8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God —9 not by works, so that no-one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV)
Let all of us who own the name of the Lord think carefully on this: It is by grace we have been saved! Let us acknowledge that the work of redemption is the work of God, and the work of God alone. It is by grace we are being saved! Let us remember that God initiated our salvation; that God is now preserving us in our salvation, and that God will make our salvation complete at the Last Day. It is by grace we will be saved!
There was nothing at all worthy in us that could have commended us to a holy and righteous God. In the sight of the Almighty God, we were altogether unclean and unfit for his presence. All our righteousness — all our best intentions and endeavours — were as filthy rags before the Most High God. (Isa. 64:6)
We were utterly undone, and we were hopelessly lost. Grace alone could save us, and mercy alone could spare us from the just and awful wrath of God against sin. But, by this grace, we have been saved; and, by this grace, we have been delivered from the terrible wrath to come. (1 Thess. 1:10; see also 2 Thess. 1:6-10)
We have been saved, but there was absolutely nothing in us that could have merited our salvation. Nor is there anything in us now — even as believers — that could contribute in any way toward the retention of our salvation. By grace we have been saved, and by grace we are being kept — by the almighty power of God. By the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we are being kept eternally secure in Christ — for the salvation ready to be revealed in us at the Last Day. (1 Pet. 1:3-5)
[More to follow]
EPH0208.DOC / HBA04 (6) / D2 pt.1 / 1982-2011 Gordon Lyons