Ephesians Sentence by Sentence: 2:8-9

Τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳμένοι διὰ πίστεως· καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐξ ὑμῶν θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον· οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων ἵνα μή τις καυχήσηται. For you are being saved by grace through faith and this not from yourselves it is the give of God not from works in order that no one might boast.

Paul here returns to his statement about being saved, which he originally mentioned in v. 5. Here he adds that the readers are being saved by grace through faith. Grace is the cause of salvation and faith is the instrument of salvation. The distinction between the two is simple. It is on the basis of grace that salvation is possible, and it is faith that gives the means or way for salvation to be possible. In other words, faith puts grace to work. Faith is the tool, but grace is the foundation.

This statement is linked to τὸ ὑπερβάλλον πλοῦτος τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ. The conjunction, γὰρ, links the current sentence with the previous clause. Salvation is made possible by grace, and this grace is abundant and rich. God worked in us for the purpose that he might reveal his abundantly rich and generous grace in the ages to come, because it is by grace that we are being saved.

This salvation is not from the readers, but rather, it was brought about by God as a gift. Nor is salvation from works, so that no one might boast. The purpose behind salvation coming from God and not from us or from works is so that we cannot boast. The result of God’s work is the same; no one who is being saved can boast, because it is God’s gift to give. Since it is God’s gift, salvation can only be received; it cannot be earned.

For you are being saved on the basis of grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. It is not from works, in order that no one might boast.

We ought to realize that grace cannot be earned, but it can be received. It is God’s gift to give. His grace is abundant and rich, and he is generous with his grace. It is on the basis of grace that we are being saved, and it is through faith that enacts grace that we are being saved. Salvation is not our doing. It is God’s work in us who believe.

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