19. Faith & Grace

Grace Short Meditations: 19. Faith & Grace 

 Rom 5:2 “through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand”

For the believer there is always a massive link to be made. It is the link between reading the words, or even hearing them preached each week, and putting them into practice and proving their reality. Whenever we teach studying the Bible we say, first find out the meaning of the passage as the writer originally meant it, second what are the principles or lessons to be learnt here and, third, how do we apply them. The first two are the relatively easy parts; it is the third part that is the hardest and that means not just understanding what is possible and how it can be done, but actually doing it.

I cannot but help remember the testimony and teaching of John Wimber who left us quite a while back. When he first picked up the Bible and read it and went to church, he asked a leader, when are we going to do the stuff. This isn’t the place to go into the depth of what he meant but it does present an enormous challenge – do we do the stuff Jesus spoke about and if you want to scale that down to the personal everyday life level, are we actually experiencing all this stuff we’ve been talking about, about grace?

Now in this verse above from Romans we find a clue as to perhaps why many don’t experience all this stuff. The Pandemic of 2020-21 perhaps worked as litmus paper. You know what that is? You probably learnt about it in chemistry at school. You dip it in a liquid and it changes either to red or blue depending on whether the liquid is an acid or alkali. The Pandemic revealed (and perhaps carries on revealing) the sort of people we are. It was (and is?) a period requiring grace to cope, and if people didn’t have that grace, they got stressed and anxious. But what is the thing that lets grace flow in us?  Faith, says Paul.

Here is the link between faith and grace. Grace is the sovereign hand of God reaching out to give us all His resources, faith is the way we reach out and receive it. Faith, we have often said, is simply responding to what God says. God speaks His intention. Faith is the open heart that says, “Yes, Lord, I believe you.” And when He sees the open heart His Spirit comes and enables, equips, provides what it is we need – wisdom, understanding, peace, assurance, strength, perseverance etc. etc. Faith receives it and lives it out, grace abounding in and through us, looking the challenges (the Goliaths) in the eye and stepping out to deal with them with all of those resources.  If we don’t have the resources we are left with fear, uncertainty, doubt, worry and so on. The presence of God that we open ourselves to, and the grace we receive by faith, is what changes everything.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s