Unconditional Grace

August 9, 2016

“The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.”  (Ecclesiastes 9:11)

This verse is not teaching the random chaos of life. This verse instead parallels a truth emphasized in the Bible and expressed by the word ‘grace.’  The truly significant events in the life of a believer are the result of grace and not the results of self effort.  The charisma of God upon the work of your hands will make the difference between your life having eternal significance and your life’s work amounting to wood, hay and stubble in the eternal state (1Corinthians 3:12-15; Psalm 90:17).

The writings of the Apostle Paul are filled with an emphasis upon the concept of grace.  The word grace means ‘unmerited favor.’

The blessing of God upon us is not won by a positive performance or lost by a negative performance. The grace of God and the love of God are unconditional. When you understand the meaning of the word grace which is found in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, it follows that the race is not to the swift or strong or wise or skilled…

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created  in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”   Ephesians 2:8-10

Dick Woodward, MBC Old Testament Handbook, p.428


God’s Workmanship

September 26, 2014

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

The founding elder of the first church I pastored was a home builder. He did excellent work. When a couple wanted him to build their home he took them to a beautiful home he had built and said to them, “By the grace of God this is my workmanship.”  Ephesians 2:20 says to all followers of Christ that our risen living Christ would like to point to each of us and say: “This is My workmanship!”

We are all a work of Christ in progress. In addition to that thought this verse states that when we came to faith and were saved by grace through the faith our Lord gave us, He created us for good works. In fact we’re told that before He saved us He already planned that we would do those works for Him.

I don’t know about you but that truth excites and inspires me greatly! We’re so selfish and self-centered that when we come to faith our focus is often on what trusting Christ to be our Savior will mean to us. Many followers of Christ have the attitude “What have You done for me lately?” The Apostle Paul had the right vision when he met the risen Christ on the road to Damascus and asked the question, “Lord, what do You want me to do for You?”

As a follower of Christ have you been asking and seeking to know what works your Lord and Savior planned for you to do when He saved you by grace?  Are you asking each day, “Lord, what do You want me to do for You?

Dick Woodward, 08 March 2010