1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
It is not about Calvinism or Arminianism. It is about the power of God and His role in our salvation. It is easy to take a humanistic approach. To think that we did something to earn our salvation. That salvation is a choice we made on our own. Or that we somehow deserved to be saved.
I used to think like that. I thought predestination meant God chose me because He knew I would choose Him. I thought if I sinned I could lose my salvation. I thought there was a long list of things I needed to do to become saved. I thought. I thought. I thought. . . .
But there is no room for "I" in Ephesians 2. In reading the passage we become aware that we are nothing and God is everything. It is one glorious doxology of the greatness and power of God as He works in our salvation.
We were "dead in trespasses and sins," but He "quickened" us.
We were "by nature the children of wrath," but He "hath raised us up together."
We were saved "by faith," but that faith was a "gift from God"
He created us. We "are his workmanship." None of this is based on anything we could do, but on "God, who is rich in mercy."
When salvation becomes something God does for undeserving man, it becomes so wonderful and amazing. I stand in awe of the love and grace God has bestowed to me. I know it is not based on anything I have done, but entirely on His great love for a sinful, wretched, and unlovable person like me.