“For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them” (Eph. 2:8-10 NET).
Many believers are in a shock state about grace. They wonder, “If God has done it for me, then what am I supposed to do?” Others think that grace means spiritual idleness—just sit there and God will put food in your mouth! Because of the message of justification by faith and not by works, many have put the term “works” on their blacklist. However, the purpose of grace is to bring man into the realm of works! Grace came to bring man into living and doing the works that God has ordained for us. If you do not understand the critical significance of works in your life, you will miss the purpose of grace.
The scripture above beautifully shows us two types of works. The first is “not from works,” which is called dead works. They are things we do to earn God’s favor and blessings. They also include things you try to do for God based on your own strength. God warns us against this type of works in all its forms. But the next verse introduces us to yet another realm of works: “For we are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.” This type of work is called good works. It does not try to obtain salvation or favor from God, because it knows it already has that favor. God has wired you to do good works. You are born of grace for works. Good works are the workings of God through you to reveal the excellencies of His beauty and glory. These are the works of faith working through you. The evidence that grace is in your life will be your works—righteous living, loving God and those around you, and shining forth the light of God’s glory in the way you speak and act!
From the scripture above, does grace have works? Does God care about your works?
APPLY THE WORD
What are you going to do today? Grace will never produce hate, bitterness, unforgiveness, sin, depression, a legalistic mindset, etc. These are dead works. Grace will produce tenderness toward others, a forgiving attitude, a caring mindset, holy living, a joyful demeanor, praise-full character, loving personality, etc. Engage in good works today!
First, ask that the Lord deliver you from dead works, all your vain efforts to try to please God or do what He wants. Then ask the Lord to help you excel in good works.
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