For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God – not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Everyone likes to receive gifts. Imagine opening a gift on Christmas morning; you tear off the wrapping paper, open the box, and inside is exactly what you hoped for! However, upon further inspection, inside the box is a note that says, “You owe me $20 for the gift.”
What would you think? If you’re expected to pay for the gift, then it’s not a gift at all!
Salvation is a gift from God; it’s provided because of His grace. Grace is unmerited favor; we don’t deserve it.
Since it’s a gift, we don’t have to earn it. The Bible is very clear on this subject. Titus 3:5 says: Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit. If a person believes that they have to “work” to earn salvation, they’re actually saying that the Lord’s death on the cross wasn’t enough. I John 2:2 says: And He is the propitiation (substitute) for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
What about “faith without works is dead” in James 2:26? The word “faith” in this verse doesn’t mean salvation. This verse means doing good works because you’ve been saved. True faith always results in a transformed life, and a desire to do good works. A lack of good works reveals an unchanged heart. Matthew 5:16 says: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
If you would like more information about receiving salvation, please see my post “Four Steps To Salvation.” You can view it here.
This Christmas, remember to thank God for the gift of His Son!
- A Spirit Of Fear ( II Timothy 1:7)
- Trustworthy (Psalms 118:8)