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Ephesians 2:9: Not a Result of Works

Ephesians 2:9
[9] not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (ESV)

We have looked at what Paul said about our salvation being by grace in the previous verse.  Our salvation is not by works.  But, what's so bad about works anyway?  Well, in the right context, works are great!  In verse 10 we will talk about the right place for works.  But, let's look at works in regards to our salvation. Paul makes it clear here in today's verse that if our salvation was earned by our work we would boast about it. It's about who gets the glory for our salvation. Since God initiated our salvation, loving us first, and paying for the penalty of our sins, who do you think should get all the glory for our salvation? He does!

Why does it matter that our salvation is not of our own works? Think about it for a moment. If we work, there is a response to working. Work generates credit, payment, reward. Some of you have a job. On payday, you do not go up to your boss and say, “Oh most gracious loving lord of my career.  Thank you for this undeserved paycheck.  I am in awe that you would love me so much as to give me this undeserved money.” Rather, you know exactly how much money you have WORKED for.   In fact, if you discover that there is fifteen minutes of work that you have not been compensated for, your boss might get a phone call! And if you ever find that guy named FICA who is stealing your money, he’s in big trouble.

If we work, there is compensation. And we have grounds to boast about our compensation because we worked for it! Works lead to boasting. It’s a natural progression. We are proud of the things that we do. Paul reminds us that God deserves the boasting. Why? Because HE DID THE WORK!

So, this leads to an interesting thought. If we, in any way, boast in works that we have done, we are guilty of stealing glory that belongs to the Lord. I believe that we need to seriously think about that. God alone deserves glory. We cannot boast in our works. Our works do not accomplish anything in regards to our salvation. Paul reminded Timothy:

2 Timothy 1:9
[9] who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,

No matter what you do for the Lord, make sure that you are ok if you get no credit for it. Why Because God alone is the one who deserves glory. Our salvation is not of works, because if it was, we would boast about our work, instead of giving God the glory he deserves for HIS work done for us.

Are you OK with God getting all the glory for your salvation?  Do you fully recognize that your works were useless in providing your salvation?  How can you respond to the great work that God has done on your behalf?  How can you give him the glory he deserves?


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