Grace Through Faith
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
It is impossible for minds controlled by our sinful fallen nature to please God and obey Him (Romans 8:7-8). People who are not in Christ are in the flesh, so they lack the ability to do the Lord’s will. Since His will for us is that we trust in His promises, unbelievers are incapable in themselves of believing in Christ Jesus for salvation.
Jesus says “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). If we cannot see God’s kingdom, we can by no means enter it. Meaning, faith can arise only from a new heart.
Faith is a gift of the Lord to undeserving people, the outworking of God’s electing grace and the atonement of Jesus for His own. Ephesians 2:8 confirms the truth that faith is ultimately a gift of God.
Grace and faith are divine gifts, and our Father does not give them to all people. Consider the darkness of the human heart. If our salvation depended on the good we do, no one would be saved. Our very best works are “like filthy rags,” as Isaiah 64:6 puts it. Paul’s words in Ephesians is crystal clear: our salvation cannot be bought or earned by us; as a gift it comes by grace through faith
Sinners are intellectually able to understand the basic content of the gospel, but they lack the moral ability to believe the gospel. That is, they are wholly unwilling to turn from their sin and rest in Christ alone until the Spirit changes their hearts and enables them to heed the preaching of the gospel of God (Acts 13:13–52).
If we believe that we are capable of working up faith in our souls, we cannot boast in Christ alone. But if we understand that we have faith only because of the work of the Holy Spirit, then we can truly give God all the glory for our salvation. We are not to look at ourselves as better than others because we believe the gospel; rather, we are to be deeply grateful that God has chosen to grant us faith even though we are undeserving sinners.
It should drive us to our knees in awe and praise that God loves us. It should shape our thoughts and actions as we strive to love the one who loved us first.