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.”
For by Grace
God’s gift of grace to us is his favor, his kindness towards us. It is him giving us a blessing. And we can do nothing in ourselves to earn or to deserve his kindness to us.
And he doesn’t have to extend his kindness to us, either. He has no obligation to do what he did for us. For we have all sinned, and thus we all come up short, in ourselves, of attaining God’s divine approval and his righteousness (Rom 3:23-25).
So, what is this favor he has given to us? It is forgiveness (pardon) of sins, and it is Jesus buying us back for God (redeeming us with his blood) so that we will now honor God with our lives. And it is him delivering us (saving us) from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin (1 Co 6:19-20; Rom 6:1-23).
And how do we receive this grace? By faith. And what is faith? It is also a gift of God, and it is divine persuasion as to God’s will for our lives, too. So, it submits to God’s will and it obeys the will of God, in the power of God.
Not Your Doing
This is where I believe the Lord wants me to focus today. For, many people today are propagating a gospel that, although they agree is not of our own doing, is absolutely of their own doing, of the flesh of man, and not of the Spirit of God, for what it propagates is not of God. It does not fully agree with God and with his Word. It is a half-truth cheapened grace gospel.
This gospel they are propagating as the true gospel was created in the minds of humans, and its purpose is to appease human flesh, not put it to death. It is man stimulated for one’s own self-pleasure, not for the pleasure of God. And it is of the flesh of man and therefore it glorifies the flesh.
The god of this man-created gospel is not God, but flesh. For it worships the flesh, not God, for it is all about feeding the flesh, and nurturing the flesh, and ignoring God and his commandments, and snubbing his Holy Spirit.
This man-created gospel also supersedes the true gospel of Jesus Christ in the hearts of those who follow after its lies. For, it is intended to replace the true gospel in the hearts and minds of its followers because it is of Satan who wants to be God and who wants people to follow him, instead.
So, it teaches “another Jesus” and a “different gospel” which we were warned against in the Scriptures (2 Co 11:3-4). For, Paul was concerned that believers in Jesus might be being led astray from their sincere and pure devotion to Christ, for they were putting up with this “different gospel” and these teachings about “another Jesus,” other than the true Christ.
And this is definitely where the church, at large, is today, at least in these institutional market-driven state churches which are propagating this false flesh-driven gospel. They are not teaching the Jesus of the Scriptures nor are they teaching the gospel as Jesus and his NT apostles taught it.
This false gospel has elements of the true gospel in it, but it is manipulated, altered, and adulterated to make it more appealing and acceptable to the world and to human flesh. Therefore, it is generated in the minds of human beings, not in the mind of God, for it is opposed to God.
So, they translate Ephesians 2:8-9 (one of their key passages) to say that we do absolutely nothing and that God does it all. They say nothing is required of us other than to “believe” but that “belief” is very obscure, and it is definitely not biblical faith, for it glorifies the flesh, not God.
So, there are literally thousands of people out there professing faith in Jesus Christ, and heaven as their eternal destiny, which they say they can’t lose, while they deny Jesus as Lord (owner-master) of their lives, while they continue living in sin, and while they refuse to obey our Lord’s commands.
So, no marriage relationship has taken place between them and Jesus Christ because they never gave up living like they were single. They are not born again of the Spirit, for they are still living in the flesh. Nothing has changed.
The Holy Spirit is not living within them, for they refused to die to sin and to the flesh (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6).
So, they bear no fruit in keeping with repentance, for God’s eternal kingdom, for the fruit they bear is still of the flesh. For, they are still operating in the flesh and not of the Spirit of God and in his power. So, they waste what could have been used to advance God’s eternal kingdom because they want to keep living for sin and self. And this is because they are self-consumed.
We are His Workmanship
When we believe in Jesus with God-given faith, which submits to God and to his will for our lives, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
By the grace of God, through God-given faith in Jesus, we died with Christ to sin so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin, but so we might walk (in lifestyle, in conduct) in newness of life (not like the old life). Thus, we are not to continue living in sin, for sin is to have no more dominion over us.
For, if we present ourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, we are slaves of the one we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness, which then leads to (ends in) eternal life with God.
For, through Jesus’ sacrifice for sin on that cross, God condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who WALK not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom 8:1-17).
So, it is clear that Scripture teaches that faith in Jesus Christ results in surrender to Jesus as Lord, in repentance (turning away from sin), and in obedience to our Lord as our walk of faith in Jesus Christ. And if we do not have these, we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God.
For, although we are not saved by works done in our own flesh, as God’s workmanship, we are saved to good works, which God created us for, and which he prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (in holiness, righteousness, purity, honesty and faithfulness, etc.).
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!