Ephesians 2: 8-10 - "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."
This passage describes our salvation experience in summary form. It starts with God's grace in sending His Son into the world to die for our sins, be buried and rise again the third day. If we receive by faith, Christ as our Lord and Saviour we are saved as a gift of God. Some assert that the words 'and that not of yourselves' refer to faith implying we have no choice in the matter. Greek grammar does not support this assertion since 'faith' is a feminine noun in Greek and 'that' is neuter and refers to back to salvation which we received by faith without any merit of our own.
Next week we will consider the latter part of the passage dealing with our being God's workmanship.
Originally printed in the church bulletin Aug. 3, 2014.