For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Over the past five days, we’ve been systematically walking through the biblical narrative of work. Today and tomorrow, we examine the pinnacle of that narrative—Jesus’s death and resurrection—to see how the gospel provides our ultimate source of rest and ambition for our work.
First, let’s see how the gospel enables us to rest.
Just like the Babylonians did in Genesis 11, many of us look to our work for our sense of worth today. It’s why “What do you do?” is often the first question we ask new acquaintances. We all feel a need to impress others with our answer to that question. Why? Because we are all looking for a verdict for our lives—for someone to say that we are worthy and that our very existence is justified.
The beautiful truth of the gospel is that Jesus has secured that verdict for you! “It is by grace you have been saved…not by works” but by the work of Christ on your behalf.
What does that mean for our work? It means that we can work from a position of rest because we don’t need to work as a means of attaining something work was never designed to provide. In other words, the gospel frees us from the need to be productive. Ironically, it is that truth that leads us to want to be productive at work. How? That’s the question we will answer tomorrow.