– Ephesians 2:8
It’s All About Grace
I don’t think any of us could justify ourselves as being worthy to have been saved. All of us should recognize that none of us deserve God’s grace. The only thing that we contribute is like the old church hymn said; that all we bring are hands full of sin and only to the cross can we cling. The brilliant Apostle Paul, who sat at the feet of the great teacher Gamaliel, said, “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1st Cor 2:2).
It’s Not About Us
Paul says that we’ve been saved through faith but this faith is “not from” [us] because “it is the gift of God,” so we must understand that it’s a free gift and we did nothing to deserve it or earn it. Imagine a baby being born and saying, “It’s my birthday, I deserve a gift.” No baby ever chooses the day of his or her birth and for Christian’s, we were born from above as the Greek suggests (John 3:3-7). To add one tiny bit of works to our salvation is to insult God for His free gift, and rob Him of His due glory for our salvation. That we were separated from God by our sins (Isaiah 59:2) meant we couldn’t reconcile ourselves to God. God had to make the first move and He did as the Apostle John wrote; “We love because he first loved us” (1st John 4:19).
It’s A Gift of God
Since we know that we could never justify ourselves and salvation is fully a work of God, then we must receive that gift and confess our sins and then put our trust in Christ. We can’t earn a gift, we can’t buy a gift from God; we can only receive it with thankful hearts, giving Him full credit, honor, and glory for saving us because not one of us deserved to be saved (Rom 3:10-12, 23). It’s only because God chose us before the foundation of the world that we might be adopted into His family (Eph 1:4-11). How incredible is that?!
Aren’t you glad that “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves” and that “it is the gift of God?” Otherwise we’d always be anxious whether we did enough good to get into heaven. Just how much is enough and how can we know how many good works does it take? That sounds way too hard for me…so thank God today that it’s by grace through faith that you’re saved. It’s not about us…it’s all about Him.