But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:4-10 (KJV)
The grace of God is the expression of His goodness toward the undeserving. Grace means unmerited favor and can be expressed by the acrostic “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.” This grace is the basis of our salvation (see Ephesians 1:7, 2:8).
In salvation, men who deserve hell obtain heaven. This cannot be explained apart from God’s grace. Every conversion in Scripture is an example of God’s grace. When Paul (Saul) met the Lord on the Damascus Road, Paul was a persecutor of the church. Yet God made him one of the church’s chief preachers.
We need to remember that we are saved, given the Holy Spirit, and allowed to serve God—by His grace.
Saving faith is part of humanity’s response to God in the salvation experience. It is as simple as looking to Jesus for salvation (John 3:14-16). Saving faith is both simple and complex. It is as simple as a drowning man reaching for a rope, yet at the same time it sets in motion all the judicial machinery of heaven, in keeping with the ultimate purpose of God.
While believing is simple, there are some for whom it is too simple, and they find that difficult. In the Scriptures, the intensity of one’s faith is not as important as its object. Often belief in the gospel produces an emotional response (see Acts 16:34), although, because individual personalities differ, it is not wise to use emotion as a test of faith.
Ultimately, saving faith is expressed as an act of the will. Repentance and faith are in essence two sides of the same coin called “conversion.”
When the Philippian jailer asked, “What must I do to be saved?” (thus reflecting a spirit of repentance), Paul and Silas responded, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (see Acts 16:30, 31). To be saved, a person must trust Christ alone for his salvation.
Questions to Consider
- The conversion that led Saul to become Paul is highlighted here. What are some other conversions we read about in the New Testament? How do they inspire you?
- These are powerful truths we find in this passage from Ephesians 2. Which of these verses impacts you the most and why?
Content in this article taken from the King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition. The King James Study Bible, Full Color Edition is an all-encompassing study Bible — the only Bible featuring extensive commentary, doctrinal notes, archaeological insights, and time-tested study aids developed exclusively for the King James Version. Perfect for in-depth study or personal devotion, this Bible will be the one you’ll continue to reach for in your study of Scripture. Stunning full-color design enhances your time in the Word including Holy Land photos, archeological discoveries illustrating the historical and cultural times, charts and biblical maps.