Faith, Works & Grace - the Balance
A challenge for both new and old Christians is falling into a “works” mentality - that somehow what we do will please God and thus ensure our salvation. True, God is pleased by our obedience, but it is only through Christ that we receive His grace and ultimately our salvation. It is oftentimes easier to “check-off the box” of doing good works than to strive to understand and live by grace. On the other hand, if we pride ourselves on the knowledge and understanding of grace, without it motivating us to love and serve the Lord, then we are in danger of becoming lukewarm in our commitment to Jesus Christ. Clearly, we need to understand the balance between faith, works and grace.
We need faith to please God.
Faith is more than intellectual belief – it results in action. Compare Genesis 22:20-24. Note the interrelationship between faith and obedience.
The Bible clearly teaches that we are not saved by our own efforts. It is because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of this great gift from God, it should motivate us to love and obedience toward God.
We are saved not because of our righteous deeds, but by his mercy. Grace is unmerited favor or mercy. The fact that we do not earn or deserve it, does not mean that we can do as we please (Jude 4).
1 Corinthians 15:10
Grace will have its effect.
It is because of grace that we strive to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives.