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. Ephesians 2:8-9
Throughout our social cultures, performance is often what matters. Our grades and entrance exams get us into college. Our work as an employee gets us raises and promotions. Our skills as an athlete, stock picker, or manager get us salaries and bonuses. The most sought-after accolade to which we can aspire is, “Great job! You did well!”
Performance is important, even in the Christian life. We will be judged and rewarded one day based on the works we carry out for the sake of the Kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 3:11-15). Jesus told a parable about successful financial management being the basis for hearing, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21, 23). Our works are important in every case except one: our salvation. Ephesians 2:8-9 says clearly that we are saved “by grace … through faith … not of works.” Our salvation is a gift that cannot be earned. It’s a new thought for performance-based people, but a biblical one nonetheless.
Ephesians 2:10 adds that we are saved “for good works,” after we are saved “by grace.”
The Church is a community of the works and words of Jesus. Donald English
Ephesians 2:8-10, All Of Grace