442. GOD’S GRACE IS AVAILABLE TO THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH. [Core Teaching Stage 2. Topic 6].

What is grace? One definition is “The unmerited love and favour of God toward human beings.” That is the meaning behind the various forms of the word. One of the terms that became well known during the Reformation was the term Sola gratia. This means  “grace alone,” and says sinners are saved as an unearned gift of God’s grace, “not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8–9).

The noun “grace” is from [charis; χάρις]. Other related words are [charisma] meaning a gift; [charitoo] a verb meaning to give as a gift. God delights to give His children His grace to enable them to function as His instruments in His world. He gives us [“Grace to KNOW the will of God; grace to BE in the centre of His will, and grace to DO His will.“) God’s grace to humans is not just a static doctrine to believe but also a description of God’s ways with humans upon whom He pours out His undeserving grace. 


Salvation.  St Paul wrote that our salvation comes from the grace of God. Our part is simply accepting the gift of His grace, Jesus Himself, and devoting our lives to serving Him. [Ephesians 2:8]  “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not  from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”  

Even the faith to believe comes from God’s grace at work in our hearts and lives, (Romans 1:16)  “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for  the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the  Gentile.” All that is required for salvation is faith in the gospel message of the person of Jesus crucified, risen and coming into the lives of all those who open their hearts to Him.  

(Rom 10:9)  “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe  in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Paul adds the other necessary step in salvation, namely that believers must be willing to confess Jesus as Lord over their lives in addition to believing on Him in their hearts. It means being willing to verbally respond to His grace in our lives.

The value of having people in our background who encourage us to understand salvation as coming from the grace of God is seen in the life of Timothy to whom St Paul wrote 2 letters that feature in the New Testament, 1 and 2 Timothy. His grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice had shared their faith with Timothy as Paul acknowledged in 2 Timothy 1:5 “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” AND 2 Timothy 3:15, “and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 

St Peter had been born again through accepting the message of hope in Christ and was awaiting the fullness of that salvation at the second coming of Christ, 1Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” The phrase “he has caused us to be born again” translates the word [anagennaō;  ἀναγεννάω] to be born again and shows God’s initiative in the new birth. It is as we believe that God allows the new birth to take place in His people. The Authorised Version translates the phrase as “hath begotten us again” while the NIV and CSB have “He has given us new birth.” We cannot be born again in our own strength or by our own devices. God is the only one who can cause it to happen and He does so when we believe.

Belonging to the family of God. This is the grace of God towards His children. He receives into His family all those who come to Him by faith in His Son. They cannot deserve God’s acceptance, nor do anything to earn it. All they can do is to receive it as God’s gift in Christ. 

Gal 3:24  “So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26  “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” The Old Testament law had a purpose in guiding people into an understanding of God’s ways and purposes. It showed that people were unable to perfectly obey the law and made them look elsewhere for that acceptance. The law which pointed to Jesus showed them the way of faith and many embraced salvation and acceptance with God, in Him.

Jesus’ message was about peace with God and acceptance by Him into His familyHe gave all those who responded to Him the gift of the Holy Spirit. Through that same Spirit they all had equal access to God and became members of the family of God. Eph 2:17-19. “And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18  For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”

St Paul was graced with a message  to bring to the Gentiles the good news of the unsearchable riches God had given His people in Christ. Eph 3:8 -12. “To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9  and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10  so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11  This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12  in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.”

Boldness and access to God with confidence is the mark of God’s grace to His people. They could never deserve or earn it.

  • ANSWERS TO PRAYER ARE FROM GOD’S GRACE. Faith accepts the promises of God

Jesus’ promises of answers to prayer. His promises are based on God’s grace.

[Mark 11:22-24,  “”Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23  “”I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go,  throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that  what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24  “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”] These words followed the discovery by the disciples that the fig tree that Jesus had cursed only hours before was completely withered. As they expressed their amazement Jesus encouraged them with His promise that if they had true faith in God, their words uttered in faith could bring dramatic results. Not only that but when they prayed they were to thank God by faith for the answer that was already theirs and was sure to come. The gifts from His grace!

Matthew records similar words from Jesus “And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22  And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” [Mat 21:21-22].  When there is no doubt, believers can expect great answers to the prayers they pray, so that whatever they ask for in prayer, they will receive. This is the grace of God at work in answers to prayer.

In John 19:10 Jesus said, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11  Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. 12  “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.13  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.“ Jesus was teaching His disciples about the unity which existed between the Father and Himself. The words Jesus spoke were from the Father. The works Jesus performed were the result of the Father working through Him. They were one in their words and works. Jesus went on to affirm that because of His followers’ faith in Him, they could pray prayers that would bring great results for whatever they asked. Jesus Himself would do it for them to the glory of God.

Other writers

James. “The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.” James 5:15.  Those people who came to God believing that He would meet their need, would experience His healing grace in the healing of their sickness and His grace in receiving forgiveness of their sins. The prayer of faith is not some magical formula that always works. Rather it is the prayer uttered in faith that God will hear and answer the prayer. It is calling on the grace of God for an answer to their need. 

Paul. “I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the  Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?” Galatians 3:2. Paul wanted the believers to cast their minds back to when they were born again of the Spirit of God. They would remember that what they had done to be  born again was to believe in the gospel message they had heard of the grace of God in Jesus’ death for them. 

John “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us‑‑whatever we ask‑‑we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15.  Fancy a Creator being willing to listen to those creatures who had rebelled against Him but had now come to trust Him! Not only is He willing to hear the prayers of those who are now His, but He promises to grant their requests. This is the grace of God at work in forgiving sinners and in providing for their needs as they pray to Him! 


The word for “salvation” is soteria, meaning wholeness. That means healing in all its various categories such as physical healing, emotional healing, relationship healing and spiritual healing as those who were once in darkness are brought into God’s light.

We see the grace of God described in Colossians 2:13  “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by cancelling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” In these verses, we read of God’s grace in bringing people from spiritual death into spiritual life. He also forgave all the sins of those who trusted in Christ’s death for them on the cross. Not only that but He disarmed the powers of darkness that had held people captive and brought His people into freedom.

We see His grace at work as Jesus fulfilled many of the Old Testament prophecies such as those in Isaiah 53 in the following table

(Isa 53:4)  “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we  considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.” (Mat 8:17)  “This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He  took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” Therefore Physical and emotional healing.
(Isa 53:5)  “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our  iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds  we are healed.”(1 Pet 2:24)  “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we  might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been  healed.” Therefore Spiritual healing.
Prophecies and their fulfilment.

God’s grace was seen in the healing of a woman who may have been influenced by such Old Testament prophecies as she believed that she could be healed by simply touching the hem of Jesus’ garment, Mat 9:20 ‘And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21  for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22  Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.”’ There was no power in the garment to heal. Her healing came as she reached out in faith to receive her healing from Jesus. Her faith had opened the door for the grace and power of God to touch her body and she was healed.

God’s grace was seen in the Promised Holy Spirit entering into our lives

(Gal 3:14)  “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might  come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.” It would seem here that the promise of blessing given to Abraham that in his seed all the nations of the world would be blessed, was indeed fulfilled as the Holy Spirit was poured out on all those who believed from every nation. The Holy Spirit would seal them as God’s possession and open up to them the resources of God’s kingdom.

God’s grace in giving us peace in our lives

Isaiah had written, “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”  Isaiah 26:3. Trusting in the Lord can give us a steadfast mind because it is focussed on Him who is steadfast and unchanging.

But peace can be forfeited. Isaiah was told by the Lord to speak to His people who had rebelled against Him, “For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children unwilling to hear the instruction of the LORD.” Isaiah 30:9.  He told them what they needed  to do, “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In  repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength,  but you would have none of it.” (Isaiah 30:15.)  God’s grace of peace was available to them but they needed to repent and return to Him to experience it.

St Paul wrote about the need for God’s people to get rid of their anxieties and to hand everything over to God in prayer, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7. God gave them the assurance that if they did hand everything over to God in prayer, His peace would act as a sentry in keeping their hearts and minds safe. [“Guard” here is (phroureō; φρουρέω) meaning to guard as a sentinel.]

  • Justification [being made right with God] comes from the grace of God. 

Paul wrote to the church in Rome, Rom 3:24 “they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:24. Because Jesus had redeemed His people by dying for their sins, God could now accept them freely by His grace as a gift to be received in receiving Christ as Saviour and Lord.

When Paul wrote to Titus he reminded  him that believers are justified by the grace of God, “so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:7. Their being declared righteous by God and being accepted as His children was the expression of His amazing grace to them in Christ.

Paul warned the believers in Galatia, that trying to get right with God by seeking to obey the law would mean they were falling away from grace and cutting themselves off from Christ. “You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” Galatians 5:4.

  • God’s provision of grace for our everyday lives

Prosperity“A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.” (Proverbs 28:25)  The desire for God leads to peace and the reception of the grace of God but greediness brings dissension.

Material needs. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these  things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33. The focus has to be on God who in His grace provides us with all we need. Our focus has to be on Him, not on what He could provide.

Strength to conquer. Believers go through many difficulties in life but His grace is able to enable us to conquer. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37. Not just conquering but more than conquering! But only through Him.

There was a time when Paul faced a problem. He prayed 3 times for God to remove it, but God’s answer was this, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9. Whatever need Paul might have, the grace of God was more than sufficient to enable him to cope. 

An experience of God’s love. God’s grace expressed in His love was always available to every believer, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39.

Comfort. All of us need comfort at certain times of our life. God in His grace is able to provide us with His comfort, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…  who comforts us in all our troubles…” 2 Corinthians 1:3.

Wisdom. Believers need to live by the wisdom of God and not by their human wisdom. God in His grace promises to grant His wisdom to those who seek it, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives  generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt  … .” James 1:5-6. 


God in His love and from the riches of His grace provides for us. Faith humbly accepts His provision for our needs. [He gives us “Grace to KNOW the will of God; grace to BE in the centre of His will, and grace to DO His will.“)

Blog No.442 posted on Wednesday 09 November 2022

About Jim Holbeck

Once an Industrial Chemist working for the Queensland Government but later an Anglican minister in Brisbane, Armidale and Sydney. Last position for eighteen years before retirement in 2006 was as the Leader of the Healing Ministry at St Andrew's Cathedral Sydney.
This entry was posted in Bible verses. Comments, Creation, Evangelism, Faithfulness, Forgiveness, Glorification, Healing, Holy Spirit, Judgement, Justification, Mental Health, New Covenant, Prayer, Salvation, Sanctification, Second coming of Jesus, spiritual warfare, Temptations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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