The Book of Ephesians: No One May Boast.

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.” (Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV)

“To say that justification is by faith means simply that it is by, or through, faith that we receive the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to our account. Thus, faith is the instrumental cause, or means, by which we lay hold of Christ.” R. C. Sproul  

The 16th Century Protestant Reformers grasped the importance of the grace of God to the Scriptures teaching on salvation. One of the slogans that came to define Reformation teaching was sola gratia, which is Latin for “by grace alone.” Sinners are saved by the grace of God alone.

“For by grace you have been saved.” The Apostle Paul states that it is through the instrumentality of God’s unmerited favor and kindness that sinners are saved (σῴζω; sozo) or delivered from the penalty of sin.

“Through faith.” God graciousness towards sinners occurs through faith and faith alone. This is trust in, commitment to, dependence upon and worship of Jesus Christ solely originates from God.

And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” Correctly understood, the pronoun this refers the reader back to immediately preceding noun faith. Paul is stating that the believer’s faith is not solely of them, but rather it is the gift solely from God? The answer is found in Ephesians 2:9.

Why is it so important that Christians understand and remember that not only is God’s grace a sovereign gift, but the faith to believe in His grace is also a sovereign gift from God? It is because our justification from God is not by any works we could ever accomplish, or ever hope to accomplish. It is solely from God.

This truth is so we could never boast about, or take credit for, what God has done. The word boast (καυχάομαι; kauchaomai) means to brag about, rejoice in, glory in (cf. Rom. 2:17; 5:2; 1 Cor. 1:29; 13:3; 2 Cor. 5:12; 12:1; Gal. 6:13; Phil. 3:3; James 1:9; 4:16). The Scriptures say we may brag about, rejoice in, and glory in the Lord and what He has done and is doing, but never in ourselves and what we do, or have done.

To God be the glory
Great things He has done
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin
And opened the life-gate that all may go in

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord
Let the earth hear His voice
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord
Let the people rejoice
Come to the Father
Through Jesus the Son
Give Him the glory
Great things He has done

May we all give thanks today for God’s great and amazing grace and also for the gracious gift of saving faith.   

Soli deo Gloria!

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