As Christians it sounds easy and obvious to agree that salvation is by faith and not works “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8”
Yet I find that we still struggle to comprehend that; somehow we feel we need works to add to our qualification or at least for blessings to come our way. “…Maybe we need to pray more, perhaps we need to fast for longer, give to the church and the needy, sing more loudly, worship all night…” Somehow we feel committed to add to our salvation and blessing in Christ. Yet only a few verses down the line and we find this; “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do…Ephesians 2:10”. Oh! What a shock, not even our good acts are our own but that which God has predetermined that he shall achieve in us.
Next time you want to take pride in works, just remember even that is not your doing. It’s all his doing; a fruit of grace and nothing with our hands do we bring on the table but as Jonathan Edwards would say, only our sins and our wretchedness for him to heal. Glory be to God!