Written by Larry M. Jaynes:
We receive gifts at certain times of the year, on our birthdays, Christmas, and even at special occasions. Yet of all the gifts we have ever received, nothing will be as everlasting as the gift of God. The gift of God is our salvation. A gift is never worked for, earned, or even necessarily deserved. Gifts are simply given to bless and make us happy. Many of the gifts that we have received as early as last year are already gone, used up, or spent, but the gift of God is eternal. God’s gift is given to men and women by His divine grace, unmerited and unearned, yet eternally present and we can gratefully accept it and daily appreciate it.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
“Through faith” is the faith of Jesus Christ himself rather than through your own faith, for the Bible says that it is “not of yourselves.” We were saved through the faith of Jesus Christ, for it was his own personal believing action to give his life for you and me; this made our salvation possible (this is his personal gift to us). Now we can genuinely and honestly receive the actual gift of God, our salvation, without any works on our part. Another reason why Ephesians 2:8 says “and that not of yourselves” is because we did nothing whatsoever to earn it, nor can we do anything to lose it, for it is something that God through Christ made available to us and freely gave us. God’s grace, His divine favor of love is manifested to us through His gift of salvation.
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
No one is more saved in God’s eyes; we believed unto God’s own righteousness (Romans 10:9-10) which gives us complete salvation along with total access into His grace and family (Romans 5:2 and Ephesians 2:19). However, if we could become saved by our own merits, then someone else could be more saved than we could, and that action would take works. If works (like some today still believe and futilely practice) was the only way to get into heaven, then God’s grace would be totally worthless and most of us would never make it. However, because we do not base the gift of God on works, but as the Scriptures reveal, salvation is by God’s grace, we can simply believe to receive it. All we need to do today is bask in God’s wonderful grace for eternity (however, it is perfectly OK to boast in the works of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ). Becoming humbly thankful for the gift of God is a wonderful way to start your day.