Dr. Walter R. Tucker III: God’s grace, our faith; Part 2
Being under grace does not mean we are no longer under faith, that we no longer walk according to faith When someone tells you that you need not make any more effort once you are saved,
Being under grace does not mean we are no longer under faith, that we no longer walk according to faith
When someone tells you that you need not make any more effort once you are saved, that is a false doctrine. We are not saved by good works, but we are saved to do good works. Eph. 2:10 — “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Being under grace doesn’t mean we are no longer under faith.
The pastors and teachers today who are telling us that we no longer walk according to faith are deceived and deceivers. They say that the “faith movement” is dead. It’s not about a movement— the faith movement or the grace movement; it’s about God’s Word, which is unchanging. Matt. 24: 35 — “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Unfortunately, during the so-called “Faith Movement,” when faith was taught it was largely taught incorrectly. Believers were taught to have faith to get material things. They should have been taught to exercise their faith to obey God despite appearances or feelings.
Clearly this is the correct objective and application of faith. Just look at the “Hall of Faith” (Hebrews Chapter 11). None of those men and women were using faith to get material things. They used their faith to obey the instructions of God even when there was no visible evidence that what He told them to do was right.
The scripture even says that they all died in faith (and hope) believing in a God and kingdom they couldn’t see with their natural eyes. Heb. 11:13 —“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the Earth.”
God has always required faith of His people and actually God has always given grace to His people. Yes, even in the Old Testament God gave grace (favor, kindness, blessing and power). The word “grace” is mentioned 39 times in the Old Testament. That grace was not “saving grace,” but it was the favor of God extended to His people.
The operative phrase in the Old Testament was, “If I have found grace in thy sight” — in other words, God poured out grace where He found men of faith. Nothing has changed! God’s grace in man abounds through man’s faith in Him. Again, faith is synonymous with obedience to God’s call to holiness. Grace reigns through righteousness (holiness). Rom. 5:21 —“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
There is a “positional righteousness” we have based on our relationship with God through Christ, but there is also a “dispositional righteous” we have that is based on our daily holy walk. God has called us “the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus,” because we are born again (2 Cor. 5:21), but it is also true that we can still sin and that we fall short of God’s perfect standard daily.
Therefore, because we still exist in the flesh, in imperfect bodies, and our minds have not been completely renewed in Christ, we can and still sin. This is why God gave us 1 John 1:9 because He knew we still have the capacity to sin. By the help of the Holy Spirit we are sinning less, but when we sin, we have an answer and an advocate. However, we have to admit our sin, ask forgiveness and turn from it.
1John 1:8 —“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
1John 1:9 —“ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1John 1:10 —“ If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
Unfortunately, the teachers of the “Grace Movement” contend that we don’t have to commit to self-examination (which is clearly against scriptural instruction for partaking communion, see 1Cor. 11:28). That we should not have Godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10 says we should)
That God will never expose sin in our lives. (Eph. 4:30; Heb. 12:6; and 2 Tim. 4:2 show that this is false).
That repentance is simply changing our minds to believe the good news about grace and has nothing to do with turning from sin; that repentance and confession of sin are not necessary. Clearly1 John 1:8-10 contradict this.
Studying God’s Word, meditating on God’s Word, praying God’s Word, and fasting according to God’s Word is not human effort. Rather, it is the good works, the fruit of our salvation that help us to become more spiritual, grow in grace, and walk in the Spirit. Gal. 5:16— “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
Gal. 5:17 —“ For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
Every day, we Christians fight against our flesh, and if we say we don’t, we just lied! So, though we are the righteousness of God through Christ, we must do those things that Christ did in order to stay disciplined in the Spirit and therefore we will not fall to the temptations of the flesh.
Studying, meditating, praying and fasting are all things that Jesus did as a way of life. Consider the following scriptures: Luke 4:16 —“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”
Matt. 4:1-2— “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (2) And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an [hungered]. During this time Jesus meditated, prayed and fasted.”
Luke 6:12— “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”
John 4: 31-32—“ In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. (32) But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.” Jesus was fasting.
Matt. 9:14-15— “Then came to Him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?” (15) And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.” Jesus expected His disciples to fast once He was gone.
In conclusion, we are in a divine partnership with God. Grace is His part and faith is our part. He can’t and won’t do our part and we can’t do His part. God’s grace has already been poured out to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, but we have to access and activate that grace through faith. Once we learn and embrace the spiritual law of faith, everything that God has promised us and offers us in His kingdom will be enjoyed by us.
Dr. Walter R. Tucker, III is pastor of Truth and Love Christian Church, 1129 E. Dominguez St., Suite C, Carson, Calif. Contact us at (310) 635-3550. Our service times are Sunday morning, 10 a.m.; Wednesday Night Bible Study, 7:30 p.m.; Friday Night Prayer, 7 p.m. Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/truthandlovechristianchurch. Visit our website: www.truthandlovecc.com