Great Gospel Texts: Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph 2:8-9 NKJV).

It seems that we live in an ever-increasing DIY society. Whether it’s fixing our cars or tackling a home improvement project, there is a growing desire to do it ourselves. While this method may work in some areas of our lives, it’s hopeless when attempting to acquire God’s salvation. The prophet Jonah stated clearly, “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jon 2:9). That truth will never change.

As the Apostle Paul writes to the believers in Ephesus concerning the grace of God in their lives, he would likely recall God’s grace in saving him. These verses display a stark contrast between God’s grace and human merit to obtain salvation. Let us examine this text together in three ways.

The Source of Salvation

God’s desire to save us from sin and its eternal consequences begins and ends with His grace. God alone is the author of salvation. It was God who sought Adam in the garden after sin entered the world. It was God the Father who sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. It was God the Son who willingly bore God’s wrath for our sin. It is the Spirit of God who brings a sinner to conviction of sin and conversion to Christ. From the time of man’s ruin by sin until the time of God’s redemption from sin, God was working through Christ to reconcile sinners to Himself. He continues to graciously work today in the hearts of mankind.

The Sureness of Salvation

One thing religion can never offer is the assurance of salvation. Religion demands that one must repeatedly work to obtain peace with God yet never provides the certainty that it is ever received. Paul reminded the Ephesian believers, “You have been saved.” The certainty of salvation they failed to receive from idol worship had now been secured by faith in the person and work of Christ. What God offers by grace can be obtained by faith. Are you trusting in Christ for salvation?

The Simplicity of Salvation

Obtaining salvation from God consists of repenting, believing and receiving. Receiving it is as easy as accepting a gift because “it is the gift of God.” We aren’t worthy of it and have nothing of which to boast. Salvation is offered as a free gift from God without any works of our own. However, gifts that are freely received must first be purchased by the giver. Payment for sin was made by Christ at Calvary and God was fully satisfied. The way to God was opened through the sacrificial death of Christ. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1Pe 3:18 NKJV). Christ’s work was enough for God, the apostle Paul and the believers of Ephesus. Is it enough for you?

Boasting excluded,
Pride I abase.
I’m only a sinner
Saved by grace.