As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 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. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
1. Salvation is God’s work.
Paul is crystal clear in his letters to the churches that our salvation as a result of the mercy of God extending his great grace to us.
You can’t do enough
You can’t give enough
You can’t be good enough
You can’t be nice enough
For God so loved the world he gave his only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.
2. Good works are our response.
You can’t work your way into God’s grace but what and how you do it can prove that grace is in you.
Faith in the grace God gives us will produce a desire to complete the good works God has prepared for us.
Romans 6:15-18 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
James 2:14-19 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder.
3. You are God’s multi-generational billboard.
it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
Completing the good works God has laid out in front of us is a constant testimony to every generation that God’s saving grace is real.
4. Work typically looks like work.
Be a billboard in every job good or bad.
Never make the excuse “it was a bad day” Jesus was hanging on the cross and he forgave everyone and took someone with him. You can make it through a stressful day or week or month. The grace and power of God are not there for just the Instagram moments, it’s there for the difficult times and for the hard work.