Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

God's Grace and Our Faith

If you check the many occurrences of the word “grace” in the Bible you will find expressions like these:

Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. (Acts 6:8 NIV)

When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God. (Acts 13:43 NIV)

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:3 NIV)

Continue your search and you find that grace belongs to God. Now do the same with the word “faith.” Here are a few examples:

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints… (Ephesians 1:15 NIV)

I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus. (Acts 20:21 NIV)

So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. (Acts 27:25 NIV)

As you continue your search you will find that faith belongs to man to be placed in God. I am not saying that faith is not a gift from God. I am saying that the Bible says that faith is something that man can have and that it is placed in God. Grace is something that God has that He gives to man.

Here are two verses, Romans 5:1 and 2a, to meditate on.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. (NIV)

When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed. (Acts 18:27 NIV)

(An excerpt from On Being a Christian by Jim Wilson)

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