Ephesians 2:7-10

Ultimate Purpose (7-9): God had an ultimate purpose for freeing riffraff from their sinful lifestyle and granting to them the honor of divine sonship (2:1-6). As stated in the doxology, this was all "for the praise of the glory of His grace" (1:5-6). God saved us to put on display the riches of His grace—all other acts of kindness are poor in comparison. Paul also emphasizes that this kindness of God toward us was wrought "in Christ Jesus"! Without Christ there is no regeneration, no calling, no sanctification and no glorification. It is in Christ that God gifted to us this salvation.[1] And clearly this was a gift. No one merited this (no boasting!). God deserves all the praise,[2] and His praise will culminate "in the ages to come." In the future,[3] when our exalted status is met by our glorification, we will be the visible trophy of God's bountiful grace.

Good Works (10): When God saves sinners, He also fits them for work. We are now His own[4] workmanship, created[5] to do what God predestined for us.[6] These are the "good works" which are later seen as the works of service and sanctification.[7] We are, in short, to reflect Christ-likeness (4:13-15), "walk[ing] in the same manner as He walked" (John 2:6). This is what God planned for us in this life. Our duty now is to execute and practically "walk in" these works.

[1] "That not of yourselves, it is the gift of God" refers to the salvation described previously. The demonstrative pronoun "that" cannot specifically refer to "faith" or "grace" because of its grammatical form in the Greek.

[2] Scripture repeatedly affirms that God alone is to be praised for His grace (Psalm 115:1; Isaiah 48:8-11).

[3] The coming age was mentioned in 1:21. The ages refer to the millennium and the eternal state thereafter.

[4] "His" in "His workmanship" is emphatic. God is emphatically the One who owns us His possession.

[5] "Create [kti-zō (κτίζω)]" occurs again for our new life individually (4:24) and the church collectively (2:15).

[6] "Prepared beforehand" is a Greek compound verb that describes predestination (also used in Rom. 9:23).

[7] These are found in chapters 4-6 and include ministry (4:12), truth-speaking (4:15), repentance and renewal of the mind (4:22-23), holiness and righteousness (4:24), work and sharing (4:28), edification, kindness and forgiveness (4:29-32), etc. These point to sanctification, contrasted from 2:1-3 and elaborated in 2:19-22.