1- (January 2018) “By” and “For”

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 Ephesians 2: 9, 10

Whether we face it with fear and trembling, euphoric happiness, or notice it at all, it is a mark in time which gives us an opportunity to evaluate our lives. Especially in relation to God’s plans for us!

Saved “BY” grace “FOR” good works. That pretty much sums up God’s intentions for us as expressed through the mission of Jesus His Son. Sometimes this gets messed up in human thinking. There are those who would switch the words around: “Saved BY good works FOR grace to have an impact later.” Wrong. Or that grace encourages sin by eliminating any consequences for the sinner. Very wrong (read Jude verse 4; Romans 6:1-4).

Salvation is a matter of responding to the gospel message (Acts 2:37-41; 8:12, 36; 22:16). We then start learning to live for Christ as a part of everything we do (Romans 6:6, 7; Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Colossians 3:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:9, 10).

Getting this straight can have great effect in our lives…

 It gives peace of mind– the unpayable debt has been paid for us (2 Corinthians 5:21)! This roots out any tendency for us to think arrogantly about the source of salvation. God did it, not us, and we have nothing to brag about in that regard (Romans 3:27-29).

 It gives us something to aim for– God has prepared things for us to be doing. Working, especially to successful ends of God’s design, is fulfilling and bolsters our sense of true worth. Self-respect can flourish in a healthy way while we observe the help we give others through ministry (Galatians 6:2-4; Romans 6:17).

 It enables us to offer something of eternal value to whoever will listen to the gospel message.

The great grace of God establishes a relationship with Him. Living in that relationship each day is our blessing and privilege. Let Him shape your life in such a way that it brings glory to Him.

Blessed to be serving with you,

Jay