During Fall 2017, I taught Calvary Monterey the book of Ephesians. During the series, I also wrote about Ephesians in sixty-plus short, devotionally styled posts. Each Thursday, through 2018, I will release a post. I hope you enjoy. For the entire series, please visit nateholdridge.com/united-for-unity-posts.
“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).
We have taken time to learn why and how God worked to save His people, but how did God perform this gracious salvation? We’ve seen what we were and what God has done about it, but how does He accomplish His miraculous deliverance? Paul tells us it comes through faith, not as a result of works.
Saving faith is trust in Jesus Christ; it sees Him as a living person who died for the sin problem in humanity. Saving faith leans on Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God. It is not a mere feeling or positive mental attitude. It is not a system, as in “in my faith, we do this or that.” It is not even an intellectual belief in specific facts. Saving faith contains an element of all of these, but, at its core, saving faith is trust and surrender.
Faith is God’s forever method of delivering salvation. It is the vehicle He used for Abraham, Israel, and the church. Salvation is always achieved by God through the mode of faith. We rejoice for this because it means salvation is not by our work, but Christ’s work. We simply choose to trust in His work. Our salvation, as Paul stated, is “not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
The enemy of our souls has made it his mission to pervert this simple truth. He appeals to the pride of humanity, telling us we can certainly earn our righteousness, or that we deserve God’s love because of our intrinsic goodness. But the gospel calls every man and woman a sinner, telling us we’ve fallen short of God’s glory. The only way for me to be saved is through faith in what Christ has done. This faith removes all boasting and all effort for salvation (Romans 3:27).
Paul will show us we are made for good works, but those works are not done to earn salvation. In fact, our good works are done by in the same way we were saved, by faith. Our justification faith is to lead to a life of faith, believing we are standing firmly in God’s in Christ position, working from a position of His favor to bless our world and our Father in heaven.