On Him and Him Alone

Ephesians 2:8

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,”

In the month of August, we will finish memorizing Ephesians 2:1-10 by focusing on the last three verses of this passage – verses 8-10.  I hope you have been able to persevere in memorizing this whole passage because woven within these ten verses are foundational living truths of our faith.  If you’re behind, don’t fret.  The natural tendency is to just stop trying because you’re so far behind.  I urge you to press against that natural tendency and work on it 10 minutes a day.  No more and no less.  The key is daily practice and, of course, empowerment from His Holy Spirit.  More power to you!

Your salvation is a gift from God.  It is not of your own doing.  Your deliverance from lusts that once ruled you, resentments that once alienated you and attitudes that once defeated you – is completely not of your own doing.  It is a gift.

Most of the time things that you pay for do not illicit feelings of thankfulness.  When you pay for groceries at the supermarket you don’t say to the cashier, “Oh thank you so much for the milk, eggs and fruit!  You shouldn’t have given those to me!”  You don’t say that because you paid for it and it’s yours.  You earned it and it’s not a gift.

However, our relationship with God is a gift.  His cleansing forgiveness for hurts done against others, His hope in our hearts in the midst of repeated failures, His strength in our souls to stand up for what is right, His provision for our daily needs and His powerful, transforming love in our hearts is ALL a gift.  It is given to us freely and it can only be humbly received.

However, not only is our deliverance (salvation) a gift - as in something given without payment - but it is also a result of The Gift.  In the month of May, we memorized Acts 2:38-39.  In that passage, we learned that faith in Jesus not only brings forgiveness of sins but also the gift of the Holy Spirit.  We not only need forgiveness of our sins but the ability to be delivered from our sins.  That power to be delivered from our lusts, resentments, fears, etc. comes from His Holy Spirit in us.  God’s rescue of us from our sinful hearts would fall short if it only provided forgiveness of our sins.  No, God’s rescue plan is totally complete.  In Jesus, He provides forgiveness for all our failures for all time and also gives us the power to be like Jesus – to be wise, forgiving, loving, patient, kind and more!

Salvation is not of our own doing; it is the gift of God.  It was given to us and we can only humbly receive it by faith.  However, it is also not of our own doing in that we cannot save ourselves from our own broken and sinful ways.  We need Him, the Holy Spirit, the gift promised by the Son and sent from the Father, to provide the power and authority to change our lives.  It is so true that our whole salvation rests on Him and Him alone!