At one time you were like a dead person because of the things you did wrong and your offenses against God. You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience. At one time you were like those persons. All of you used to do whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted so that you were children headed for punishment just like everyone else. However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace! And God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus. God did this to show future generations the greatness of his grace by the goodness that God has shown us in Christ Jesus. You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives. (Ephesians 2:1-10, CEB)
We are saved by God’s grace because of faith, and this is God’s gift. It is not something we possess or something we can be proud of or boast about. God did all of this for us so that we might do good things. Things that God planned for us to do way before we were ever here.
This passage has the Lutheran catch verses, Ephesians 2:8-9 “You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of.” And we have used this verse as a reason to not do anything for a long time. Salvation is a gift of God. There is nothing I can do to earn it and I don’t have to do anything to get it, so I won’t do anything. But that isn’t where the good news ends. Verse 10 needs to be included.
“Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.” We are God’s accomplishment created to do good things in the world. We can not do good things to earn our salvation but we can do good things so that others know they are saved too.
Loving People. Loving God.