You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. (Ephesians 2:1-10, NRSV)
This is the verse Martin Luther used to talk about our salvation. We are saved by grace through faith, and this is not our own doing; it is the gift of God, not because of works so that no one can boast.
And as Lutherans that is where we stop and we do nothing because there is nothing I can do to earn my salvation.
So we do nothing…
But this verse does not end there. And this verse is not an excuse for us to use to sit on our butts and not do the work God has called us to do.
You see we are very good at quoting Ephesians 2:8-9, but we forget about verse 10, “For we are what he has made us, created in Christ jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.”
Yes we are saved by grace through faith, but just because there is nothing we can do to earn our way to heaven does not mean we do not do works, because God created us to do His good works, which He prepared for us before we were created.
So go and do, because that is why God saved you!