Let’s look at these two verses and see God’s plan of salvation for you and me.
“For by grace are you saved, through faith and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Grace provides us with what we don’t deserve, mercy. We deserve only judgment. That is why Jesus died on the cross. He took all our punishment … in the darkness of that day, every sin that had been committed and that would be committed were hurled at Him to absorb. Again, and again, He was lashed and smothered in all of our sin.
What a horrible experience that was for Him, what GREAT LOVE was expressed as He endured the agony of bearing up under all of mankind’s sin. And what was the worst part for Him? The separation that was created by the sin between Him and His Father! I am trying to get you to understand the price that was paid for our salvation. The ONLY reason you and I can have salvation has nothing to do with us! It is ALL Jesus!
Being good does not save us, being baptized does not save us, being a church member does not save us. ONLY the grace of God does … by faith we believe and accept God’s provision of salvation.
And that salvation is a GIFT from God to us. When verse 9 tells us that our salvation “is not of works” (the being good, etc. are those “good’ works) our salvation has nothing to do with how we “perform.” It all depends upon what God has done for us! Our only part is the believing and accepting His “work” of salvation.
It is so important that you get this concept. In Isaiah 64:6 it says, “…and all our righteousness are as filthy rags…” this portion says just how worthless our “works” are to God. That is a very sobering thought — no matter how good I think I am or what I do, in God’s sight, compared to His Holiness, my works are like “filthy rags”… rags that are used to wrap up oozing sores, full of blood and puss…that is what our “good works” look like to God. I borrowed this acrostic from Charles Stanley. I like his definition of God’s grace.
G = God’s
R = riches
A = at
C = Christ’s
E = expense
Although God’s grace is free to us, it cost Him dearly. His great love for us caused Him to give such an awesome ransom for our souls. How can we but praise Him for His wonderful provision, remembering that all the glory belongs to Him … our salvation is all about Him, not about us. The more mature I become in the Lord the more I understand how everything is all about Him and how worthy He is of our praise. Let’s focus on Him and His mighty works towards us, because of His great love!