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9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.


Verse nine emphasizes the point of verse eight—that God saves us by faith, not works.

not of works,

God does not save people by their “works” (Ro 3:20, 28; 4:4, 5; 11:6; Ga 2:16; 2 Ti 1:9; Tit 3:5). Works is any kind of human effort to gain salvation. Therefore, faith is something other than works. Faith is a non-meritorious system of action.

lest anyone should boast.

Because God does not save us by works, we cannot brag that we saved ourselves by what we do. If we “boast,” we diminish what Christ did on the cross. He did it all; all to Him we owe. A “boast” is tantamount to giving self the glory for obtaining salvation: “I have been a good person. I have done many things for God.”


Works glorifies man; grace glorifies God.


Grace and works are polar opposites. Because God did not save us by good works, we cannot lose our salvation by bad works. Grace leaves us with no contribution of our own. Grace is what God does, so He gets the glory. If He gets the glory, then we cannot get the glory. We cannot brag that we achieved salvation by works, because Christ did all the work. He gets the glory.