Grace vs. Faith

Several years ago, I was asked to define “Grace.” I thought about it wondering how I should answer that. Were they asking for a definition of the word, or what Grace is? I’m sure every Christian heard Grace defined as, “God’s Unmerited Favor.” Or, “God’s kindness.” But what does that mean? In my mind, it is more of a philosophical definition and won’t really help anyone.

So, I tried to come up with a working definition . . . and I heard a teaching on Grace and the teacher described grace as: “God’s ability to do, what you don’t have the ability to do.” I like that! In fact, I have used the definition many times since. For example, do you have the ability to save yourself? Of course not. What does it require? It requires Grace: God’s Ability!

Look at a few verses and think of that definition and see if it fits:

  • Proverbs 3:34
    Though He scoffs at the scoffers and scorns the scorners, Yet He gives His grace [His ability] to those who give up self-importance.
  • Isaiah 26:10
    When grace [His ability] is shown to the wicked, they do not learn righteousness; even in a land of rightousness, they go on doing evil and do not regard the majesty of the Lord.
  • Jonah 2:8
    “Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace [His ability] that could be theirs
  • Luke 2:40
    And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace [ the ability] of God was upon him.
  • John 1:14
    The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace [God’s ability] and truth.
  • John 1:16
    From the fullness of his grace [God’s ability] we have all received one blessing after another
  • John 1:17
    For the law was given through Moses; grace [God’s ability] and truth came through Jesus Christ
  • Acts 4:33
    With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace [God’s ability] was upon them all

I could list many more verses, but I think you get the point. So now, to expand our understanding I am going to remind you of a very important principle. Whenever you are praying for some “thing,” you will need faith. Faith changes things. However, when you are praying for some “one,” faith won’t work, you need grace! That is because faith changes things, but Grace changes people. Write that on a sticky note pad and slap it to your mirror so you can see it every morning. When you are praying for a circumstance or situation you find yourself in, use your faith.

However, if you are praying for a family member or a friend, you need to ask that the Grace of God will affect the needed changes. What do I mean? Well, if you are trying to quit smoking, don’t ask for more faith to overcome the addiction. Ask for His Grace – His ability – to overcome the addiction. As i said: Faith changes things, but Grace changes people!

When someone asks me to pray for healing, I use my faith and speak directly to that illness or affliction. However, if you ask me to pray for your cousin Billy Joe, I was call on my Father’s Grace to find Billy Joe and draw him in; to hound him and reveal the reality of Jesus to his [Billy Joe’s] spirit. Do you see the difference?

My wife is a Nurse, and she will often send me a text asking me to pray for her day. Which is rather vague, but I usually know what she is asking for. So, I pray for peace to settle on the facility where she works; that the Holy Spirit would bring Grace to settle on my wife, her co-workers and the patients. But mostly that she could experience the Grace [His ability] to maintain a peaceful spirit even in the midst of chaos. And you can do the same thing.

Tell you what. I am going to give you some homework, this morning. I want you to put all this to work in your own life. Begin to pray for Grace [God’s ability] to work in someone’s life. It won’t happen overnight. Grace often takes time because you are dealing with a person’s will. Our Father will never violate a person’s will!

Then, use your faith and speak directly to a particular situation or circumstance. Don’t hem or haw about it. Speak directly to the “thing,” and command it, in the Name of Jesus, to change!

Then begin to send me the results of your prayers. Tell me of the successes, as well as the failures. I want to know if this has helped your understanding or frustrated you even more.

Doulos Studies

(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add youm—a to the list: Mail List)

I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.

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