Ephesians 2:8-10 (NLT)
8God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

As Paul writes to the Ephesians he tells them what God has done for them. Every changed sinner is a saved sinner. And it is a gift, not a reward that is given by God. Rewards are earned, but gifts are something received from another without indebtedness. God created us to do good things; that was His plan. But sin led us away from that plan, so God through His saving grace created us new in Christ so that we may live out the plan we were destined for.

Many of you have probably attended someone’s wedding. You receive an invitation in the mail and many times it has the notation R.S.V.P. The term R.S.V.P. comes from the French expression "répondez s'il vous plaît", meaning "please respond". The person inviting us wants to know: are we going to be a part of the ceremony; or are we going to decline the invitation. So we respond back with either our decline or acceptance of the invitation. What is the cost to us? There is no cost. The wedding is open to us. The celebration at the reception is free and we are given full entrance as honored friends and family. But if we decline the invitation we aren’t a part of the ceremony, we loose the privilege to enter the celebration, and we are not considered a part of the honored guests. If God invited you to salvation, did you accept the gift or did you decline? It is our acceptance of His gift that brings us to salvation. If we decline then we have lost the right to be a part of the celebration, to be a part of the family of honored guests, and to partake of anything that is freely given us. Pray and give thanks for God’s free gift of salvation that he offers. Thank God for allowing us to be a part of what He has chosen to so freely offer us.