In the present age of grace, everything is “by grace” (Eph. 2:8). Everything being by grace means that everything is done by God. Man does not have to do anything to be saved because “to the one who works, his wages are not accounted according to grace, but according to what is due” (Rom. 4:4). Because God deals with man according to grace, there are certain facts.
Facts are God’s promises, His redemption, His works, and His free gifts and that God has accomplished everything for man. Since everything has been accomplished, certain “facts” exist. And since they are existing “facts,” man does not have to accomplish what has already been accomplished. All of God’s works are complete.
However, God’s grace is a righteous grace. This is why, with the “facts,” there is still the need for human cooperation. What kind of cooperation is this? It is not to add anything to what He has finished, but to have man acknowledge that what God has done is real. This is faith.
Faith denotes the way man believes in God, trusts in His work and redemption, and claims His promises. It is a kind of working and attitude through which God’s facts are transformed into man’s experience. It is to acknowledge that what God has said and done is true. Faith is to accept the facts, that is, to acknowledge them as facts.
Experience is the proper living of the believers, which they secure through believing in God. It is the expression of the life of Christ practiced in the believers’ living. Experience is the realization of all Christ’s accomplishments and victories. It is the practical application, manifestation, and living out of God’s facts. The histories of all the saints recorded in the Bible belong to this category.
“Not only those who are teachers but all believers should know the interrelationship of these three: fact, faith, and experience. Otherwise, they will be confused in their living and in their teachings. Furthermore, they will find many contradictions and apparent disagreements in their reading of the Bible. ” – Bro.Watchman Nee
To experience God’s grace is to claim by faith the facts that God has accomplished for man. These facts are accomplished by God. What man needs is faith. The facts belong to God, and the experience belongs to man. Thus, faith is God’s facts becoming man’s experience. What the Bible shows us is simply “fact, faith, and experience.”