Bible Reading Ephesians 2 v1-10.
Text : Ephesians 2 v 8, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:."
Gods Saving Grace
There once was a young boy who lived in a very poor home in the southern states of America.
As a child he went to gospel meetings and he saw friends & neighbours being saved. He likewise wanted to be saved, but someone told him that if he got saved he would have to give money to the local church.
As the boy was poor he knew this was something he could never do.
He wrongly thought the paying of money into the church had something to do with getting saved and for that reason he did not get saved at that time
Just like that young boy there are many in the world around us and they think that salvation has to do with them giving or doing something. They think that by paying money or doing some good work they can be saved. Well that is not so. Salvation is not by works but by Gods free grace.
And this is the message of our text in Ephesians 2 v8.
In this verse we have one of the greatest Bible summaries regarding Gods so great salvation in the heart of man. These words were written by the apostle Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost to the church at Ephesus. Ephesus was a city of a by gone day that was situated on the west coast of the land of Turkey. In this verse Paul tells how our salvation is all of grace. Now tonight as we would look at this verse which deals with this all important subject of Gods Salvation. There are 3 things that I want you to note.
1. The Certainty of Gods salvation.
Paul says, "for by grace are ye saved." Those words, "are ye saved" reveal to us that the apostle is talking here about something that is definite & real. Through out the NT we read of this word saved on many occasions.
Not only did Paul used the word "saved " but Peter used it in Acts 4 v12 & Christ used it in John 10 v9.
In fact the word saved occurs on no less than 47 times in the New Testament
This all points to the fact that being saved and Gods salvation is something that is real sure & definite.
The Psalmist could say, " the Lord is my strength and my song and is become my salvation."
David could speak of the Lord is such a way, because Gods saving grace was a reality in his life. David was saved.
Friend let me ask are you saved, ? Is Gods salvation a reality in your life. ? For in Gods sight we are either saved or unsaved. This is the message of the Bible from cover to cover.
John 3 v18, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. The person who is not condemned is the person who is saved. The person condemned is the person not saved.
There is no in between line in this matter as the hymn writer says, "neutral you cannot be". You are either saved or else you are not saved. Whenever Adam sinned in the garden of Eden. God asked, Where art thou?--And God would ask you the same question. "Where art thou" as far as this matter of salvation is concerned. Where do you stand, in regard to this matter of being saved.
You are either saved or else you are not saved. If you are saved the Bible makes it clear that your sins are all forgiven, you are reconciled to God, on your way to heaven and will never taste hell. As ROM 5 v9 says, "We shall be saved from wrath through him." If you are not saved the Bible would warn you that you are still a guilty sinner before God, you are still on the broad way that leadeth to destruction in hell.
You are heading toward the place of eternal punishment for sin.
Years ago there was a man & his wife sentenced to death by hanging for murder. As they awaited the day of execution they could hear the carpenters building their gallows.
And as they heard the buzz of the saw & the ring of the hammer the awful truth that they were condemned to die come home to their hearts.
But there is something far worse that being condemned to die in this scene of time. And that something is to be condemned to perish eternally in hell. This is the portion for all who are without Christ as Saviour.
My friend this will be the awful portion that awaits you if you leave this world without being saved through Christ. John 3 v36, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.."
The wrath of God abides upon you - if you are still not saved.
2, This verse shows us that Salvation is by Grace
Our verse says, " for by grace are ye saved." This word grace is one of the most beautiful words in the Bible. Grace is the free unmerited favour of God.
The bible makes mention of different kinds of grace.
There is comforting grace whereby God comforts his people in times of mourning. In 2 Corinthians 1 v3 God is called "the God of all comfort."
There is living grace whereby God gives his people strength to live for his glory. Philippians 4 v13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheth me."
There is providing grace where God promises to supply the need of his people. Philippians 4 v19, "but my god shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Then there is dying grace whereby the Lord is with his people and gives them grace to triumph and will bring them safely into heaven.
David spoke of this in Psalm 23, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me….and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."
But here in our text Paul is talking about saving grace. That time when God saves a sinner, that time when a person comes to experience Gods so great salvation within their heart. This work is all of grace.
This is what salvation is all about- it is all of grace. Not one of us can merit salvation because we are all guilty of sin in the sight of God, we are all sinners by nature & practise."
ROM 3 v10, 11 & 12, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. This is how it is with us all before God when we enter ionto this world. There is no good thing within our nature to commend Gods salvation to us.
Isaiah 64 v6, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags;."
Romans 7 v18, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing:"
Therefore if you & I are to be saved it must all be through the grace of God.
Yes Gods salvation is all of grace we do not deserve it,
You & I cannot buy Gods salvation by our good works, prayers, self reformation & religiosity.
It is not by anything of self or man. Eph 2 v9., "not of works lest any man should boast. "
Yes Gods saving grace is free. Isaiah 55 v1 tells us that it is, " without money & without price."
Prior to their salvation this people in Ephesus were involved in all kinds of sin. There was nothing about them to commends Gods saving grace to them. Yet God saved them from their sin, he saved them- freely & graciously. Paul could say, " but by the grace of God I am what I am.
John Newton could say, "amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me."
As you consider this message please understand that there is not one thing that you have to pay or can pay in order to be saved.
For Gods salvation is all of His free grace. Revelation 22 v17, "And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. And the reason why it is fee is because Christ has paid for our salvation when he suffered & bled & died upon the cross. Christ's sinless sacrifice upon the cross was one that satisfied Gods justice and opened up a way whereby Gods salvation can be freely offered to all.
Is 53 v5, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
There was once a man testifying of Gods saving grace in his life. In his testimony he told how before he was saved, he had tried all kinds of false religions to find rest & hope for his soul. He said that each one of them were empty & could do nothing for him. Then he went on to tell of how the Lord saved Him and he said the Lord forgave all my sins, he did not turn me away, he brought me into his family , put a new song in my heart. "
And this is what Gods saving grace is all about.
But not only does the lord forgive our sins, bring us into his family & put a new song in our hearts.
He also saves us from a lost eternity in hell & sets us on the road to heaven.
This is what the Lord will do for all who come to him for salvation just as they are. Romans 6 v23." For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
3, Gods salvation is received through faith alone.
Ephesians 2 V8 says" for by grace are ye saved through faith."
It is by faith alone that you can receive the blessing of Gods so great salvation.
Faith is the channel that brings Gods salvation to us.
Just as the water that flows from the tap in your home is conducted through a pipe from a reservoir.
So it is by faith that we experience the blessings of Gods saving grace in our lives.
Friend you can only be saved by laying hold upon Gods salvation through the hand of faith. Romans 4 v15, " therefore it is of faith that it might be by grace.
It is not through faith in the ordinances of the church, it is not through faith in your own feelings, and it is not by faith in your own self or anything of man. Ephesians 2V8 &9 says, " and that not of yourselves., "not of works lest anyone should boast."
No it is by faith alone in Christ alone that you can be saved.
Acts 16 v31, "And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
It is by coming in faith as a repented sinner to Christ that you can be saved.
It is by you confessing your sin to him and by trusting in him that you can appropriate & receive the blessings of Gods so great salvation .
The apostle Paul was a man of great intellect & ability. Yet the way he was saved was by faith in Christ. Romans 5v1, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: . " The dying thief was one who was the off scouring of society yet he was saved by faith. Luke 23 v42, "Lord remember me."
And this how it is for all who are saved by the grace of God.
Hymn writer ," my faith has found a resting place not in device or creed, I trust the ever living one, and his wounds for me shall plead. "
Friend without faith in Christ you never can be saved. But by faith in Christ you can be saved from time & all eternity. This day may you see you utter hopelessness to save your self.
May you see the utter helplessness of anything of man to see.
And may you realise that it is only through faith in Christ that you can be saved.
And in seeing Christ as the only saviour may you look to Him by faith for salvation.
In doing so you shall not be disappointed.
Over in Isaiah 45 v22 the Lord gives you a wonderful promise, " Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.
This day may you look by faith to Christ and rejoice in Gods so great salvation. Amen.