“God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”Ephesians 2:8-9
Or as it reads in a more literal translation, the one I learned in my first Bible:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (NASB)Ephesians 2:8-9
Your salvation is always and forever on the basis of faith, trusting God to cover your sin through Christ’s substitutionary death for you.and accepting you into His family on the basis of your trust in Him. This is not of yourselves / you can’t take credit for this, you can’t boast about it. You can do nothing to save yourself. It is not a reward nor is it deserved for anything you have done. You can’t earn your salvation or your right standing with God. You didn’t receive because you are basically a good person. You didn’t receive it because you go to church now and live the golden rule. You didn’t receive it because you live a good life and have kept all of the Ten Commandments with the exception of just “that one”. You didn’t earn it because you father was pastor. You didn’t deserve it because you have read the Bible through 50 times now. Yes, you have been doing well and have’t missed a home group for the last three years, but God is not impressed with that and that is not the reason He welcomes you. You haven’t earned a place in heaven because your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, even by light years let alone by just a smidgen.
It is very clear isn’t it? Nothing, absolutely nothing you have done or ever will do gives you the right to expect you have earned anything from God. Nothing except your faith in Christ to save you qualifies you for heaven and your inheritance. It is all obtained IN CHRIST.
But it’s remarkable how easily we slip from that view and begin to think there is something that we are doing which makes God like us. I have news for you and it is all good. God loved you when you were covered in the “vomit of your sin”. How much more does He love you when you are attempting to live for Him. A Christian friend and I years ago had a standing joke between us whenever we played pool. We imagined that the one who won must have had the longer, better Quiet Time that morning. It was indeed imaginary. There was no basis of fact to it at all.
For some of us there is something offensive about not having had a hand in our salvation. Self made men and women like to think they have earned their position and where they are now. Their accomplishments have got them where they are today. How much more so when it is a matter of heaven at stake. God did it this way so you can’t boast about it. It’s like we feel like we have to have a hand in our salvation. It can’t be this easy. I must have to pay some penalty for it. No Jesus truly did pay it ALL. There is nothing left for you to do. Anything you do, do because you love Him. The same is true of spiritual gifts. There can be no boasting. He gave it all to you. You didn’t do a thing to earn it. Just use the gift for His glory and for building the body up in love. The same is also true for the abilities and natural gifts you have. He created you, He made you as you are. Therefore there is also no boasting about that. In short, THERE IS NO BOASTING
Grace is inviting to the unrighteous and threatening to the self-righteous.Sandra Stanley
Doubt wonders, “Have I done enough to go to heaven?” Grace answers, “No, you haven’t. But Jesus has on your behalf.”Max Lucado
GRACE is everything for nothing to someone who doesn’t deserve anything.Jose Carol