In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. No one helped Him do so. For no one and nothing existed yet before He performed the work of creating heaven and earth and all they contain. And surely we must also insist that all of our spiritual life comes from Him.
Paul literally says this in Ephesians 2:10 , where we read, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." There are some very important truths here.
First of all, Paul says that we are God's workmanship, not our own. We did nothing physically before we were born; and likewise did nothing spiritually good till after we were born again.
We were created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Surely no creature ever created itself. Besides, we come into this world spiritually dead, and dead men do nothing anymore. God created us in Christ Jesus with a new spiritual heart and desire. And He ordained us to good works before we even existed physically. He did that eternally. He decided to give us the desire to perform good works and the ability to do so.
Take hold of this truth: God ordained certain good works wherein we would walk. And note that He did this before we performed them. Not only did He ordain them before the world was created. Before every good work which we perform, He gave us the power and desire so that His eternal counsel would be fulfilled in the smallest detail.
Only those for whom God ordained faith will get it. And having it we must not boast. We should thank him for giving us that which we could not even want to receive. He owes us no thanks. We owe Him thanks for all of our salvation as well as for all of our natural possessions and talents. We are, indeed, saved by grace, not by our works.
Read: Ephesians 1:1-12 .
¼ It is true that human nature is lamentably fickle, and that kindness is often rewarded with the basest of ingratitude; yet all are not unthankful and treacherous. We must not allow the wickedness of some to prejudice us against all. We should deal impartially and judge righteously of everyone alike: yet only divine grace— humbly and earnestly sought—will enable us to remain just and merciful after we have been deceived and wronged a few times. – A.W. Pink