“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
The precious truth expressed in this passage of God’s Word was for centuries clouded and hidden from the people. Even today many think that salvation depends upon human works rather than upon the grace and favor of God toward sinful man. But salvation from the eternal torments of hell which we all deserve on account of our sinfulness is by God’s grace alone and through faith alone in Jesus Christ!
We cannot by our own works and lives contribute anything toward our salvation. God is gracious to us sinners and offers to us forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven only because Jesus Christ, His own dear Son in human flesh, lived a sinless life in our stead and then suffered and died upon the cross for our sins, rising again on the third day.
For Christ’s sake, God graciously chose us to be His own and, in time, brought us to trust in Him to forgive our sins and accept us as His own dear children for the sake of the redemption accomplished by His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ (cf. Ephesians 1:3ff.; 2:1ff.). He raised us up from spiritual darkness and death by the Spirit’s working through the Gospel, bringing us to know our sinfulness and to trust in Christ and His blood, shed upon the cross for our sins.
From start to finish, our salvation is of God’s grace; we have nothing of which to boast. Even the works we do as a result of God’s gracious gift of salvation are His working in us for Jesus’ sake. To God be the glory forever and ever!
Dear LORD God, we thank Thee for Thy grace and mercy toward us for Jesus’ sake; and we pray Thee to keep us trusting in Christ alone for our salvation. Grant also that we, as Thy forgiven children, may live our lives for Thee doing those works which Thou hast created us to do. Amen.
[Scripture taken from the King James Version of the Bible]