Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:8-10
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)
It is clear that we are Christians entirely and solely by the grace of God. Grace is God’s unmerited, undeserved favor. It is an action that arises entirely from the gracious character of God. Therefore, salvation is solely the result of the work of God. We have nothing to add to it.
What is important to realize is that salvation comes from God in spite of ourselves. It is unmerited favor given to those who have positive demerit on their accounts. We all have a sin record that makes us unworthy and undeserving. Grace is not something we in any sense deserve or merit. In fact, we deserve nothing except the punishment and displeasure of God. Yet, out of His own immense love, immeasurable grace, and wondrous mercy, God has granted salvation to us. That is the meaning of the term grace. Grace is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”
God initiates His work of salvation in us when He causes us to be made alive in Christ. We were spiritually dead (vs. 1-3), but God made us alive (vs. 4-6). It is by grace that we have been saved. Thus Paul says — “And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Does your idea of how you became a Christian give you any grounds whatsoever for being proud of yourself? Dot it in any way reflect credit upon you? If it does, you have missed the teaching of the Bible.
Paul knew about boasting (Philippians 3:3-6). Before he was a Christian, there was never a more self-satisfied or self-assured person. He was proud of his family heritage, his religious zeal, his morality and his knowledge. But, when he was saved by God’s grace, he came to realize that none of these things matter as far as salvation is concerned — “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ” (Philippians 3:7).
Salvation by grace is what sets Christianity apart from every other religion in the world. All other religions teach a works salvation. They insist that one must earn the favor of God or the gods. One must work hard to be saved. Some who profess to be Christians fail to grasp that salvation is by grace alone. They believe that they must add their own efforts to what Jesus has done. Religion, man’s effort to earn salvation, is one of the greatest enemies of the gospel. It leads to self-righteousness, traditionalism, and moralism, all of which are denials of the gospel message of grace.
Consider how amazing and powerful God’s grace is. It makes spiritually dead sinners alive. It brings forgiveness and hope to us. Through it, we are accepted and loved by God. John Newton’s hymn says it best: “Amazing grace! how sweet the sound — that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.”
Gracious Lord, I know that I am unworthy to receive salvation. There is nothing in me that makes me worthy of Your love and favor. I know that my greatest efforts to earn your favor are not enough. Yet, You chose to pour out Your grace on me. You accepted me as Your child and saved me by the precious blood of Your Son. Thank You for Your amazing grace that saved a wretch like me!
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