confidence that you know the will of God. Hearing Christ’s message awakens your faith in order to move your will to obey the message. EVERY CREATURE NEEDS A PREACHER! God assigns people to preach to people. Every believer belongs in a church. The believers assembled together.
1 John 5:4-5 (ESV) For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? “…Our faith is the victory that overcomes the world…” FAITH CANNOT BE DEFEATED! Even the smallest amount moves mountains. Faith on it’s own does nothing. Faith with obedience does something. Faith without works is dead.
Grace is, among other things the active power of God exerted to accomplish His will and purpose. It was through the grace of God Christ arose from the dead and by the grace of God you were made a new creation. Ephesians 1:18-20 (ESV) having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places. Christ rose from the dead among all the opposition of hell. They were mocking Him. He was forsaken by God. It was the Grace of God that raised Him from the grave. The same power that raised Christ from the dead works in you. You have been reborn. Faith and grace work together to accomplish the purpose of God.
Grace is God’s empowerment by the Holy Spirit to be able to do what He calls us to do. 2 Corinthians 3:5 (ESV) Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, 2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV) And God is able to make ALL GRACE abound to you, so that having ALL SUFFICIENCY IN ALL THINGS AT ALL TIMES, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV) But he said to me, “MY GRACE is sufficient for you, for MY POWER is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Faith and grace do not operate independently. It is only when the two are mixed that the power of God is released to carry out His will. Faith is within, encouraging you toward doing the will of God. Grace is without, waiting to be mixed with faith to “set it off.” Faith is the fuse that ignites the explosive power of God.
- We have access by faith into grace. Romans 5:1-2 (ESV) Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. The place where the mixture takes place is the mind when you decide to OBEY the will of God regardless of the objections of the mind. Just because you have faith doesn’t mean it will do anything unless you act on it. Reason can quench the Holy Spirit.
- Israel did not enter into the grace of the Promised Land since they did not mix it with faith and works through DISOBEDIENCE. Heb. Hebrews 4:1-2 (NKJV) Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being MIXED WITH FAITH in those who heard it. Hebrews 4:11 (NKJV) Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of DISOBEDIENCE. Faith without works (obedience) is dead. They were disobedient and did not receive the promise. UNBELIEF IS DISOBEDIENCE TO FAITH, FAILURE TO DO WHAT YOU KNOW GOD SAID TO YOU.
The deciding factor in whether faith will meet grace and power will be released is OBEDIENCE! God gives the Holy Spirit to THOSE WHO OBEY HIM. Acts 5:32 (ESV) And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who OBEY HIM.”
- The seat of obedience is your will. Obedience (God’s plan) is better than sacrifice (your plan OR WHAT YOU THINK IS REASONABLE). 1 Samuel 15:22 (ESV) And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.
- A clear example of the mixing and unmixing of faith and grace. Matthew 14:25-33 (ESV) And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” If you saw a ghost when you were on a ship in trouble it meant that you would die. The argument of reason: “he saw the wind and the waves…”
Every promise of God is a call for obedience. Obedience brings faith and grace together and causes an explosion of God’s power! Consider these two promises concerning giving: Psalms 126:5-6 (ESV) Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! 6 He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (ESV) The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. Don’t give under pressure or to emulate what someone else did. THE TIME IS RIGHT WHEN YOU FEEL EXCITEMENT AND ANTICIPATION IN YOUR HEART!
“Receiving an offering is not to receive money – it is to stir up the faith of the people.” Buddy Harrison