Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Because of God’s Grace

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 NLT)

Christians have no grounds whatsoever for boasting. There is nothing to boast about. We didn’t become Christians because we were born into a Christian family or were relatively moral people or did a number of good deeds. Therefore, we have absolutely nothing we can take credit for.

And if we find ourselves bragging about anything that we have done to obtain our salvation, either we are not saved or we don’t understand what it means for God to forgive us.

In Ephesians 2, the apostle Paul makes a bedrock statement about the Christian faith: “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (verses 8–9 NLT).

This is a foundational Christian doctrine. Yet it’s surprising how many people don’t grasp the simple yet profound truth that we are Christians entirely and solely because of the grace of God.

Earlier in Ephesians, Paul spoke of God’s mercy. Here, He speaks of God’s grace. God has dealt with us in grace, which is getting what we don’t deserve: His forgiveness, His pardon, and adoption into His family.

Someone has accurately defined grace as “God’s unmerited favor.” This grace came in spite of what we were and what we did.

Grace is getting what we don’t deserve. Mercy is not getting what we do deserve. And justice is getting what we deserve.

We never want to ask God to give us justice, because in doing so, we’re asking Him to give us what we deserve. And what we deserve is Hell. Thankfully, God has not dealt with us according to justice, because Jesus Christ met God’s righteous requirement at Calvary. The death of Jesus satisfied the justice of God.

An effective testimony (your story of how you came to faith) always will glorify God and never will glorify the past. Some Christians make their lives before Christ sound so juicy and interesting that they make the present seem dull. That is an inaccurate testimony.

If you are honest about what you were before you became a Christian, then you must talk about the spiritual state you were in. You were separated from God and in rebellion against Him. A good testimony never will glorify the past; it always will glorify the Lord.

Every Christian has a testimony because the power of God has gloriously transformed every person who has put his or her faith in Jesus Christ.

It’s important to realize that salvation does not come from anything that we’ve done. So, let’s not boast about what we’ve done or what we gave up to follow Jesus. Granted, we may have given up some things, but they’re nothing compared to what God gave us in their place.

If we don’t realize that, then we don’t know how dark our state was, how miserable of a condition we were in, and how far we were separated from God.

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