“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” - Ephesians 2:8-10
By grace. Through faith. For God’s work. In this passage we see how grace, faith and works harmoniously and fluidly work together for God’s glory and our redemption. Many a church has been split wide open because of such theological issues as grace and works. But such dissension is not only unbiblical, it is also unnecessary. How do we reconcile God’s grace and our works? We don’t. There is no reason to reconcile things that are not opposed to one another, is there?
Grace, faith and works are not contrary to one another, but essential. Works are evidence of faith…the effect of belief. And it is by God’s grace that we believe. We don’t work to be saved; but we do work if we are saved. Do you see the difference?
God’s grace in Christ, when it is unleashed on a heart, changes everything. His grace awakens the spiritually dead every bit as much as when Christ summoned Lazarus from the grave. “Come forth,” He beckons. The once-selfish heart is transformed to serve. The once-greedy heart is willing to give. The once-rude heart is inspired to be kind. Grace changes everything.
This grace-change is both instantaneous and ongoing. Our position changes immediately as we go from slave to son, enemy to friend, and from lost to found. Faith in Christ instantly results in a new heart. The old has gone and the new has come. But transformation is also ongoing. The “good works” we were saved to do happen over time. It is a daily choice to put off the old and put on the new.
Dear Father, Today I surrender my life to Your hands. Help me to trust You in every situation. Thank You for Jesus, my Lord and Savior.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.