“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.” ‭‭Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV‬‬

Have you ever seen a child dressed in luxury clothes and thought they might have worked so hard for it? Even if the child goes around showing off, you know it is not their works, but their parents’. This picture precisely describes salvation. We did not earn it, and we cannot boast of it. It is simply a gift from God.

In his epistles, Apostle Paul emphasised the role of the believer in salvation and strongly warned against boasting (Romans 3:27, Romans 4:2-4). One way he prescribes to avoid it is to remember that before salvation, man was dead and lived perpetually in sin (Ephesians 2:1-2). Having this disposition keeps us in thanksgiving, where boasting cannot exist.

In our anchor verse, Paul writing to the Ephesian Church says there is no room for boasting in salvation. Good works cannot save a man, rather they are the expected qualities of a saved man. We were saved not by good works, but for good works. 

God was the doer, all we had to do was believe. The great preacher Charles Spurgeon once said “our only contribution to our salvation was the sin that made it necessary.”

Salvation portrays God’s character and not ours. It is not by our obedience or compliance, but His mercy and loving kindness that we are saved. When we fully recognise the utter helplessness of man and the sovereign generosity of God in salvation, it is impossible to boast about it! What God did for us, no man could have done for himself (Romans 6:23).

In Luke 18, Jesus told a story of a Pharisee and a tax collector who went to the temple to pray. We see how the Pharisee boasted and trusted in his works for righteousness. The tax collector, on the other hand, recognised the mercy of God and didn’t trust in his works. Jesus said only the tax collector went home justified.

As believers, we should never come to a point where we examine our devotional life, alms or tithes and think that’s what qualifies us for righteousness. Only one thing does, and that’s the gift of grace freely given to anyone who believes the gospel. We don’t have to make sacrifices or atonements or wait any probationary period to see if we truly qualify. All we ever have to do is place our faith in Christ.

 Nobody can say he deserves salvation by his own merit. We did not earn it, so we can not ever brag about it. Our boast is in Christ, not our works or qualifications, however justifiable they may seem.

DO THIS: Take out 30 seconds and thank God for this precious gift.

Bible Reading Plan: Mark 6: 1- 29

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