As we approach our Thanksgiving celebration, I’ll close my look at thankfulness with one more thought. This thought comes from Ephesians 2, starting in verse 8, where Paul writes: “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.”
What we see in this passage is that salvation is a gift of God. It’s something we receive by grace. In other words, it’s an undeserved gift that God has given us.
It’s an undeserved gift because we are all sinners. And, because of our sin, the only thing we deserve is death and hell. Yet, in spite of our sin and the punishment we deserve, God loved us enough to send his Son into the world. Jesus loved us enough to give his life in our place, paying the penalty of our sin. God loved us enough to offer his salvation to all people through faith in Jesus.
Most of us believe that we’ll be saved in the end. We believe that we’ll go to heaven. However, this belief is based entirely upon our actions. We believe that we’ll be saved because we think of ourselves as good people. We believe that, over all, we’ve done more good than bad.
However, as this passage tells us, our salvation is not our own doing. It’s not the result of our works. And, for this reason, we can’t boast in any way. None of us can rightfully claim that we have earned our way into heaven.
The only one who can take credit for our salvation is the Lord. Were it not for him, none of us would be saved. Were it not for him, we would be lost forever.
Even though it bruises our ego to hear of our sin and our inability to save ourselves, it’s a message that we need to hear. Unless we realize this truth, we can’t receive the good news of the gospel. As long as we try to save ourselves, we will not look to Christ for the salvation he’s already provided. We will not receive his salvation for what it is, a gift freely given.
Knowing this, we should be eternally grateful for the gift of Jesus. We should be eternally grateful for the gift of salvation. And, as we take time to thank God for his many blessings, this should be at the top of the list.