Verse for today – “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast (Eph. 2:8-9).”
Earlier in Ephesians 2 we read that, “God… made us alive together with Christ,” and we called this event SALVATION. Today’s verse answers an important question—who accomplished this great feat? OR, who paid for this salvation? Will there be people in heaven bragging about their good deeds and their acts of kindness and generosity that earned them a ticket into heaven? The answer is a resounding NO! The very end of today’s verse clearly states, “SO THAT NO ONE MAY BOAST.” What has happened to prevent this boasting?
The answer is that salvation is a GIFT! It is a gift that we receive from God based on faith, because God paid the price for our salvation. According to the Bible we could not afford the price! Consider these verses from the Old Testament: “No man can by any means redeem his brother or give to God a ransom for him—for the redemption of his soul is costly, and he should cease trying forever—that he should live on eternally, that he should not undergo decay (Ps. 49:7-9).” Jesus on the other hand, as the perfect Son of God—the only One without sin—was able to pay the price. Here is one description of many, describing what Jesus accomplished for us by His death on the cross:
“Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our wellbeing fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him (Is. 53:4-6).”
Please consider the following illustration. Many years ago, a new employee of a large coal mine spent the day listening to his guide as they toured the coal mine facilities. Their last stop was a trip down into the depths of the mine. The tour guide was especially proud of the automatic elevator that lowered them into the ground and finally returned them to the surface. “Isn’t this a great asset?” the guide inquired of the newly hired man. “Now no one has to climb these long distances into or out of the mine. AND it was completely free to all of our employees!” Unimpressed, the grumpy new hire retorted, “Well, if it was free it must be pretty cheap!” “Oh no! Oh no! “the guide responded, “It was free to our employees, but it cost the company an enormous amount of money!” Dear Reader, our salvation is similar. It is free to us, but it cost our Savior the ultimate price. He gave His very life for ours! There will be no one boasting in heaven because we will be too busy thanking the Lord Jesus for His kind and gracious gift.