Amplified: For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: God saved you by his special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: It was nothing you could or did achieve - it was God's gift to you. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For by the grace have you been saved in time past completely, through faith, with the result that your salvation persists through present time; and this [salvation] is not from you as a source; of God it is the gift, not from a source of works, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for by grace ye are having been saved, through faith, and this not of you -- of God the gift,
FOR BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH: te gar chariti este (2PPAI) sesosmenoi (RPPMPN) dia pisteos: (Eph 2:5; Ro 3:24; 2Th 1:9)(Mk 16:16; Lk 7:50; Jn 3:14, 15, 16, 17, 18,36; 5:24; 6:27, 28, 29,35,40; Acts 13:39; Acts 15:7, 8, 9; 16:31; Ro 3:22, 23, 24, 25, 26; 4:5,16; 10:9,10; Ga 3:14,22; 1Jn 5:10, 11, 12)
For by grace - Literally "by the grace". The conjunction "for" (gar) is a term of explanation which always calls for us to pause and ponder! As you develop this discipline, you will be amazed at the enhanced spiritual insights the Spirit will enable you to glean from God's Word! Paul now explains God's gracious salvation, specifically that this so great a salvation is derived from God's grace and not in any way emanate from human efforts.
Salmond notes that Paul is saying "by this grace, the grace already mentioned. Grace is the explanation of their own salvation, and how surpassingly rich the grace must be that could effect that!" (Ephesians 2:8-10 Commentary - Expositor's Greek Testament)
Spurgeon - We have this expression, "by grace are ye saved," twice over in this chapter. Paul knew that he needed to repeat himself, or people would forget what he taught. At bottom, all the wanderings from the faith at the present day amount to this, salvation by works instead of salvation by grace. The battle of the Reformation has to be fought over again. Men are justified by grace through faith in Christ Jesus. All the enmity of natural men is against that truth. They want to be saved by their own morality, and all sorts of things that they put instead of salvation by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. And that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. "Oh!" said one to me just now, "the man who is saved by his own righteousness cannot do much in the line of praising." "No, my dear brother," I replied, "except he praises himself; and he can generally do that pretty well." Your self-made man usually worships his creator very earnestly; and your self-saved man glorifies him that saved him. (Exposition)
Grace (5485)(charis) is God’s generous favor to undeserving sinners and needy saints. Grace is God's free and undeserved bounty. Grace shocks us in what it offers (or at least it should "shock us" when we come to realize the importance of grace in our lives). The grace of God is the expression of God's goodness toward the undeserving. In salvation, men who deserve hell obtain heaven because of grace that flows from the Cross (1Co 1:18). This provision of heaven instead of hell cannot be explained apart from free, albeit costly grace. Grace is a gift that costs everything to the Giver and nothing to the receiver (Amazing Grace!) It is given to those who don’t deserve it, barely recognize it, and hardly appreciate it. Paul is teaching in this passage that every conversion is a living supernatural example of God’s supernatural grace! Hallelujah!
Blaise Pascal will put it in proper context
And it is important to understand that men in both the Old and New Testaments have always been saved the same way, by grace through faith. God does not have two ways of saving sinners, one by keeping the law and the other by grace, but always and ever by amazing grace that saved a wretch like me. The first mention of "grace" is found in Genesis where Moses records that
The writer of Hebrews adds the details regarding Noah's salvation writing that…
Writing of the salvation of Abraham Moses says that…
Grace is the ultimate ground of salvation, Paul recording that 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 granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity" (see note 2 Timothy 1:9)
Here we see a clear distinction between God's grace and man's works. All of this grace was given to us in Jesus Christ. We could not earn it; we did not merit it. This is the grace of God!
The grace of God is undeserved, unsought, and unbought (except that it is made available by the precious blood of the Lamb of God, Acts 20:28, Re 5:9-note; 1Pe 1:18, 19 - 1 Peter 1:18). The infinitely high price of redemption was paid for by
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor (His incarnation), that you through His poverty might become rich (spiritual riches that Jesus gives to all who place their trust in Him - cp Col 2:3-note). (2Cor 8:9)
So the riches of our salvation (calling, election, justification, sanctification, glorification-see Three Tenses of Salvation) were all made possible by the "impoverishment" of Christ Who became a Man, suffered and died a cruel death on the cross so that grace could be lavished upon (Eph 1:7,8-note) those who were separated from God by their sin (cp Isa 59:2, Pr 15:29). When we realize what it cost God to express grace, it helps us realize the extreme wickedness of our sin and the undeserving state of all mankind (Ro 5:12-note). What an amazing divine paradox -- grace was immeasurably costly for God to express and yet is unconditionally free to all men. Grace is God’s favor freely offered but expensively expressed!
Grace starts with God, continues with God, and ends with God. Anything we do is in response to what God has first done for us. It follows that even after salvation by grace through faith, we remain forever debtors to and dependent upon God's all sufficient grace (cp 2Co 9:8, 2Cor 12:9-note).
Many people fear teaching sinners about God's grace because they think it leads to a "who cares" attitude. "I'm saved and forgiven so now I can live it up like the people of the world." (cp Jude 1:4) But anyone who turns God's grace into an excuse to justify their sinful lifestyle shows they have never understood God's grace in the first place. God's grace saves us and liberates us from the power of sin, so that out of love we seek to obey, and that too, even enabled by grace.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon - “Because God is gracious, therefore sinful men are forgiven, converted, purified and saved. It is not because of anything in them, or that ever can be in them, that they are saved; but because of the boundless love, goodness, pity, compassion, mercy and grace of God.” (from "All of Grace")
Wuest describes "grace" as follows…
The Power of Grace - Lord Kenneth Clark, internationally know for his television series Civilization, lived and died without faith in Jesus Christ. He admitted in his autobiography that while visiting a beautiful church he had what he believed to be an overwhelming religious experience. "My whole being," Clark wrote, "was irradiated by a kind of heavenly joy far more intense than anything I had known before." But the "gloom of grace," as he described it, created a problem. If he allowed himself to be influenced by it, he knew he would have to change, his family might think he had lost his mind, and maybe that intense joy would prove to be an illusion. So he concluded, "I was too deeply embedded in the world to change course." (Our Daily Bread, February 15, 1994)
Vance Havner once said that someone spelled out "grace" as…
Have been saved (4982) (sozo [word study]) conveys the basic meaning of rescuing someone who is in great peril or danger. Other nuances of sozo include to protect, keep alive, preserve life, deliver, heal, be made whole.
Sozo is in the perfect tense (Eph 2:5-note) which underscores the permanence of our salvation (once truly saved, always totally saved) and thus serving as another small but definite marker of the believer's eternal security in Christ (cp Jn 10:27, 28, 29). If you are struggling with whether or not you can lose your salvation, then study Paul's letter to the Ephesians and mediate on the truths that firmly nail down the doctrine of the believer's eternal security in Christ. This truth can set you free so that you are free indeed (Jn 8:36). Remember that the perfect tense conveys the continuing results of being saved!
The Believer's Study Bible writes that…
Most NT uses of sozo refer to salvation in a spiritual sense as illustrated in the following passages:
Matthew recorded the angel's conversation with Joseph declaring
Here sozo is equated with deliverance from sins (guilt and power of) with Jesus' name being a transliteration of Joshua meaning "Jehovah is salvation".
Jesus warned His disciples
Jesus was teaching His disciples about salvation and declared
In explaining to His disciples and the multitudes what it meant to come after Him, denying self, taking up one's cross and following Him, Jesus declared that
Jesus speaking to a
In these passages Jesus equates sozo with forgiveness of sins, confession of faith and experiencing peace!
In a parable explaining the role of the Word of God and the character of the "soil" in salvation, Jesus taught that
Observe that one cannot be saved unless he believes the word and that merely hearing (and even assenting to the veracity) of the word does not result in salvation.
Jesus addressing the repentant Zaccheus declaring for all to hear
Jesus taught that
Peter explained to his Jewish audience how one could avoid the terrifying and dreadful Day of the LORD's wrath, quoting Joel 2:32 and declaring
Peter later made it very clear that
The Philippian jailer summed up spiritual salvation asking Paul and Silas
Through (1223) (dia) in is a preposition which serves as marker by which something is accomplished. Paul is describing the instrumentality of our faith. The idea is "by means of" faith. Faith is the "channel" through which salvation flows to sinners. It is the instrument or means.
Harold Hoehner - Whereas grace is the objective cause or basis of salvation, through faith is the subjective means by which one is saved. This is important, for the salvation that was purchased by Christ’s death is universal in its provision, but it is not universal in its application. One is not automatically saved because Christ died, but one is saved when one puts trust in God’s gracious provision. Calvin states that a person must receive by faith the salvation offered to him or her by the hand of God. A good illustration of this is the life of Abraham whereby his faith (e pistis autos) was reckoned for righteousness (Ro 4:5-note). Notice, it was Abraham’s own (autou) faith that gave him a right standing. However, faith is never thought of as a work, for the preceding verse (Ro 4:4-note) explicitly states that if a righteous stand before God were obtained by works, it would not be according to grace but according to obligation. Ro 4:5-note continues by saying that it is to those who do not work but believe in the one who justifies the ungodly that their faith reckons to them a right standing. This is confirmed in the present context in Ephesians, for following the above statement Paul reinforces the idea that this salvation was not by means of any kind of works done by humans but solely by faith." (Ephesians- An Exegetical Commentary)
D F Salmond adds that…
Augustine put the meaning of man's need to express faith this way…
Wuest notes that…
Through (by) faith (dia pistis) = the means of faith, here signifying the subjective means by which one is saved - This phrase is used 17x in the NT (this makes an interesting study) - Ro 3:22; Ro 3:25, Ro 3:30-31, 2Cor 5:7; Gal 2:16; Gal 3:14, Gal 3:26, Eph 2:8; Eph 3:12, Eph 3:17, Phil 3:9; Col 2:12, 2Ti 3:15; Heb 6:12; 11:33; 1Pet 1:5. Apart from believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there can be no saving faith (cf Ro 10:13-17).
Grace is mentioned first in the Greek for emphasis.
Faith (4102) (pistis [word study]) is synonymous with trust, confidence or belief and is the conviction of the truth of anything, but in Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it. Note that faith per se is not viewed as a positive "work" or accomplishment of the believing sinner. Of the 243 NT uses of pistis, 142 are by the Apostle Paul, with 8 uses in Ephesians (Eph 1:15; 2:8; 3:12, 17; 4:5, 13; 6:16, 23). A simple illustration of the meaning of pistis is to consider a chair in which one sits. We trust in the chair for support because it is trustworthy, and so we sit in the chair. Even as our sitting is dynamic, not static, so to our faith is dynamic not static. We continually trust in God's gracious salvation, daily (even moment by moment) relying on what God accomplished in His Son on the Cross 2000 years ago. Why? Because God is reliable (trustworthy). We do not work to support ourselves in the chair, and similarly we do not work to obtain salvation initially or daily!
Here is a very interesting line from the Statement of Faith at a Christian College…
Thomas Chalmers said it this way…
Someone has offered the following acrostic defining faith as…
Here are some variations of this acrostic - For All I Take Him. For All I Trust Him. For All I Thank Him. For All My Need I Trust Him.
It’s humbling to admit that we can do nothing to earn our deliverance from the domination by sin. But anytime we add anything to grace, we subtract from its meaning. Grace must be free or else it is not grace at all. Free grace? Of course. What other kind could there be? As someone has well said "Faith is to the soul what a mainspring is to a watch."
Jerry Bridges has a similar "definition" which describes faith as…
Grace is the source, faith is the means, and salvation is the result. Or you might say that Grace is the reservoir, Faith is the channel, and Salvation is the stream that washes my sin away.
As faith relates to Christ it represents a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Stated another way, eternal salvation comes only through belief in Jesus Christ and no other way.
The grace of God is the source of salvation; faith is the instrument or channel, not the cause. God Alone saves. Salvation never originates in the efforts of people but always arises out of the lovingkindness of God.
Luther on faith
Be careful to distinction several common misunderstandings concerning faith. Faith is not a subjective feeling. True feelings may be emoted in genuine faith, but not all emotions certify the presence of saving faith. Biblical faith is not credulity or the attitude that accepts something as true apart from evidence simply because one wishes it to be true. Biblical faith is not a positive mental attitude the result of which the thing believed is supposed to happen. This false (non-saving) faith was popularized by Norman Vincent Peale in a book entitled "The Power of Positive Thinking". John Stott has analyzed Peale's approach and sums it up as just another word for "self-confidence".
S Lewis Johnson writes that to…
The Protestant Reformers emphasized that genuine faith works declaring…
Sola fide justificat sid non fides qua est sola
“Faith alone justifies but not the faith which is alone”
True faith will issue in good works. Now not necessarily seen by you or me, but there must be good works.
Constable explains "by faith" writing that…
Wayne Grudem defines faith that saves one's soul…
Wuest explains that…
William Barclay notes that…
Charles Swindoll explains genuine belief writing…
Faith is relying on what God has done rather than on one’s own efforts. In the Old Testament, faith is rarely mentioned. The word trust is used frequently, and verbs like believe and rely are used to express the right attitude to God. The classic example is Abraham, whose faith was reckoned as righteousness (Ge 15:6). At the heart of the Christian message is the story of the cross: Christ’s dying to bring salvation. Faith is an attitude of trust in which a believer receives God’s good gift of salvation (Acts 16:30,31) and lives in that awareness thereafter (Ga 2:20-note; cf. Heb 11:1-note).
Faith, like grace, is not static. Saving faith is more than just understanding the facts and mentally acquiescing. It is inseparable from repentance, surrender, and a supernatural longing to obey. None of those responses can be classified exclusively as a human work, any more than believing itself is solely a human effort.
Faith is manifest by not believing in spite of evidence but by obeying in spite of the consequences. John uses the related verb pisteuo to demonstrate the relationship between genuine faith and obedience writing…
Charles Swindoll commenting on the relationship between faith and obedience in John 3:36 concludes that…
A W Tozer would agree having stated that…
When missionary John Paton was translating the Scripture for the South Sea islanders, he was unable to find a word in their vocabulary for the concept of believing, trusting, or having faith. He had no idea how he would convey that to them. One day while he was in his hut translating, a native came running up the stairs into Paton's study and flopped in a chair, exhausted. He said to Paton,
John Paton had his word: Faith is resting your whole weight on God. That word went into the translation of their New Testament and helped bring that civilization of natives to Christ. Believing is putting your whole weight on God. If God said it, then it’s true, and we’re to believe it.
Nothing before, nothing behind,
Salvation - In 1981, a Minnesota radio station reported a story about a stolen car in California. Police were staging an intense search for the vehicle and the driver, even to the point of placing announcements on local radio stations to contact the thief. On the front seat of the stolen car sat a box of crackers that, unknown to the thief, were laced with poison. The car owner had intended to use the crackers as rat bait. Now the police and the owner of the VW Bug were more interested in apprehending the thief to save his life than to recover the car. So often when we run from God, we feel it is to escape his punishment. But what we are actually doing is eluding His rescue.
Faith in the Right Source - In April 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was a skydiver. He had jumped from a plane along with numerous other skydivers and filmed the group as they fell and opened their parachutes. On the film shown on the telecast, as the final skydiver opened his chute, the picture went berserk. The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without his parachute. It wasn't until he reached for the absent ripcord that he realized he was freefalling without a parachute. Until that point, the jump probably seemed exciting and fun. But tragically, he had acted with thoughtless haste and deadly foolishness. Nothing could save him, for his faith was in a parachute never buckled on. Faith in anything but an all-sufficient God can be just as tragic spiritually. Only with faith in Jesus Christ dare we step into the dangerous excitement of life.
Saved Through Faith - Back in 1830 George Wilson was convicted of robbing the U.S. Mail and was sentenced to be hanged. President Andrew Jackson issued a pardon for Wilson, but he refused to accept it. The matter went to Chief Justice Marshall, who concluded that Wilson would have to be executed. "A pardon is a slip of paper," wrote Marshall, "the value of which is determined by the acceptance of the person to be pardoned. If it is refused, it is no pardon. George Wilson must be hanged." For some, the pardon comes too late. For others, the pardon is not accepted.
Jim Peterson (in Living Proof, NavPress, 1989, p. 170) illustrates faith that saves ones soul noting that…
AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: kai touto ouk ex humon theou to doron: (Ep 2:10; 1:19; Matthew 16:17; John 1:12,13; 6:37,44,65; Acts 14:27; 16:14; Romans 10:14,17; Philippians 1:29; Colossians 2:12; James 1:16, 17, 18)
That (5124) (touto) refers not to grace or to faith but to the act of being saved. It is not of ourselves but is a gift from God. Here Paul counters the argument of so many who persist in thinking that salvation is God's response to something in us.
"Not" (ouk) signifies absolute negation and definitively excludes human merit in the process of salvation. Salvation is not in any sense God’s response to anything in us. It is not something that we in any sense deserve or merit. We were sons of disobedience and by nature children fully deserving of God's wrath and not His salvation. And yet He gives us salvation, epitomizing the essence of grace, unmerited favor.
Wayne Grudem explains it this way…
John MacArthur agrees writing that the word…
Harold W. Hoehner in the Bible Knowledge Commentary writes that…
It is interesting to read the thoughts of an excellent expositor James Montgomery Boice who experienced a change in thinking on his approach to this verse. He writes…
The KJV Bible Commentary writes that…
William Hendricksen has an interesting comment regarding the respected Greek scholar A T Robertson noting that in Robertson's comment on this passage he states…
The College Press NIV Commentary author asks…
In the following passages observe that "faith" is presented as a something that is given from God to men and thus is a gift…
MacDonald comments that…
Not of yourselves is literally "absolutely not out of yourself." This view of salvation is hard for good people to accept because it means we must give up our "goodness" in order to be saved. We must admit that nothing we have done matters in the least when it comes to being forgiven by God. In the words of an old hymn, we must lay our "deadly doing" down. God has designed our salvation so that he alone gets the glory!
In the end grace means that no one is too bad to be saved.
Not (3756) (ou) indicates absolute negation.
ILLUSTRATION - The story is told of a man who came eagerly but very late to a revival meeting and found the workmen tearing down the tent in which the meetings had been held. Frantic at missing the evangelist, he decided to ask one of the workers what he could do to be saved. The workman, who was a Christian, replied, “You can’t do anything. It’s too late.” Horrified, the man said, “What do you mean? How can it be too late?” “The work has already been accomplished,” he was told. “There is nothing you need to do but believe it.”
Hoehner - In the present passage, the gift of God does not refer to “faith” but rather it refers to whole concept of salvation. The contrast is stark not only in the words themselves but also in their position in the sentence. The words kai touto ouk ex humon theou to doron are literally “and this is not of yourselves, of God is the gift.” In conclusion, the “gift” is that which is outside of ourselves and is to be received. Therefore, the gift of salvation has its origin in God, its basis is grace, and it is received by means of faith. (Ephesians- An Exegetical Commentary)
Gift (1435) (doron) is that which is given or granted and stresses the gratuitous character of the gift. Anything given or bestowed. A gift is something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation. Something presented as an act of worship and/or devotion (Mt 2:11). Doron is used of offerings to God except in Eph 2:8 and Rev 11:10. In classical Greek doron referred to a votive (expressing a vow, wish or desire) gift or offering to a god (little g) or a gift from the gods, as well as a present given as a tribute or even as a bribe. Of the 166+ uses of doron in the non-apocryphal Septuagint, most are used in the context of an offering to God (cf Ge 4:4, Lev 1:2, 3, 10, 2:1, Nu 5:15, Dt 12:11, 1Chr 16:29, Jer 33:11, etc).
Vine - doron is akin to didomi, “to give,” is used (a) of “gifts” presented as an expression of honor, Matt. 2:11; (b) of “gifts” for the support of the temple and the needs of the poor, Matt. 15:5; Mark 7:11; Luke 21:1, 4; (c) of “gifts” offered to God, Matt. 5:23, 24; 8:4; 23:18, 19; Heb. 5:1; 8:3, 4; 9:9; 11:4; (d) of salvation by grace as the “gift” of God, Eph. 2:8; (e) of “presents” for mutual celebration of an occasion, Rev. 11:10. (Gift, Giving - Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words)
Mounce - It is most commonly linked with prospherō (see bring) as its direct object, and this construction likely infers the OT sacrificial system (See also sacrifice, thyō). In Jewish society such gifts were usually given through the priesthood (Heb 5:1; 8:3–4). Although a dōron was offered to God, Jesus questioned its sincerity and integrity when it is offered with a wrong motive or at the expense of proper obedience (Mt 15:5). (Mounce's complete expository dictionary of Old & New Testament word)
In the Byzantine Liturgy, doron the offering of consecrated bread in the Communion.
Gerald Cowen has a lengthy discussion on doron…
And all of it is the gift of God, even the faith that lays hold of God’s grace. Even our faith is not of us. It too is part of God’s gift. As Martin Luther said, our situation is so hopeless that salvation must come from "another place." That’s why the Reformers talked about "alien righteousness." That means a righteousness that comes from outside ourselves. We are not saved by what we do but by what Jesus Christ has done for us and makes freely available to us by faith.
Doron - 19x in 17v - NAS = gift(1), gifts(8), given(2), offering(8).
Doron - 166 verses in non-apocryphal Septuagint - Ge 4:4 (first use describes Abel's "offering"); Ge 24:53; 30:20; 32:13, 18, 20f; 33:10; 43:11, 15, 25f; Exod 23:7f; Lev 1:2f, 10, 14; 2:1, 4f, 7, 12f; 3:1f, 6ff, 12; 4:23, 32; 5:11; 6:20; 7:13f, 16, 29, 38; 9:7, 15; 17:4; 21:6, 8, 17, 21f; 22:18, 25, 27; 23:14; 27:9, 11; Num 5:15; 6:14, 21; 7:3, 10ff, 17, 19, 23, 25, 29, 31, 35, 37, 41, 43, 47, 49, 53, 55, 59, 61, 65, 67, 71, 73, 77, 79, 83; 9:7, 13; 15:4, 25; 18:9; 28:2, 24; 31:50; Deut 10:17; 12:11; 16:19; 27:25; Judg 3:15, 17f; 5:19; 1 Sam 8:3; 10:27; 1 Kgs 3:1; 4:20; 10:25; 15:19; 2 Kgs 16:8; 1 Chr 16:29; 18:2, 6; 2 Chr 9:24; 17:5, 11; 19:7; 26:8; 32:23; Neh 13:31; Job 8:20; 20:6; 31:7; 36:18; Ps 15:5; 26:10; 45:11; 68:29; 72:10; 76:11; Prov 4:2; 6:35; 15:27; 17:23; 21:14; 22:9; Isa 1:23; 5:23; 8:20; 18:7; 33:15; 39:1; 45:13; 66:20; Jer 33:11; 40:4; 51:59; Ezek 20:39; 22:12; Dan 11:39; Hos 8:9; Amos 5:11; Mic 3:11:10
Of God - the genitive (possessive) is emphasized by its position before the noun and stands in emphatic contrast with the personal pronoun "yourselves". Salvation is all of God!
Wayne Grudem explains salvation is by grace alone and not on account of any merit in ourselves…
Rock of Ages
Foul, I to the Fountain fly;
><> ><> ><>
"It's Too Easy" - I read about an instant cake mix that was a big flop. The instructions said all you had to do was add water and bake. The company couldn't understand why it didn't sell—until their research discovered that the buying public felt uneasy about a mix that required only water. People thought it was too easy. So the company altered the formula and changed the recipe to call for adding water and an egg to the mix. The idea worked, and sales jumped dramatically.
Salvation is a gift of God,
><> ><> ><>
"No Fair!" - Suppose a non-Christian murders another unbeliever. The victim would go to hell (Ro 6:23-note; Re 20:11-15-notes). If the killer later receives Christ as his Savior, he would go to heaven. Is that fair?
><> ><> ><>
A Remarkable Life -This is the story of a man with whom I worked. David was a remarkable man. Remarkable in his steady demeanor through 33 years of service with the same ministry. Remarkable in his gentle, caring love for his wife of 30 years. Remarkable in his unwavering dedication to his children--through triumph and trouble. Remarkable in the respect he earned from co-workers and acquaintances. Remarkable in that when he died too suddenly and too soon at age 56, no one had anything bad to say about him. Remarkable!
><> ><> ><>
Not of yourselves - A marshal in Napoleon's army -- a man who was devotedly and enthusiastically attached to him -- was mortally wounded in battle. As the last struggle drew near and he lay dying in his tent, he sent for his chief. Napoleon came. The poor man thought his emperor could do anything. Perhaps he even sought to put him in the place of God. So he earnestly pleaded with his leader to save his life. The emperor sadly shook his head and turned away. But as the dying man felt the cold, merciless hand of death drawing him irresistibly behind the curtain of the unseen world, he was still heard to shriek out, "Save me, Napoleon! Save me!" In the hour of death, that soldier discovered that even the powerful Napoleon could not give him physical life. (Ibid)
><> ><> ><>
The Gift of God - During the Spanish-American War, Clara Barton was overseeing the work of the Red Cross in Cuba. One day Colonel Theodore Roosevelt came to her, wanted to buy food for his sick and wounded Rough Riders. But she refused to sell him any. Roosevelt was perplexed. His men needed the help and he was prepared to pay out of his own funds. When he asked someone why he could not buy the supplies, he was told, "Colonel, just ask for it!" A smile broke over Roosevelt's face. Now he understood--the provisions were not for sale. All he had to do was simply ask and they would be given freely. (Ibid)
Amplified: Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: No one can pride himself upon earning the love of God. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: not from a source of works, in order that no one might boast; (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: not of works, that no one may boast;
NOT AS A RESULT OF WORKS: ouk ex ergon: (Romans 3:20,27,28; 4:2; 9:11,16; 11:6; 1 Corinthians 1:29, 30, 31; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:3, 4, 5)
Not (3756) (ou) indicates absolute negation.
Result (1537) (ek or ex) is a preposition which literally means out of or from but in this context it serves as a marker denoting origin or source. In other words, works are not the origin or source of salvation.
Salvation is a gift of God and does not find its source in man. Furthermore, this salvation is not “out of a source of works” thus explaining salvation by grace. It is not produced by man nor earned by him. It is a gift from God with no strings tied to it.
Works (2041) (ergon) means the results of any activity in which one exerts strength, energy or faculties to do or perform something.
This verse literally reads
That salvation is not "out of works" is reiterated several times by Paul…
Not of Works - A businessman well known for his ruthlessness once announced to writer Mark Twain, "Before I die I mean to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I will climb Mount Sinai and read the 10 Commandments aloud at the top." "I have a better idea," replied Twain. "You could stay in Boston and keep them." (Moody Bible Institute - Today in the Word, September, 1991)
Not as a result of works - D L Moody once said that "The thief had nails through both hands, so that he could not work; and a nail through each foot, so that he could not run errands for the Lord; he could not lift a hand or a foot toward his salvation, and yet Christ offered him the gift of God; and he took it. Christ threw him a passport, and took him into Paradise." (Moody, D L: "Day by Day with D. L Moody. Moody Press)
SO THAT NO ONE MAY BOAST: hina me tis kaucheshtai. (3SAMS):
One reason why salvation is a free gift of God and not earned by works, is given us in the words “so that no one may boast.” To quote David…
So that (in order that) (2443) (hina) expresses purpose of something (marking the end), the cause for or on account of which anything is done ("toward that end"). "It may also be used simply to indicate a happening, event or result of anything, or that in which the action terminates." (Zodhiates) Here hina could either introduce a purpose clause explaining why salvation is not of works. If it were, men could (and would) boast! On the other hand hina could express a result "so that no one may boast." When God is involved, we know that what God purposes will result. Either way, the praise is all to God and to Him Alone!
May boast (2744) (kauchaomai akin to aucheo = boast + euchomai = pray to God <> auchen = neck which vain persons are apt to carry in proud manner) means to boast over a privilege or possession. The idea is to take pride in something (in a bad sense - Ro 2:23-note, in a good or legitimate sense - Ro 5:2-note, Ro 5:3-note; Ro 5:11-note)
To boast means to take pride in something and so to glory in, to pride oneself or to brag about something. Salvation is a gift all of God's grace so that men cannot express pride in themselves or their accomplishments as if those accomplishments merited salvation. Grace glorifies God. Works would glorify man.
Boasting is appropriate when the purpose is to acknowledge the greatness and glory of God and His salvation and even of our tribulations which the Master Architect is able to weave together for our good and His glory! And so in the wonderful chapter, Romans 5 Paul records…
Harold Hoehner summarizes this section - In conclusion, Ephesians 2:8-9 spell out salvation in summary form. Its source is God, its basis is by grace, and it is obtained as a gift by means of faith. It is external to human beings and becomes a reality to them when they appropriate it by faith. This salvation is not something that is inherent in a person nor can it be gained by his or her efforts. Hence, a person cannot boast of any self-achievement but must boast in the gracious gift of God. (Ibid)
><> ><> ><>
For Sinners Only - Many non-Christians know the hymn "Amazing Grace" but may not know what grace means. One day when evangelist D. L. Moody was studying the meaning of God's grace, he dashed into the street and shouted to the first man he saw, "Do you know grace?" Mystified, the man replied, "Grace who?" No doubt Moody then explained grace —that God has compassion on sin-sick people and freely offers them forgiveness and new life through faith in Christ.
><> ><> ><>
God Ran Him Down - In his book Illustrations of Bible Truth, H. A. Ironside included the story of a new convert who gave his testimony during a church service. With a smile on his face and joy in his heart, the man related how he had been delivered from a life of sin. He gave the Lord all the glory, saying nothing about any of his own merits or what he had done to deserve the blessings of redemption.
The person in charge, who was very legalistic, didn't fully appreciate the reality of salvation by grace through faith alone, apart from human works. So he responded to the young man’s comments by saying, “You seem to indicate that God did everything when He saved you. Didn't you do your part before God did His?”
The new Christian jumped to his feet and said, “Oh yes, I did. For more than 30 years I ran away from God as fast as my sins could carry me. That was my part. But God took out after me and ran me down. That was His part.” Commenting on this testimony, Ironside wrote, “It was well put and tells a story that every redeemed sinner understands.” - R W De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
><> ><> ><>
Red Cross - During the Spanish-American War, Clara Barton was overseeing the work of the Red Cross in Cuba. One day Colonel Theodore Roosevelt came to her, wanted to buy food for his sick and wounded Rough Riders. But she refused to sell him any. Roosevelt was perplexed. His men needed the help and he was prepared to pay out of his own funds. When he asked someone why he could not buy the supplies, he was told, “Colonel, just ask for it!” A smile broke over Roosevelt’s face. Now he understood—the provisions were not for sale. All he had to do was simply ask and they would be given freely. (Ibid)
><> ><> ><>
A devotional from Our Daily Bread
Salvation is free to us,
><> ><> ><>
A devotional from Our Daily Bread - Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us (Titus 3:5).
What a contrast to the reality of Christianity. The teaching of salvation by grace, through faith, apart from human works, distinguishes Christianity from all other religions of the world. The conversion experience of a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is not "completed" through acts of self-torture. We may have to suffer for the cause of Christ, and good works should always prove the genuineness of our faith, but neither suffering nor serving save us. Paul wrote,
Self-inflicted torture is completely foreign to everything the Bible teaches about salvation.
We are not saved on the basis of what we can endure; rather, our hope is in what Christ has already endured for us on the cross. The Christian way is not conversion by torture—it's salvation by grace.—R W De Haan (Ibid)
We are saved by God's mercy,
Not by our merit—
By Christ's dying,
Not by our doing
><> ><> ><>
Instant Cake - I read about an instant cake mix that was a big flop. The instructions said all you had to do was add water and bake. The company couldn't understand why it didn't sell—until their research discovered that the buying public felt uneasy about a mix that required only water. Apparently people thought it was too easy. So the company altered the formula and changed the directions to call for adding an egg to the mix in addition to the water. The idea worked and sales jumped dramatically.
That story reminds me of how some people react to the plan of salvation. To them it sounds too easy and simple to be true, even though the Bible says, “By grace you have been saved through faith.; it is the gift of God, not of works” (Eph. 2:8-9). They feel that there is something more they must do, something they must add to God’s “recipe” for salvation. They think they must perform good works to gain God’s favor and earn eternal life. But the Bible is clear—we are saved, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy” (Titus 3:5-note).
Unlike the cake-mix manufacturer, God has not changed His “formula” to make salvation more marketable. The gospel we proclaim must be free of works, even though it may sound too easy. R W De Haan (Ibid)
><> ><> ><>
A devotional from Our Daily Bread - For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works (Ephesians 2:10).
><> ><> ><>
In the mid-1500s, when Peter Gabriel began preaching Reformation truth in the reeds and thickets throughout Holland, it was announced there would be a great service outside Amsterdam on July 14, 1566. Authorities shut the city gates, but people swam the canals or forced their way out in the early hours when the milkmaids left for the fields. Thousands gathered. Gabriel announced his text—Ephesians 2:8, 9, 10—and preached for four hours, but nobody minded. They hadn’t heard the gospel in a thousand years, and they were hungry for its message. Gabriel’s sermon that day helped establish the Reformation in Holland. (Morgan, R. J. Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook: 2002. Thomas Nelson)
><> ><> ><>
A Truth We Cannot Hear Too Often - When Charles Spurgeon was a teen, he was asked to preach at his grandfather’s church in Suffolk. His train was late, so Grandfather Spurgeon began the sermon, preaching from Ephesians 2:8, 9. There was a commotion at the door, and in walked Charles. “Here comes my grandson,” exclaimed the old man. “He can preach the gospel better than I can, but you cannot preach a better gospel, can you, Charles?” Charles replied, “You can preach better than I can. Please go on.” The grandfather refused, but he explained to Charles where he was in his sermon. The younger preacher stepped to the pulpit and took over just where his grandfather had left off. After a few minutes, the grandfather interrupted, wanting to preach a little more. Then he sat down again, and Charles resumed, with his grandfather sitting behind him, saying, “Good! Tell them that again, Charles. Tell them that again.” Ever after, Charles Spurgeon said that whenever he preached from Ephesians 2, he could hear his grandfather whispering, “Tell them that again, Charles. Tell them that again.” (Ibid)