By Steve Corgan
I’ve always heard that “grace” is God’s unmerited favor. While that definition is true, it is far from complete. John 1:14,16-17 says,
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.”
If you wanted to pick one word to characterize the Old Covenant you would have to say the Law. The one, comprehensive, all-inclusive word that describes what the New Covenant is about is GRACE. Moses was God’s emissary of the Law but the revelation of grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Jesus was full of grace and we received of His fullness grace upon grace, or grace piled on top of grace. John 1:18 in the Amplified version says,
“No man has ever seen God at any time: the only unique Son, the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom (in the intimate presence) of the Father, He has declared Him, He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known.” John is telling us that nobody really knew what God is like. Moses and the Old Testament reveal the law, but not God. Jesus brought God out into the open where He could be seen. And what is He like? He’s full of grace and truth. He’s the embodiment of God’s unconditional, unmerited love and favor.
“I Was Wrong”
I have spent most of my Christian life learning about faith, how to walk by faith, how to release my faith, how to confess my faith, and how to build my faith as though faith is what our relationship with God is all about. But I was wrong. The central focus of our walk with Jesus isn’t my faith but rather His grace. You might be thinking, “But Steve, without faith it’s impossible to please God.” OK, let me ask you a question. Where does faith come from? Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing the word of God. A closer look will reveal a more complete understanding of this verse. The Greek word translated “word” in vs. 17 is “rhema”, which means a spoken word.
The Amplified Version got it right: “So faith comes by hearing what is told, and what is heard comes by the preaching of the message that came from the lips of Christ the Messiah Himself.” Romans 10:17 In other words, faith comes by hearing the message that Jesus preached. What did He preach? The message of grace. The law came through Moses but grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. The truth that God loves you unconditionally, He’s not mad at you, and He’s no longer taking into account your sins and holding them against you for He made peace between Himself and all mankind at the cross (2 Cor. 5:19, Col. 2:12-14).
You see, even faith comes as a result of hearing and understanding this message of the grace of God that Jesus preached. That’s why when Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith it’s impossible to please God, it also says that as a prerequisite to faith that you must believe that God is a rewarder of the them that Seek Him. If you, in your heart, don’t Believe that God is good, full of grace, and a rewarder it will be impossible for you to come to Him in faith. You may attempt to draw near to Him out of fear, guilt, need, or condemnation, but none of those motives are based on faith.
Only a revelation of God’s grace, as demonstrated by the fact that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, can produce faith in our hearts.
Romans 2:4 says that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance. Somewhere down deep in your heart you had to believe that God is good and that you would find help (reward) when you came to Him, or you never would have come. That is the kind of faith that pleases God. I’ll tell you the truth, facing life’s problems believing that God is angry, vengeful, judging you, and probably the one behind your problems doesn’t make a person want to run to Him. In fact it’s just this kind of wrong message that has kept people away from the church in crowds.
Saved by grace through faith
“But aren’t we saved by faith?” NO. We’re saved by grace, through faith. “Yes but it’s through faith”, you might emphasize. In Romans 5:2 the Bible says, “…we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand.” Our introduction into the grace of God is by faith. Have you ever read the introduction to a book? It usually consists of a brief paragraph or maybe a few pages followed by perhaps hundreds of pages expounding the main theme of the book. In our relationship with God, the introduction is by faith but the rest of the “book”, the main point of the story, (I’m speaking figuratively), is about grace.
We’ve gotten stuck on the introduction and mistaken it for the message. The faith-producing message that Jesus preached is the revelation of GOD’S GRACE.
That message is what produces faith for living, faith for healing, faith for prosperity, and faith for victory in the life of the believer. You don’t get more faith so you can have more grace. That’s works and therefore no longer grace. You get more revelation of God’s grace and the supernatural by product is faith.
Faith comes by hearing the message of God’s grace that Jesus preached! He came to bring God out into the open where He could be seen!