“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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.” Ephesians 2:4-10
When I read this text, I can’t help but notice the essence of what Paul is describing: God’s deep ocean of grace. Even before the beginning, there was grace (Ephesians 1:4). While we were dead in sin, slaves to our passions for this world, hating everything that is righteous, He chose to extend grace to His people.
So when we think about our salvation, who do we boast in? If you’re like me, you have the tendency to boast in yourself. I mean, look at all the work I’m doing for Him! I serve my church, help lead worship, serve the homeless, help a men’s weekly Bible study, share the gospel, shepherd my family, tithe, read my bible daily, pray daily, write a christian blog, and even find time for a catechism or two. Surely I’ve earned His grace right?
In Philippians 3:4-7, Paul has a similar list of credentials that far surpasses mine. If there was a man in his time that could boast about his self-righteousness, it was Paul, a self-described Hebrew of Hebrews. Killing it at keeping the law. But even with all of his achievements, he counts it all as complete rubbish (v8).
Our righteousness can’t be found in ourselves. For those who place their trust in Christ, it is only found in Him. His righteousness is imputed to us. We didn’t earn it. The debt has been paid in full. There is nothing that we could ever do to earn more grace, or even less grace. The second we turn faith into a work produced, we take away grace. We see in Ephesians 2:8 that faith is a gift from God. Not because of anything we did, or anything we will do, but because of the immeasurable riches of his grace.
The word grace is used repeatedly in this post because that’s because it’s the word I want you to focus on when you think about your relationship with God. It’s easy for us to default to our list of good works when we size up where we stand with the Father. We all do it. But our works, while produced by faith, are good and should be walked in. Not boasted in. We are only able to do these things because of God’s grace, so boast in Him.