We Are Saved By Grace

Eph. 2:8-10

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Verse 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

I. Salvation involves two things: grace and faith.

A. Grace is unmerited favor, and is God's gift to mankind.

1. Eph. 2:1-3 shows us we were all totally depraved. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

2. Titus 3:3-5 is another place that shows we were all totally depraved. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

3. Ps. 14:1-3 shows that God looked down upon the children of men to see if there were any that sought Him. There was none. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. 2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

4. Rom. 3:10-18 shows men don't look for Christ in the New Testament times, just like they didn't look for Christ in the Old Testament times.

B. Faith is man believing the promises (word) of God.

1. A person must believe God when He says they are totally depraved, and ought to die and go to hell because of their unbelief.

2. Then they must believe that Christ paid their hell on the cross, suffering because of their sin.

II. That not of yourselves.

A. Grace is not from us, because only God can give that which isn't deserved.

1. John 1:12,13 - We are born again by God, not by any work that we do. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

2. Nobody (even us) deserves to be saved.

3. Salvation is offered, not forced upon us.

B. Faith isn't from us, because nobody has the kind of faith that is required to be saved.

III. It is the gift of God.

A. Romans 6:23 - The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

B. You don't work for a gift, or expect a gift. It is freely given.

Verse 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

I. Is salvation by works or grace?

A. It sounds logical that salvation is a "reward" for a good life, but God does punish evil and reward good.

B. Consider:

1. Titus 3:3-7 (verse 5) - Not by works of righteousness which we have done. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

2. Romans 11:6 - There is no mixture of grace and works. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

3. Eph. 2:8,9 - Salvation is a gift.

4. Romans 6:23 - Salvation is a gift. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

C. If it's possible to earn salvation, why did Christ die?

1. If we say "It takes both grace and works", then God (Christ) couldn't do enough to save us by Himself.

2. I Peter 3:18 - The just suffered for the unjust - to bring us to salvation.

D. God doesn't ignore our sins. He forgives them. He cleanses (atones) us of our sins.

1. I Peter 3:18 - Jesus suffered for our sins. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

2. II Cor. 5:21 - Jesus became sin for us. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

3. Rom. 5:9 - Justified by His blood. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

4. Heb. 9:26 - Suffered once to put away sins. For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

II. Nobody can boast about being saved, but everybody can be thankful they are saved.

A. If salvation was partly by works, then we could brag about our part.

1. God is not a big bookkeeper, adding up our good and bad deeds, seeing which one outweighs the other and letting that determine whether we will go to heaven or not.

a. God knows, even if we don't, that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

b. There is none good, no, not one!

2. Can't you just imagine the ridiculous scene in heaven of people gathered around a central meeting place, comparing tales about what they did to provide a part of their own salvation, and how hard it was for them?

3. They would be so busy bragging about themselves, they wouldn't have time to even think about what Jesus did.

B. The only one we can brag about is Christ, who saved us.

1. We will spend all eternity giving glory to God for his unspeakably great salvation.

2. Rev. 4:9-11 - The 24 elders cast their crowns before the throne, proclaiming that God is worthy to receive glory and honour and power because He is the creator, and everything was created to give Him honor.

Verse 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

I. His Workmanship.

A. We belong to Jesus, not to ourselves.

B. All our lives belong to Jesus, not to ourselves.

1. We ought to live for Him, not for ourselves.

2. We ought to give Him all the glory for our lives, and works, not take that glory for ourselves.

II. Created in Christ Jesus.

A. The word created is not like "invented", or "discovered".

1. Invent means to fabricate out of material already present. Edison invented the light bulb. He didn't discover it because it wasn't already there. He put several substances together making them into a light bulb.

2. Discover means to bring to light things that are previously hidden. For example, Columbus discovered America. He didn't invent America, or create America.

3. Create means to originate or bring forth out of nothing. Jesus Christ created the earth and the heavens. In the same manner, He has created new creatures out of old creatures, sinless creatures out of sinful creatures.

B. II Cor. 5:17 - We are a new creature in Christ Jesus. Old things have passed away, behold, all things are new.

C. Galatians 6:15 - Uncircumcision, nor circumcision counts. Whether the person is a new creature in Christ Jesus is what really counts.

III. Unto good works.

A. Good works come after salvation, not before.

B. God has foreordained that we walk in good works.

1. This is not an option for us.

2. We have been purchased by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and do not belong to ourselves, but to God.