The whole idea of grace and good works is tricky. There are two distortions of God’s grace we can fall into. Looking at Ephesians 2.10 out of context, it appears we have to do good works for God to accept us. But nothing is further from the truth, because “good” follows “grace.”
My goodness doesn’t save me “so no one can boast” about their good works. But after I have accepted Christ’s payment on the cross for my debt of sin, his righteousness is transferred to me. As Pastor Manion reminds us, “Christ’s goodness is transferred to us, for us to do good.”
The other distortion is “empty grace.” We can say we accept the gift of Christ’s death, but it leads to no transformation, nor goodness in our lives. We just move on to do what we want and glorify ourselves, not God. Because God has bestowed such goodness on us, our lives should overflow with good works that reflect his character and nature. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2.10).
Today, in response to God’s grace toward you, write out Ephesians 2.8-10 on a card, replacing the words “we,” “you,” and “us” with “I” and “me” to make it personal. Tape it on your mirror or carry it with you as a reminder of what God has done for you, and what your response should be.