Grace + Faith = Redemption
Duane Vander Klok
There are three important words that we need to understand if we are going to live a positive, fulfilling Christian life: Grace, Faith, and Redemption. They may sound “theological,” but it is possible for us to understand and apply them to our lives with the help of the Holy Spirit. If we do this, I believe that the way we pray, worship, and receive from God will drastically change.
So what is Grace? It is God’s favor that comes from Him alone. It is what God has done for all of us through Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Scripture is clear, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son. That whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16) and “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not from yourselves,” (Ephesians 2:8). Grace has already been given to us through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
We need to recognize that the devil tries to speak into our lives to make us believe the lie that we have to work, pray, and perform to earn God’s love and grace. The truth is you don’t need to do anything to earn His grace because He’s already given it to us through the cross 2000 years ago. Paul teaches, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…” (Romans 5:8). There is nothing that we can do to earn His grace. It’s unearned. It’s undeserved. It’s unmerited. Grace is what God has already done for us through Jesus Christ! This is good news!
Grace is a gift for all people no matter their race, status, or nationality. Titus 2:11 says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,” (NKJV). The key word is “appeared.” Grace is the starting line. It is there for everyone, but not everyone has received it. We must believe in the One it comes from, Jesus Christ, and accept Him in order to receive it. This is where ‘Faith’ comes in. Faith is how we connect with God’s grace.
Again, grace is not earned, affected, or changed by our actions; but our life of faith is affected by how we choose to live. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” What happens is this: sin darkens our understanding and causes our hearts to get hard towards God. When your heart becomes hard to the voice of God, then your prayers, worship, and faith suffer. It becomes harder to hear and obey the word of God, and it limits your influence and impact in the world for His Kingdom.
If you feel like God has abandoned you, or that He isn’t speaking anymore, know that God and His grace hasn’t stopped. Isaiah 41:9-10 says, “…I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” He is still speaking into your life! Turn your attention inward and ask “has my heart become hardened?” If so, you need to soften your heart and connect with Him through faith.
Faith doesn’t get God to do something new. It receives what has already been done for you. Paul tells the church in Rome, and us, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” (Romans 10:17, NKJV). Faith recognizes what God has already provided and says, “Yes, I believe that grace provided it, and I believe it’s for me. I believe it’s for me today. I believe it’s for me right now.” Faith is how we connect with God and His grace.
What would happen if we accepted God’s grace and also connected with Him through Faith? Redemption! Redemption is the restored relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It is actively living in the promises and power of God.
We as Christians are called to live from a foundation of grace, to partner with God through faith, and to share the Gospel from a place of redemption. But sometimes our prayers can fall short. We pray things like, “God, just bless me!” “God, just help me.” “God, deliver me from this horrible traffic jam!”
The way that Paul prays for the Ephesians is much different. He says, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come,” (Ephesians 1:17-21).
There is a big difference between trying to get God to do something for you and knowing that He has already provided it! Paul prayed that their eyes would be open to the things that God has already done, and to see the amazing power that flows from it. He has already done what is needed, so we can pray with boldness and power. Scripture says that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is living in every believer (see Romans 8:11). It’s available to all of us so that we can proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ!
The devil tries day after day to deceive and make you think that you’re not delivered because of something you did. The truth is that you have already been delivered by Jesus Christ. The devil tries to tell you that you don’t have victory because it feels like you’re stumbling through life. The truth is that God is your victory in Jesus Christ. The devil tries to tell you that you’ll never be healed and that you are powerless. The truth is that we have been healed by Jesus, and it is in His Gospel where true power rests.
Your current situation and the circumstances you face are not the final words. Truth has a name. Your final Word has a name. It is Jesus Christ!
We can rest in the words of Jesus, “He went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was His custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ Then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on Him. He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing,’” (Luke 4:16-21).
We can rest because we too live in the year of the Lord’s favor! This is the Good News! We live in a time where sin, fear, and death have been defeated. We live in a time where our circumstances do not have the final word!
So as you pray, worship, and receive from God, remember that Grace is what God has already done for you through Jesus Christ. Remember that Faith is how you connect with His grace, and remember that Redemption is your restored relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
All scriptures are quoted from the New International Version of the Bible, unless otherwise stated.