Faith is needed to fight life’s daily battles. Grace is incapable of fighting any battles. Each day of this life is a new effort to win one battle or the other. Grace does not help to resolve issues of life when they come, faith does! Whether it is a love-relationship brouhaha, a physiological dysfunction, a career-headache or an unresolvable workplace conflict, something always creeps up in our lives, that will require faith and not grace, to overcome. No one wants to fight any life battles. At least, most people just want to live a quiet, prosperous and peaceable life. But, whether we likes it or not, life is bound to throw one challenge or the other in one’s ways. It takes genuine faith to overcome life’s issues whenever they show up.
This life is more spiritual than it is physical. There are more going on in the realms of the unseen than there are in the seen. Even in secular and scientific world, there is more of unseen atoms, gases, radio-waves, etc., that are relied upon, by scientists and others, for the physical advances of technology that we all enjoy today. Faith is also a reliance on spiritually available facts to make advances in life’s affairs. Christian faith is a spiritual dependence on unseen powers and devices of God that overturns physical realities and mentally affirmed information. It is a trust in the superiority of Bible-affirmed supernatural provisions.
Everybody lives by some kind of faith or the other. Some live by faith in physically affirmed facts, while others lived by faith in Bible-affirmed facts. Even among those who lean on Bible information for faith, many live by diluted words-of-mouth of a “trusted” preacher more than they do on the actual, genuine, originally available, written truths, and, words of God Himself. So, everybody has faith in one form of “valid” truth or fact or the other. The difference between real victorious faith and blind-non-working faith is that one is man-reliant while the other is God-reliant. Compared to most other religious faiths, Christians seems to be the ones who come short of needed tenacity, partly because hyper-grace peddlers have succeeded in deceiving many into a faithless, God-has-done-it or God-will-do-it mentality. True Christian faith requires the believer to do a part, based on the part that God has done, through Christ JESUS.
The difference between the Bible’ s King-Saul-faith to confront Goliath and the young David prevailing faith, is that the former had a form of godliness without current, on going, true-reliance on God, while the latter had experiential, functioning reliance on God. The first had knowledge of God’s potential power while the second had knowledge and convinced reliance on God’s current-flowing dynamic power. See 1 Samuel 17.
Faith is an active response to a belief and a conviction. Grace is that nice outreaching etiquette that gains another person’s attention. JESUS once asked if the son of man will find faith when he comes back on earth. See Luke 18:8. Whether it is in the divine realm or in simple courtesies, grace will always be present here with us on earth. But, faith can run short of supply. Faith is combustible like gas in an automobile. Faith needs re-fueling. Faith needs re-charging. True faith is recharged by feeding on God’s words. True faith is needful for “fighting” and fighting-back, ever-increasing or ever-present, ubiquitous, life’s battles. True Bible-days-like faith are becoming rarer to find among overwhelming church-goers today.
We understand from scriptures that God is pleased or “entertained” by faith, not by grace.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)
God enjoys the spectacles of those working-out genuine faith. God is impressed when people trust in His divine ability and they so act. God loves it when someone overlooks intimidating physical challenges and turns to His affirmed promise, taking “physically risky” steps aiming to prove God faithful. The young militarily-inexperienced, assault-gear under-equipped David was a naturally “stupid”, “foolish”, “crowd-impressing”, “applause-seeking” boy in the eyes of many of the on-looking “battle-trained soldiers”. Just as it is today, many inactive-faith people are always waiting to see active-faith people fail where they did not try. David was a significant man. He was not playing to the gallery, nor doing any of what he did for popularity or relevance. He was rather propelled by inner convictions.
While the king and other soldiers took time to wear relevantly impressive combat-gears that could not win the battle, the faith-full lad stepped out in all vulnerability, fired up by an inner understanding of God’s dynamic and ever current abilities to back him up. He charged forward regardless that it could turn out that he was only acting foolish. He lurched out all the same, trusting his spiritual instincts and not his mental apprehensions. David spoke of his apprehensions. Not minding that it could turn out true and fatal, he went ahead, playing His faith-full part, trusting in what God had done, and was able to do alongside himself. King Saul and his army were full of “graces” and “graciousness” while David was full of life-risking, faith. At the end of the day David’s true faith won that battle for his nation while everyone else watched it happen!
King Saul was a product of grace, just as much as the shepherd boy David was. David became more important, praised by men, and praised by God, because, of his active faith, and not just because he was anointed by grace. David did the right things by faith! Though King Saul was equally anointed by grace,. he lacked the ability to lean-in or trust God when it was needed and when it mattered. See scriptures in 1 Samuel 17
True faith will win today’s battles too. Sitting-in on benefits of grace will wins no demonically inspired and oppressive battles.
- By faith Abraham pleased God, after God had chosen him by grace. Galatians 3:6, Rom. 4:3
- By Faith Noah took calculated steps and strategies to built a physical ship or ark, after God had chose him by grace. Genesis 6:8
- By faith, the woman that was caught in the act of adultery, stopped sinning, as instructed by JESUS, and served His kingdom in purity, with her substance, making Biblical headlines afterwards, after she was received into the kingdom by grace. John 8:11
No one will be accepted into heaven because of grace, rather, people will be received by the fruits that they bore after grace was given! Matthew 7:17-23
“It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 (The Message Bible)
The Place of Grace VS The Place of Faith!
- Grace is what God has done! Faith is what you are expected to DO with grace!!
- God finds mankind by grace & He expects man to follow Him afterwards by Faith.
- God gave salvation to man by grace & He expects saved man to live afterwards by Faith.
- By the grace of God, everything that sinful man or woman needs to access God has been DONE by Christ JESUS. As an acknowledgement of the free-spiritual-access and forgiveness, every believer is expected to DO faith,
- The works of the cross is done by Christ, the works of the kingdom is expected to be done by the believer, in true worship, purity, in Christ-likeness and acts of FAITH.
- Faith is WORKS. Faith is ACTS. Faith is a PERFORMANCE of the WILL of God! Faith is not a reticent plea for God to do something about life’s circumstances, FAITH is an undertaken responsibility on behalf of God, through the endowments in Christ JESUS. FAITH does not push responsibility back to God, faith takes responsibility based on beliefs in God and His words!
Nothing was ever achieved by a believer who sits down to just appreciate the pleasures and benefits of grace. Much is expected to be achieved on the platform that grace has given. Grace is like the seed of talent given to different folks, some will keep it, to return back intact to Christ, and they will be severely judged! While some others will “invest” the grace, have multiplied fruits from it, and receive the master’s commendation. See scripture. Matthew 25:14-30
Grace is like the debt-forgiveness of a servant. The servant could take the debt-forgiveness and refuse to “share”, “extend its benefit”, or “reproduce the loving act of kindness” to others that owe him or her. Then judgement is going to come afterwards for not DOing right! Grace should be transferable! The nature of the giver of grace is expected to be imbibed and transferred to others too. See scripture.
The Law-fanatic Saul, turned Grace-chanting Paul, wrote more on how believers should behave or conduct their Christian Lifestyles than he wrote about grace itself. Check all his letter in the new testament and see how much he taught on church-service conducts, ministerial ethics, family-discipline, sexual orientations & conducts, women-fashion, separated, outstanding, holy-living and so on and so forth.
While acknowledging on one side of the coin, that legalism of the law was no basis for qualification or distinguished recognition before God, he also more emphatically rolled out many guidelines on acceptable Christian behavior. In his series of letters to the Phillipians, Ephesians, Galatians, Collosians, Titus, etc. He wrote against alcoholism. He wrote against same-sex marriages. He wrote against religious hypocrisy. While he told leaders what to do as good leaders, he equally challenged followers on what to do in following leaders as they follow after Christ. No apostle wrote more to-DO-lists to believers than apostle Paul. He requested for good WORKS in each of those letters that we now know as New Testament scriptures.
Nobody could have written better on grace that apostle Paul because he came to an understanding that he was heading south because of Jewish-laws UNTIL grace turned him about in the right, faith-direction, giving him the chance to DO a lot more than he was zealously doing for blind-faith-religion. That he wrote so much about the qualifying messages of grace was never a replacement for motivated ACTIONS of FAITH! Apostle Paul tried within the context of his times to separate between reliance on working-out of Jewish-laws and kingdom working out of Jesus-Grace. Either of the two belief-systems requires actions of faith. He made enough reasons that we should stand on JESUS-Grace platform and not self-effort to prove to God that we qualify. Nothing that we do morally qualifies before God. What Christ JESUS DID qualifies us to DO the will of God after salvation! One of the wills of God is that we “walk by faith, and not by sight”
Every significant achievement and examples in scripture were actions of faith.
- Abram LEFT family and tradition and comfort zone, & headed out into risky, dangerous, ambigous and anticipated territory that God said he WOULD show him
- Noah BUILT an ark. Why did God not drop an extra-terrestrial object to save those that needed, salvation? He did not do it, because He want man to do it.
- Nehemiah TOOK a life& death risk, LEFT his job, TRAVELED into hostile territory, to REBUILD a city-wall, for a people who didn’t ask him. He made a faith-decision. Why did God not re-construct a new border-wall for the country by himself? It because He wants man to do it.
- The woman with the issue of blood, who defied the religious rules, stepping-up in the throng of strong men, to touch the hem of JESUS garment, because she believed in JESUS, and trusted that she would be healed of her ailment. Her expectations and acts of faith were divinely affirmed. But why didn’t God or JESUS automatically heal her and countless others, who had more or less sicknesses in those days, without her determination and steps. It is because He wants us to step up by faith!
Grace is not new! It is the nature that God had always exhibited from ages past. It is a nature of JESUS that made him cross cultural barriers to reach the unreached and the societal rejects of times when it was not the religious thing to do. It is the nature that made JESUS walk and relate with “dirty”, “unlearned” and “unkempt” “commoners! Grace is not a merchandized, branded ,christian product, that keeps people happy and living same old lives after salvation. Grace is a true investment of God, especially amplified in Christ, to qualify the disqualified. Grace in God’s outstretched hands in Christ to those who feel condemned. Grace is God’s invitation to all who needs divine encounters and divine love. Grace is an unconditional acceptance of those who are willing to come enjoy kingdom benefits. Grace provide kingdom acceptance for people to begin to learn to DO what is acceptable to God.