Faith And Grace Inseparable

Kathy Overshiner

Our salvation comes as a gift of God’s grace and is assigned by the response of our faith.  To understand God’s gift of salvation we must understand the process of faith and grace.

God’s requirement for receiving his free gift of salvation is faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is what we believe about Jesus and our heart’s response of trust that causes us to follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:23-26. The New Testament interpretation of faith comprises four important items:  1. Faith means constantly believing and trusting in the crucified and resurrected Christ as our personal Lord and Savior.

Romans 1: 17; 

“For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.”

The righteous person continues to live by faith and by doing this he will grow in faith from one level of maturity to the next. Because of this, the believer will progress along the path of righteousness a fulfilling rich spiritual life.  It involves believing with all our hearts, giving up our will and committing our complete selves to Jesus as he is revealed in the New Testament.

2. Faith involves true repentance, turning from sin in true sorrow and turning to God through our Lord and Savior Jesus.  A repentant faith is always a saving faith.

Acts 17:30;

“In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people every-where to repent.” 

In the past before full knowledge about God came through Jesus Christ, God overlooked much of man’s sin and ignorance of Himself. Now that His complete and perfect revelation has come with Jesus’s appearing, all of us are commanded to repent and believe in Jesus. There are no exceptions, for God will no longer overlook anyone’s sins.  We all must turn from sin to God or be condemned. Repentance is an essential attitude for receiving the gift of salvation.

3. Faith includes obedience to Christ and his Word as a way of life inspired by our faith, by our gratitude to God and by the regenerating work of the Spirit. It is an obedience that comes through faith.  Faith and obedience are therefore, inseparable. Saving faith without our commitment to sanctification is impossible.

Hebrews 5:8-9;

“Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”        

God’s incarnate son, Jesus, learned by human experience what it means to obey God when encompassed by intense suffering and temptations. Jesus became a perfect Savior and high priest because his death and suffering were completed without sin. Therefore, Jesus is qualified in every way to bring us all eternal salvation.

4. Faith includes a heartfelt personal devotion and attachment to our Lord that reveals itself in love, trust, loyalty and gratitude. Faith in an extreme sense cannot correctly differentiate from love. It is a personal activity of trust and loving self-giving to Christ directly.

Galatians 2:20;

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

The apostle Paul describes his relationship to Jesus in terms of a profound personal relationship (attachment) to and reliance on Jesus. Those of us who have faith in Jesus live our lives in intimate union with our Lord both in his death and resurrection.  All believers in Christ have been crucified with Him on the cross. We have died to the law as a means of salvation and now we live through Jesus for God. Because of salvation In Jesus, sin no longer has control over us.

Faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savor is not only an act of a single moment, but also a progressing attitude that must grow and strengthen. Because we have faith in Jesus who died for us, our faith should grow greater. With trust and obedience it will develop into loyalty and devotion and this develops into an intense feeling of personal attachment to and love for Jesus. This faith brings us into a new relationship with God our Father and exempts up from his wrath. With this new relationship we become dead to sin, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. (I like to remind myself I am the property of Jesus).

Grace means we are given what we don’t deserve; God’s unearned favor. God’s grace is his goodness and favor offered to sinners who deserve his wrath. It is ours by accepting God’s mercy extended to us through Jesus' death for our sins. Justice is getting what we deserve; mercy is being spared what we deserve. The New Testament highlights the theme of God’s grace in the giving of his Son on behalf of undeserving sinners.  God’s grace is multiplied to believers through the Holy Spirit, imparting forgiveness, acceptance and power to do God’s will. Our whole movement of our Christian life from beginning to end is dependent on God’s grace.

1 Corinthians 15: 10  

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them-yet, not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.”

Grace is God’s presence and love through Jesus given to believers by the Holy Spirit, imparting to them God’s mercy, forgiveness and the power to do God’s will.

God gives a measure of grace as a gift to unbelievers so that they may be able to believe in the Lord Jesus

Ephesians: 2; 8-9;

“For it is grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are god’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God gives us grace to believers to be “set free from sin” “to will and to act according to his good purpose;” obedience, to pray, to grow in Christ and to witness for Christ. God’s grace must be continuously desired and sought. Some of the ways (means of grace,) are humbling our- selves before God, studying and obeying the scripture, hearing the proclamation of the gospel, praying, fasting, worshipping Jesus, being continually filled with the Holy Spirit, and participating in the Lord’s Supper.

God’s grace can be resisted, received in vain, put out, set aside, and abandoned by the believer.

Galatians 5:4;

“You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.”

Some Galatians had transferred their faith in Jesus to faith in legalistic observances of the law. Paul states they had fallen away from grace. To fall from grace is to be alienated from Jesus; to abandon the principle of remaining in God’s grace, which provides life and salvation.  

Faith and Grace are inseparable, through God’s love and mercy, He has given us the greatest gift mankind does not deserve, but Because God loved us so;

John 3:16-17

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” 

I have heard people say that they believed that there were many ways to get to heaven, including doing just good works. But Jesus said there was only one way to the father and it was through him.

John 14:6;

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the light: no man cometh unto the father, but by me!”