The Big Cover-Up
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV)
It is by the empowerment of God’s grace that we can serve and obey Him acceptably. Grace redeems, but even more so, it allows us to live freely from ungodliness and sin.
It is absolutely impossible to live a life worthy of our calling in our own strength. If you have to work for it, it’s not grace. But this should encourage us! No amount of work or charity could ever earn our place in heaven; if we had to earn salvation, we would all be in a lot of trouble. Grace is a gift received freely through faith in Jesus.
The evidence of grace in someone’s life, however, is in their obedience to God. His grace is not a free pass to keep doing what we want when we know it’s contradictory to His Word or will. No amount of church attendance or Bible studies can cancel out our willful disobedience. We must instead receive grace as our commission to obedience.
Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:17-18 NKJV)
James is not saying that Paul’s teaching is false! Believing in God also means obeying His will and Word. Simply saying you have faith doesn’t prove it. It is through walking out obedience that God’s grace is truly evident in your life.
Are grace and faith visible in your life, or are they only present in your words?
Adapted from Enemy Access Denied (Charisma House, 2006).