Salvation is for us but not mainly about us. It is mainly about God. How so?

Returning to the deep well of Ephesians 2, we read:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 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.

Here we find three ways salvation is ultimately about God:

1. Its aim is our Christlikeness. See the contrast between the deader-than-deadness described in vv.1-3 as life apart from Christ and the new life described in vv.5-6. See also 2 Corinthians 3:18.

2. Its aim is our “in Christ”-ness through union with Christ. See v.6, as well as Galatians 2:20 and Colossians 3:3.

3. Its aim is to show off God’s glory. “Because of [his] great love.” “So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace.” “This is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” “For we are his workmanship.” So that we will not boast. But God may and will.

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One thought on “How Salvation is About God, Not Us”

  1. Wesley says:

    I agree absolutely. Only in our modern, N A church would we assume that the sole purpose of Christ’s death was to prove our personal worth to us. That said, I loved what Trevin Wax had to say in his book ‘Counterfeit Gospels’ when he said that Jesus’ death was for me, for us [church], and for God (http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/trevinwax/counterfeitgospelsinfo/ , page 160-162) and to focus on any one of these to the exclusion of the other, gets the gospel wrong in the end. Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift in Christ.

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Jared C. Wilson


Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. You can follow him on Twitter.

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