October 2: “A Faith that Works”

6 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Kings 4-5
Ephesians 2
Ezekiel 35
Psalms 85

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Ephesians 2:8–10 (CSB): “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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Typically, we understand that Ephesians 2:8-9 go together. Many Christians can quote these two verses by heart. But, all too often, we fail to realize that verse 10 is a part of the package. Let’s briefly look at these three verses.

In Ephesians 2:8-9, we read that we are saved by God’s by grace. It’s God’s free gift. We cannot earn it and we certainly don’t deserve it. Anything we do to try to earn salvation undermines our ability to receive it and insults our God who desires to give it freely.

Just imagine pulling out your wallet and trying to pay a loved one at Christmastime after you open their gift to you. Awkward! Their gift was intended to be received freely, without any payment other than a heartfelt, “Thank you!”

To be saved from the penalty of our sins, we simply fall at the mercy of the heavenly court. We acknowledge our sinfulness and agree that we have repeatedly broken God’s perfect laws. We ask for forgiveness and that’s when Jesus steps in to pay our sin debt to the Father. It’s all grace. We can’t do anything to get saved except to simply receive it freely.

Ephesians 2:8–9 (CSB): “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.”

So how do we live the rest of our lives after we are saved by grace?

Well, of course, it continues to be by grace. We can do nothing apart from God (John 15:5).

We may think, “Well, I can get up and walk across the room without God.” But, friend, who gave you those legs? Who is giving you your next breath of air? Who is enabling your body to have the energy to get up and walk rather than drop dead in the next moment? Friend, you and I cannot do a single thing apart from God. We are dependent upon Him and His grace every moment of every day.

But, grace doesn’t mean that we are passive. It doesn’t mean that we sit back and claim no responsibility for our lives after He has graciously and freely saved us. What should we do after we are saved by grace and as we live by grace?

Ephesians 2:10 (CSB): “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.”

God has saved us “for good works.” He has saved us so that we can serve Him. He has saved us so that we can pursue holiness enabling us to be more useful to Him. He has saved us so that we can demonstrate to a watching, sinful world what it looks like to follow Jesus.

Friend, we are saved by grace and we live by grace. But, as we live by grace, we must also realize that we have been “created in Christ Jesus for good works” and that we should get busy doing those things.

After all, how grateful could we possibly be if we freely accept the gift of forgiveness salvation, that cost our God the life of His Son, and then sit back and waste the life He died to give us? Actually, it is as we exert our effort to pursue Him, and make His Name known, that we live a life “worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1).

So, today, as you depend upon Jesus for every single thing that you need, look for what God is doing around you and join Him. You have been created to follow Him in word and deed. Focus on that today.

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, thank You so much for graciously and freely saving me. Thank You for paying my sin debt to the Father so that I can be freely forgiven and brought into Your family. Now, help me as I determine to make the most of the one life You have given to me. I want to live in such a way that when I stand before You on the day of judgment, I will hear you say, “Well done! Well done, good and faithful servant!” Amen.

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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