Saved by Grace, Not by Works…Yet Created for Good Works
One of the defining issues for our understanding of God’s Word and our enjoyment of God’s purpose involves grasping the relationship between good works and our salvation in Jesus Christ.
After describing our hopeless spiritual desperation apart from Christ (Eph. 2:1-3), Paul portrays the richness of God’s mercy and greatness of God’s love that provides new life in Christ for those who trust in His sacrificial death on the Cross (Eph. 2:4-7).
Paul makes it clear that this gracious gift can only be experienced through personal faith in what Christ did for us.
Our salvation is not the result of something we do, earn or about which we have any reason to boast (Eph. 2:8-9).
Jesus Christ gets all the glory and credit for the gift of salvation we enjoy in Him.
However, Paul immediately turns his focus in verse 10 to the place of good works in our relationship with Christ. He declares that we are God’s creative masterpiece, designed specifically to engage in good works that reflect God’s grace. He assures us that these good works are not happenstance, but are prepared beforehand by God so that those who know His Son are partnering with Him as people are drawn to Jesus (Jn. 6:37;44).
Becoming God’s grateful partner in His purpose provides a daily source of the joyful aroma of Christ that provokes questions from those who do not yet know Jesus. Such a life is only experienced by intentional dependence on Christ…so from start to finish, we have no reason to boast and every reason to rejoice.
~ Ken Horton