Ephesians 2:8-10 – ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, but it is a gift from God; not by works, should one boast. For we have been created by God in Jesus Christ to do good works previously prepared by God for which we should walk.’
These two verses are two sides of the same coin. On one side, it is telling us that our salvation is only possible by faith, not by works, and that we need to be saved. And yet, on the other side, once we are saved, God has called us to a whole-life of service to the world according to Yahweh’s will. Each one of us has a unique role to play in the world, that no-one else can fulfil. And yet, this ministry is part of the jigsaw that is the Church.
Saved – ‘Sozo’ – deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety). It also has the meaning of healing and being made whole ie being in a right relationship with Yahweh.
Grace – ‘Charis’ – a gift from Yahweh – He does not have to give us salvation – He could allow us to live incomplete lives and be condemned, but because of His love for His creation, He sent Jesus Christ to take upon Himself all our sins and rebellion and die on a Cross (the consequence of sin) and through His resurrection, made it possible for or sins to be washed away and for reconciliation with Yahweh Himself. The gift is freely given despite our rebellion.
Works – ‘Ergon’ – many people feel we need to earn our salvation, especially those who follow other religions like Hinduism and Islam. But, with Christianity, it has nothing to do with us, it is Yahweh’s action, His gift that allows us to be saved. All we have to do is accept it willingly and agree to give our lives over to Him, so as to lead a fulfilled and complete life. That does not mean we are necessarily healed of physical ailments, but more it is about our relationship with Yahweh and the life that flows from it. Hence the importance of being willing to do what works, Yahweh has already prepared for us – in our homes, work, neighbourhood and church and in the world. The Greek word ‘ergon’ is the root of the word ‘ergonomics, the study of doing things efficiently. Hence, the importance of seeking to be in tune with Yahweh, so that our ‘yoke’ is easy.
So, in conclusion, these two verses summarise the importance of Jesus as Saviour and Jesus as Lord of our lives.