Salvation by Grace: (Eph 2:4-10 PHI) But even though we were dead in our sins God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, gave us life together with Christ-it is, remember, by grace and not by achievement that you are saved-and has lifted us right out of the old life to take our place with him in Christ in the Heavens. Thus he shows for all time the tremendous generosity of the grace and kindness he has expressed towards us in Christ Jesus. It was nothing you could or did achieve-it was God’s gift to you. No one can pride himself upon earning the love of God. The fact is that what we are we owe to the hand of God upon us. We are born afresh in Christ, and born to do those good deeds which God planned for us to do.
Paul teaches us that we all (every last human on the planet) we are born dead in our trespasses and sins. We were dead-men-walking. Our sinful nature led us to sin regularly. Some of us were experts at it. Others attempted to do their best to live right before God, but without repentance, remission of sin, and divine forgiveness all human efforts would fall short. As much as any human could try, no one could ever live sinless. Jesus was the only pure human to walk the planet. Outside of Jesus, we all were sinners in need of a saviour. We were born with reservations to hell and with no way to cancel them. Our reservations were confirmed and our doom seemed inevitable. Furthermore, the Law could not save, but only magnify the need for a saviour. Under the Law we are all condemned, found guilty, and we would have been convicted. But praise God for Jesus! The Father, rich in mercy and motivated by His great love, sent Jesus to die in our place. Jesus, thinking of us and not His own well being, took a debt He did not owe and paid a price we could not pay. Jesus traded His righteousness for our sin, so that we could trade our sin for His righteousness. That is the great exchange!
Where does that leave us? After Jesus paid the ultimate price, all that was left for us to do was accept Him as Lord. The Father freely gave His only Son as a ransom for us, the Son freely gave His life as payment for our sin, and when we receive Jesus as Lord the Holy Spirit freely takes us residence in our heart in order to lead and guide us into all truth. God did all the work; all we must do is receive His free gift. Now, when we do, should we take credit for it? Accepting a gift is nothing to boast about. The fullness of the Godhead (Father, Son, and Spirit) earned our salvation, all we do is receive it. Paul says, “…it is, remember, by grace and not by achievement… It was nothing you could or did achieve-it was God’s gift to you… what we are we owe to the hand of God upon us.”
If a man is drowning in the ocean and calls out for the help of a lifeguard, only to give the lifeguard run into the waters and save him from imminent death, does the man have anything to boast about? Of course not. All he did was call and the lifeguard did all the work. All we did was call upon the name of the Lord, because Jesus had already paid it all.
So what does this mean to you today? A few quick things:
1. Salvation is a free gift, paid for IN FULL by Jesus the Christ.
2. While we had a part in our salvation (calling upon the name of the Lord), our part is nothing to boast about. Our boast should be in Jesus and what He did.
3. Everything we are (both before and after salvation) we owe to the hand of God upon us.
4. If it were not for the grace of God we would be undeniably lost.