The Reason Grace and Faith MUST Walk Together

For by grace you have been saved through faith

Ephesians 2:8

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation [praise]” (Heb. 11:1-2, emphasis mine throughout)

When we read the Bible, we notice God’s sovereign hand extended in the act of saving people, whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament. This is “grace.” While at the very same time, we notice the responsibility to respond, react, or grasp the extended hand, lies in the lap of the individual, who is responding by “faith.”

In the past, I have shared that in this passage from Ephesians 2:8, the “gift” spoken of here is placed on the subject, being “salvation,” and not on the action, being “faith.” In other words: We have been “offered” [graced] this gift of salvation by God’s eternal plan realized [coming from outside of time into the present reality] in Christ Jesus. And we apprehend this gift of salvation in Christ Jesus through our faith in His completed work on the cross together with faith in His resurrection from the dead. This is a long interpretation of Eph. 2:8 but I think it drives the point home.

Let me put it like this: Grace is God’s part, and faith is our part. Grace is God’s work in the spiritual realm [outside of time] by His power alone for our good. Faith is our response in the physical realm [in time] to God’s free offer of salvation to His glory. Grace is outside of time, and faith is in time. Faith is not just an idea or feeling, it is a substance, and it has matter to it. It IS something. And faith is a spiritual reality created by God specifically designed for a relationship with Him.

So, there are TWO HANDS involved in our salvation. One is God’s hand of grace reaching down toward us, and the other is our hand reacting by faith, reaching up and connecting to, or grasping ahold of, His hand. Now, does this mean we are “working” for our salvation by grabbing onto God’s hand by faith? Absolutely not. Reacting back to God’s offer of grace by an act of faith and linking with Him in no way fits the Bible’s definition of “works”! We cannot be saved by works of the Law or by our own good deeds. Just because we respond by our free will to God’s free gift offered to all who will take it, does not mean the same thing (AT ALL) as working for our salvation. When pastors try to say that God must do everything and we are responsible for nothing when it comes to our salvation, they are using an argument that cannot fit with the scriptures’ command to “repent and believe” (this requires responsibility) or on the other hand, for an individual to even be judged for not believing and thereby receiving the consequence of their unbelief (Hell).

Therefore, if we are to even begin to understand how God can charge humanity with any kind of fault or with any kind of praise, we must begin by understanding the difference between His responsibility and our responsibility. Remember this verse at the top: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation” (Heb. 11:1-2). The ONLY way the people of old could receive commendation (praise) was because they were being credited for their faith. We receive praise, blessing, and … salvation by our faith!

Lastly, allow me to exhort you to watch your doctrine and to keep the faith as Paul did Timothy, “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Tim. 4:16) along with this perspective, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7). God WILL always supply the grace to support our faith … as long as we are willing.

Categories Truth and ErrorTags ,

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