What is Grace? Grace is the unmerited favour given to us by God through the redeeming Blood of the Lamb (Jesus). It is an unearned and underserving favour that God bestows upon us because Jesus paid the ultimate price to reconcile us back to the Father on the cross of Calvary. Romans 11:6, “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace”.
Grace is simply God’s power working for our good while we do nothing to earn it. I can liken it to us resting comfortably on our couch in our sitting room, while Jesus is in the kitchen making dinner for us. Therefore, grace is what Jesus has already done for us, and faith is what we do because of the finished work of Jesus. It takes both the working of grace and faith together, for us to effectively posses our possessions in Jesus Christ, and receive our miracles. It is crucial to know that through grace, Jesus has done all He needs to do for us, but we require faith to receive this truth, and live by this truth.
When Jesus died for us over 2000 years ago, His death, resurrection and glorification, brought grace and salvation to us, and we need to exercise faith through the knowledge of God’s word and promises, so that we can receive all that God has made available through His precious Son Jesus Christ.
We must understand that grace abounded first to enable us work effectively and efficiently in faith. The bible records that by grace God choose David as the King of the Israelites, but it was by faith that David pleased God. This was also seen in the case of Abraham and Moses, where again through grace, they believed God and acted out their faith before God.
In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus healed the Ten Lepers. In this passage, we see how the grace of God through Jesus healed them, but it was up to the Lepers to believe the words of Jesus, and act in faith by doing what He commanded them to do. This meant that the Ten Lepers had to believe the truth of God’s grace, by applying faith to receive their miracle. Where grace is mixed with faith, it becomes a reality; for with God, nothing is impossible to them that believe. Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing will be impossible”. Grace must be balanced by faith to see it work completely in our lives.
When Jesus said to Mary Magdalene in Luke 7:48, “your sins are forgiven”, which is grace, she had to believe and receive this truth to be set free, now that is Faith. Grace is God’s willingness to use His Divine power on our behalf, therefore anyone who refuses to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, is consciously or unconsciously refusing the grace of God in their lives.
I have often stated that it is only the truth that we know and use that will set us free. Therefore, when we dare to believe God and work in faith because we believe Him, it is that knowledge through faith that gives us deliverance in all things. John 8:32. It is therefore wisdom to put our faith in the finished work of Jesus, rather than in our own abilities.
The bible tells us that we all have a measure of faith, and grace can also come in measures. Our obedience and faithful walk with the Lord are vital when it pertains to grace and faith. These two are gifts from God to us His children, for the perfecting of the saints in Christ. Ephesians 4:7, “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it”. Also, Romans 12:3, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you”.
God’s grace has already provided healing, prosperity, peace, joy, forgiveness of sins, justice and much more to us; however, we can only receive and walk in these blessings and truths through faith. There is nothing more we can do to earn grace, Jesus did it all. However, the magnitude of its effect in our lives, is seen through serving God in Spirit and in Truth.
When Jesus prayed for Peter in Luke 22:31-32, He made his grace available to save Peter when Peter denied Jesus three time after His arrest. Although this grace was available to Peter, Peter needed to repent from his sins and believed in the saving grace of Jesus made available to him. Peter applied faith through grace. It was also through God’s grace that Esther found favour with King Xerxes, but through faith Esther went to the king unannounced because she dared to believe that the grace of God was sufficient for her, and was able to save her.
Everything that Jesus did on the earth, was done through the grace of God. He healed the sick, raised the dead, fed the people, preached the word etc, through the divine grace of God. When we put our faith in what Jesus has done for us, we have victory and we overcome the world. 1 John 5:4.
I remember an instance in 2006 where I lost my mum and two other family members. During that challenging time, I noticed that the grace of God increased much in my life. Then one day, as I was in my kitchen cooking, I said out aloud, “Lord, if your grace was a person, I would thank him profusely”. The next day, as I was washing dishes in my kitchen, I heard the Holy Spirit clearly, telling me “Benny, but Jesus is the grace of God”. I was blown and I blessed the Lord that day.
We must realise that the Grace of God is not the same as Mercy. This is because while grace renders God’s goodness to us which we do not deserve, mercy on the other hand is God withholding judgement from us which we deserve because of sin. Unexercised faith does not work because of the lack of grace, rather it does not work because we have not grasped the importance of the result producing faith; and that is the faith that dares to believe God at all costs.
The grace of God in our lives does not mean that we ought to be lazy in exercising faith in all that we do. Romans 6:15, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means”. The bible reminds us of anything that we do without faith, is sin. Romans 14:23, “But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin”.
Ten Effects of Grace in our lives
1. Grace expresses God’s love to us. John 3:16
2. Grace releases God’s supernatural power in and through us. Philippian 4:13
3. Grace ignites in us the determination to persevere and not relent. 2 Corinthians 12:9
4. Grace echoes in our spirits that Jesus is our friend, High Priest and advocate. 1 John 2:1
5. Grace propels us towards living in God’s perfect will for us. Jeremiah 29:11
6. Grace gives us assurance in the finished work of Jesus. John 19:28-30
7. Grace equips us will all spiritual gifts from God. Joel 2:28
8. Grace reiterates to us that we are justified and redeemed. Romans 3:24
9. Grace enables us to repent and come boldly in reverence to the Father. Hebrews 4:16
10. Grace reminds us that we are children of the Most High God. Galatians 3:29