The Power of Grace

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Ephesians 2:7-10

For by grace you have been saved. (v. 8)

Most people I know love a good bargain. But many people have a problem with free. When I pick up the tab for someone’s lunch as a surprise, a response often follows, “Oh, you don’t have to do that.” Or, “I’ll get the check next time.” We sometimes feel like we owe someone when they give us a gift that we did not earn.

In this passage, Paul brings to climactic fulfillment how the blessings in chapters 1 and 2 come to us. It is all grace, which means “favor.” Our adoption into God’s family, our redemption from sin’s slavery, our forgiveness of guilt, our resurrection from sin’s death, and our inheritance sealed by the Holy Spirit—all of it is God’s grace. In verse 8, “grace” is both the free gift of God and the power by which God’s gift is given.

There is no other explanation for the lavishness of God’s favor toward us in Christ. No amount of works on our part could have secured even the smallest of God’s blessings. Paul writes in Romans 3:12, “No one does good, not even one.” God’s grace is a gift we do not deserve and a favor we cannot return. We cannot say, “I’ll get the check next time.”

There is only one response possible: receive the gift in faith, living as those who are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (v. 10). —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, thank God for his amazing grace.