For By Grace

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Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Today we’re going to look at one of the most profound Scriptures in the Bible. I love this verse! If you can understand this verse then you can begin to appreciate the richness of God’s blessings in Christ.

Salvation Is By Grace Through Faith

For by GRACE are you saved through faith”. It is GRACE that saves the sinner. The Apostle says in another place:

Romans 11:6 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.

Word Study I have heard GRACE described as “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”. That’s a good definition, for GRACE comes to us because of what Jesus did for us – praise His holy Name! A more proper definition is found in the Greek text. GRACE is the Greek χάρις cháris, {pronounced khar’-ece}, which means “unmerited favor, unearned love”.

A beautiful picture of GRACE is found first in the Bible in Eden. Though the Law of God demanded Adam’s death “for the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). God had warned Adam:

Genesis 2:17 in the day that thou eatest {of that forbidden fruit} thou shalt surely die.

It was the LAW that rightly said to Adam,

Genesis 3:17-19 … cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

The Law of God must fulfill what it said. “By one man sin entered the earth, and DEATH by sin, for all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). Spiritual death came on Adam, and physical death became a part of life. “In Adam, all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22). It was the LAW that pronounced rightful death on Adam and his children.

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

But it was BY GRACE that God allowed Adam another day of life. It was by GRACE that God clothed Adam and Eve by killing the innocent creature. Pastor John MacDuff said:

No sinner would have sought God – but “by grace”. The thickets of Eden would have proved Adam’s grave had not grace called him out.”

Saul would have never become Paul
had it not been by GRACE.

Saul the Pharisee would have continued killing Christians had not God by GRACE reached out on Damascus Road and said, “Saul, Saul, you persecute Me! I am the Lord Jesus!”. Had it not been for GRACE, two thieves would have died next to Christ, and would have ended up in hell forever! It was GRACE that opened the eyes of one of those thieves, GRACE that caused him to say:

Luke 23:42 Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

It was GRACE that called Abram from Ur of the Chaldees, saying:

Genesis 12:1-3 …. Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

It was GRACE that tolerated the failures of mankind year after year, until God reached out to Jacob and bestowed GRACE on him to turn him into ISRAEL. The Lord told Israel:

Deuteronomy 7:7-8 The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

It is the Grace of God through the preaching of Christ’s Gospel that reaches out and brings the dead to life. “By Grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves”. God must reach out and open our eyes.

Before Christ We Were Spiritually Dead

Ephesians 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

The Christian is a person who has been “quickened” – made alive from the dead. Prior to salvation the reality of every person is “you are DEAD in trespasses and sins”. All Children of Adam are born physically alive into this world, but are spiritually dead. A person without Christ is spiritually dead. The Apostle Paul said of the lost that …

Ephesians 4:17-19 {they walk} in the VANITY or EMPTINESS of their mind, 18 having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.

The person without Christ is spiritually dead. They are separated from God. Isaiah 59:2 “your sins have made a separation between you and your God. Your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear your prayers” (my paraphrase). The lost person does not follow the God Who created them. Dead in trespasses and in sins, you follow not God. The Apostle said:

Ephesians 2:2 wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world,

Before you were saved, dear Christian, “you walked according to the course of this world”. What the world said was true, you were in step with it. You had no use for the Bible, the Word of God. You went along with the crowd. You did not choose the narrow way of salvation. Jesus said:

Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the {narrow} gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 because {narrow} is the gate, and {tight} is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

A person without Christ is spiritually dead. You must be quickened. You must be raised from the dead. A fellow by the name of Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, flattering the Master. Jesus told Nicodemus:

John 3:3 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:5-8 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

God must work in a person’s life to open their eyes to their need of Jesus. Prior to Jesus, we all follow the crowd. We all follow the devil himself.

Are You Following A Prince, Or The King?

Ephesians 2:2 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:

Lost people cannot save themselves. They walk – live their lives – according to the Prince of the Power of the Air. The devil has power over Adam’s children because of Adam’s sin. “The whole world lies in the power of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Satan, also known as Lucifer, leads the world into darkness. But note that he is ONLY A PRINCE. He is not KING. God is KING. Jesus Christ is …

1 Timothy 6:15 the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

Prior to meeting Jesus (blessed be His Name forever) we followed the crowd, the fallen crowd:

Ephesians 2:3 among whom {these lost people} also we all had our {conversation – WAY OF LIFE} 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.

We were “by nature the children of wrath”. The Apostle puts it this way in another place:

1 Corinthians 2:9-14 as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

The LOST or NATURAL MAN cannot receive the things of God. Their eyes are blinded to it. What people – dead in trespasses and sins – need is Jesus. Our Lord Jesus told His disciples while He walked this earth:

John 5:24-25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

It is by Grace that God calls us to salvation. He opens our eyes by His Spirit, calls us to repentance, and then raises us from spiritual death. The Scripture says:

Colossians 2:13-15 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

By GRACE are you saved THROUGH FAITH

Jesus reached out to us. He reaches out to sinners today. When you repent, and by faith reach out and grab that nail scarred hand, we come into a new state, a new place of life.

Quickened Together With Christ

Ephesians 2:4-6 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Because we called upon the name of Jesus to be saved we are “quickened” or “made alive together with Christ”. The Apostle goes on to say that God the Spirit made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. What does this mean? It does not mean that we are now LITERALLY sitting with Christ, but that we are LEGALLY seated with Christ (Pastor Jeremy Treat). We are united to Christ, not to this world. We are bound to Jesus, not to the darkness. We are “in Christ”, united to Him both now and forever. Jesus’ perspective is our perspective.

Beloved, we no longer belong to the devil. We no longer are as we were. We are now Children of the King. We have a place in Heaven. God has called us from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God (Acts 26:18).

Ephesians 2:7 that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

We are trophies of God’s Grace. “By GRACE are you saved THROUGH FAITH, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast”. It is not through the “deeds of the Law” that we are saved. The Law of God gives us knowledge that we are sinners (Romans 3:20), but it is the Grace of God that saves the sinner. The Bible declares:

2 Timothy 1:9 {God} hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Titus 3:3-5 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 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; 6 which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.

Praise God for His glorious Grace!

God Works In His Children

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

If you have been saved by faith in Christ, you are God’s workmanship. God is working in us and through us. We have been brought near to God. God the Holy Spirit indwells us, and guides us, and uses us for the glory of God.

Because of Christ our spiritual position has changed. The Apostle said:

Ephesians 2:11-12 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

When we were without Christ, we were cut off from the blessings that God offered Israel. We were without promise from God. We were in a helpless and a hopeless place, “without God in the world”. But now?

Ephesians 2:13 but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

We as Christians are brought near to God, so that we can walk with God daily.

  • We are brought near to God literally, for God the Holy Spirit indwells our bodies.

Romans 8:9-11 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

  • We are brought near to God, being adopted as His sons and daughters. We are no longer sons of Adam, but are children of God.

1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

Romans 8:16-17 The Spirit {Himself} beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

  • We are brought near to God in our behavior.

1 John 4:11-13 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

1 John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

If you belong to God in Christ, your behavior toward God and others is now more like Christ’s. The stepbrother of Christ Jesus, James, wrote:

James 2:17-20 faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Faith is a verb, but it is also a noun

When you “have faith” in Christ (the verb), then the “faith you profess” (a noun) will be evidenced by your works. The whole point of salvation is to bring us to God:

1 Peter 3:18 … Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God

God the Son died for our sins so that He might “bring many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10). Because of Jesus, our Father is now God, not Adam. Because of Jesus we are now sons and daughters of God. The Apostle said:

2 Corinthians 5:17 … Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

You are called to be like Jesus. You are called to live close to God. Let us end with these wonderful words:

Ephesians 2:14-18 For {Jesus} is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 and that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 and came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 for through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

You are the people of God, if you are saved by faith in Christ. You are to be imitators of God, children of light, a city set on a hill that cannot be hid. You are the “children of Abraham” that the Lord foresaw in Genesis 12:1-3. Let us live for Jesus! Let us live in His Kingdom. May God touch your hearts with His Word and His Spirit this very day. Amen and Amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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