In a previous blog “What Is the Difference Between Grace and Mercy” we found that the Biblical application is different from what most theological expositors give. We found that “mercy” was more often used under the Old Covenant and presented a compassionate Creator Who rather than meting out punishment immediately for breaking the covenant, chose to delay final judgment until an appointed time. He, instead, received a sacrifice in which was symbolized the final payment for the trespass. We then found that “grace”, which is a term which is more prevalent in the New Covenant, changed the situation from “delayed judgment” to it is “paid in full”. Then “God”s eager willingness to do good for you” became the attitude of the New Covenant. Grace becomes a free gift. We can not do anything to deserve it because we accept the payment which was completed by Someone Who fulfilled the covenant. How to receive grace, that is the question.
What does the Bible say?
If you wish to know how the covenant works, you need to check with the author of the covenant. For those of us who call ourselves Christian we are blessed because we have been given an in depth and detailed copy of the covenant that we rest in. It is called The Bible. It is divided into two “covenants”, the old and the new. As we studied the two in our blog “What Is the Opposite of Sinner”, we found that the picture that the Bible presents as a “sinner” is one who breaks the covenant. This was first shown in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree and thereby breaking covenant with their Creator.
1 Corinthians 15:22 (KJV)
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Romans 5:12 (KJV)
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by
sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
God, Himself, instituted the sacrificial system by which final judgment would be delayed (mercy) until the total price could be paid by the promised Redeemer.
Once the New Covenant was established by the spotless Lamb of God, Jesus, then the whole situation was changed.
2 Corinthians 1:20 (KJV)
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him
Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Wow! What a great proclamation! Now God is saying “Yes” to every promise that He has ever made. It will take many blogs to cover that statement. But let us get back to how we receive this grace which fulfills all the promises.
For by grace are you saved through faith
This is what Ephesians 2:8 says:
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before
ordained that we should walk in them.
In these verses we see that grace is brought by faith. We know from Hebrews 11 that “faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.” By this we know that faith is not some ethereal dream but is real substance and real evidence. OK. If faith is necessary to receive grace how do we get faith. In Ephesian 2:8 it says it is a gift. It implies that we have nothing to do with the getting or working at something to get it. It clearly states that we can not boast about how we got our faith. Well, you say, just how do we get faith by which we receive grace?
Faith comes by hearing
In Romans 10 Paul writes of the condition of the person who comes to salvation in Christ Jesus. He grounds it all in faith. This is how that faith comes:
Romans 10:17 (KJV)
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Most of us stop here and say that that means hearing preaching and going to church. But that is not what it says. Paul, ahead of this statement goes into confession and believing which are part of the growing process, but the driving force is faith. If you look at verse 17 closely you see that it says, “faith comes by hearing”. If you do not understand English grammar you might miss what is being said here. It does not say, “faith comes by hearing” the word of God. It says, “faith comes by hearing, and (that particular type of) hearing by the Word of God.” So the first hearing is referring to something other than just the written word of God. Do not misunderstand, the written Word of God is the beginning of the process. There is no faith apart from the written word of God.
The “hearing” which brings faith is that hearing which Jesus described in Matthew 16 when He asked His disciples who the people thought He was.
Matthew 16:16-18 (KJV)
Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood
hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church;
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Jesus made it clear that Peter did not get that revelation by his own intellect, but that it was given to him by the Father, Himself. Then Jesus goes on to say that it is upon “this rock”(revealed knowledge from the very throne of God) that He would build His church.” This is the “hearing” referred to in Romans 10:17.
It is the written and spoken Word of God which brings the revelation Word of God by which we receive faith. We have nothing to do with it. It is totally a gift from God. He has done it all. He and His Word do it all. We have no place to boast or take any credit whatsoever.
How to receive grace
I am convinced that once the grace of God is revealed to someone they cannot help but in awe and wonder be overflowed by it.
The problem is not in getting people to receive God’s grace, it is that we have people who say they are Christians but have never experienced the grace of God in their lives. Does that mean they are not Christians? More than likely, yes. I know that when I experienced the grace of God in my life I was changed completely. I thought I was a “Christian” when I experience it, but as I studied the Word I found out differently. I came to know Jesus, personally, 54 years ago. The peace and joy and confidence that He brought into me has never waned but has grown and is ever new overflowing. Grace cannot be fully described with human words. That is how wonderful it is.
When you experienced the grace of God and you become a new creation in Christ, you can not get enough of the Word of God. As you fill up on the Word you will find what is coming out of your mouth is the Word of God. As you plant that word in the lives of everyone you meet it will begin to bring the crop of “revelation” in the lives of those with whom you share it. Then will come faith by which they will receive the grace of God.
When you have experienced the grace of God you will become like Peter in
Acts 4:20 (KJV)
20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
For by grace are you saved through faith..
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
If you have any questions or any thoughts on this subject, please leave a comment below and I shall be glad to respond. God bless you.