Last week we started considering the by and through of our salvation. These are different words given to us plain and simple. They are the key to us making it through. We looked at ourselves before we were saved. We may not have seen ourselves this way, but it’s true. Today sin is more open. Satan has used the same old bag of tricks for ages. Those who worship Satan openly and those who don’t are the same in the fact they are sinners. We all are sinners. We could do nothing to change that fact and save ourselves.
Verse 4 begins with the word “but” and changes it all.
Ephesians 2: 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
We are saved by grace. We are saved through faith. Grace is God’s part and the means whereby salvation is possible. Salvation is brought from the Lord to us. Faith is the tool we use in order to receive salvation. God believed in us before we believed in him. Grace is God treating us special when we don’t deserve it. It is favor unmerited. He looked beyond our fault and saw our need. Was I that bad before I was saved? Yes. I was. The person we are now, after salvation, is not perfect; God’s grace carries us through.
His great love is beyond words. He has shown his love. Verse 4 calls it his great love and says God is rich in mercy. Love is the emotion toward us. Mercy is the sparing of those who deserve death, a sparing of our eternal life. Verse 7 says there is kindness toward us. What is the opposite of kind? Mean. God had a just cause to be mean, but he chose to be kind—nice, gentle, and good to us. He had to love us with unspeakable love. He showed the willingness to spare us with loving kindness. These three words—love, kindness, and mercy—make grace. This is the means whereby salvation comes to us.
We all got to church in a vehicle. God’s mercy, love, and kindness are the vehicle that brings grace to our doorstop. How in the world do we receive it? Faith is a belief and trust. We believe salvation is there and are willing to trust God. It works! Regardless of where we get saved, in the car, the factory, or elsewhere, it happens when we put our faith in God. We have faith in us; use it toward God. The gospel comes to us. Grace is God handing us salvation with nail-scarred hands. It is his Son reaching to us. Our faith believes the scars were put there for us on Calvary and trusts salvation to come to us.
When Peter was going down he said “Lord, save me.” Jesus reached out to him. God’s hand of grace is offered to us. When we take it to our heart, soul, and life through faith, we are saved. The Bible says not to depart from or make shipwreck of our faith. We must continue in our faith by living for the Lord and trusting him.
The saints mentioned in Hebrews 11 all died in faith. We don’t need to see Jesus visibly. Those who did crucified him. Faith is what saves us. It’s not about seeing Jesus. Be faithful unto death. By doing so, we will receive a crown of life. When we do, we won’t be able to pat ourselves on the back. It will be because of God’s grace.