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Ephesians 2:9

ESV not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
NIV not by works, so that no one can boast.
NASB not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
CSB not from works, so that no one can boast.
NLT Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
KJV Not of works, lest any man should boast.
NKJV not of works, lest anyone should boast.

What does Ephesians 2:9 mean?

Paul ended the previous verse with the teaching that salvation is a gift of God. Here, he continues with yet another reminder that works do not and cannot save us. Good deeds are important in the lives of believers, but they do not provide salvation. It has been said we work as a result of our salvation, not to provide our salvation. Paul's Jewish upbringing had emphasized devout adherence to the law as the means to please God. He was faithful to his religion, yet did not know God. His salvation came when God revealed Himself to Paul by grace and Paul believed and was saved (Acts 9).

One reason for Paul's frequent reminder about the futility of works is noted here, as well. If salvation could be earned, those who earned it would brag about their success in obtaining it. Paul certainly had experience with those who felt that their deeds had earned them a special favor with God (Philippians 3:2–11). The truth is, only He can provide salvation, He alone is worthy of all glory and honor. We exist as His servants, completely dependent upon Him for life and salvation.
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