Are Christians Saved Through Grace, And Faith; And Not Works?
“For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”
HOW ARE WE SAVED BY GRACE?
How are Christians “saved by grace through faith and not by works”? Does this passage say that works play no part in the life of a Christian?
People often think they can “work up” faith through their own emotional effort, without asking God, but we must ask God for His faith. It clearly must first come from God. If people could generate Godly faith to be saved on their own, then they could earn their own salvation. We could boast ‘you owe it to me’. Then faith would be supplied by the person apart from God. God would then owe them salvation. The end of verse 8 shows that Christians’ faith is given as a free gift. It is not a faith “of ourselves,” as is shown in the explanations in Galatians 3:10-11 and 3:18-19. All these verses help further explain Ephesians 2:8-9, but Galatians 2:16 is especially helpful.
Gal. 2:16-17 indicate that one cannot be justified by the law. Obviously, it is good to obey the law, stop sinning and behave in a Godly manner. Paul clearly states that we are justified by the faith of Christ and grace yet should never be used as a license to sin and disobey God. Faith is not a license to sin nor a method for human efforts to save ourselves. We are saved by grace period. The Judaizing false teacher movement was deceiving some into a self-righteous approach toward salvation. Paul counters these save yourself false teachers in his letters to churches.
Paul is explaining that the word grace means unmerited pardon (or forgiveness). Christians neither earn nor deserve such mercy and help from God, yet receive it anyway. It takes Godly faith to believe in this forgiveness. When truly understood, Galatians 2:16 and 3:21-22 explain a remarkable principle. Paul further explains in Gal. 3:21 by asking “Is the law against the promises of God? God forbid such an interpretation”. Consider that “we believe in Christ”—that He is the Messiah come to save mankind. Galatians 2:16 shows that “we are justified by the faith of Christ”—by His actual faith living in us as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). In other words, Christ even supplies the faith to believe that we will be justified (forgiven) and saved. Protestants overlook in the book of Ephesians chapter 2 verse 10, which qualifies verses 8 and 9. It explains that “good works” (Christ’s works in the Christian) ARE still a fundamental requirement and goal of Jesus.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
These works, though, can never be the by-product of human effort alone. If so, each Christian could come before God boasting that he was owed salvation! Ephesians 2:10 completes the thought that a Christian thru humble attitude allows Christ through the Spirit, to help us to do good works or Godly acts.
WE DEVELOP AND PROVE OUR FAITH BY OUR WORKS
In James the Second Chapter, the Apostles explain that faith is demonstrated by our actions. Abraham proved that he believed God and had complete faith in Him by his works. If one believes that God wants us to keep His Sabbath then it should be visible to all by our actions. For instance, our worshipping on the Sabbath Day proves our belief in it. See James 2:14-22. Romans 12:3 states that we receive a measure of faith from God. Then we must use that faith and follow it. How can we boast if the gift of faith is from God?
THE CORE OF THE NEW COVENANT IS TO PUT GOD’S LAW INTO OUR HEARTS
God is in the process of changing our hearts. He is building a person which can learn to resist the self-centered carnality that is the core of human nature. Note what Paul further explains in Heb. 8:8-11.
8 But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
IF ONE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND ALL THE BIBLE PAUL IS EASY TO MISUNDERSTAND
II Peter 3:16 states “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things: in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction”.
God is placing a heart like His in us via His grace and His faith as a gift. Praise
God! Some not called by God try and use Eph. 2:8-9 to convince themselves
That the law is done away and they can pick and choose which laws to
obey. Everyone is for the law against stealing but the fourth commandment,
not so much. It is easy to misunderstand Paul if you wish to get around
obedience to God. See II Pet. 3:15-16. All must learn to obey God’s laws.
This is not the only day of salvation. The remainder of mankind will get called in
the Second Resurrection. They will then have their minds opened to understand
The Bible and then they will not misunderstand the apostle Paul.