August 4, 2020 • Life for Leaders
Scripture – Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
What does it mean to be saved? According to Ephesians 2, salvation is so much more than simply going to heaven after you die. God’s salvation through Christ begins to transform your life right now, in this age and this world . . . or at least it should. Because God has saved you, you can begin to live differently in this moment, wherever you are; at work or at home, in a boardroom or a classroom, in your workshop or your studio, your church or your neighborhood, with colleagues or your family, with friends or strangers.
Do you like good news? Well then, I have some for you. Great news, actually! Here it is: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith.” Fantastic!
In today’s Life for Leaders devotion we’ll begin to consider what it means to be saved by grace through faith. This verse deserves careful scrutiny, not only because it is a touchstone of our faith, and not only because it has been so influential in the history of the church, but also because it has power to transform your life. This is true even if, like me, you’ve been a Christian for a long time.
What does it mean to be saved? The first verses of Ephesians 2 help to frame a clear answer. God has saved us from the dire condition in which we found ourselves outside of Christ. We were dead in our sins, prisoners to the world and its evil ruler, dominated by our fleshly desires, and standing under God’s righteous judgment. But God did not leave us in our sorry, terminal condition. Rather, he “made us alive with Christ . . . [and] raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 2:5-6). God delivered us from the dominion of sin and death into the domain of life. Or, to put it differently, he saved us.
Notice that, in this passage, salvation is so much more than simply going to Heaven after you die. In fact, there is a sense in this passage in which you are already in Heaven now if you have been saved by God (Ephesians 2:6). To be sure, your salvation includes what happens to you beyond this earthly existence (see Ephesians 2:7). But salvation begins to transform your life right now, in this age and this world . . . or at least it should. Because God has saved you, you can begin to live differently in this moment, wherever you are; at work or at home, in a boardroom or a classroom, in your church or your neighborhood, with colleagues or your family.
In tomorrow’s devotion, we’ll look more deeply into the multiple dimensions of salvation. For now, let me encourage you to consider your experience of God’s salvation and the difference it makes in your life today.
How have you experienced God’s salvation in your life?
From what has God saved you?
Are there ways you still need to experience God’s salvation? Are you in bondage to a pattern of sin, or to a powerful addiction, or to unhealthy relationships, or . . . ?
Set aside some moments for reflection. As you think of ways God has saved you, express your thanks in prayer. Let the Lord know how grateful you are for his salvation in your life.
Gracious God, thank you for saving me. Thank you for reaching out to me when I was dead in my transgressions and sins, when I was in bondage to this world and its powers, when I was lost and without hope. Thank you, Lord, for all the ways I have experienced your salvation in my life.
Help me, dear Lord, to understand your salvation more fully. Help me to live this day as one who has been saved by grace. May your salvation permeate and transform my life. Amen.
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Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling Archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: I’m Not Good Enough and I’m Not Smart Enough
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.
Thanks for the lesson on salvation, understanding more on salvation.
Grace, you are welcome. Thanks for your comment.