Understanding Undeserving Grace
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”
— Ephesians 2:8
There is an anti-gospel that runs through every false religion and every false heart: the gospel that says “can do” instead of “it is finished” by Jesus. We are saved solely by faith and not good deeds or works. Faith itself is a gift. Grace flows through the channel of faith, but the channel itself is a work of God. Faith isn't the ultimate good deed that saves us but it is the instrument by which we receive salvation. Salvation comes from Christ: faith recognizes who Jesus is and what He provides.
Ephesians 2:9 goes onto tell us that saving faith is not a result of our works so that no one can boast. So we ought to never boast in our abilities, choices, accomplishments or spiritual insight because salvation is solely an act of grace from God. We should rather rest in our righteousness and holiness in Christ.
“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.”
— 1 Corinthians 1:30
It is because of Jesus’ sacrifice that we have redemption. Sanctification is something that follows and is also a gift of grace. Sanctification is an act of the Holy Spirit who constantly works in us, refining us and growing us in Christ-likeness.
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time”
— 2 Timothy 1:9
In this verse it also emphasizes who does the saving work but He calls us to live a holy life as well as Christians. Meaning the deeds we do are merely for our growth in spiritual character. It is not a means to salvation.
As Paul puts it in Titus 3:5 “he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy.” The glory goes to God for his sovereign, omnipotent, and empowering grace.
Sovereign grace is also preexistent grace, “this grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” (2 Tim 1:9).
Jesus existed before the beginning of time and the grace we receive preexisted in Him already. This very thought is expanded more in Ephesians 1:4-6. The grace that Jesus provides us with is sufficient to redeem us.
This gospel is all-powerful. It can save anyone who believes (Rom.1:16), and it can sustain any born-again person amid the rigors of suffering and shame. The gospel-centered life will endure shame and suffering through the gospel.
With this understanding of what Grace truly is, we need to truly reflect daily on our lives, working out our salvation with fear and trembling. But understanding how salvation comes about and how much grace God has for us we need to search our hearts. Are we taking any credit for what He has solely done for us? Are we boasting in our own good works?
This grace should humble us and remind us that without Jesus none of this would of ever been possible because he was the only one who could save us. Walk with gratitude today knowing that there is a God who loved you even though you were a sinner and rejected Him. He died for you anyway.
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