By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:8-9).
It’s not possible for an imperfect person to become acceptable to a holy God by doing good works. So what hope do we imperfect people have?
The apostle says that we are made holy by relying on God’s grace. That’s necessary because unholy people can’t make themselves righteous. Just as it’s impossible to clean a white shirt with muddy hands!
So how are we made holy? Paul says it’s not by our imperfect works, but by faith in the perfect work that Christ has done for us. We trust his sacrificial mercy to wash away our sin so that he will accept us and we can live for him.
Our good works do not make us right with a holy God, but because his grace makes us holy, we can do good works that honor him and bless others.
He doesn’t give grace because of our good works. We do good works because of his grace. The order never varies. We trust in the grace that fully cleanses us, so that we can now do what God long before prepared for his glory and our blessing.
Lord, I thank you for the grace that washes away my sin and enables me to please you with the good works that you created me to do. Please give me faith in your grace to fulfill your purposes for my life today and every day.