Today’s Scripture talks about bragging. We are told not to “boast” about being saved. Our salvation is completely due to God’s choice-and nothing we have done to earn or work for it. God does not want us bragging about it.
Have you ever been tempted to brag about being saved? I doubt it. I haven’t. We understand that God has given us an amazing gift in salvation, but I was thinking that whole boasting part doesn’t really fit me. Why did God include that?
I suspect to fully understand this we have to consider the audience Ephesians is written to. It is a letter written to mostly Gentiles, who have become believers. There was a HUGE divide between Jew and Gentile in this day. If you were a Jew (religiously speaking) you were “better” than the others. You were one of the “chosen people.” Think CEO versus homeless person from a religious perspective. (Seriously, Gentiles were not even allowed in certain places of the temple!) Jews were in. If you weren’t a Jew, you were lower, not as good, not as respected. Now that the Gentiles had been able to become believers, maybe the temptation was to say, “Hey, look at me. Now I am in the ‘in’ group.” Maybe there was temptation to boast about it. I am not sure, but my guess is that is why God made it clear to be thankful, not to boast. They hadn’t done a thing to earn this privilege or status. It was all the giver, God, not the receiver.
We may not boast about salvation, but perhaps we can contemplate other areas we are tempted to boast about. Are you smart? Am I good with the computer? Are you athletically talented? These are NOTHING compared to salvation, but I still think it is a good reminder that we didn’t “earn” those things either. You and I may have worked hard to learn some things, to get good grades, to stay in shape or so on, but ultimately none of those things would be accomplished IF God had not instilled the ability in us in the first place. We have nothing to brag about.
Keeping these things in mind today, I hope we can be more humble. May we be more thankful for all the gifts God gave us. May we never take credit. Above all of this, may we begin to comprehend the love God had for us to redeem us with his Son’s blood so that He could give us the gift of salvation. The more we understand the depth of that love, the less we will ever be tempted to brag about anything.