Sitting at the table with three other men in a country in Southeast Asia, I was amazed to hear the stories of how God was working in the lives of people there. In this largely Buddhist nation, the good news of Jesus is penetrating hearts and bringing people to saving faith in Jesus.
At one point in our conversation, I looked right into the eyes of my new friend from that nation and said to him: “Tell me how you heard about Jesus.” I will never forget the next phrase that came out of his mouth because it was a phrase he repeated over and over again as he shared his story of becoming a follower of Jesus.
He started his answer by saying, “By the grace of God….”
We are saved by the grace of God. We are saved only by the grace of God. We are saved fully by the grace of God. There is no other way to be saved but by the grace of God. If you have surrendered your life to Jesus as Lord and Savior, you have been saved by the grace of God.
Ephesians 2:1-10 is one of my favorite passages in all of the Bible. It is so rich in helping us to understand how we have been saved from death, saved to life, and saved for good works. We are saved by the grace of God.
1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins 2 in which you previously lived according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. 3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.
Before we experienced the grace of God, we were spiritually dead in our trespasses (missteps) and sins (missing the mark). We lived that way, according to the ways of this world, according to the way that Satan wants the world to operate. Satan deceives people into thinking that popularity, possessions, power or pleasure will make them complete, but those things never fully satisfy.
We were disobedient, giving in to our fleshly desires and thoughts. We were guilty before God of sin, sinners by nature and by choice, and deserving of his wrath.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, 5 made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! 6 He also raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might display the immeasurable riches of his grace through his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — 9 not from works, so that no one can boast.
We could not save ourselves. Salvation is God’s gift to us. Salvation is not from works, so no one can boast that they saved themselves or worked their way to heaven. The only way to come to life spiritually is for God to give you new life. God wants to save you. He is rich in mercy, full of love, fully able to make you alive. He will save you by his grace as you put your faith in Jesus.
In the coming ages, throughout all of eternity, those who have been saved by his grace will experience the exhilaration of his mercy, love, grace, riches and kindness forever and ever and ever. Wow! I am grateful to God that I will be with him for all of eternity.
Have you received God’s gift of salvation? If you have, be amazed at how he has saved you from death to life! If you have not yet received God’s gift of salvation, won’t you right now pause and pray, and surrender your life to Jesus? The Bible says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13).
for good works
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.
God saved you by his grace. He saved you for a purpose, to glorify him and enjoy him and to join him in his work. His work in good. He created you and saved you for good works. He wants you to think and talk and live like Jesus in every way. The character traits you read about in the Bible about Jesus are the character traits that God wants to develop in you.
God has good works for you to do, works of love and healing and mercy and grace and holiness and meeting needs and sharing the gospel and so much more. God has good works for you to do. Won’t you join him in his work? You are created by him. You are his workmanship. He has saved you by his grace. And he wants your life to impact the lives of others in eternal ways. Serve people. Encourage them. Pray with them. Love them. Point them to Jesus. Invite them to church. Show them that God’s grace is available to them. He will save them by his grace.
We are saved by the grace of God.