Free Gift

cross“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Ephesians 2:8 – 9 NIV

Is your salvation truly a Free Gift of God or do you have to earn it?  Is there a checklist that you can follow to make sure to do the right works to earn or keep your salvation?  Is Jesus Christ your Savior, only if you help Him save you through your works?

Perhaps a good place to start is before the beginning.  On the Guarantee page you can read that God declares that He alone is God because He alone is able to declare the future.  He claims to know all things.  Now you will learn that He also claims that He knew you and also chose you before He created the world.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”
Ephesians 1:3 – 6

Please read the scripture above carefully and notice that it says that:

  1. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has blessed us. It is Past Tense; done.
  1. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. How?
  1. Just as He chose us (Past Tense) in Him before the foundation of the world.  Why?
  1. That we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. How?
  1. By having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself. Why?
  1. Because it is according to the good pleasure of His will. Why?
  1. So that the glory of His grace will be praised. How?
  1. Because He made us accepted in the Beloved. If we somehow could have done it we could boast about it.  It is by His grace that we have been saved through faith – and that faith is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by any of our own works, so that no one can boast.

Item 5 above says that God “predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself.”  It seems clear that if you are a born again Christian and eternally saved (see the Born Again page), it is because He predestined you to be.  “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”  Romans 8:30  Notice that they are all in Past Tense, from God’s point of view it is done.  Remember that He knows the end from the beginning.

Here are God’s actions on your behalf (along with some definitions):

  1. God predestined you
    to destine in advance; foreordain;   theology  (of God) to decree from eternity (any event, especially the final salvation of individuals)


  1. God called you
    to ask or order to come, to cause to assemble, to summon to a specific office, profession, etc:


  1. God justified you
    Theology. to declare innocent or guiltless; absolve;   to declare or show to be free from blame or guilt; Protestant theology  to account or declare righteous by the imputation of Christ's merits to the sinner.  to change from sinfulness to righteousness by the transforming effects of grace.


  1. God glorified you
    to make more splendid;   to cause to seem more splendid or imposing than reality. To make glorious, or cause so to appear
    (John 12:28; 13:31,32; 17:4,5)


According to the Scriptures, your part is to receive His gift of salvation through faith which is not from yourself, it is the gift of God – not of works, so that you do not boast.  Jesus Christ is “…the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, …”  Hebrews 12:2  “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”  2 Timothy 2:13

An astute reader of Scripture might point out that sanctification, which is mentioned throughout the Bible is not listed above as one of the acts which God has done for you.  Does that mean that you need to sanctify yourself through your own acts?

Let’s check the scriptures.  Jesus sent Paul to the Gentiles (non-Jewish people) by saying, “…I  now send you,  to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”   Acts 26:17 – 18  The Word of God says that you are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ.

Born again Christians are ”those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord…”  1 Corinthians 1:2  ”we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Hebrews 10:10  For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”  Hebrews 10:14  By faith in Jesus Christ we are “sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:”  Jude 1:1  “For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,”  Hebrews 2:11  It is clear that it is God who sanctifies and because of His grace we are “perfected forever…” and …“preserved in Jesus Christ.”  To God our Savior goes all the glory for our sanctification.

Do you remember not having a GPS system?  Actually, my GPS once took me to a road that apparently was planned but never even started.  Until recently, I still carried maps.  With a map you must have a point of reference or you will get lost.  To know where you are going, you need to know your location – your starting point.

In reading and studying the Bible you must also establish points of reference.  Keep in mind what you have already learned as you read additional Scriptures.  The Word of God as written in the whole Scriptures does not contradict itself because God cannot lie.  That is why you can trust God’s promises to be true.

“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.”

Isaiah 28:10

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
John 1:1

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8

How could we trust God if His Word changed?  He says, “For I am the Lord, I do not change;…”
Malachi 3:6

“…I, the Lord, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”
Isaiah 45:19

“The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”
Isaiah 40:8

Jesus Christ said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Matthew 24:35

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