Ephesians 2:8-10, “For 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.“
Verses 8-9 teaches that believers are saved by grace through faith. But verse 10 also teaches that Christians are supposed to strive to live upright and godly lives. Grace and hard work seem to be in opposition to one another, so which do we choose?
The gospel calls us to rely on God’s grace alone for salvation and to give every effort, by that grace, to become holy as we continue in our plight to our heavenly home. Without grace, the pursuit of holiness will either lead to self-righteousness or self-pity. However, without grace-driven effort, we will become more worldly with no concern for what pleases and glorifies God.
Friends, the grace that saves us is the grace that sanctifies us! In this, we should be motivated to pursue holiness and sanctification. It might mean that we should start preaching to ourselves during our trials in order to respond in ways that glorify God, challenging us to grow deeper in faith and godliness.