The two sides of grace

For by grace are you saved through faith… Ephesians 2:8

Behold, I stand at your door and knock.  If any man…. Revelation 3:20

As many as received Him…. John 1:12

The country singer had a number at the top of the charts.  She was the guest that morning on a talk show that entertained millions of people across America.  Because she was outspoken in her Christian faith, she talked about the Lord on the program. That’s when the host asked her to sing.

“Give us a little of Amazing Grace.”

She sweetly went into the first verse of the wonderful old John Newton song.  “Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…”  That’s when the host stopped her.

“That’s the problem I have with your religion,” he said. “I’m not a wretch.”

I’ve long since forgotten how she answered.  But I know what the best answer is.

I didn’t say you were a wretch,  I said I was.  And I didn’t say I am now.  I used to be.

Countless millions have come to Christ by faith in Jesus and then looked back at the life they were living before and thought to themselves, “Wow. I was a mess.”  In the pigpen of life (remembering Luke 15’s story of the prodigal).  Crazy (recalling the Gadarene demoniac of Mark 5. Undone (referencing the woman caught in adultery in John 8).

I was a wretch.

Take the fellow we call the Gadarene demoniac.  Possessed by a spirit of uncleanness, the man was crying and abusing himself day and night.  Even when they chained him to keep him from hurting himself, the demon gave him unnatural strength.  He was a royal mess.  And then Jesus came.

(Anyone recall the ancient song, “Then Jesus Came”?  It fits here, and is so worth finding on and experiencing again.)

After the Lord Jesus made the man whole, we see him cleaned up, sitting before the Lord, quietly, listening, worshiping, and desiring with all his heart to follow Jesus.

That’s  a picture of God’s grace.  The fellow did not do one blessed thing to be changed, except this: He received it.

The Lord does it all; that’s grace.

You and I receive. Not by works. Faith.

To those who insist that faith is not necessary because ‘that would be a work and Scripture says we are not saved by works,” I reply, “Go read your Bible and quit trying to discourage people from telling God’s truth.”  Faith is not work.  Faith is simply believing in Jesus and trusting Him to do what He wishes.

Here are the two sides of faith….

One:  He gives grace.  “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

We love Him because He first loved us.  I John 4:19.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…. John 3:16.

Grace is what a loving God does, what He shows, what He gives.  It’s who He is.


Two: We must receive His gift.  He will not force His blessings on us.

Jesus said to Jerusalem, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were unwilling” (Matthew 23:37). As a result, “your house is left unto you desolate.”  They would bear the results of their wrong choices.

“I stand at your door and knock,” said our Lord Jesus to the Laodicean church.  “If anyone hear my voice and open the door, I will come in…”  (Revelation 3:20).  He brings the blessings of Heaven to us, right up to the front door.  How good is that!  But…

He will not force them on us.

We get to decide.

We have to decide.

That’s the other side of grace.

Jesus said to one fellow, “Do you want to be made whole?”  (John 5:6)  He will not force Heaven’s blessings on anyone.

If anyone goes to hell, it will be by his or her own doing.

God was willing to do ten thousand good things for them, for now and for eternity.  The single thing He would not do is force Himself on them.

What have you decided?  Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

Choose life, friend.



5 thoughts on “The two sides of grace

  1. Mans corrupt heart must be fixed before he will choose It is he that worketh in you BOTH TO WILL AND DO HIS GOD PLESSURE
    He that believeth HATH life not will get
    Show us a work that we may belive this is the work of God that you believe
    All that the Father hive me SHALL come unto me
    He that started a GOOD EORK IN YOU WILL FINISH It

    FAITH is the gift of God
    Lydias heart was opened then she attended to the things of God
    No man will or can come unless the father draw him
    Faith is the effect not the cause

    Its not a choice it is the wotk of God
    I will take out there heart of stone put a heart of flesh
    I will write my law on there heart
    Start to finish its all of his grace
    Its not a matter will you but a matter of
    the work of God in us .
    Its all of Grace from his choosing us to him redeeming us to him calling us to us believing
    and him taking us home to be with him forever

    • You did not mention all those scriptures where we are told to choose, where the Lord faulted Israel for choosing wrong, and where Jesus offers and allows mankind the freedom to accept or decline. Each side quotes the verses that bolster their point of view.

  2. Man is is a free to choose but the depravity og his heart will akways kead him on wrong path thats why he said they had not kept the covenant he made eith them in Jeremiah 31 old covenant was do and i shall he made a new covenant
    He told them i will and you shall
    In John 1 he said it is not of him that runneth are of the human will but of God that sboweth mercy .
    In the same chapter he said he said he gave them the power to belive on his name . I have heard the perversion of both sides but is not about a side its about what i believed is owed to the glory of God.
    Jesus said you believe not because you are not of my sheep .. A pig is free not to waddle on the mud but his choice is bound to his nature . A dog has a choice not to bark but he cant help himself
    He is bound to his nature . Man is a free agent but cartman ly not free will he is of a corrupt nature
    His choice is bound to his will

    • Jesus said, “If you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall the Heavenly Father….” Friend, nowhere does the Bible teach that t he unsaved person is incapable of responding to the Lord’s salvation. Please quit trying to discourage people from coming to Jesus.

  3. Just the opposite they can because he can and does bring sinners to himself he came to give life and give it more abundantly. My whole point is it all of his grace and not in man himself . Most encouraging news a man will ever hear the good news Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I will rejoice that he is doing his work. We will agree to disagree Salvation is in Jesus Christ. Thank God he does give good gifts and does not just try I will leave it there didn’t mean to offend The article said leave a comment for discussion. Have enjoyed a lot of your articles

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