“For by Grace...”
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph. 2:8-10, NIV)
Welcome to worship! We’ve come to celebrate together the gift of God’s grace to us in Christ! God’s grace saves us. God’s grace strengthens us. God’s grace sustains us, especially in these days!
Grace is... “(God’s) favor shown to the utterly undeserving.” (-Dr. Vaughan)
Grace is “getting what you do not deserve and cannot earn.”
“grace” is used ~150x in NT, ~100x by Paul.
Grace is God’s rescue plan for us in Christ (2:8)!
Grace is the heart of the gospel. (Get grace, you get the gospel.)
Grace “saves” us (then, now, forever)- rescues, delivers.
Grace grabs us and rescues us from sin, self, Satan, and certain death.
Grace creates relationship (Creator-created). Grace connects us to God.
Grace comes through faith (2:8-9).
Faith is... “living like God can be trusted”- faith is our response to God’s
grace when we are awakened to believe the gospel.
Faith is “the hand that receives the gift” (-Dr. Vaughan)- “appropriating
means” (instrument) of receiving God’s grace.
All of salvation is God’s gift to us: it is not of ourselves, nor of works, so
no one can boast (glory), as if we did something to deserve it!
Grace gives us purpose (2:10). We are made for this Grace-life!
We are are God’s poiema- “handiwork” (NASB), “masterpiece” (NLT),
“workmanship” (ESV/KJV/NIV), “work of art” (NJB), “creation” (CSB).
We are “created in Christ Jesus to do good works”- we are not saved
by works, but we are saved to do good works (Get this straight!).
God has work “prepared in advance for us to do.” (Be about it!)
Grace sets us free to live on display for God’s glory (Mt.5:16)!