The Grace-Faith Balance
As Christians, we accept that Jesus is our foundation. Everything we do should be built upon Him, but that’s not always how we act. Instead of accessing everything we need through what Christ has already done, oftentimes, we try to make things happen for ourselves in our own strength and become frustrated with God when we’re unsuccessful.
So, I ask you: are you building on your own abilities and performance, or are you building on what Jesus’s accomplishment at the cross has made available for you? If you truly believe that Jesus is your foundation, you must come to the place where you are secure in Him. If you’re always trying to add something to Jesus by your own efforts—how long you pray, how much you fast, or how many times you come to church—then you’re not secure in Him. It is vital to understand that you build on the foundation of Jesus based on what Jesus has done and not based on what you can do. That comes by understanding how grace and faith work together in your life.
Grace is God’s part; faith is our part. You can’t separate the Grace of God from Jesus because grace is not a subject matter; it is a person—Jesus. Grace has made everything available that you’ll ever need in your life, according to Second Peter 1:3. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” Grace is part of God’s character. Before God put Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, His grace made everything they needed available. Even after they sinned, grace was made available to us through Christ’s work on the cross. Through Jesus, we have access to grace.
How do we receive the manifestation of that grace? That’s where faith comes in. Romans 5:2 says that we access God’s grace through faith. God has done so much for us by grace, but for us to receive what He’s done, there must be a positive response on our part. That positive response is called faith. This is the same process that occurred when we received the gift of salvation—you were saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).
If you truly believe that God has already given you everything you need through grace, your response changes from doing something to get a response from God to responding to what God has already done for you. You are no longer praying, fasting, or going to church to get God to heal you or make provisions for you. Why? Because you know that God already did it. Your prayers change from begging God to do something to thanking Him for what’s already been done and receiving the wisdom you need to see it manifest. You don’t fast to change God’s mind, but to get your own mind in alignment with His. You respond to God’s work through faith. Faith moves you into a position to receive what God has already provided by grace.
While faith does require action on your part, that action is a natural response to what you know is already done. It doesn’t come from working in your own strength to get God to move. The doctrine of “self-help” has no place in the church because the grace of God is obtained through Jesus, not through our efforts. With Jesus as our firm foundation, everything we need has already been provided to us through God’s grace. It’s a matter of whether we choose to accept it through faith.