Rev Nico Weeber has been invited to preach at St Andrew’s Scots Kirk as sole nominee for the position of Minister at our Church. The plan is that he will preach on Sunday 5th December and those members present at Church on that day will be able to vote as whether to accept him as their future Minister.

Saved by God’s Amazing Grace! (EPHESIANS 2: 8 – 10)


To our modern world, the 31st of October is the day to celebrate Halloween, by dressing up in costumes and collecting candy. However, for the Protestant Church, the 31st of October is Reformation Day, where we remember how on this day in 1517, Martin Luther, nailed his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

And together with men like Zwingly, and John Calvin, and in Scotland, the preaching of John Knox saw a reformation in the church. It resulted in a change for the better in the teachings of the church, in church government, and worship.

Now some of the important teachings of the reformation were:

  • That salvation was by grace alone;
  • The priesthood of all believers;
  • That the church is a community of believers and not a hierarchy of officials;
  • The acceptance of the Bible as the final authority on all questions of faith and morals.
  • And the reformers stressed the preaching of the Word of God over against customs and traditions in worship.


For by grace, you were saved:

At times, our Lord Jesus not only saves us:

  • physically by giving us release, or relief from suffering such as sickness;
  • or, saves us from dangers on earth;
  • but He also saves us spiritually by offering us salvation from sin.

Even though we do not deserve to be saved due to our sinful rebellion against God, He saves us by His grace, as God is gracious. So, we are not saved by our merits; but by God’s grace!

Now the word ‘grace’ has often confused the church. Ask a child what grace is, the child may say, ‘Grace is what we say before we eat’. Now the term ‘grace’, in the Bible reveals;

  • ‘The kindness of God to us sinful human beings, even though we do not deserve it’.
  • Some of us may have heard the acronym for grace “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.”
  • Others have called it “God’s unmerited favor.”
  • One man said that “Grace is what God does within you, without you.”


And this (‘this’ refers to salvation) not of yourselves, (it is) the gift of God:

Paul clearly states that salvation cannot be earned by anything a person might do, such as our ‘good deeds’, as salvation is a gift from God. Someone said that “salvation is a gift to be received; and not a goal to be achieved”.

Sadly, many Christians have failed to understand God’s grace and like the Philippian Jailor ask the question: ‘what must I do to be saved?’. Some of them try to achieve salvation by being religious. They try to gain salvation through their own efforts such as by

  • Knowing the Bible intellectually,
  • Living an honest life,
  • Attending church so many days every week,
  • visiting the sick,
  • helping the poor,
  • attending communion services,
  • Or by, fasting and praying regularly.

However, Paul clearly states that we are saved only by grace.

  • JBP – “It was nothing you could or did achieve—it was God’s gift to you”.


Not from out of works (Or, not as a result of works), in order that not anyone may boast (Or, glorify themselves):

All religions teach that salvation has to be achieved through human effort, accomplishments and achievements.

  • For example, those who follow Judaism try to save themselves by observing the Law of Moses! But, no one can observe the Ten Commandments perfectly, as we all fall short of God’s standards.
  • Meanwhile, those who follow Islam try to save themselves by practicing and repeating the Five Pillars, namely: fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca, giving alms, prayer (five times a day), and confessing that Muhammad is the true Prophet.
  • Then those who follow Hinduism try to save themselves by getting rid of evil from their life until they are pure enough to merge with Brahma.
  • Meanwhile, those who follow Buddhism try to save themselves by getting rid of desire.
  • AMP – (Salvation is) not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his/ her salvation].


For we are His workmanship (Or, His handiwork;

the word ‘His’ is emphasized in the Greek):

  • NLT – For we are God’s masterpiece. 
  • MSG – For we are His[… work of art], …

God saves us, not merely to save us from Judgment at the end of the world, and to give us eternal life, or life beyond the grave; but He also saved us to make something beautiful of our lives. Our text says, that we are an outstanding piece of work made by the hands of God and by the Spirit of God.

So even if you have a handicap, or feel unattractive, or feel you are obese, or live in a poor house ordon’t have a posh car; or belong to the minority; or if you have been made to feel degraded because of the colour of your skin, or your ethnicity; or if you feel academically unsuccessful, or rejected by others (even in the church!), remember who you are ‘in Christ’.

You and I are not a piece of junk, as we have been created in God’s image. And, if you have accepted Jesus as your Saviour, then you are also recreated by Christ. And so, a believer in Christ, must not feel inferior, because of who we are ‘in Christ Jesus’.


Having been created in Christ Jesus for good works:

The Greek word indicates that the word “created” is always an act of God whether in the natural creation or the spiritual creation. So just as the creative work of God produces a ‘new life’; those saved by God become a ‘new creature’ in Christ.

The New Testament speaks of a new creation that takes place within human beings. 2 Corinthians 5: 17 says:

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Now the reason God recreated us as new persons is to do good works.

Now because of our sin, we human beings do not have goodness that is acceptable in God’s sight. But, once we respond to the grace and gift of God with faith that holds on to Jesus as Saviour and Lord, we can become channels of God’s goodness to others.

James says in his letter, that genuine good works is evidence of true faith. So, no more do we do ‘good works’ to gain salvation; but do ‘good works’ in gratitude for our salvation.


If anyone could ever have achieved salvation by his own effort, it was Martin Luther. In 1505, Luther abandoned a promising career in law and entered the monastery of the Augustinian hermits. As he later said, this was not to study academic theology but to save his soul.

In those days, the monastic orders prescribed ways by which the seeking soul could find God. And so, Luther rigorously fasted and prayed and devotedly performed menial work. He practiced penance, confessed his sins, even the most trivial. Luther’s piety gained him a reputation for being the most exemplary of monks.

Yet, Luther found no peace through these exercises. It was not until Johann Staupitz, Luther’s wise spiritual father, got him to study the Bible that Luther realized what the difficulty was. He was trying to earn salvation by good deeds of human righteousness, when the righteousness he needed was not human righteousness but divine righteousness. And that too could become his, only, if God gave it to him, which He did in the gospel. Luther accepted God’s righteousness by simple faith and thereafter stopped trying, to work for it.

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