“It is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9
God is gracious…
Because God is gracious, sinful people are forgiven, converted, purified, and saved. It’s not because of anything in them, or anything that ever can be in them, that they are saved; it’s because of the boundless love, goodness, pity, compassion, mercy, and grace of God.
It’s because “his love endures forever” (1 Chronicles 16:41) that we are not destroyed. It’s because “his compassions never fail” (Lamentations 3:22) that sinners are brought to Him and forgiven.
Remember these things or you may fall into error by focusing so much on your faith that you forget that grace is the source of faith itself.
Faith is the work of God’s grace in us…
Faith is the work of God’s grace in us. No one can say that Jesus is the Christ except by the Holy Ghost. Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44).
So faith is the result of divine drawing. Grace is the first and last cause of salvation while faith acts as an important part of the machinery which grace employs.
It’s important to remember that we’re saved “through faith,” but salvation is “by grace.”
Faith occupies the position of a channel. Grace is the fountain and the stream; faith is the along which the flood of grace flows down to refresh the thirsty.
But faith is only the channel and not the fountainhead, and we must not place it above the grace of God. Our life is found in “fixing our eyes on Jesus,” (Hebrews 12:2) not in fixing our eyes on our own faith. By faith all things become possible to us; yet the power is not in the faith, but in the God upon whom faith relies.
Encouragment for those whose faith is weak…
So you see, the weakness of your faith will not destroy you. A trembling hand may receive a golden gift. The Lord’s salvation can come to us though we have only faith as a grain of mustard seed because the power lies in the grace of God, and not in our faith.
Great messages can be sent along slender wires, and the peace-giving witness of the Holy Spirit can reach the heart by means of a thread-like faith which seems almost unable to sustain its own weight.
Think more of Him to whom you look than of the look itself. You must look away even from your own looking, and see nothing but Jesus, and the grace of God revealed in Him.
– Charles Spurgeon