“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Most of us are probably familiar with what it means to grade on a curve. Some of us may have even benefited from it in school. In education, it is a statistical method of assigning grades in order to yield a predetermined distribution of grades among students in a class. One of the outcomes of grading on a curve is ensuring that students are assessed relative to peers in their class. When I was in school, I loved it when my teachers graded on a curve because I knew if I did just enough to be better than the majority of the people in my class, I would get by.
Some may have a similar thought as it relates to salvation—to believe that God grades on a curve, to believe that as long as we do just enough, that our good outweighs the bad and if we’re better than most, we’ll make it to heaven. The problem with that thought, as Ephesians 2:8-9 makes clear is that that’s not what the Bible teaches. Salvation isn’t accomplished based on our efforts, but solely on God’s grace. If it were based on what we do, it would never be secure. But because salvation comes only by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ, the perfect sinless sacrifice, it’s secure for all eternity. Our salvation is all of God. Even our faith is a gift from Him. The cross really was enough. And therefore, He is our only boast!