Many of the apparent contradictions in Scripture (of course there are none) are resolved when we realize that God has already accomplished great things on behalf of all mankind and creation, but He does not impose Himself or His gifts on us: we humans must receive His word as truth and speak and walk it out by faith in order for it to take effect here on earth.
God accomplished the tremendous act of mercy and grace 2,000 years ago through Jesus Christ crucified and raised to glory. All men have been saved through Christ, yet we each have to receive the grace through faith in this lifetime in order that it be made manifest both now, on earth, and for eternity in heaven (see Ro. 5:18, 1 John 2:2, Titus 2:11, 1 Tim. 2:3-4 ).
Not only that, but God has likewise already procured our sanctification and our glorification (see 1 Cor. 6:11; Ro. 8:30), yet it is for us to make them manifest by faith as well. It is a joint enterprise, requiring His grace, followed by our faith.
(Of course, God makes it quite clear that no part of this can ever be by our works: Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal [sanctification and glorification] by human effort?… Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? (Gal. 3:3,5))
Now faith is the substantiating of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 Darby). Faith makes these truths which we hope for become real in our experience. Another way of expressing this is that faith makes God’s word manifest here in the physical realm as it already has been manifest in the spiritual realm.
Simply put, God is relational, and has given us free will. Through Christ, He has spanned the chasm which separated us from Him by already making us perfect as He is perfect, but it is entirely up to us to make this manifest. He has ordained that this occurs only through faith: the righteous will live by faith (Romans 1:17b).
So it is by grace… through faith (Eph. 2:8): God has given us the grace through the body of His Son – we must KNOW IT, BELIEVE IT, and SPEAK IT FORTH / DO IT in order that it become manifest in our lives here on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10).
This is why the epistles to the Romans, Ephesians, and Colossians begin setting forth the glorious truth (the doctrine) in the first half, and then describe what the walk of faith looks like in the second half. First was His part, grace; this must be received and followed willfully by our part, faith, in order that it come to pass.
Now faith requires that we speak forth God’s will, His word, and then act in accordance with it (see Romans 10:10, 13). This is why Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is is heaven.’ ” (Matt. 7:21). We must know, desire, and speak/act forth God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will for us in order that it come to pass.
So let’s do as James exhorts us to do, and look in the mirror of God’s word, behold the truth about us, and go forth and do it (see James 1:22-25). Yes, we must go forth remembering what His word says about us and walk it out by faith, not by sight.
Let’s illustrate this with the human condition of sin and disease. God’s OT word is that He forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases (Psalm 103:3) – better yet, His NT words are that by the blood of the Lamb your sins have been forgiven, and by His wounds you have been healed (Matt. 26:28; 1 Peter 2:24). You must be like the woman with the bleeding disorder who touched Jesus in faith amidst the great crowd of people pressing against Him (but not apprehending the living God in their midst). She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse (Mark 5:26). Her money couldn’t buy her healing from physicians, but her faith in Jesus was the title deed for her healing – her faith caused her healing to manifest on earth as it already existed in the heavenly realms. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (v. 34).
Now behold this word, perhaps in a new light: It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. (Mark 2:17; see also Matt. 9:12-13, Luke 5:31-32). God’s word here is that just like the woman with the bleeding disorder, those who have apprehended Christ as their Righteousness are healthy, and do not need a doctor.
Praise be to God: we have been made perfect in Christ, and, as we walk by faith, speaking forth His omnipotent word, we are being made perfect in Christ (see Matt. 5:48). Hallelujah!
Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith will it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. – Matt. 9:29-30a
Receiving the grace through faith in Christ our Righteousness and Healing with you, your sister deanna
Link to Part II
12 thoughts on “Part I – The Joint Enterprise of Grace and Faith”
Hi Deanna. I am trying to wrap head around the concept of speaking God’s will forth by faith. I recall your repost from The Truth Lover, 2 Cor 4:13, and the fact that one cannot just speak forth something to make their faith become true, but first, one must believe in your heart by faith and then speak forth or act out of that faith. I understand that we must believe by faith in our heart God’s will, then, as you mention in James, go do it. However, I guess I don’t quite know what it looks like to “speak forth” God’s will. I need to think on what that looks like; or maybe I’m making it too hard.
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Praise God, you have laid down the key points here better than I would have at the moment! Yes! Exactly! It helps to know that we all are learning from the Lord as we follow Him, and the first steps are wobbly and feel awkward, don’t they?!
Let’s look at what Jesus did… To each of His three recorded temptations in the wilderness, the 30-yr old freshly anointed Christ confronted the ungodly desires of His flesh/soul with God’s word; girded with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, etc. Jesus applied the sword of the Spirit to the devil within Him, KNOWING and BELIEVING and SPEAKING FORTH His Father’s omnipotent word. The word so spoken from Jesus’ mouth then performed itself(the Anointed One now thus being the Word)! The devil had to leave Jesus and angels came and attended Him.
Well, praise God for such grace, by our KNOWLEDGE of the word and our mustard seed of FAITH, praying and fasting (denying our false selves), the demons of unbelief, fear, rejection, etc. likewise must flee us as we speak whatever “rhema” the Holy Spirit gives us! Hallelujah!
Learning this together with you now for His glory to manifest through ALL members of His Body, your sister deanna
And I guess the key is speaking forth aloud. I have heard that the adversary cannot read our thoughts so we must speak aloud.
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Indeed, much to the chagrin of our natural (fallen) man who wants us to preserve him at all costs, we MUST speak the word aloud (please know I resist it almost every time); we are addressing powers and principalities in the heavenly realms (e.g. Eph. 3:10), AND we are increasing our faith (i.e. Ro. 10:10,17). Praise God, through the blood and body of Jesus Christ, it is ours for the taking!
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Reblogged this on The Lord Is With Us and commented:
Given yesterday’s post and my recent reblog of “You’re the One to Effect a Change” from our dear brother Saint of Christ, you will recognize that the Lord wants me to emphasize the absolute NECESSITY of our SPEAKING FORTH His omnipotent word to change our circumstances in this fallen world. Praise God for rendering us effectual agents of His will, for making us His lampstands in the darkness of this fallen world! Whoo-hoo!
To describe, teach, and illustrate more of the specifics of how we are to accomplish this, I will be reposting the six-part series “The Joint Enterprise of Grace and Faith: Making the Word Become Manifest.” I am overflowing with excitement about this for two reasons. First, it is so important to the Lord that we apply His word FAR more than we currently are doing. Second, Parts IV, V, and VI contain powerful personal testimonies of some miraculous workings of God in members of my family; my duty in each case was to KNOW His word, BELIEVE it, and SPEAK it forth to overcome the lies with truth.
So are you with me? I sure hope that you are, and that you commit to reading all six parts as I repost them. It is my prayer that everyone who reads this series be touched and moved by the Lord Himself in accordance with His will, for His glory. Amen.
So very much love in Christ, your sister deanna
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I’m ready to read, learn and be inspired!
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I am humbled by this, dear brother, and it is always a good thing to be humbled; thank you for that. God bless you.
So God is relational as we know. Everything God does is through people. And we are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8). I think I’m beginning to get this understood better of God’s grace verses our faith. Even though God’s grace is stronger than our will, we must exercise our faith (put faith in action through knowing, believing, and applying) in order for God’s grace to indwell us. Simply put, surrender my will to my Father’s will in all aspects of life. Now faith. Faith is a gift from God. So the faith I have is a gift from my Father. Therefore the faith in Eph. 2:8 is a gift along with His grace.
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So blessed to discuss such matters here with you, Greg! The Lord loves that we do so, as we know from Malachi 3:16…
I am in agreement with you, but for a couple of relatively minor modifications, as follow. First, God usually chooses to act through people, yet as Creator, of course, He did not, and through natural phenomenon He does not (i.e. weather, earthquakes, etc). And yes, faith is a gift, as Jesus is the Author and Perfector of it. But now just a minor point: for years I also took Ephesians 2:8 to mean that both grace and faith are gifts from God, yet I recall that when I studied it in the Greek, “gift of God” in that PARTICULAR verse apparently refers to grace and not faith as well (surprise, right? You might want to confirm that). And lastly, yes, our faith clearly activates God’s grace (e.g. Romans 5:1-2) and pleases Him (Hebrews 11:6), and this is one of His main points He wants me to emphasize via this blog site. Nevertheless, because He LOVES us so, God elects to give grace to us when we don’t believe as well (e.g. every day He did not strike me down as a rebellious sinner before I received His Son!). Perhaps we can say His grace is quantitatively and qualitatively increased by our faith…
There is so much here Deanna and for one I am on this journey at this point in my Christian walk of speaking forth His Word and KNOWING it is true. I totally get about what you said about resisting speaking out. I do this all the time. Am I right in thinking this is a tactic of the enemy or perhaps our pride maybe? I don’t know. But the more I speak it out the more I feel able to speak more of His Word out. In fact Deanna I first started speaking it out [His Word] when for over a year or so I recorded, just reading from the Word of God and nothing else. Yes I posted them but that wasn’t the point it was the LORD beginning to teach me about His Word and speaking it out. In fact I’ve just come back to doing this again and because you have to take your time and not ‘skim read’ something different happens. There are so many things you pointed out here and I read ALL of it and check the scriptures too! Also you have prompted me to go write up a testimony of healing which actually pertains to the ‘bleeding woman’ for I am completely healed, totally now after my condition raged on over decades. God gave me the faith for my healing and I had to hang on to it despite lots of difficulties and finally in 4th December 2015 all gone, 6 months later all gone! God Bless Deanna love what you are writing xx
Thanks so much for taking he time to share this here. Praise God, Jacky!! And see, He enables you to read all this! Looking forward to reading your testimony we are ALL so blessed to learn each other’s testimonies of Jesus accomplishing His purposes in our bodies and our lives, bringing His kindgom here on earth as it is in heaven… He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.
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And we all say Amen!
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