For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift- not from works so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
When people look at us, what do they see?
In Ephesians 1- 2:1-6, Paul describes the condition of our hearts before Jesus came. We were dead in our sins and transgressions, but God made us alive in Christ.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift- not from works so that no one can boast.”
What does this mean? It means that there was nothing we could have done to earn our salvation. Only Jesus’ finished work on the cross saved us from eternal death and separation from our Heavenly Father.
We could not do enough good work to pay the price that Jesus paid for us. Although He was born without sin, He took all of our sins—past, present, and future—and had them all nailed to the cross in our place. He was crucified and rose again for us. He now offers this grace through faith to all who believe.
Now that we have been saved by grace, Paul tells us that our faith should lead us to live a life that is worthy of His calling. A life that will bear fruits.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:10 NLT, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
Wow, we are God’s masterpiece! Some Bible translations refer to us as “God’s workmanship.” Poiema, which means “workmanship” in Greek, refers to a work of art. If you ever purchase a painting, you’ll typically find the artist’s signature near the bottom of the piece. Why? Because it is his masterpiece. He takes great pride in his creation. God does the same for us. He has engraved His name on us in the same way as artists do.
So, when people look at us, they should be able to see and know that we belong to God. Beloved, we were made for one purpose and for a purpose.
In Ephesians 2:10, Paul reminds us that we were created in Christ Jesus and are His workmanship (masterpiece). We have been raised with Him and made alive in Him. What a wonderful gift God has given us! He gave it to us because He loves us, not because we earned it or deserved it.
According to Kristin Schmucker, “The dead cannot raise themselves. The work of art cannot pain itself. And the creation cannot create itself. It is all about His grace.” (Schmucker, 2017)
We are saved by grace through faith and live our Christian life by grace through faith. Sometimes we are so consumed with discovering our calling and knowing God’s will and purpose for our lives that we lose sight of the fact that we forget that we don’t need to have all the answers. He created us and saved us by grace. In His time, He will reveal His calling in our lives.
Lord, thank You for creating, choosing, and saving me from eternal death and separation from You. Remind me every day who I am and Whose I am. May my words, actions, and everything in my life reflect that I belong to You and am one of Your masterpieces. In Your precious name, amen.
Holy Bible New Living Translation. (2015) Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Lucado, M. (2013). God Will Use This For Good. Nashville, Tennessee by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Schmucker, K. (2017). Chosen. Holman Bible Publishers, 2017.