January 13: The Legal and Vital Sides of Grace

Ephesians 3:19

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 1:17-20

17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

The legal side of redemption refers to that which Christ has done for us in His substitutionary work, and that is available for the taking or receiving. The legal side of grace is the reason or justification for receiving or walking in grace, without which there cannot be dispensing of grace. Our receiving of God’s grace is premised on all that Christ has done for us – the legal side of grace. On the other hand, the vital side of grace speaks of receiving or walking in grace. It is the execution, or the implementation of that which Christ has done for us in His substitutionary work. For example, 1 Peter 2:24 says by the stripes of Jesus Christ we were healed, yet there are Christians that are sick in their bodies physically speaking. This does not negate the Scriptures in any way but only shows us that which Christ has done for us in His substitutionary work, which is available for receiving. But until it is received by faith, the value of it does not take effect in our lives. Just as much as grace for salvation is available to all but is only experienced by all who receive it by faith, so is the relationship between the legal and vital sides of grace. It is a revelation of the Scripture that brings the believer into the vital experience of what Jesus has already done for him; for that is when faith is stirred in the heart.

Speaking of the legal side of grace, we mean that God, through Jesus’ Substitutionary work for man, has done everything for us, and has made ready everything pertaining to life and godliness. God has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; all things are ready! However, in walking in, or experiencing the vital dimension of grace, we speak of things in levels, seasons and purposes. The legal side has been concluded and finished because Jesus came into the world, died for our sins, was raised from the dead for our justification, and is seated at the Right Hand of God triumphant over all. When someone gets healed by the power of God, that healing comes on account of Jesus Christ’s finished works, which says: “By His stripes, we were healed” – 1 Peter 2:24. Whatever we may receive from God through faith with prayer, or through faith with fasting, will come to us on account of what Christ has already done for us in His substitutionary work. Therefore, the legal side of grace is the foundation and justification for the vital side. Hence, there is no glorying in self, but only in the Lord!

My Solid Front (Confession): 

I declare that I do not just know about the provisions made for me in redemption, I also have the actual experience of it. I walk by faith and not by sight; I increase in revelation knowledge in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Further Meditation:

Colossians 1:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:7