Salvation by Grace and Faith Alone (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Scripture: Ephesians 2:8-9
This sermon delves into one of the key passages about salvation in the New Testament. “Have been saved” can also rightly be translated “are saved.” We show that the meaning of salvation is “to be rescued from serious peril.” This means that unless we define the peril we are saved from we cannot know what the gospel is all about. The context of Ephesians 2 makes it clear that we were dead sinners and facing God’s wrath in eternity. Any supposed “gospel” message that understates the seriousness of the lost condition of mankind is inadequate and will not show people their need for conversion. When Paul is “this” is a gift of God, he is referring to the whole event of salvation by grace through faith. That salvation is God’s gift means that it is not earned or merited by anything resident in the lost sinner. We show that Jesus said that He is the resurrection and the life and that the raising of Lazarus in John 11 illustrates this truth. In John 5:25 Jesus spoke of the dead “hearing” His voice and those who hear will live. This refers to the external call of the gospel and the internal call for those who truly “hear” with faith and receive the gift of eternal life. Ephesians emphatically says that this salvation is “not from you” and “not from works.” This sets the gospel of Christ apart from all of the world’s religions. This leads to the important conclusion that no one who is saved can boast. We can only “boast” in knowing God by His grace and never about anything we might claim we had to offer. This is shown through applications from 1Corinthians 1:26-31 and Jeremiah 9:23-24. This means that all the glory goes to God alone.
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