The apostle Paul introduced the doctrine “by grace through faith” in Ephesians 2:8-10. The context of Paul’s message refers back to his words to the church in Rome. In human terms, it’s impossible for man to keep the Jewish law, Romans 3:9-12, as sin past down through the curse on placed upon Adam in Genesis 3 prevents anyone for deserving or earning eternal life on their own merits, Romans 6:23. Only when an individual places their trust in an unseen Messiah, is heaven a reality, by grace through faith in Christ Jesus.
On the other side of the spectrum, we find James, the earthly brother of Jesus. Based upon his actions mentioned in the 4 gospels and his only book, one of the catholic letters, readers will hear what they think is a contrary teaching. Possibly reflecting of his own lack of faith, not believing his brother was the son of God, the Lord’s brother places an emphasis on actions inspired by faith, James 2:14-26. Prior to Jesus’ resurrection, James was void of any belief. However, James points out that true faith, breeds action. Each go hand in hand, as once an individual claims to have faith but does not convey or display it, they are merely living a lie as James himself did until his big brother rose from the grave.
Finally, Moses relays words directly from God in Exodus 23:24-26 to the Israelites on their way to receive the promised land. God’s initial expectations are to follow the first few commandments, mainly to avoid creating or worshiping other gods or things on earth. In return for obedience, God will bless food, water and the health of his people. One might suggest this is the origin and inspiration behind saying grace before you eat today, seeking blessing from the Lord of all. Beyond this, the Lord promises to protect babies in their mother’s womb and supply long life as long as faith and obedience are woven together. Regardless of where your allegiance lies, may the Holy Spirit guide you with a spirit of obedience accompanied by grace.
by Jay Mankus