November 21, 2023 – Tuesday
Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
The following questions are the most important questions you can ask yourself or have your loved ones ask. If I die today will I go to Heaven? Why would anyone put off the most important decision they could ever make in their lives, concerning eternal life? Found the above on J.D. Farag’s website on the ABC’s of salvation, followed by Ephesians 2:8-9, 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
That is our salvation in nutshell. We cannot earn our salvation, it is a gift, a gift of God through His Son Jesus the Christ. This gift is called grace. Romans 10:9-10 tells us, 9 if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. But let’s back up for a moment, why would we need to confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead, to be saved? Because we are all sinners, all of us and without this grace we are condemned to eternal death. So first we must admit we are sinners in need of forgiveness. When we admit (A) we are sinners we now have to believe (B) in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day. Then if we confess (C) with our mouths our belief we receive salvation, grace.
Then Ephesians 2:8-9 comes into play to remind us, 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. The importance of this faith is expressed in 1 Peter 1:7-9, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
Now faith and salvation are followed by works. The works are made possible by our faith and salvation. James 2:18-20 had this to say about our faith and works, 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without]your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? A note of caution here as the works may not be visible to us. Sharon and I once had a dentist who was ‘rough’ whenever working in our mouths, but after a Promise Keepers weekend he became gentle and caring with us and other patients. When I queried him about this, he said it was due to his salvation becoming ‘real’ to him over that weekend.
For others, their mindset changes. They are no longer always out for number one but are ready to help others succeed as well. Their anger is reduced until it is gone, and they become gentler with their words. Asked about the change, they reply quietly, “Jesus.” Another caution, obedience works are without value if there is no faith or belief in the risen Christ, see Matthew 7:22-24
Bottom Line: Your faith and belief in the risen Christ lead to your salvation. Works have nothing to do with your salvation but should follow as evidence of your salvation. James tells us faith without works is dead, but Jesus lets us know works without faith is also without value.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Please help us to put our faith to work in our lives after receiving Your wonderful gift of grace. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God