(We are making the move back to CO and the office, school, church, etc. Please enjoy these posts from the archives. You are welcome to comment as usual and I will respond on the other side.)
The question I received asked about Ephesians 2:10, the verse just after a wonderful assurance of God’s grace where Paul says that we were “created for good works.” Doesn’t God expect us to be out doing good works now that we are saved by Him?
2. Our good works do not lead to righteousness in the sight of the Lord. The message is clear that our salvation, our righteousness, and all spiritual blessings are the result of grace. All of Romans 4 is dedicated to this message. Righteousness comes through faith. Isaiah taught this as well in 64:6. The righteousness that comes from our efforts, our good works, offers us little. That means that we are dependent on His good works for our spiritual good. If we slip, backslide, or whatever you would like to call it, there is no hope in our good works. It won’t matter what we have done or will do. We cannot gain salvation, keep salvation, or bolster salvation by our good works. So strongly does Paul believe this that he says someone who has no good works to show (the thief on the cross, for example) may still be saved on the basis of faith (Romans 4:5). Our works, no matter how spiritual the motivation, can bring nothing. God’s work – grace – does everything.
Point 3 is next…