Opposing forces do not always equal a contradiction. While gravity pulls us toward the earth, a force called Normal force pushes back against gravity and prevents us from continuously falling down towards the earth (well, for some of us ;)). And even though this allows our net force to be zero, this meshing of forces does not cancel out either one, but instead it enhances our state of being. They balance each other so that we may remain in a state of equilibrium. In the same manner, grace and faith enhance one another. They do not have the capacity to contradict one another, as they’re two separate, but complete laws.
What is faith? There are many examples of faith that are portrayed in the Bible and while they each look different from one another, they all depict what confidence in God looks like. Hebrew 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It’s important to allow our minds to drift towards God within our gaps of everyday activities. When we daydream alongside God, we can imagine the things we didn’t know that we could imagine,and our vision for the unseen events that are to occur in our lives will automatically broaden. When we place an emphasis on what God wants to see happen in our lives, our confidence will deepen and our focus will become more stringent,and our actions will flow as a byproduct.
God’s grace is already available to anyone who is willing to receive it. He determined it long before we even had the capability to do anything for or alongside of God (Romans 5:8). We have eternal access to His grace, or His favor upon our lives. One definition of favor is “A feel or show of approval or preference for.” Faith is produced from having the confidence that at any given time, we have His favor upon our lives, and it was given to us regardless of whether or not our actions are favorable. You really cannot go too far to one side or the other because faith and grace coincide with one another, they do not contradict. What many call walking to close to the side of faith is not really biblical faith, but it’s self-sufficiency and sometimes, legalism. Biblical faith is only produced from a proper understanding of biblical grace. The deeper understanding of grace that we have, the more incredible our acts of faith will overflow from our heart.
A reason why some people believe that these two concepts are contradictions is because they believe that the sect of people teaching on them are hypocrites. Jesus never called those people who wanted to get closest to Him hypocrites. He defended Mary, who only desired to sit at his feet, even though there was other work that could be done. He stuck up for the woman who broke the alabaster jar in order to spend a moment in the presence of her master. And He’ll be the one to defend you and I when we seek Him with all that we have in order to understand grace on the level that these biblical figures have, and on an even greater level. Jesus called the religious people hypocrites and they were offended, instead of truly repentant and wanting to change their hearts towards Him. There is no such thing as getting too close to God. As with any other concept in the Bible, there is a worldly definition and a Biblical definition. When we strive to find out the meaning that God had intended, we will be able to share that wisdom with the world, and no one will be able to refute it.