Grace Trumps Works Any Day

Many Christians know intellectually what the world expects them to do, but over time, the freshness of being born again can feel dulled by repetitive activities. Prayer, fasting, and regular church attendance are all good for our spiritual growth, but in the grand scheme of things, these routine habits don’t make a difference where God’s grace is concerned. Our works won’t save us, only our faith in God’s grace. Our belief and faith in what Jesus has already done justifies us in God’s eyes.

When our minds start to forget what our hearts already know, studying what the Bible says about faith and grace can remind us. Ephesians 2:8 says that grace, which is God’s unearned, undeserved favor, saves us from the judgment we deserve. For those of us struggling with guilt over what we may have said or done in the past, this is great news. We can let go of all that heavy emotional baggage and move on.
God’s grace will never fail us, and our faith in that is our lifeline. Jesus is Grace, and when we study the Scriptures we can see references to this. During His earthly ministry, He healed a sick woman who exhibited strong faith in Him. Later, He healed two blind men who confessed their belief in Him (Matthew 9:22, 28, 29).

Other places in the Scriptures recount the same deeds (Mark 5:34; Luke 7:9; 8:48; 17:19; 18:42). Skeptics could try to discount the significance of grace, but with the same message being reported from so many different sources, it’s highly unlikely that the message is wrong. It is the message of healing and forgiveness, which are facets of Jesus’ personality.

Under the Law in the Old Testament, the people had to work hard to earn God’s blessings. But Jesus changed all of that, replacing guilt and shame with grace. When we accept what He did for us on the cross, we receive salvation and the assurance of the same kind of eternal life that Jesus has (Galatians 2:20). God’s power is released simply by trusting and believing this.

Religion wants to complicate this simple message and add extra requirements to achieve salvation, but this falls back into the category of works. We all have our good days and bad days, and we’re going to make mistakes sometimes. God knew that when He sent His Son to us. With grace, we no longer have to say 10 prayers, go without eating, or attend a specified number of church services to get right with God.

This news about God’s grace is so exciting that once we let it sink in, it’s hard to keep it to ourselves. God instructs us to tell others who may not know this yet. Paul’s letter to the Romans tells it like it is. “It is through Him that we have received grace (God’s unmerited favor) and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name’s sake among all the nations” (Romans 1:5, AMP).

This divine law of grace is infinitely easier for us to obey than what Moses presented to the people in the Old Testament, but historically, many religious people didn’t want to accept it. In medieval times, the people were told they could buy their way into heaven if they made a large enough monetary donation to the church of their choice. But Jesus has already purchased our salvation with His blood. We have peace of mind knowing that we have salvation through our faith in Him, not in anything we could ever do.  

— Creflo Dollar