We ended the last post affirming that God was the active agent in our salvation and that our salvation was primarily for His glory and then our joy in Him.
Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV
 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,  not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Here, Paul affirms much of what we ended with in the last post. Paul, again, states “by grace you have been saved,” proclaiming that it is by unmerited favor and kindness that we were saved from God’s wrath, and that all of this is done through faith. Paul then tells us that even the faith to be saved isn’t our own doing, but it is a “gift of God”.
Did you catch that? Even our ability to confess Christ as Lord, the ability to say a simple phrase, and believe it in our heart (Rom. 10:9-10) is God’s GIFT to us. We do not possess the ability or desire to confess Christ as Lord in and of ourselves, because we were completely lost, blinded, and dead in our sin. God’s grace toward the elect is His gift of saving faith.
Paul further emphasizes this work of God in our salvation by telling us that it is “not a result of [our] works” so that there would be no room for the elect to boast in their position as those whom God chose from the foundation of the world to conform to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). This removes from us ALL right to brag before each other, and before God. We can’t even utter a three word phrase and really mean it without God’s gift of saving faith at work in us.
Paul then reminds us that we are “His workmanship”, meaning that we were created, we are not automatons who sprang forth from nothingness with no purpose. We were created, and we were created “in Christ Jesus for good works” which God “created beforehand”, taking us back to Paul’s assertions in Ephesians 1:3-6.
The understanding of this text provides several insights:
1) We do not save ourselves
2) Those who are saved are saved by God’s grace, according to His sovereign will (Eph. 1:11)
3) Those who are saved have no room to boast before God or man
The proper understanding of the gospel should drive us to deep, deep humility and reliance on God (particularly those who claim to be Reformed). As such, this understanding should foster unity among the church. We’ll discuss unity in Christ at greater depth in the next post.
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