God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8
Have you ever been given a gift you did not deserve? Maybe when you were a kid, you had a teacher who gave you a grade you had not earned. Perhaps you were given a warning instead of a speeding ticket. Maybe you drove through the Starbucks drive-through, and the person ahead of you paid for your latte. Whatever that underserved gift was, you know that there is no denying that you did nothing to earn it. The fact that you did nothing to earn it is exactly why it’s grace because grace is an undeserved gift. We do nothing to earn it or deserve it. This is especially true in our relationship with God. The salvation that He has given us is an act of grace. We have done nothing to earn or deserve it; it is a gift given from God because of His love.
The apostle Paul writes about grace in Ephesians chapter 2. In this chapter, he talks about the salvation that followers of Christ have because they have placed their faith in Him. As he is explaining grace, he reminds readers, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God” (verse 8). He wanted to ensure that his readers knew that they could not take credit for their salvation. It was a gift.
When you receive a gift, you can only take credit for your relationship with the gift giver. The same is true with our relationship with God. We cannot brag about anything except God, the one who has given us the ultimate gift of salvation. This means, friends, that we do not have to earn God’s grace. From the words of pastor and writer Bobby Schuller, “I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I’m a beloved child of God. It’s who I am. No one can take it from me. So I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His love with the world.”
Today, spend some time journaling and responding to these questions: Is grace something you are trying to earn or something you understand as a gift? Why do you think many people try to work to earn grace? Finally, answer this question: Why is it a good thing that God’s grace is not earned?
Ephesians 2:1-9 (NLT)
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 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.
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