Not By, But For
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)
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. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
If you are a born again Christian, it’s not because of anything you did…and even the faith it took to believe in Christ was a gift from God. God came to you and gave you the ability to believe in and accept the free gift of salvation that was purchased with the blood of His innocent Son. No - we are not saved BY our good works, but TO DO good works…the good works “which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
It helps for me to think of these good works as a path that leads from my salvation to the front door of Heaven. The more I stick to the path, the better my life will be. More joy, more peace, more love, more meaning, and more impact for God’s glory. Not only that, but other people’s lives will benefit, too! God didn't save any of us just to be saved…He saved us to make a difference in this world!
Is your salvation making a difference in your school, your friendships, your church, or in your family?
APPLICATION: Re-visit the Gospel with your family and make sure everyone understands that salvation is a gift and not earned. Then, take a moment to discuss why the Gospel should make a difference in the way that we live. Finally, come up with a list of some of the “good works” that you think God wants us to do.
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