We Are Saved By Grace Through Faith (Ephesians 2:8-9)
1. This morning our lesson was based on the information presented in Ephesians 2:10 -- God wants His children to walk in good works. 2. This evening we are concentrating on several principles revealed in Ephesians 2:8-9. a. We are saved by grace through faith. b. We cannot save ourselves -- salvation "is the gift of God." c. Salvation is "not of works, lest any man should boast." 3. Unfortunately, these verses are often misunderstood -- they have been misinterpreted to teach that man has no responsibilities concerning his salvation. 4. According to 2 Timothy 2:15, we are required to "rightly divide" the Scriptures. 5. We are presenting some information that will help us in teaching these verses accurately so we can be effective in evangelism.
I. LET US FIRST CONSIDER THE "WORKS" THAT ARE MENTIONED
A. These verses clearly state that salvation is "not of works, lest any man should boast." B. This is interesting because James stated that faith must be accompanied by "works" (James 2:17, 20, 24, 26). C. Paul and James do not contradict each other because they each wrote about a particular kind of work. 1. In Ephesians 2, Paul wrote about "works of merit." a. These are things that a person does to earn his salvation. b. Such works will not save anyone because salvation is God's gift. 2. In James 2, James wrote about "works of obedience." a. These are things that a person does to comply with the Lord's instructions. b. We must remember that Christ saves those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).
II. LET US CONSIDER 2 MIRACLES OF HEALING THAT ILLUSTRATE HOW WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH
A. (2 Kings 5:1-14) Naaman was cleansed of leprosy. 1. (vs.1-4) Naaman learned that Elisha could cure him. 2. (vs.5-7) The king of Syria and the king of Israel were involved. 3. (vs.8-10) Elisha sent instructions to Naaman. 4. (vs.11-12) Naaman had his own ideas about how he should have been cured. 5. (vs.13-14) After listening to his servants Naaman followed Elisha's instructions, and he was cured. 6. By the grace of God Naaman was cured; however, it was necessary for Naaman to demonstrate his faith by washing 7 times in the Jordan River. B. (John 9:1-7) A man born blind received his sight. 1. (vs.1-5) Jesus and His disciples came in contact with a man born blind. 2. (vs.6-7a) Jesus put clay on the man's eyes and told him what to do. 3. (vs.7b) The man followed the Lord's instructions, and he was able to see. 4. By the grace of God this man received his sight; however, it was necessary for him to demonstrate his faith by washing in the pool of Siloam.
1. In Mark 16:16, Jesus clearly stated that belief and baptism are requirements for salvation. 2. In Acts 8:26-40 we read about the eunuch of Ethiopia who was saved by God's grace when he demonstrated his faith by complying with the Lord's instructions. 3. Have you done what this man did?