Justification (being declared righteous) and sanctification (starting to live righteously) go hand in hand. You cannot have the one without the other.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Being “in Christ Jesus” isn’t only a positional reality, it’s also a practical reality. Actually, if there’s no practical evidence, we may have to wonder if we’re truly in Christ. God didn’t save us to only enjoy our position; He also saved us in order to live in harmony with His word and will. It’s rather simple: if there’s no fruit, there’s no root. Our position and practice are two different sides of the same coin. They are fully related.
Today we’ve one of the more famous passages: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). These verses emphasize God’s grace and faith being the channel by which we receive His salvation.
When we consider grace, we see two main points. First of all, “And this is not your own doing.” Grace and our “own doing” cannot co-exist. Paul stated that as follows: “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace” (Rom. 11:6). Grace excludes “your own doing”—your own works.
Secondly, “it is the gift of God.” Grace is synonymous with God’s gift. The gift of salvation is solely by His grace. There’s no entitlement or earning. God designed salvation in such a way that “no one may boast.” That brings us to today’s verse, which starts with a cause—for.
What does it mean to be saved by grace? It means that we are His workmanship. He created us—made us alive—“in Christ Jesus for good works.” This has also two major points. First of all, to the Corinthians Paul wrote: “And because of him you are in Christ Jesus.” That’s the same as the Father creating us in His Son. Secondly, it means that we receive all spiritual life, growth, and fruitfulness (good works) from Jesus. He’s the Source! That’s what grace is all about. It’s a continuous gift, “so that no one may boast.”
The Devotional Writer
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