Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Key Bible Verse: God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8)
Dig Deeper: Ephesians 2:1-10
Christians believe that we are saved by grace received through faith. Grace precedes faith, because, as Ephesians 2:1-4 [points] out for us, apart from the intervention of God, we aren’t just religiously disabled, we are dead. And we are saved by God’s grace, “not as a result of works.”
We are not saved because we made something of ourselves. We are not saved because we work harder than anybody else. And we are not saved because we follow the Christian religion. Christians are saved because God saved them. We are his workmanship, not ours.
One of the most important tenets of Christianity that makes it totally unparalleled in the world, among systems both religious and irreligious [is that] our good works do not earn us heaven. See, there are two things that good works cannot be if they are ever to be what the Bible calls “good.” They cannot be payback. And they cannot be self-righteous.
We do not work in order to pay God back. The debt is paid! This is what it means to be justified. No more payment is needed. Christians are not in debt to God; at least, not in this way. His Son has satisfied the payment. In fact, elsewhere Paul says that we are not debtors but rather heirs (Rom. 8:12-17).
– Jared C. Wilson in Unparalleled
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