Too often a verse can become so familiar that we can forget the meaning. We simply can overlook the value of the statement. One of these verses is Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast…
Let us take a moment and allow the revelation of the foundation of our salvation set in. We were saved by Grace through Faith, not of works! This statement is so simplistic but has become so complex. We all know that there are two groups within the body of Christ. One being the Grace Camp and the other the Faith Camp. Let’s start with the Grace Camp. Many preach merely on grace and make that the primary focus of our salvation. Here are a few examples…
- God is love therefore He has reconciled all creation back to Himself whether you believe it or not.
- There is no hell. How could a God of love send His children to hell?
- All judgement has been rendered toward sin through the cross and all creation is holy and blameless apart from believing.
The other camp is the Faith Camp. This camp focus on Salvation and Righteousness are maintained through faith manifesting works. Here are a few examples…
- You are saved by grace but now…
- While you received righteousness as a gift it must be maintained through keeping the moral law.
- The 10 commandments are needed to work out our salvation.
Now let’s look at this look again at the verse. By grace we are saved through Faith.
We are not saved by grace alone nor by faith. It takes both of these truths to receive salvation. Let us look at a scripture out of Titus.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Titus 2:11
Not only has it appeared to all men but it the propitiation of our sins and that of the whole world.
He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but that also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2
For the grace of God “who is the grace of God? Jesus! Jesus has appeared to all men. That means all creation past, present, and future have seen Jesus. Even though all men have seen Jesus not all believe. The grace of God through Christ has washed the sins of the world away. Not one sin is not covered by His blood. When John the Baptist saw Jesus these were his remarks as he told his disciples.
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! John 1:29
Every sin is covered by the blood. All creation has died with Christ and He defeated death and sin that those who believe will rise into new life. Not living for themselves but for Christ. So no one goes to hell for their sin but for the rejection of Christ atonement. So how do we receive this great atonement?
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes… Romans 1:16
Who is salvation for? Everyone who believes! Look at this example in Acts.
Sirs, what must I do to be saved? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Acts 16:31
Believes what? The gospel ” the good news” of Christ is the power of God to salvation. It takes believing. They did not tell them to bow their head and ask Jesus into their heart. All they said was believe and confess. Salvation is best described in Romans 10
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:9
Faith must believe that you are saved by grace. Faith is the key to unlocking the grace of God that is stretched toward you through Jesus. And that is unlimited.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God Romans 10:17
So then we activate our faith through the hearing of the Word of God. Who is the Word?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. John 1:1
The word is Jesus. Jesus is the spoken word of God. As Jesus said,
If you have seen me you have seen the Father John 14:9
As we read or hear the gospel of Jesus and what He has accomplished for us through the cross, faith arises inside us to receive the power of God unto salvation. It is not grace alone nor faith alone and not of works. It is the free gift of God. We have nothing to boast of but in Christ alone. Remember that Christ came as grace and truth. Grace without truth is lawlessness and truth without grace is legalism. The balance of the two mixed with faith creates within a man the knowledge that he is the righteousness of God apart from the law but bares fruits of holiness. A true understanding of Grace will empower you to overcome sin and have dominion over it. You’re not sinners saved by grace but children of God redeemed by love. You were schooled in the wrong home and the way that seems right to a man is death. You must cast off the old in order to walk in the new. That’s why Christ said you cannot put new wine in old wineskins least they burst. In the same way you cannot mix old covenant with new. If you do you will find yourself managing sin not overcoming it.