Summary: What does it mean to really be saved? How should it look like?
“Living Out Our Salvation”
• This is the fundamental truth of our faith: salvation is by grace alone through faith alone.
• “Not of yourselves”
o Nothing we can do to earn it, add to it, or take away from it; it truly is a gift from God.
• “Lest any man should boast.”
o If we could earn our salvation we would have something to brag about before God, because He would just be giving us what we had earned.
• My prayer is that everyone here tonight is trusting in a salvation of grace through faith by the power of God: and not a salvation of works through good deeds by the power of yourself.
• Humor me, who would agree that if God were done with us the moment we got saved, He would have taken us to Heaven?
• Many of us here have memorized these two verses, but just like the fact that God is not done with us, neither was the Apostle Paul done with his thought and vv. 8-9 cannot be truly understood without the light of verse 10.
I. The Plan
• “For we are his workmanship.”
o Workmanship – literally means that which is made. However the word was most often used to describe a poem or any work of art.
o I think we get the most insight into this word by how it is used in another place in the NT.
Romans 1:20 (NASB95)
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
• We are saved as God’s new creation, designed to reflect His character, His eternal power, His divine nature, so that God may be clearly seen in us.
• God has designed each and every one of us uniquely, with different talents, personalities, experiences, and spiritual gifts; but to a single plan that others will see the love of God in us and through us.
• When a plan is put into action it now has purpose.
II. The Purpose
• “Created in Christ Jesus unto good works.”
o Our new identity is in Christ, which is the only way we can even come close to being considered God’s workmanship or work of art.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB95)
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Ephesians 4:24 (NASB95)
24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
• “Created” aorist tense, a one time event that is now affecting my present condition.
o That was the moment we were saved, that is our regeneration, but the scope of our salvation goes so much deeper.
• “Unto good works.”
o That is our purpose that we were saved unto good works.
o So what makes up these “good” works?
o Just like the “good” soil in the parable of the sower, the fact that it produced fruit for the Kingdom, a hundred fold.
• For a follower of Christ this is not an option but a command.
Romans 6:4 (NASB95)
4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
Galatians 5:16 (NASB95)
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
• Remember how we said that God is not done with us, if we are not serving, witnessing, making disciples then what we are telling God is that I’m done with you.
o That’s why James calls that kind of faith, dead faith.
o If we are truly God’s workmanship, that which reflects who God is, we accomplish that through our works.
o Yes it is true that we are saved by faith alone, but never by a faith that is alone.
III. The Preparation
• “Which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
• In order for us to fully live out our purpose of who we are in Christ, we must come to recognize and appreciate God’s preparation.
• That comes in understanding a truth about the works we have been created to do.
o God has already laid out the good works, they are all around us.
o Someone in need
o Waitress with the bad attitude
• Our job is to walk in them, so it is not even us doing the good work, but God working through us.