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Grace Through Faith

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Grace Through Faith

Grace Through Faith
by Charles Capps

   One of the keys to understanding the truths of the New Covenant is having a revelation of the gift of grace. The apostle Paul gives us clear insight in this matter in Romans, Chapters 4-6. Romans 4:13 NIV says, “It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.” Verse 16, “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.” Here Paul indicates the way we enter into grace is through faith.

   We have all heard that grace is unmerited favor. Well, that is true, but it is much more than that. Grace is God’s willingness to use His power and His ability on your behalf, even though you don’t deserve it. This definition of grace will challenge you to study the Scriptures concerning grace. Paul tells us that it is through faith that we are able to enter into grace.

   Romans 5:1-2 NIV: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand…” In other words, the only way that we have access into God’s grace (His willingness) is through faith in His Word and the blood of Jesus, His Son.

   We cannot merit favor with God through good works as they did under the Old Covenant. They were under the law and they had to keep the whole law, or the curses came on them, and no one could keep the law to the letter. But under the New Covenant it is no more the works of the law, but it is of faith that we might enter into the promises through grace. Under the New Covenant (the days of grace), it is through mercy and grace that we are justified by faith. We are not justified by what we have done, or what we haven’t done. We are justified by faith in the blood of Jesus. It is through faith that we access the grace of God for the remission of sins.

   “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference... For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” (Romans 3:19-22,28 NIV)

   You will notice in every letter that the Apostle Paul wrote, he says, “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus.” You find that it is usually in the first two or three verses, but no further than the seventh verse. Paul wanted us to receive God’s willingness toward us. That is where many people miss it today. They have trouble receiving God’s willingness; oh they believe God is able, but they are not sure He is willing. They need a revelation of the gift of grace.

   Peter also refers to grace in the beginning of each of his epistles, giving us more insight in this matter. He says, “Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2 ASV) Grace being God’s willingness, is multiplied through the knowledge of God. The more you know about what God will do, the more willing He is to do it because that knowledge produces faith. God is already willing, but God’s willingness is multiplied when you know what God will do on your behalf.

   In Ephesians 2:8 ESV we find a very interesting statement, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” What gift is Paul referring to here? Many believe it is the gift of faith that Paul mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:9, but I am convinced that he is referring to the gift of grace. In Ephesians 3:2 NIV, we find some strong evidence. “Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you.” Then in verse 7, “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.” It seems rather obvious that the gift he has referred to in Ephesians 2:8 & Ephesians 3:2 is the gift of grace.

   Then in Ephesians 4:7 ESV Paul says, “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” I believe we make a mistake when we say that the Scripture in Ephesians 2:8 is referring to the gift of faith. The gift of faith is a special gift and is listed as one of the nine Gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:9.

More Evidence

   The death of Jesus ushered in the dispensation of grace. In John 1:14 ESV we see that “...the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus was full of grace. He was filled with God’s willingness. Verses 16-17 say, “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”

   Acts 14:3 speaks of the Word of God as the Word of Grace. Acts 14:2-3 ESV, “But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” Here it speaks of the Word of God as being the Word of Grace.

   Now let’s put it together. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us – full of grace and truth. The Bible is the Word of God’s willingness toward us.

   2 Corinthians 8:9 ESV says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” It was through God’s willingness that Jesus became poor that we might be made rich. That includes financially, spiritually, physically, and every way.

   Now let’s look at 2 Timothy 2:1 NIV where Paul admonishes Timothy to ...be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” That is why so many Christians are in trouble; they are not strong in grace. They are strong in knowing that God is able, but so many are not strong in God’s willingness to do it for them.

   2 Peter 3:18 NIV tells us to “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” Grow in grace – don’t stay where you are, as far as God’s willingness for you is concerned. As you grow in the grace of God, you will realize that God wants you to have the things that He has given you. Peter said: “Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that his divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue; whereby he hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises; that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust.” (2 Peter 1:2-4 ASV)

   “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV) The reason it is impossible to please God without faith is because God is not pleased when you don’t have faith to enter into the grace that He has already given through the exceeding great and precious promises.

   I believe Hebrews 4:16 brings the whole thing into focus by saying: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, (don’t come begging, hoping to God that something will happen, but come BOLDLY) that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” We shouldn’t try to come on our merits. We certainly don’t want what we deserve. It is through faith that we can come boldly to the throne of grace and obtain mercy.

   Under the Old Law they were under a law of works. In Galatians 3:10-11 NIV Paul said: “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.’ Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because ‘the righteous will live by faith.’” Under the New Covenant, we are not justified by works (we receive reward because of works) but we are justified by faith. Justified means just as if I had not sinned. Therefore, you can come boldly to God’s throne of grace and obtain mercy and find grace (God’s willingness) to help in time of need.

   In Galatians 3:21-29 NIV Paul asks a question and answers it: “Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

   The conclusion of the matter can be found in Romans 5:20-21 ESV: “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” So where sin did abound, grace does much more abound. In other words, grace swallowed all our sins. Where sin once did reign, now grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17 ESV)

   You can allow sin to reign or you can allow grace (God’s willingness) to reign in your life through righteousness unto eternal life. The choice is yours and time is short. Enter into His grace through faith and trust Him and His Promises today.

 

 

 

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