8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
A friend of mine owns a fantastic boat company. The boats that he produces are designed for water sports like water skiing and in particular, wakeboarding and wake surfing. These are awesome boats; incredibly crafted, of the highest quality, and totally equipped with all the bells and whistles. My friend would generously allow me to use a boat each year to take high school and college students out for a week on the water. I was always the paranoid guy making sure that we took special care of the boats; cleaning them, no food on the boat, and certainly no sticky sodas, greasy sunscreen, no watches or other sharp objects that might scratch or otherwise damage the boat.
However, one year there was a problem. Apparently, I had hit something under the water, and it caused some damage. That’s putting it mildly. When we pulled the boat out of the water at the end of the week I was sickened to find a three-foot gash in the hull and noticed that the brass prop on the engine was damaged as well. I recall standing there and staring at the damage for quite some time just trying to get a handle on what had happened, how I was going to tell my friend who let me borrow this brand-new boat, and all the while I was struggling to keep from throwing up.
I finally got over the shock and horror of the damage and steeled myself for the moment that I had to return the boat and show the damage to my friend. I felt so heart-stricken that I was ready and willing to mortgage my house and surrender my firstborn to cover the cost of the damage. But when I showed my friend the damage to this brand-new boat that he had so generously lent us, his response has stuck with me ever since that day, “Hey, it’s just a boat. What matters is that you shared Christ with those kids and that’s worth every boat I have.”
I think about that moment every time I read this passage. In effect, my friend rescued me from paying the cost of the damage. Remember back to the first three verses of this chapter? Go back and read them again and let them sink in. We were dead, we were going down the wrong road and there is nothing that we could do about it, but God…, but God did for us what we couldn’t do. He saved us.
That’s what we have here in these verses, God gives us life and literally rescues us from death.
We are “saved” by grace. Salvation literally has to do with being rescued from an outcome that would otherwise happen except for the intervention of God.
Left to our own strength and abilities the outcome is certain; complete and total annihilation. But by God’s grace, we are saved. We are not saved in the slightest by anything that we can do, it’s all because of God through the gift of His Son Jesus in His birth, life, death, and resurrection—so we have no room to boast.
Paul goes on to say of those who entrust their lives to Christ that are His workmanship. The word has a bit of an artisan ring to it as if we’re some sort of handcrafted art, but I don’t think that’s the imagery that Paul intends if we look at the rest of verse 10. We are not some work of art that is to be displayed on a wall, rather we are a work that is created with a purpose to work; to know, love and serve Jesus as His missional disciples.
Our lives have been rescued so that we can have and live life to its fullest in step with God’s plans and purpose as we respond to the amazing and incredible act of God’s saving grace.
So what is your response to the rescue of your life through God’s grace in His Son Jesus?
God bless you and know that you are prayed for constantly.