Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Paul has an interesting way of explaining things that can be very confusing at times. What Paul is explaining is that we cannot gain entrance to the kingdom by keeping the law only because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory if God. (Romans 3:23) Therefore, if we were relying on keeping the law to be saved, then we would have to keep it perfectly which we cannot do.
So when we sin, if we truly love the Lord, repentance should be an automatic response as well as asking Christ for His forgiveness. It is now that we need faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ that we are forgiven. There are many that doubt if they are forgiven and Satan who is the accuser of the brethren will trying to keep us feeling condemned and doubting. So faith is essential and without that faith we cannot please God. (Hebrews 11:6) And last comes something we do not deserve but receive anyway, which is God’s grace being His unmerited and undeserved favour.
Thus we are saved by grace through faith in the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ. So when one unintentionally sins, you repent and confess our sin (1 John 1:9) and believe by faith that you are forgiven. It is only after doing these things that one can receive the grace of God, which is a free gift so that no man can boast.
So by grace through faith we are saved. It is a gift of God without money or price. And no man will ever be able to boast of himself, “I have earned salvation.” One purpose of the plan of salvation is to show in the ages of eternity the riches of God’s grace. Thus there will be no room for boasting by any man.
Paul, in the opening lines of Ephesians, describes to us the rich and satisfying blessings that are instantly ours the moment we place our trust in Jesus:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly
places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth (Ephesians 1:3-10).
When we come to Christ, we instantly receive all of these spiritual blessings. We don’t receive some of them or part of them or a promise that we will receive them in the future. We don’t receive them conditionally or in stages or if we qualify. We immediately and fully have “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” We stand holy and blameless before God the Father. We are his adopted children. We instantly have redemption through the Lord’s blood, and we are fully forgiven for our sins.
Why do we possess all of these blessings? Because of “the riches of his grace,” which he has showered on us for no other reason than his extravagant love for us.
When God adopted us in Christ, he didn’t merely bless us with love and care, forgiveness and grace, eternal life and an eternal inheritance. He imparted his very nature to us. When God adopts us, his act of adoption is a supernatural act. We take on the nature of Jesus. We become like him. We become what he is.
Throughout the book of Ephesians, Paul refers to “the riches of God’s grace,” “our riches in Christ,” and “the riches of His glory” as he reminds believers of the spiritual treasures they already possess in Christ.
2 Corinthians 9: 6-7 “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Grace supplies, and continues to supply, and faith moves us into this supply, when we close our hands and hold on we cut off this supply and go back into the penury. But look at the incredible promise God gives to those who sow the seed God gives them generously and cheerfully:
2 Corinthians 8:1-4 “And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.”
Paul then urges the Corinthian church to also excel in this kind of giving. We often need this kind of encouragement to remind us not to shrink back into fear and holding on but to live with open hands as we trust God. Often we can excel in everything else but when it comes to money we want to hold on. Listen to what Paul encourages them to do:
2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
It’s through the Cross and God’s grace that Jesus took all our poverty and poorness so that we could receive His riches and supply. God’s unlimited supply doesn’t come to us through self effort but through grace. And this abundant supply of grace is God’s mighty river that has been flowing since the Cross. Christ now sits on a throne and from His throne flows the river of life and we are invited to drink for free and have His life flowing through us. And it’s all by grace.
We should not put our trust in my money, the stock market, property, career, bank account, boss, education, experience or anything else.
We put it in Christ and Him alone. Those other things are unstable and can fall overnight but God’s Kingdom is unshakable! It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have those things in our life, it just means our trust, hope, confidence and dependence is not in those things. They are not our ultimate source, God is. God owns all the wealth, all the idea’s, all the inspiration, strategies, plans – everything!