The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:14)
It is easy to pass over common Bible words, because they all sort of start looking alike: “faith, love, peace, grace…etc.” It is important to realize, however, that the authors who penned them did, indeed, put thought into why. And certainly, since the Bible is the inspired Word of God, He wanted them there for a reason.
We have been discussing “grace” as the means of our salvation. It is a free gift, poured out at Calvary. The Law was good, but was never intended to wash away our sins. Yet, “grace” makes us righteous by taking away our sins and clothing us with the righteousness of Christ.
This “grace” was poured out, not just at Calvary, but into the lives of people like Paul who were desperate to receive it.
But two other things were poured out abundantly: faith and love.
Of these two things, it is easier to understand how “love” is poured out into our lives. Jesus’ death on the cross was the full expression of His love. And every day, as we walk with Him and count on His grace, we experience His love in new ways. It is obvious how Paul, who was a murderous threat to the church, felt loved when the same Christ He persecuted rescued him.
However, it is a little more difficult to grasp the “faith” part of this morning’s passage. And remember, these words are important. They aren’t just tossed out as spiritual filler when people like Paul write scripture.
What is the faith that is in Christ Jesus, and how is it poured out on us? I thought faith was something we “come to”, and not something that is given to us. I should mention there is a gift of faith mentioned in the Bible that is given to some for a specific challenge. However, my personal thought is that here Paul was referencing his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus when the Lord appeared to him and challenged him to rethink the direction of his life. This was also an official appearance of Jesus after His resurrection, which added incredible weight to the experience.
Jesus did not force faith on Paul, or put it in him without him knowing. Instead, the faith Paul found that helped him accept what God had done on Calvary was found in that meeting with Christ on the road, and reinforced in his walk with Him afterward.
Grace, faith and love: These are big words, and when you see them in the Bible, always take time to figure out why.
Dear God, thank You for everything You have abundantly poured out on my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.