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.”
By God’s grace (kindness, favor) we have been saved (rescued by God from slavery to, the control of, and the penalty of sin) through faith (persuaded by God as to what God prefers, i.e. the persuasion of his will). And this is not our own doing – not the grace, nor the salvation, nor the faith which are all from God and which are gifted to us by God. For we can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God first persuades us to believe in Jesus.
[Jn 6:44; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; 2 Pet 1:1; Rom 12:1-2; Heb 10:36,38]
So, this means that we can’t make up what we think faith is. We can’t create in our own minds a faith that is not in agreement with what the Scriptures teach. Faith is not of ourselves, not of our own fleshly works lest we should boast that somehow we did something to earn or to deserve our own salvation. So, we can’t just claim to believe in Jesus and call that faith. We have to see what the Scriptures teach that faith is and follow that.
And the Scriptures teach faith as surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord, as dying with Christ to sin, and as living to God and to his righteousness. The Scriptures teach faith as obedience, and disobedience as unbelief. For since we are saved by God’s grace through faith, then we need to read what the Scriptures teach regarding our salvation and our eternal life with God, for they don’t say what many people are making them say today.
For one, although we are not saved of our own selves, of our own fleshly works, of our own making and deciding of what faith should look like, we are saved for good works, as God’s workmanship, but they are the works of God which he prepared in advance that we should walk in them. And if we choose not to walk in them, well then we aren’t saved, and heaven is not our eternal destiny, for we chose disobedience over obedience to God.
[Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; 2 Co 9:8; Gal 5:6; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:9-14; 2 Thess 1:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:21; Tit 2:11-14; Jn 15:1-11; Tit 3:8; Jas 2:17; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Rom 6:16; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Jas 1:21-25]
Titus 2:11-14 ESV
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
Now, a lot of folks these days are teaching God’s grace as free license to continue living in habitual and deliberate sin against God without guilt. They see God’s gift of grace and salvation as merely forgiveness of sins (past, present, and future) and as a guarantee of heaven when they die. They also see salvation as a one-time event which takes place in their lives which seals them for eternity regardless of how they live their lives from now on.
But that is NOT what the Scriptures teach! That is heresy!! Jesus died on that cross to deliver us out of our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin so that we will no longer lives as slaves of sin but as slaves of God and of his righteousness. This is taught all throughout the New Testament. And the Scriptures teach that if we walk in habitual sin, making sin our practice, that we don’t have salvation from sin nor eternal life with God.
The grace of God, which is his kindness towards us, is not going to gift us with something that would give us permission to do exactly the opposite of God’s will for our lives. His kindness is going to be according to his will for our lives, and his will for us has always been and always will be that we say “NO!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and that we live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for his soon return.
For Jesus gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Again there is this word “works,” but in a positive context of something that we are to do in the power of God according to his will and purpose for our lives. And if he redeemed us from all lawlessness, he is not going to grant us permission to continue to be lawless. We still have to obey our Lord!
Romans 6:1-3,6,14 ESV
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?.. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
And this couldn’t be more clear! Just because you are saved by God’s grace it doesn’t give you the liberty to now continue in deliberate and habitual sin without conscience, without guilt, and with no requirements for repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord of your life. If we have believed in Jesus with God-given faith, we were crucified with Christ in death to sin that we might now walk in newness of life in him, not like our old lives.
And your salvation is not just forgiveness of your sins and the guarantee of heaven when you die. It is deliverance out of your addiction to sin so that you can now walk in faithful obedience to the Lord Jesus and to follow him in his ways, according to the Scriptures, and not according to what your sinful flesh desires. So, you are to no longer let sin reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. For you are a slave to whomever you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness and to sanctification, and which ends in eternal life.
So, please know that, although God’s grace to us is a free gift, the free gift is not freedom to continue in deliberate and habitual sin. It is freedom from our addiction to sin, and it is freedom in God’s Spirit to now walk in holiness and righteousness, living godly lives, pleasing to God. For if we choose our sin over obedience to our Lord, we will not inherit eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]
An Original Work / August 8, 2012
Based off Ephesians 1:3-10 NIV
Praise be to God, the Father of Jesus,
Who has blessed us in heavenly realms.
For He chose us in Him from beginning
To be His holy children of God;
All in accord with His will and pleasure;
To the praise of His glorious grace.
In Jesus Christ we receive forgiveness.
We have redemption through His shed blood.
Glorious grace God freely has given us
In the One He loves and adores;
All in accord with the riches of His grace
Which He pours out on those He loves.
With all His wisdom and understanding,
God has made known His will unto us,
According to His will and good pleasure,
Purposed in Christ till all be fulfilled;
To bring all things on earth and in heaven
Under our Lord Christ; be unified.