I’m a little hesitant to talk on the subject of grace because of all the false teachings on the subject. But I know the Spirit of grace will lead me through and into the truth.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Traditionally, when a disciple reads this text they key in on two things, grace and the gift of God. They usually conclude that because it’s a gift, you have nothing to do with it just coming into your life. They continue to reason out their “revelation” of grace. If it’s a free gift, then you have it no matter what you do! If it’s a free gift, you don’t earn it, so you exempt yourself from obeying the Word of God because you are under grace. This is commonly referred to as “greasy grace”. It’s when one invalidates most of the Bible because they are under grace. The truth is this, God gives us His grace to enable us to obey His Word.
There is a word in our text that most people conveniently overlook, it’s the word, FAITH. We are saved by grace through faith. Without faith, there can be no grace. Without faith it is impossible to please Him. People have focused on grace, but overlooked the requirement. The just shall live by faith, this has never been an option. No faith, no grace. It really is that cut and dried. People who “think” they can have grace without exercising their faith are deceiving only themselves. So what is grace and how does it affect our lives?
1 Corinthians 15:9 For by the grace of God, I am what I am.
Paul of Tarsus hated Jesus and the Christians. He thought it was his lot in life to lock-up Christians and destroy the church of Christ. However, he met Jesus on the way to arrest Christians and became a follower of Christ. He became an Apostle and then wrote two-thirds of the New Testament.
Grace is the supernatural power of God that changes a mans heart.
One minute Saul was a child of wrath and in the next, he was a child of God. That is grace. The blood of animals covered the sins of Israel for a year. But they had to sacrifice those animals every year because it did nothing to change the people. The blood of Jesus not only blotted out our sins, but it changed our nature and desire to sin again and again. If grace was just a free gift every man could just have, then everyone would be saved even without the knowledge of God!
Grace is applied only after faith is released and not until then. Grace was never intended to be a random act of God’s nature. It is the blessing of faith. Grace turned Paul from a murderer into a saint because he believed in Jesus.
Pastor Jerry Lamping
Born and raised in Helena, MT, has been a Pastor for over 20 years.