by Rex Rouis
There is an incredible relationship between love and faith. They are inseparable. They interact deeply with each other, and they depend on each other to work properly. They also show the two sides of God. These two seemingly opposite aspects of God are an example of what theology calls an antinomy (other examples are, love and wrath, and good and evil). God’s love and mercy show His giving side.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (KJV)
God’s giving is a result of His love, but God’s requirement of faith shows His justice side.
No one can please God without faith. Whoever goes to God must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (God’s Word Translation)
The old formula of ‘mercy through grace by faith’ is as simple as it is complex.
God Gives According To His Love; We Receive According To Our FaithGod’s love is released in the form of mercy through grace, and then, and only then, does it find its completion by means of a response of faith. Faith is the vehicle God uses to satisfy His demand for justice, which is why justification is by faith and not by a simple act of love/mercy. Love gives freely, but faith is required for receiving.
Without an understanding of God’s love, God becomes wrathful and unapproachable. Without an understanding of His requirement of faith He becomes dark, distance, and capricious. When we don’t understand His methods, it affects our understanding of His love – if we do not receive we could think it is because God does not love us. When we don’t understand His love, there is no foundation for faith – seeking and trusting is difficult.
Love gives freely, but faith is required for receiving.Faith is the system God designed to bless man based on a proper response to His word, without basing that blessing on man’s own efforts. Using Bible terminology, salvation is a faith transaction based on an obedient response to God’s will, and not a response to a person’s own self-works. In this way, salvation can be freely given through faith and not be owed as a debt.
…that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus. (Romans 3:26) …For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23) …a man is justified by faith apart from (self) works of the law. (Romans 3:28)