Most of us were taught that you have to work for what you get in this world. Nothing is free and there are no free rides. If it is free, then there must be a catch. As a young boy I won a scholarship to a Art College. My teachers were very happy, I was very happy but my Daddy said “No way.” He thought I would go off to College and leave him a big bill. The people from the school and my Art teacher came to our house to talk to my Dad. He refused to listen and refused to let me go. So I went in the Army, not the brightest idea. But it put an end to any notion of Art School. I would have to work for anything I got, according to my Dad. Most of us live our life that way, but thanks to God we start to learn about the grace of giving as time passes on.
My grace is sufficient for thee. This is one of the most comforting statements given to us in God’s Word. When we understand how it applies to every aspect of our lives, we will see that God’s grace is, in fact, sufficient for our salvation, for our security and for our suffering. In this Age of Grace, God’s grace reigns supreme for all of our needs.
What is Grace?
Someone has said that grace can be defined as the free unmerited favor of God. However you define grace, there are two truths about grace that are made abundantly clear in scripture.
First, grace and works are mutually exclusive principles. They cannot coexist.
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. Romans 11:6
The truth of this passage is critical. Many people seem to have the opinion that if they simply, “do their best, God will take care of the rest,” or if they, “reach up as high as they can toward God, he’ll reach down the rest of the way”. This understanding is in direct contradiction to the principle of Romans 11:6. We will either be rewarded based entirely on our works, or we will be rewarded based entirely on God’s grace.
The second principle of grace that scripture teaches is that God’s grace will accept only one response from man. Faith.
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Romans 4:4,5
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
It is plain to see that grace and works are mutually exclusive. Therefore, the only response that grace can accept is something that is not a work. Notice that in Romans 4:5 Paul specifically excludes faith as being a work-“to him that worketh not, but believeth”. This is because the merit of faith is not in the faith itself, but in the object of the faith. Faith alone does not save. Faith in Mohammed will not save. Faith in your works will not save. Faith in your church will not save. Faith cannot save because faith is not a meritorious work. Faith in Christ will save because in Christ there is merit, not because there is merit in the faith. Scripture is clear-the only response that grace will accept is faith. When you consider the working of grace in your life keep these two important truths in mind. Grace and works are mutually exclusive principles and the only response that grace will accept is faith. We need to stop working and start believing.
Saved by Grace