by Travis Penner

Ephesians 2:8

For in grace, through faith, are you saved, and this is not out of you; it is God's approach present, 9 not of works, lest anyone should be boasting. 10 For His achievement are we, being created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God makes ready beforehand, that we should be walking in them.

There is nothing so stunningly humbling than when someone gives you a gift that is so lavishly expensive that you could not afford it.

I had a friend who gave me a tablet once. It was brand new in fact, and my family and I were unable to buy much at all at the time. My friend knew that for years I had wanted a tablet, but could not afford it. A month or two before Christmas, he gave me a brand new Nexus 7.

I could not believe it, I was humbled by his generosity. I felt like I had to do something to earn it, program a program. Fix a computer. Write a symphony. Construct a house. I don't know what it was, but I felt compelled to do something to earn it.

He expressly said it was a gift, and I didn't need to do anything for him.

It was humbling. All I could say was "Thank you." Of course, if he needed anything, I would gladly do it for him, and he remains a good friend today.

How much more so than this wonderful gift we have been given? Not merely the salvation of our souls, but also the faith to believe it. Those of us who are in the body of Christ must continually remind ourselves that nothing we do or will do will ever earn for ourselves this precious and lavish gift which has been given to us. To be part of the celestial calling in Christ Jesus.

Christianity teaches that our faith saves us. Those that teach this do so in gross ignorance of Ephesians 2:8-9. Paul knew this doctrine was worming its way into the lives of believers. Your faith is not your own. The grace given to you is not your own. Even the baptism that every believer experiences upon the "I GET IT" moment is nothing we can achieve ourselves.

Ephesians 1:4 says:

according as He chooses us in Him before the disruption of the world, we to be holy and flawless in His sight,

Christianity teaches that we choose Him. They've got it backwards. Ephesians 1:4 says He chooses us. Long before Adam was even created, He choose us. That's huge. We were planned. There were no mistakes.

His achievement are we.

Embrace that. Live it. Be ever grateful that this eon and the ones to come have been granted to you beause of His gracious generosity. If that doesn't put you in a fantastic mood, I don't know what else can.

Travis Penner
Email: tjp.mobile@gmail.com

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