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By Grace, Through Faith
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As we start out this study we need to get off on the right foot. This lesson, therefore, stands, more or less, as a preface to the rest of these studies. You can know in your head, and even in your heart, that all the rest is true, but if you do not receive this gift of God through faith you cannot be saved. I know that sounds a bit “churchy”. Let me try to get through this in God’s way, with His help.

jesaug12.jpgTo know that the blood of Jesus saves, that His wounds cover all our shortcomings and failings, that His stripes heal us is inaccurate, unless we have allowed Jesus to come in and do these things for us. We can only ask for this if we have faith to do so. Jesus is the grace and mercy of God, but it is through faith that we receive it. Now none of us has such a faith, but to those who open themselves up to God He gives the faith needed that we might become His children. The Bible says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12) You see, it is God who gives us the power even to believe, even to have faith. And the reason is found here, in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The following verse even amplifies this, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” It is the will of God that ALL receive the gift of mercy and grace found in Jesus. Therefore He gives those who seek Him the faith to believe. Once they believe they are children of God as previously stated

jesaug12.jpgThe apostle Paul talks about this, saying, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” and also, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:4-6, 8,9) And you thought I was making this up ;-)

jesaug12.jpgHere is the greatest of all gifts, the gift of grace, the sister to mercy, (for by one we receive the power to do that which we are unable to do, by the other we receive not that which we deserve). God makes sure that we receive this by FAITH. As His Word says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) The reason for this is stated in Ephesians 2:8 and 9 above, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: No of works, lest any man should boast.” God wants us to be aware that HE has given us the power to believe in Him. We cannot “work up” a faith. We can, however, come to Him and ask for that faith. In this God is both glorified and protects us from a lot of grief.

jesaug12.jpgCome to Him now. Receive His grace and mercy, which He holds out to you through Jesus. Ask God for the faith to believe that you might receive that which He wants you to receive. For He wants not only to save you, but also to welcome you into His household as His child.