The letter of Paul to the Romans says that salvation is God’s gift to us. Salvation is God’s first and foremost initiative. Yet today, Paul to the Romans also says we are saved by faith. Which is which? It is the classic question of which comes first, the chicken or the egg. It is a tough question because you can side with either of the two and still be able to defend it.

But in the question, which comes first, God’s grace or faith, the answer is very clear. It is first God’s grace. Salvation only happens when there is a meeting between God’s grace and man’s faith. Even if God gives us all the graces we need, if we do not accept them, if we do not have faith that God will really save us, then all the graces would be wasted. On the other hand, no amount of human longing can save us unless God wills it from above. Salvation can only happen when faith and grace come together. That is new life, that is holiness, that is justice.

On the practical level, we say that even if you are given a ton of soap, if you don’t use it to bathe and wash, you would still stink. The grace is the soap, the faith is the use of the soap. You can be given all the graces you need, but if you are not saved, it is not because God is impotent, it is because we did not cooperate.

When we look into our lives and see evil, it is not because God was lacking in grace to protect us from temptation. When we see evil in our lives, it is the sad reality that the graces of God have not met with man’s cooperation.

Let us look into our lives and see every sin, every evil, we have committed. Very likely, you will discover that God was there protecting you from evil, but you were not there to receive His protection. Salvation can only happen when there is a meeting between God’s grace and man’s response. First God offers, then we respond with faith. When there is a meeting point, there is holiness.

Rom 5:1
Jesus In My Heart

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