Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Our memory verse for the month of March is Ephesians 2:8-9. We have here in this passage one of the clearest presentations of the way of salvation. Salvation is by GRACE ALONE through FAITH ALONE in CHRIST ALONE. Period. Inasmuch as it is by the grace of God it is by God’s unmerited favor. We cannot earn or merit salvation by any means, but receive it instead through faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross. It is "not of ourselves," "not as a result of works," "that no one should boast."

After Adam and Eve sinned in the garden "they sewed fig leaves together" to make for themselves "loin coverings" (Gen.3:7). Their ill-conceived plan was prototypical of all of the varied efforts of man to save himself. Needless to say their efforts were unsatisfactory. But then God intervened and "made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them" (Gen. 3:21). That work was entirely by the grace of God. God planned it. God made the garments. God clothed Adam and Eve. Having been accomplished by God Himself, that work both satisfied their needs and God’s demands. In the end they had nothing to boast about in their new garments. They had brought nothing to the effort but their failed attempts to cover their sin. And so it is with salvation. Our own efforts in self righteousness to save ourselves amount to "filthy rags" before Him (Isa. 64:6; Rev. 3:17). But when we are, through Christ, clothed in His righteousness, both our needs and God’s demands are satisfied. Rightly understanding the way of salvation we then acknowledge that we have nothing to boast about in it. All of the glory goes to God (Eph. 2:9: 1:6,12,15; Gal. 6:14; Rom. 3:27).

John Newton lived to be eighty-two years old and continued to preach and have an active ministry until beset by fading health in the last two years of his life. Even then, Newton never ceased to be amazed by God's grace and told his friends: "My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things; that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior." He obviously understood the truth of Ephesians 2:8-9. His great hymn, Amazing Grace, reminds us that salvation is all to the praise of the glory of God’s amazing grace!

Pastor Jerry

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