• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • February 2016
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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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV)

The Scriptures teach that Christians are created in Jesus Christ for good works. At one time, we were all in rebellion against God because we each wanted our own way and to pursue our sinful passions with unrestrained lust. We were all spiritually dead. Yet, because of God’s great love, He has made us alive through Jesus Christ.

We are saved by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone. In the above verses we are taught (as previously stated) that we are created for good works. Man cannot do, perfectly, enough good works to earn his salvation. Salvation is a work of grace through faith. Therefore, good works are a sign of the grace we have been given and our gratitude for the gift of salvation. Good works are done to glorify God, not to gain anything from Him. Since only God knows the spirit of a man, good works are a witness to others confirming our faith in Him.

God, our Father:

… Raised us up with him [Jesus] and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:5-7 ESV)

Having been children of wrath, we have now been brought into the family of God. We have been made alive together with Jesus Christ whose death on the cross satisfied God’s judgement against our sins. Now, in Christ, we are righteous before God and share in the joy of the immeasurable riches of His grace.

Our new position in God’s family has nothing to do with our own achievements, but everything to do with the work of Christ. We did not make our cold dead hearts come alive. Grace and faith are a gift from God, not something we earned. Christians are God’s workmanship, not the result of our own labors. We cannot rely on our own unaided powers to live good lives that we may be deserving of salvation.  Grace alone will turn the soul to God.

T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far…  and Grace will lead us home. (John Newton, “Amazing Grace”)

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