The relationship between grace and faith is neither (a) co-operative nor (b) coercive.
(a) We do not contribute to our own salvation. It is always, “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy Cross I cling.” We do not come to the Lord with our religion in one hand and our morality in the other hand. we come to Him empty-handed and receive from Him His free gift of salvation. Receiving God’s free gift of salvation through faith in our Saviour, Jesus Christ, we speak, from the heart, the words of Psalm 118:23.23, “The Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.” We echo the words of Psalm 115:1, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your Name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.”
(b) We are not forced to receive Christ. We do not come to Him with reluctance. We come to Him with rejoicing. Rejoicing in the grace which has reached out to us in our sinfulness, we affirm the truth of Jesus’ words, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” (John 16:15). Receiving this grace with gladness, we say, “The Lord is my chosen portion” (Psalm 16:5). We sing, ” O happy day that fixed my choice on Thee, my Saviour and my God.” We trace the way in which the Lord has led us to faith and we sing, “He drew me and I followed on, charmed to confess that grace divine.” We have been “loved with everlasting love.” We have been “led by grace that love to know.” While we should not make over much of the comparison with the inspiration of Scripture – the Word of God in the words of men – and the incarnation of our Saviour – fully God and fully man, we can make a similar point with respect to the relationship between grace and faith – the whole of the work is God’s (the absolute necessity of grace) and the whole of the work is man’s (the absolute necessity of faith). There is, of course, mystery here. It is, however, a mystery in which we rejoice – “Amazing love, how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?”