“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 2:8, 9).
What do most religions, cults and isms have in common? It is that they advocate adherence to good works in order to have their sins forgiven and to gain an entrance into eternal bliss or heaven. Appeals are made to be generous, do as many good deeds as possible, be kind to others, attend the regular functions of the religious services and follow certain prescribed practices to gain the favor of God. To bolster these heretical teachings, the historic councils, dogmatic pronouncements of religious leaders, traditions and other influential factors are adduced.
But what does God say to all of this? The above-mentioned verses in Ephesians could not be clearer! First, it is solely of Gods grace that anyone is saved. This grace is appropriated by faith (which is non-meritorious). It is a gift that God Himself gives to those who deserve the opposite. And now, the clincher, NOT OF WORKS! No matter what you do, never will you achieve the gift of God through good works! God offers you forgiveness and heaven as a gift that is to be received by faith. Any other way is counterfeit, deceptive and downright heresy! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! God says so!
Grace, Grace, God’s Grace
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (II Corinthians 8:9).
Sometimes we throw words around without being aware of their true or full meaning. “Grace” is such a word. We often speak of having a gracious personality or a grace period on a due payment. But what does that mean?
The New Testament word charis speaks of a favor bestowed on someone who deserves the opposite. In other words, it is unmerited. Whatever it is that Christ has done for me, I don’t deserve. He became poor, leaving heaven’s glory, in order that I might be eternally enriched. I deserve the opposite. I have no merit whatsoever that Jesus Christ, God’s son, should show me this kind of favor! An easy way to remember this word is by a simple acronym: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
My dear friend, Christ gave His life so you could live eternally with Him. He died on the cross for your sins and rose again for your justification. Place your faith in Him alone (not on some other person, practice, position, promise or possibility), and He will grant you His gracious provision of eternal life. Don’t wait, this offer won’t last forever!