APRIL 26, 2023



“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 New King James Version).

Grace is often defined as unmerited favour. In one of the parables of Jesus, the parable of the workers in the vineyard, He illustrated grace. In the parable, recorded in Matthew 20:1-16, a landowner went out early in the morning to hire workers into his vineyard. He agreed to pay the first set of workers he hired a penny (a denarius) a day. At 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm, and 5 pm, he went to hire other sets of workers at the marketplace, who were standing idle, without an agreement on the definite amount he would pay them.

At 6 O’clock, it was time to pay the workers. The landowner asked the steward or foreman to call the workers to receive their wages. He started by paying first the last workers who only worked for one hire. He paid them a penny which he had agreed with the first workers.

Remember that he had an agreement with only the first workers on what he would pay them. Therefore, when they saw that he paid the last workers what he had agreed to pay them (the first workers), they assumed that having worked the greatest number of hours, they would receive more than what the landowner had agreed with them.

However, the landowner paid all the workers, including the first workers whom He paid the last, the same amount. Matthew 20:10-12 says, “But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day’” (New King James Version).

Someone could say that what the landowner did was unfair. Why should he pay people who worked for only one hour the same amount as those who worked from early morning until six O’clock? But this man had not violated any agreement with the first workers. He had not acted illegally. He paid them what he agreed with them and also decided to pay the rest the same amount irrespective of the number of hours they worked. The payment was not based on merit but on the prerogative of the owner of the landowner. He decided how he wanted to spend his money!

The Bible puts the reply of the landowner this way: “Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?” (Verses 13-15 New King James Version). The New Living Translation says it like this: “Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you. 15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?”

Jesus closed the parable by saying, “So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen” (New King James Version). The first workers with the agreement were the Israelites and the workers without agreement were the Gentiles and both of them who accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour are equal in the Kingdom of God. “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith” (Romans 3:27-30 New King James Version). Many people are called but only a few respond to the message of salvation.

The parable of the workers was not about the reward for labour but about grace. The Landowner (God) hired all the workers to work in His vineyard by grace not because they merited it. They were idle before the landowner hired them. And he chose to pay everyone the same amount that he had agreed with the first set of workers.

The complaint of the first workers was invalid because the owner paid them what was agreed upon. If they had been paid less, they would have had a point. The complaining workers forgot that if they had not been hired, they would have remained idle in the marketplace and not earned the money they were complaining about. Remember that at 5 pm some workers were still idle before they were hired, and they worked for only one hour.

Salvation is not on merit. Nobody deserves salvation. No one has enough personal qualifications to be saved. Salvation is by grace. The workers in this parable only had access to work in the vineyard because the landowners hired them. They didn’t enter the vineyard to work by their power. No. The landowner brought them in. Whatever they enjoyed at the end of the day’s work was because he brought them in initially.

The same thing is true of salvation. Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44 New King James Version). He emphasized this in verse 65: “Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father” (New King James Version). We must never forget, despise, or try to replace grace with works or another thing. Nobody merits salvation. Grace saves everyone. Titus 2:11 says the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. In other words, grace brings salvation. Without grace, there is no salvation.

Ephesians 2:5 says when we were dead in trespasses, God made us alive together with Christ, and by grace, we have been saved. Also, verses 8-9 say, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (New King James Version).

Salvation is by grace, not by anyone’s works. Nobody can earn salvation. No one can work for it; nobody deserves it. “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7 New King James Version).

Nobody merits salvation. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God but we were justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:23-24). As 2 Timothy 1:9 says, God saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.

The same grace that brought the first set of workers into the vineyard to work for hours also brought those who worked for only one hour. Nobody should have any sense of superiority or entitlement. The same grace that saved the Jews also saved the Gentiles. Peter said in Acts 15:11, “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they” (New King James Version). The word “they” refers to the Gentiles. The grace of God has saved many and more will still respond to the call, for whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13).

Appreciate the grace of God. Nobody can be saved without the grace of God, and even no one can run the Christian race without His grace. You were saved by grace but don’t abuse grace. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? (Romans 6:1-2 New King James Version).

You need grace and more grace to live as a Christian. And God gives grace and more grace. James 4:6 says, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’” (New King James Version). Also, in 1 Peter 5:5, the Apostle Peter said God resisted the proud but gave grace to the humble.

You need daily grace. The Bible says God is the God of all grace (1 Peter 5:10). Therefore, ask Him for grace every day. Paul said, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8 New King James Version). Note the phrase “all grace.” Paul also said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10 New King James Version). Grace will make you. You need grace. Receive it.

Nobody can merit salvation. It is by grace.


If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Father, thank You for saving me by grace. I shall not abuse the grace of God in Jesus’ name. Father, give me grace and more grace. Make all grace abound toward me in Jesus’ name. I pray that those who are not yet born again will believe the Good News and accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947