For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so that no one can boast. — Ephesians 2:8
All these weighty theological words in one place! Grace. Faith. Saved. They are all linked together here, and they all seem very, very important…
What is a gift? It is something that is given to us, an item or a favor; presented to us without any thought of whether we deserve it or not. We don’t earn a gift, because then it would be a payment and not a gift. It does not require anything of us afterwards, or again it would not be a gift. With a gift, all of the motivation is placed on the giver. The one giving the gift holds it out, not as a reward or even with an expectation, but out of a gesture of kindness and love to the one receiving.
We cannot go out and do something to become a child of God. We cannot work through a series of tasks, or do good things to win Him over. God already loves us. He loves us so much He has already offered us an amazing gift, the gift of salvation. This means we are forgiven of any wrong we have done, we are changed by His daily presence in our life, and we become His children. And what do we do to get all this? We simply accept it. God is standing there holding it out to us, no matter what condition we are in, no matter how we have treated Him in the past. It is His free present to us, the best giveaway ever!
We don’t have to do anything but take it. We don’t earn it, we don’t have a list of things to do or not do, we can’t buy it or talk our way into having it. It is the gift of God.