In some ways I think this is one of the hardest biblical truths to grasp. In every aspect of human life we praise the man who gets the job done through hard work. We praise the man who trains and runs a marathon, or started at the bottom and worked their way to the top. Yet salvation works on a different level. No amount of good deeds, self control, or hard work will ever amount to anything. You can try and try and try some more and the things you’ve done on this earth will amount to a hill of beans. As Jesus put it, no one is good but God alone (Luke 18:19).
Then along comes Jesus, sent by God, with a golden ticket. He says that if you want salvation all you have to do is except this ticket, a ticket of grace. He did all the work, he paid the price and yet he’s willing to just give it to us. I’m constantly humbled by this. Mainly because I get so wrapped up in changing myself I forget the truth. Then I fail. Then God pulls me back and says, “Stop trying to earn your place. Accept what I’ve done for you. Then go and share the good news with others.”
This does not mean that we don’t go on to do good works. In the very next verse, Ephesians 2:10, we are told that we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works. The difference is that I’m not doing the good works for myself to prove that I am worthy of salvation. Instead I do them as an expression of love for the grace given to me.
This is my prayer for us today, that we could humbly accept this gift and praise God for doing what we could not do on our own. Then go out and express this faith in love.