“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV)
There is much to help the Christian man who never forgets he was not saved from sin or the consequences of sin by his own efforts. Salvation is by Jesus Christ alone. We are born again to a new life in Him through faith in Him.
We may often be so proud of what we have done in the name of Jesus that we begin to think that our own good efforts will win us the final approval of God. This leads us to base our salvation on “comparative” good works. I use the word “comparative” because we all tend to compare ourselves to what others are doing and not to God’s Holy standards. This only leads to more pride, which leads to sin.
We are tempted to believe that God owes us something because we have accumulated more good deeds in our “self-righteousness bank” than our next door neighbor. These self-righteous feelings would have us look down on our neighbors even though the Bible clearly teaches, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Self-righteousness destroys the doctrine of “by grace you have been saved through faith” as it is taught in the Scriptures.
Even though we should be diligent in our study and the accumulation of Bible knowledge, this too may lead to pride in our understanding and our earnest study. But, even the demons know more about God than us! Yet, who dares to deny that the Bible teaches us that their punishment will be everlasting. We must be born again to enter into the kingdom of God. Faith and understanding are the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work in us. The Holy Spirit opens the Scriptures to our understanding. We should now be motivated to study the Word of God because it has the words of salvation. Even so, we should not make reading the Bible a work by which we earn a merit badge.
Should we boast of our belief? Do you think you are saved because you chose to believe and your friend is not because he has refused to believe? If so, you are seeking the credit for why you go to heaven and your friend does not. This is not trusting in Jesus as your Savior. It is trusting in “your belief” in Jesus. Again, your good deed of “belief” becomes the basis of your salvation. Saving faith is not a work that you conjure up by your own effort. It is the instrument and gift of the Holy Spirit through which the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to your life that you may be saved by Christ’s perfect obedience to God the Father.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV) We are sinners, and yet we have been saved by grace. We are not righteous, yet we have been freely given the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We have no grounds on which to boast in ourselves, yet we may boast in Christ. The mercy shown to us by God’s grace is as beautiful as it is wonderful. Therefore, let us boast in God, because the Christian should be the most humble of God’s creatures.
Filed under: Bible, Christianity, Faith, Grace, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Prayer | Tagged: Bible, Christ, God, God the Father, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Salvation | 1 Comment »