Grace And Faith
Paul tells us that our salvation is "by grace — through faith — " (Eph. 2:8). Some people have explained this by saying that grace is God's part in salvation, and faith is man's part. This is, when properly understood, a correct statement of the situation. There is more to both "grace" and "faith" than we are wont to believe.
"Grace," the unmerited favor of God, God's part in man's salvation, is easily understood as a "state of mind" on the part of God. The only knowledge man has of the grace of God is as God has chosen to reveal His mind. For example, we have an insight into the mind of God when we consider what God has done for sinful man. The "unmerited favor of God" is best seen in the gift of Jesus Christ as a ransom of man (Matt. 20:28; John 3:16), in the revealing of His "eternal purpose" (Eph. 3:10-11), and in the making known of the "power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16). Our point is very simple: the grace of God was made known by the overt deeds of God.
Man must also make his faith known by deeds done. James said, ". . .I by my works will show thee my faith" (Jas. 2:18). The works are not the boastful works of man's wisdom (Eph. 2:8,9), but are the simple works of humble obedience prompted by love (John 14:15; Gal. 5:6). Without these works of obedience (love) our faith is "barren" (Jas. 2:20), immature or imperfect (Jas. 2: 22), and "dead" (Jas. 2:17, 26). "He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life..." (John 3:36, ASV).
P. O. Box 331, Oak Ridge, Tennessee