Faith Is the Conduit of Grace


Charles Spurgeon, in his book All of Grace, describes the connection of faith and grace. These are two beautiful words and ideas which everyone knows are important in the Christian faith, but many don't know how they relate, if at all. Spurgeon is a king of using analogy in order to get across an idea clearly, and here is a great example of it. Speaking of faith and grace, he writes,

"Faith occupies the position of of a channel or conduit pipe. Grace is the fountain and the stream...It is a great pity when the aqueduct is broken...[but] faith is only the channel or aqueduct, and not the fountainhead, and we must not look so much to it that we exalt it above the divine source of all blessing which lies in the grace of God...Grace is the powerful engine, and faith is the chain by which the carriage of the soul is attached to the great olive power...See, then, that the weakness of your faith will not destroy you. A trembling hand may receive a golden gift."

As the title of his book suggests, it is all about grace. Trust in God is certainly the avenue in which we access that grace, but the gospel message is all of grace–God freely, in spite of us, came and died for us, and now continually treats us better than we deserve.

This is very biblical, as the apostle Paul wrote, "Through [Jesus] we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand" (Romans 5:2). Faith gives us access to grace. And the Christian life is described as continually 'standing in grace'.

This means, as Spurgeon beautifully illustrates, that we are not to despair if our trust is wavering at times. It is not us and our trust that is the focus, but God and his grace. Faith truly is the conduit pipe to receive the fountain of grace.

Our trust in God is important, and it fuels us as we live for his glory and fight sin, but it is not the main focus of Christianity. Rather, it is about God's incredible grace. And encouragingly, as Spurgeon says at the end of the quote above, "A trembling hand may receive a golden gift." Amen. We and our faith are the trembling hands, and this golden gift is the grace of God which is freely lavished upon us in the gospel (cf. Ephesians 1:7-8).

Quote from Charles Spurgeon, All of Grace (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2010 [Originally published in 1886]), 62-63.