Ephesians 2:8 & 9. In these verses we find Paul reviewing his former discussion--our salvation is not of ourselves, but, rather, it is the gift of God.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:8-9, NKJV
Ephesians 2:8-9 is a very familiar Bible passage. First, we find Paul reviewing his former discussion--our salvation is not of ourselves, but, rather, it is the gift of God. Then, Paul goes on to say, "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
Salvation through faith in Christ is a gift. It is not something we can earn. No one is better or more deserving of salvation than anyone else. It has nothing to do with one's good looks, wealth, power, or prestige. As a matter of fact, in the eyes of the people of this world, believers are often some of the most unworthy or unnoticed people in the entire world. Yet God, who is rich in mercy and grace, reached down through the annals of time and chose a people for Himself. These people had no noticeable qualities that garnered them any favor in Him. Often God chose the seemingly weak and foolish people of this world, filled them with His love and grace, and led them by His Spirit that they might do great things for Him.
In coming to Christ, we become His workmanship. Slowly, throughout our lives, God chisels, sands, and polishes us so that we become more and more like Him. The end result, then, is a glowing example of believers who shine in Christ's brilliance, bringing glory to God. How does God do this? Though our lives may seem like a continuation of chance events, every event in our lives is an event which has been ordered by God. Through the daily occurrences of life--good and bad--we become more and more like Christ.
Paul reminds us that we, as believers, are created in Christ Jesus for good works. In other words, we have a distinct purpose in life. We are not here to gather in as much of the good things in this life that we can. Instead, we were created in Christ Jesus for good works. We have a job to do! Our salvation, from the very instant we first believed, was not by us. We were not smart enough or clever enough to save ourselves. Instead, we fell on our faces before Christ and said, "I cannot do it. I cannot be good enough for God." That realization caused us to cry out to Christ to save us--and He did! Christ never ignores the true cry to Him for salvation!
How do we know what good works we are to perform for God? God prepared all of the good works we need to do for Him even before He saved us. As a matter of fact, from the foundation of the world, He chose us and determined the work we would do for Him. Each believer has been created with all of the gifts, abilities, and talents he or she needs to live their life for God's honor and glory. Even in our own little corners of the world, God equips us to serve Him.
How amazing is that? Our God loves us, saves us, keeps us, and guides us all of the days of our lives. Then, when our work on this earth is done, He gathers us home to live with Him forever.
Ephesians 2:8 & 9 are some of the most precious verses in the Bible. No fairy tale could end better. No man could love as Christ loves--nor save as Christ saves. Christ is all! Go to Him today and fall before Him. There is no greater purpose in all of life--or eternity!