“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— [Ephesians 2:8]
“The world can do almost anything as well as or better than the church,” says Gordon MacDonald, “You need not be a Christian to build houses, feed the hungry, or heal the sick. There is only one thing the world cannot do. It cannot offer grace.” The gift we have received is the gift we give—the fact is we cannot give faith—faith is man’s response to God’s gift. Three facts to remember about faith this morning:
1). Faith responds to God’s Grace We often speak about faith as something we have to ‘do’ but faith first and foremost is the act of opening the heart to God—opening the window of the soul to the revelation of grace—the unmerited favor—the awesome, unconditional love of God for ‘whosoever will’.
2). Not of me The difficulty comes in accepting the fact -there’s nothing you can do for it—it’s free by faith—! This is one of those ‘law of first mention’ principles that began with Abraham who ‘by faith’ believed God and surrendered his life.
3). Not by works The way faith began [by grace] is the way faith continues—everything is by grace through faith—faith is the channel through which God’s gift of grace flows. Unless grace is received the plans of man have no eternality—no lasting effect.
Grace—this glorious assurance that the God of the universe has plans and purposes dependent upon His own making. The only thing we can ‘do’ is receive and in receiving man becomes the conduit of the gift to the world. Think about it…a blind man who can see nothing with the physical eye—no crucifix, no symbols, no pictures, nothing– can suddenly ‘by grace’ move in faith toward God because someone gives grace!
Further reading: ~ Psalm 89:1-18 ~ Ephesians 2
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