We are told that we are saved by grace through faith. Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Grace is God’s favor or benevolent regard that He shows to mankind. This passage says our salvation is a gift of God given by grace. Sometimes we say that grace is the unmerited favor of God. That means that we didn’t earn it, but God gave it anyway. He saved us by His grace based upon our faith in Him and His Son Jesus Christ. The works that the apostle Paul is referring to here are likely circumcision and performing the required actions under the Law of Moses. The Judaizing teachers wanted people to follow the Law; many who followed the Law were proud of their accomplishments and expected the favor of God. But the apostle Paul here states that salvation is not based upon works lest anyone should boast. Salvation is a gift from God through our faith. Even though we are not saved by good works, God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. In other words, God expects those He saves to walk in good works. God does not save people so that they would be devoid of good works or that they would perform evil works.
Since we are saved by grace, can we continue to live in sin? Rom 6:1-4 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” When a believer is baptized, the baptism symbolizes a death, burial and resurrection the same as when Jesus died on the cross, was buried in the tomb, and was resurrected the third day. The believer therefore dies to sin; how can they live any longer in it? And just as Jesus was resurrected and is with the Father in heaven, the believer also rises out of baptism to walk in newness of life; a life where they do not live in sin any longer. Some were apparently saying that they could continue in sin so that God’s grace would abound towards them. But the apostle Paul here says “Certainly not!”
So what does God’s grace teach us? Titus 2:11-12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” Do you think that God’s grace teaches you anything? God’s wonderful unmerited favor towards you should motivate you to give up all ungodliness and worldly lusts in your life. How can you continue to live ungodly when God has shown such love to you? If you continued ungodly living, you would be most ungrateful to Him. Instead, God’s grace should motivate you to live a sober, righteous and godly life. That is how God wants you to live. Why would you want to live any differently when you experience the great love that He has for you? “We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Do you love God and appreciate His grace to you? Show it by your actions.