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not by works, but for works

"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." (Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV)

There are three truths about "works" in this passage, and it's important to hold all three and consider their order:

1) We are not saved by works. (v. 8-9)(Salvation really is a gift.)

2) We are now God's work. (v. 10a)(God is graciously working in us, Phil. 2:13.)

3) We are saved for good works, prepared by God. (v. 10b)(Not saved by works, but created for good works.)

Warfield sums up: "The very good works which we do, then, have been prepared for us by God in his electing grace, that we should walk in them. We are not chosen because we are good; we are chosen that we may be good." (B. B. Warfield)


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