For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I love Ephesians 2:8-9. It helps to give us an understanding of the Salvation process. We are saved by grace. We are saved through faith. This faith that we have is a gift from God.
I love it.
But these two verses have almost become a chant in some peoples minds. They like to quote the parts that they like, over and over again. I can almost hear it now in my mind:
"By Grace - Through Faith!
Not by works!"
But the thought in this passage doesn't stop there. Right after verse 9 there exists a verse 10! And believe it or not, verse 10 is important in the understanding of verses 8 and 9!
Even though we are not saved by works, our salvation results in works.
Remember that even the works don't come from us. We are God's workmanship. And according to Philippians 1:6, what God starts, he will complete. He does not stop the works that he starts. Faith and Grace are evidenced by the works. If there are no works, it may be that the faith and the grace are not there either.
I have found that most people who tarry on the "not by works" have some other reason for focusing on that. Many people have relatives or friends who have claimed salvation, but have nothing to show for it. This is a hard truth to accept.
There are others who are lacking works in their own lives. If they move on to verse 10, then they will have to be confronted with this truth. And frankly... they just don't want to.
Move on to verse 10.