We learned that those of us who have not yet repented from our sins and accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, are dead in our trespasses and sins in which we are walking, following the desires, temptations, evils and immoral things of this world and ultimately we are following the devil who is the spirit that works in the hearts of those that disobey God. This means if you are currently not saved, if you currently have not accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, the devil is working in your heart as I speak and because you live in the passions of your flesh, you carry out the desires of your body and mind, you are deserving of God’s wrath of eternal hell just like all other unbelievers. What is even scary is that we are so trapped in our trespasses and sins that on our own, we have absolutely no hope of ever getting out of the trap and freeing ourselves. In a nudshell, we are all destined to eternal hell. This is our state before we were saved and this is your state now if you have not accepted Jesus in your life as your Lord and Savior.
We also learned that God made us alive and we are no longer dead in our trespasses and sins by raising Jesus Christ from the dead. God raised us up with Christ when he raised him and seated us with Christ in the heavenly places. This God did so that in future, he might show us his immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ. God did all this so that in future he might show how limitless his grace and kindness is towards us. We learned that God did these things because of three things: Mercy, Grace and Love.
Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESVST)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
“For by grace you have been saved”, this means that we were saved even though we did not deserve it. We were saved even though nothing in us warranted us to be saved. We completely did not deserve to be saved. This is what by grace means. Not only that, we were saved by grace through faith. There is two parts to this. On one hand it is God’s grace and on the other it is our faith in Jesus Christ. It is God’s sovereign will and on the other is a man’s responce to that grace by faith in Jesus.
Paul makes it very clear then after telling us that we were saved by grace through faith that this saving by grace through faith, is not as a result of anything that we have done. It is a gift of God. The word in Greek used for gift is “doron” which comes from the word “didomi” which means to give. The word is mostly used to mean an offering or sacrifice to God except in this verse where it is used as a gift or present. Paul uses the same word that is used to refer to sacrifices to God to indicate the kind of gift that salvation is to us. This gift is not only an ordinary gift, it involves God sacrificing his Son and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. So, although it is a gift to us, it is a sacrifice from him. One can say this salvation by grace through faith, is a sacrificial gift from God.
Paul stresses that this salvation, we did not recieve because we earned it. If we had earned it, it would not have been a gift but a wage or salary. When you work for something, your salary is not a gift but something that you have earned. When someone gives you a gift, it is not a salary because you did not earn it. Likewise, we did nothing to deserve this salvation and that is the reason why it is a gift.
As if saying it is a gift is not clear enough, Paul, just to emphasize his point, he again then says in verse 9 that, this salvation that we have recieved by grace through faith in Jesus, we did not recieve as a result of any work that we have done. Paul says the reason is so that we may not boast in ourselves and give ourselves glory. This was a gift from God so that the glory may go to God where it belongs. Again here Paul emphasizing that we did nothing to deserve this salvation and we can do nothing to keep it since it is already ours. If you did nothing to get a gift you did not deserve, what makes you think that there is anything you can do thereafter to keep it.
This salvation by grace, is a gift from God and we respond to it only by having faith in Jesus Christ.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We are the results of God’s work of saving grace that was created in Jesus Christ. We were saved by God to do good works which were prepared before hand, that is, before we were saved, so that when we are saved, we should do.
We were once dead in our trespasses and sins which we once walked in and now, we have been made alive in Jesus Christ by grace through faith so that we may now do good works which we now walk in.