GRACE + FAITH = VICTORY

"...For by grace are ye saved through faith...Not of works, lest any man should boast"

(Ephesians 2:8)

Grace is the aspect of the gospel that God did for us through Christ and Faith is the aspect of the gospel that we do because we believe what God had done for us in Christ Jesus. Grace says: "Hey the God of heaven has offered you his salvation through Christ" and Faith in the heart of the believer responds with excitement in this way: "Thank you Jesus! I receive your gift of salvation with joy and gladness today...Come into my heart and be my Lord and personal savior."

Then somebody asks: "So, what happens after receiving the gift of salvation? Should I engage in 'hyper-grace or hyper-works' as some commentators have opined?"

Not to worry! The balance of grace and faith still comes handy! Grace says, "See, the Father had made you the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, he had sanctified you to himself, he had presented you to himself holily and unblameably, he had blessed you with every spiritual bleesing in Christ Jesus, he had taken all your pains and diseases away, he had delivered you from every curse and bondage, he had become poor so that you through the poverty of Jesus might become rich...He had given you the power of attorney to rule and reign over demons and circumstances in the name of Jesus...He had given you a standing invitation to come boldly to the throne of grace where you can find mercy and grace to help in the time of need in prayers..." And as those words of faith are pumped into the heart of the new-creation child of God, he or she responds in faith like this: "Thank you father for whom you have made me to become in Christ, thank you father for what you have given me in Christ, thank you father for where you have brought me to in Christ. And because your sinless life is in me, I will allow that life to manifest through my thoughts, my words and my acts, I will do righteousness because you have become my righteousness, I will live a holy life because you made me 'holy and unblameable' in Christ, I will flow in health and healing because my pains are taken away, I will rule and reign in the name of Jesus, I will approach the throne of grace with my prayer points to obtain mercy and more grace as I grow in knowledge."

So, what happens if you fail or disobey God in the course of your christian journey? What happens if you die with an unconfessed sin? Will God not hate you? Will he not disown you? Will you not have lost his grace and salvation? Now, this is where the rubber meets the road in our christian journey. A militant believer (one who is always fighting to get God to give him or her what Christ had already gotten at redemption) will respond in FEAR. And the triumphant believer (one who is fighting the good fight of faith to enforce and maintain what Ghrist had already given) would respond in LOVE. The militand believer lives in the fear of God and the triumphant believer lives in the reverence of God, the militant believer lives under the fear that God is daily trying to catch up with his or her mistakes while the triumphant believer lives under the lovely knowing that God loved him or her even when he or she was not qualified to be loved. And because of that love, he or she will think right, talk right and do right.

So, in a nutshell, both the militant believer and the trimphant believer are doing something for God. The only difference, however, is in the MOTIVES or REASONS for their acts. One is borne out of FEAR and the other is borne out of FAITH and LOVE. And the scripture lets us know that whatever is not done in faith is sin (Romans 14:23). For without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:1). It is my prayer and expectation that this message will help someone to appreciate the place of the balance of grace and faith. It is not a case of 'hyper-grace' or 'hyper-works'. It is a case of the motive of that christianman or woman: Are they doing what they are doing to impress God out of fear or are they doing what they are doing in love and reverence to the finished work of redemption?

In conclusion, instead of worrying about 'hyper-grace' and 'hyper-works' we ought to focus on the knowing that it is a combination of GRACE AND FAITH THAT LEADS TO VICTORY in any area of our christian adventures...Little wonder the scripture declares this:

"...For by grace are ye saved through faith...Not of works, lest any man should boast"

(Ephesians 2:8)

The Floor is now open...Let me have your comments

Yours in His service,

Dr. Iyke Nwambie

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