The Apostle Paul explains the Grace Gospel in beautifully clear and easy to understand words. His letter to the Ephesian Christians is a great example. He begins the letter by telling them about all the wonderful blessings they have in Christ Jesus. Then he tells the Christians how much he loves them and how thankful he is for them. Paul says he wants them to experience God’s best in their lives, including that the eyes of their heart would be enlightened so they would know the richness of the gift God had given them. Paul reminds the Ephesians that the power God works in them is the same power He used to raise Jesus from the dead. (Wow!) Just as Paul reaches the pinnacle of his words about all that Christians have in their lives, he takes them quickly back to earth and reminds them what their lives were like before they were saved.
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Ephesians 2:1-3
That’s who we all were at one time: dead in trespasses and sins. We were lost, without hope in this world. Fortunately, God had other plans for us:
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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.” Ephesians 1:4-9
God is truly “rich in mercy” and we are all in His debt for that. God loved us even when we were dead in our sins and made a way for us to become spiritually alive. God did that through the sacrificial work of His Son on the Cross. Jesus died for our sins. He did all the heavy lifting to make our salvation possible. God asks us simply to “believe.” How can someone who is spiritually dead express spiritual faith? “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.” God does it all! He gives us the grace and the faith. Nothing is from us. It’s all His gift. Nothing about salvation is because we worked for it. If it was, we’d boast about it. God determined long ago that He would provide everything for our salvation: the source, the means, the love, the grace, the faith, the gift. Everything is from God and nothing is from us.
We are saved “by grace through faith.” Amen!