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Trying to Save Ourselves

Today's Devotional

It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

Many years ago, New York City launched a “Stay Safe. Stay Put” ad campaign to educate people on how to stay calm and be safe when trapped in an elevator. Experts reported that some trapped passengers had died when they tried to pry open the elevator doors or attempted exiting by some other means. The best plan of action is to simply use the alarm button to call for help and wait for emergency responders to arrive.

The apostle Paul spelled out a very different type of rescue plan—one to help those trapped in the downward pull of sin. He reminded the Ephesians of their utter spiritual helplessness—being truly “dead in [their] . . . sins” (Ephesians 2:1). They were trapped, obeying the devil (v. 2), and refusing to submit to God. This resulted in them being the subject of God’s wrath. But He didn’t leave them trapped in spiritual darkness. And those who believe in Jesus, the apostle wrote, “by grace . . . have been saved” (vv. 5, 8). A response to God’s rescue initiative results in faith. And faith means we’ll give up on trying to save ourselves and call on Jesus to rescue us. 

By God’s grace, being rescued from sin’s trap doesn’t originate with us. It’s “the gift of God” through Jesus alone (v. 8).

Why can’t you save yourself from sin’s trap? How has God provided what you need to be saved?

Dear God, I’m so grateful that when I was trapped in sin and tried to save myself, You initiated my rescue and sent a Savior to free me. 

Learn more about having a personal relationship with God.


A helpful acronym to describe the grace of God is GRACE—God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense. This phrase summarizes and magnifies the reality that salvation—rescue from our sin (forgiveness, being made right with God)—is the work of God to be received by faith, not something that we achieve. Another acronym that succinctly captures this truth is GFFG—God’s Favor Freely Given. The Greek word cháris, translated “grace,” is used broadly in the New Testament (twelve times in Ephesians) with a range of meanings, including “goodwill,” “lovingkindness,” and “favor.” Ephesians 2:7 describes “the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” It’s also used in this sense in Luke 1:30: “The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.’ ” God’s kindnesses are manifold for “the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people” (Titus 2:11).

By |2024-05-10T02:33:13-04:00May 10th, 2024|
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