Ephesians 2:8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (NLT)
I'm growing to love the new Living Translations. It puts the word in 'right out there' terms. Do you see what I mean, "you can't take credit for this". (vs 8) There is nothing we can do to ever earn enough grace to purchase our own salvation. We come into this world with a negative credit balance. And there is only one person that can get us out of that kind debt. Our debt of sin was paid for by the Son of God on a cross over two thousand years ago.
Salvation also isn't a "reward system".(vs 9) It had to be purchased some how, and no matter how good we try to be, we can never be good enough. Can you imagen if it was. Talk about a reality show. It would be worse then the Show Survivor! If it was all about who did the most good, we'd have to find a "good" way to beat each other trying to out do the next guy so we could get the best seat in Heaven. There might be alot of good being done, but can you see the ego's flying!
The only thing we can "boast" in is Christ. (vs 9) Not our accomplishments here. And I know I can come up with a list. I've done some good things:
I've helped my share of people
I've extended forgiveness
I've lent money that I knew I'd never get back
I've lead a few people to Christ
I support a little boy in Peru.
I could go on, we could all go on with our lists of good. That good will NEVER purchase our debt of sin. Once we give our life over to Christ, accept His debt reducing plan, (and it's a one payment plan), we can then be created anew in Him, and out of that and that alone can we do "the good He has planned for us". (vs 10) Again, it's not about our lists, but His. He has a list of all the good He wants us to do.
He gets the credit for our salvation for it was Him who died once and for all. And He gets the credit for the good we accomplish. I choose to boast in Christ. For what good is coming out of my life is all about Him!