This morning I had the incredible opportunity of preaching from this wonderful passage. It was the perfect context to encourage God’s people on Reformation Day. “For by grace you have been saved (2:8 [sola gratia]) through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, (2:8,9 [sola fide and solo Christo] so that no one may boast (2:9 [soli Deo gloria]). For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” In the process of preaching this text, I also covered the content given in the first seven verses of the chapter (the “For” beginning verse eight required it). The quality time spent in God’s Word illustrated another “sola” that I hold dear: Sola Scriptura (the Bible is our ultimate authority on all matters pertaining to doctrine and practice). In the twenty-five years that I have been a Christian, I have met quite a few people who either have this passage memorized or have a very good working knowledge of it. These are wonderful truths we need to be reminded of on a regular basis. God deserves all the glory for our redemption. We could not save ourselves (twice in the passage the Apostle Paul declares that we were spiritually dead apart from Christ [2:1 & 5]). We cannot take credit for any work in our salvation [the grace and faith we received were “gifts” from God [2:8,9]). Out of rich mercy and great love (2:4), God gave (and still gives!) unworthy people (spiritually dead, sinners, followers of Satan, children of wrath [2:1-3]) spiritual life (“God…made us alive” [2:5])! Believers are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus (2:10)! For what purpose? Good works (2:10)! Allow me to remind you of one of those good works as I close: Proper boasting. Improper boasting would be our boasting in our role in our salvation (“not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” [2:9]). Proper boasting would be our boasting in God’s role in our salvation (“Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord” [1 Cor. 1:31])! The Reformers (men like Luther, Melanchthon & Calvin) would be encouraged tonight to hear us giving God glory “for the things He has done”! I hope you have had a great celebration today with the people of God!
Reflections on the Quest: Ephesians 2:8-10