Does Ephesians 2:8-9 teach that we don’t need to have good works to get saved?

In this post, let us examine what Ephesians 2:8-9 really mean. Let us discover what it means to be under grace and why we still need to perform good works.

A lot of people today use Ephesians 2:8-9 to justify their belief that the law of God has been done away with. Because of this teaching, people simply follow their feelings and their own understanding of how they should love God. There’s no need for law anymore.

However, is this really what the Bible teaches? Is it true that we don’t need to follow the commandments of God because we are under grace and not under the law?

Let’s dig deeper.

Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us:

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

First, we need to ask, “What is grace?”

Grace simply means God’s unmerited love and favor. It is through grace that God gives us the opportunity to be part of His Kingdom. It is through grace that God gave us His Son, Yahshua (Jesus Christ), to die for our sins.

Once God grants us grace, we must have faith so that we can be saved and justified as explained in verse 8. 

Now, here’s the most important thing we must remember in Ephesians 2:8: 

The grace of God is a GIFT

God, in His great love and mercy, gives us His grace freely.

The Apostle Paul explains that nothing we did earned us God’s grace. 

Why? 

Lest anyone should boast. 

If we earn God’s grace, it will lead to pride and we’ll simply feel entitled.

However, Paul clearly tells us that grace is a gift from God and it is not because of works or anything that we have done that we receive it.

Does Ephesians 2:8-9 teach that we don't need to have good works to get saved?
Does Ephesians 2:8-9 teach that we don’t need to have good works to get saved?

Having God’s grace doesn’t mean that we don’t need to perform any works anymore. Yes, it is not through our works that we earn God’s grace, BUT it doesn’t automatically free us from God’s expectation that we must do our part as well.

The problem with most Christians today is that they stop in verse 9 of Ephesians 2. They forgot what Ephesians 2:10 said:

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Did you catch that? Paul was saying that we still have to perform good works!

Yes, grace is a free gift from God, but there’s still a need to do our part so that the grace of God will not be wasted. 

Let me give you an example. 

If someone wants to give you $100 and asks you to give him your complete name and mailing address, would you receive the gift if you don’t provide the needed detail? Of course not! 

But does this mean that the $100 is not a free gift anymore because you have to do something to get it?

The answer is no.

It is still a free gift but you just have to do your part, too.

That’s how grace works as well. Nothing you did make you deserving of God’s grace, but in order for you to receive this gift, you need to do your part.

That’s what Paul was saying in Ephesians 2:10. After explaining that God’s grace is a gift, we are created in Christ to perform good works.

Therefore, Ephesians 2:8-9 doesn’t nullify God’s law in any way. It explains what grace is, why it is not through our works that we receive it, and how we still need to perform good works as proof of our faith in God.