Advent: Dec. 08 // Faith Alone in Christ Alone

December 08

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them. 
–Ephesians 2:8-10
Ephesians 2:8-10 provides one of the clearest explanations in the entire Bible as to how we are transformed when we place our faith in Jesus Christ: we are “saved,” we become a “new creation,” and we become doers of “good works.” These verses also answer the question, “How do sinful people get right with God?” 

Three key words from these verses are worth exploring. Those words are saved, grace, and faith. Let’s consider each of them.
The word saved simply means “to be delivered.” The word is used in the Bible to describe both physical and spiritual deliverance. The first three definitions of the word saved from the Farlex Online Dictionary are:
a. To rescue from harm, danger or loss
b. To prevent from dying 
   (As in a doctor saving someone’s life)
c. To set free from the consequences of sin;
   to redeem
It’s in this third sense that the Apostle Paul uses the word in this passage. We all need to be saved — delivered — from the consequences of our sin. 
The second key word in this verse is grace. The Holman’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines grace as, “Undeserved acceptance and love received from another.” Grace always emphasizes the kindness of the giver and not the worthiness of the recipient. If something is deserved,
it is not grace. 
In conversations I have had with people over the years, I have noticed that most people try to earn their way into heaven by being good or by practicing some prescribed religious rituals, but this verse makes it clear that salvation cannot be earned; it can only be received as a gift.  

But how do we receive this gift?
The simple answer is faith

But how do we receive this gift? The simple answer is faith. The word trust captures the idea because this is not about just believing a set of facts. Salvation is about making Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, who died in our place for our sin and rose again from the dead, the object of our trust. The gospel writer John put it this way in the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16:
For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

It doesn’t get much clearer than this. Jesus boldly claimed in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It’s through faith alone, in Christ alone, that we are saved.

Do you realize your need for a Savior? Have you taken the time to acknowledge your sin and turn to Jesus as the object of your trust? If not, why don’t you do so today through a simple prayer, claiming John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9?
Faith // Faith Alone in Christ Alone | Tim Haring
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