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Today we are looking at, meditating on one small verse in the Bible – nine words long.

Eph. 2:9

9 not by works, so that no one can boast

This verse – Ephesians 2:9 however is of course part of a larger section from verse 1 to 10 which we are closely examining this week. This verse is one of those in the Bible that tackles the relationship between one’s salvation and one’s ‘works’ or behaviour. Paul is making it clear to his readers that we are not made right with God through our own efforts or any work of good behaviour we might rustle up but that we are made right with God through his intervention out of his divine mercy and abundant love. And through this intervention – which is the work Jesus did by dying on the cross – he has made us alive, raised us and seated us with Him with and through his son Jesus.

And because of this we have nothing to boast about because we have not contributed anything to our salvation. Even the faith we need to cling to Jesus has been given to us as a gift.

Boasting is a common activity we can easily find ourselves falling into. We like to boast about our achievements and those of our children or other family members. And in many ways, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging our own achievements or the achievements of others particularly those of whom we are proud. But of course, it can all get too much and we can bore people with our boastful talk!

Bit when it comes to boasting about the works we are doing as Christians or in Christian ministry the message of this verse is clear – there is no room for boasting. God has saved us through Jesus to walk in the good works he has for us to accomplish

Let’s walk in the good works God leads us into with the confidence that he has saved us for these very works not using our efforts to somehow justify our relationship in Jesus.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father – our response to your intervention of mercy and abundant love is simply to thank you and praise you for rescuing us and raising us with Jesus to be with him for evermore. Help us to embrace the works you have set for us that we might love you and others as we live for you. May we boast in what you have done and in who you are rather than any feeble attempts we might make in response to your glory. Amen

A song to listen to: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross

Tim Hewlett

Living Church – Creek Road

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