That No One Should Boast

The difference between salvation by works and salvation by grace is the difference between, “Hey, look what I’ve done!” and “Look what God has done for me.”
 
We are saved by grace through faith.  There are works that demonstrate the reality of our faith (James 2:21-24), but no works have merit to cancel sins or earn salvation.  If they did, we could boast in them.
 
Paul wrote, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of your selves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). 
 
“For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God” (Romans 4:2).
 
“I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom, but I will boast in Jesus Christ; His death and resurrection.  Why should I gain from His reward?  I cannot give an answer.  But this I know with all my heart:  His wounds have paid my ransom” (How Deep the Father’s Love for Us, Stuart Townend).   “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Galatians 6:14).
 
Cecil May,
Montgomery, AL via
House to House/Heart to Heart


God’s Grace is Sufficient

How does grace work after we obey the Gospel?  What about this, do the best you can and God’s grace takes care of the rest?  Have you heard this used to explain how grace works, and how we stay in good standing with God after we obey the gospel?  How many times has this been used over the years when explaining how God’s grace works to new Christians?  How many accept this as a way grace works? But is it founded in scripture?  If Christians first have to do the best we can before God’s grace kicks in, it makes man responsible for reaching up to God first and achieving a required level of righteousness.  How do you know when you’ve done your best?  Could you have done better if you had tried harder? You would have to be more righteous than someone else if your best is better than their best.  Is God’s idea of your best the same as your idea?  Do you see the quicksand you get into if this is your idea of God’s grace?                   

                                                                 

In 2 Cor. 12 God’s word says Paul was told “My grace is sufficient for you.” And in Eph. 2 Paul writes “you are saved by grace through faith and that not of yourselves it is the free gift of God not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
 

So, since God’s grace is sufficient, and we are saved by grace, and salvation is the free gift of God and not of works, God’s grace takes care of it ALL.  His grace reaches down to us while we are in the gutter of sin and lifts us up to sit with Christ. Eph. 2:4-6.

 

So, how are we made alive with Christ?  God gives us a clear and concise answer in Acts 2:36, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” In Romans 6:4 we are “raised from the dead so that we too might walk in newness of life.”  This “newness of life” is explained in Eph. 2 when Paul says “..created in Christ Jesus for good works.”  So, do we work? Yes! But not in an effort to earn or deserve God’s grace but rather in joyful service prompted by love for God who first loved us. Romans 5:1-2. (we are standing in grace).

 

But what about sin you may ask. 1 John 1:9 – 2:1 says if we sin Jesus is our advocate with the Father, and if we confess He will forgive us. If you, through faith, have been baptized into Christ, and continue to walk in this new life, rejoice!  You are standing in His Grace and not striving to reach it!

 

Keith Williamson
2017