Living by faith in future grace
You might ask me where I got this title of living “by faith in future grace”? A few years ago, I read a book by John Piper called “Future Grace”. In this book he speaks of the fact that we as believers in Christ don’t only live from the supplies of grace that we have received from God in the past: we are energized and enthused by the promises of God in his Word of future grace that will be supplied to the believer. Piper argues in his book that to make our faith strong we should lay hold of the promises of God in his Word. In doing so we shall also be able to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12), and unbelief in our lives. I agree with Piper because I have experienced in my own life how the promises of God have helped me to live a life pleasing to God. God has given us thousands of promises in His Word. All of these promises, which God made to the Israelites in the Old Testament and to His disciples and His church in New Testament times, find their ultimate fulfillment in Christ! This means they have spiritual significance for us here and now and we can apply them to our lives in the 21st century!
“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” (2 Corinthians 1:19-20 ESV)
Since God is the God of truth who cannot lie (Titus 1:2), we can be assured that we shall escape the corruption in the world and be made partakers of the divine nature through his promises (2 Peter 1:3-4). The fact that God gave so many promises in the Bible to his people, and that He is omnipotent, means that our faith gets stronger as we meditate on the promises of God. As we do so and thus take hold of them, meeting the conditions of these promises, we experience firsthand how God fulfills them time and time again in our lives! I know from experience how God has used his promises in my own life to save me from sinful habits (Hebrews 7:25); to cast away anxiety (Philippians 4:5-7); to overcome temptation (1Corinthians 10:13); and to fill me with hope (Ecclesiastes 9:4) for the future as He leads and directs my paths (Proverbs 3;5,6)! As we see God answering our prayers and rewarding our faith (Hebrews 11:6) we grow stronger in faith and have more joy in the Holy Spirit. Our faith in the Word of God, and in the God of the Word, will become unshakable when we trust in His promises, because we will know firsthand how He walks with us, directs us, and provides in our needs.
God has not only acted in history through Jesus Christ to accomplish salvation: He is acting in our lives now, from day to day, and He has promised that there will be new supplies of grace in the future through His Son Jesus Christ. And we know this because he has promised so in his Word!
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8 ESV)
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 ESV)
God has promised that He will be with us to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). He has promised that he will never leave or forsake his children (Hebrews 13:5); that no one will be able to pluck us out of the hand of the Father; and that we will never perish (John 10:27-30). Furthermore, since He is for us, no one will be against us to destroy us ultimately (Romans 8:31). God accomplishes all of this through the intercessory work of Jesus Christ in heaven:
“Consequently, he (Christ) is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25 ESV).
God will supply more grace towards us because Jesus is constantly praying for us in heaven, for those who come to God through Him. Our knowledge of God, his power and his promises are our weapons against the assaults on our faith. With these weapons we will conquer the attacks on our faith; we will escape the corruption that is in the world working through sinful desire:
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV).
The goal of evangelism and making God known is that we as believers grow in our faith as a result of what He has in store for us. The goal of evangelism and the purpose of our existence are to stand on the promises of God at all times: in prosperity and in adversity, in certainty and in confusion, in weakness and in strength. The world may burn; it may turn and go after Satan and evil: as children of God however, we have a promise of a new city where righteousness will dwell. We live by faith and not by sight: faith in having new supplies of grace through Jesus Christ until he comes again. And Christ has promised that He will. God’s word is forever settled in heaven! It is indestructible! (Psalm 119:89). Hallelujah!