Question 35: Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, where does this faith come from?

QUESTION: Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, where does this faith come from?

ANSWER: All the gifts we receive from Christ we receive through the Holy Spirit, including faith itself.
Have you ever had something you used to love to do (perhaps a sport you haven’t played in years, or an instrument you used to play) only to rediscover it later in life? If so, what was it? What did you learn about that “thing” in the season of rediscovery?  

  • When God renews his people, it is often a rediscovery or re-experience of something they already know. 
  • Paul desires the Ephesian Christians to rediscover an essential aspect of their faith - that even their faith is a gift from God.
  • Saving faith (along with forgiveness and the grace of God) is itself a gift of God that uproots the very foundation for religious pride. 

Ephesians 2:1-10
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, make up alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
  • What are things/people/beliefs that you tend to boast about or trust in to get you through? Many of us “boast” in intelligence, beauty, wealth, wisdom, or accomplishments. How might these things let you down? 
  • In what way does boasting create “in” and “out” groups of people?   

  • Understanding the scope of God’s grace kills religious pride. Once receiving this gift, how does it change the foundation of our own identity and how we relate to others?  
  • God’s gift creates a dynamic in which we are radically NOT impressed with ourselves but are radically impressed with God’s grace. How does this reality reorient our source of joy?  
This week, notice what people around you are “boasting” in. Pay attention to yourself and what you are tempted to boast in. Contemplate how the bigness of God’s grace challenges what we tend to trust in for significance and refocus the source of our joy.  

Holy Spirit, you sought us when we could not seek you because we were dead in our trespasses and sins. You are the giver of our faith; none of us would believe apart from your regenerating grace, by which you make hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. Let us put aside all boasting in light of your underserved mercy. Amen.