Faith Is a Gift
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph. 2:8-9)
Question 29: How does the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
Answer: The Spirit applies to us the redemption purchased by Christ, by working faith in us, (Ephesians 2:8) and by it uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling. (Ephesians 3:17)
So often we think salvation is a matter of hearing the gospel, weighing the pros and cons of it, and then thoughtfully making a decision as to whether or not we will follow Christ. But the Bible makes clear that salvation is a gracious gift and sovereign work of God from beginning to end. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,…” What is a gift of God? Answer: grace and faith are gifts from God. God gives us the grace and the faith to believe. This is why Paul goes on to say, “not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” In the end, when we enter into heaven, no one will be able to pat themselves on the back and say I did something to get here. Maybe God did 99.9% of the work but I at least contributed .01% in order to be saved. But according to Ephesians 2:5-9, we did nothing to be saved. When the Bible talks about God's saving us, it means exactly that. We were in need of saving, and God saved us.
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