This is a very important truth to learn and Ephesians 2:8-9 is the perfect place to start. 7 Bible Verses about Salvation, As A Gift ... much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. But prophecy is done according to the proportion of our faith. It is the unique way that God uses to bring salvation to his people. What ‘works’ is Paul talking about? God's grace empowers us to believe. Augustine’s rejection of the near universal view of predestination according to foreseen virtue and embracing of absolute predestination made him the first thorough-going monergist. Only three ‘modern’ commentators agree with the incumbent ancient understanding, and they all died last century! So are ‘works’ (v9) the same as ‘good works’ (v10)? I knew that other passages taught that our believing response to God is enabled by God if this one didn’t (see e.g. Series Graeca) Volume 95, ‘John Damascene’ volume 2: (various), Sacra Parallela, Col 829A-832A, retrieved from https://archive.org/details/pa… on 21 September 2016. For details see https://sites.google.com/site/mattolliffe/articles/is-faith-gods-gift-ephesians-28-9-john-of-damascus. This leaves room for free-will in the scheme of salvation, where grace is ‘fellow-worker’ (synergos) with free-will. After all, the divine pre-preparation may simply have been God commanding them. Salvation is the gift. Series Graeca) Volume 82 Theodoret volume 3: Commentary on Paul’s letters, 82:521-2, accessed at http://www.archive.org/details… and https://ia800307.us.archive.or… Interestingly, Paul doesn’t use ‘justification’ terminology at all in these verses. Faith conceivably could be viewed as a “gift,” but if so, only in the same sense that “repentance” is a gift. Many of us have put together the puzzle of ‘grace’, ‘faith’ and ‘works’ from Ephesians 2:8-10. A number of scriptures speak of faith as a gift of God, such as 1 Corinthians 12:8-9, “For to one is given…faith by the same Spirit.†These verse when carefully studied reveal that this gift of faith is not a condition for salvation but a requirement for effective Christian living and service. For details see https://sites.google.com/site/mattolliffe/articles/is-faith-gods-gift-ephesians-28-9-marius-victorinus. Reflecting on them and reading some contemporary Catholic theology, I think that during the last few years I have come to understand the mystery of faith a little better. God the Holy Spirit alone decides who will receive it. You cannot earn God’s salvation by being good or doing good. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the … As soon as we forget to give thanks and praise God for his gifts, we take them granted. 2:15–16) — from where does our faith come? God's grace empowers us to believe. Faith is not meant only for your good, but for the good of others. Then at university an MTS worker did Just For Starters with me. I don’t want to imply that I experienced some terrible existential crisis. ‘Good works are never the cause of salvation but ought to be its fruit’.[30]. Faith is not a direct gift from God given to some but not others. But there are problems with viewing faith as a gift of God. Reading commentaries and learning Greek revealed that—in technical language—the demonstrative translated ‘this’ (v8) is neuter, but the noun for ‘faith’ is ‘feminine’. When Peter declared to his Hebrew kinsmen that God had “granted” (given) the Gentiles “repentance unto life” (Acts 11:18), the sense was this. Every single life, every single child, is a reward and blessing. Theological problems with faith as a gift. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God, Aramaic Bible in Plain English For it is by his grace that we have been saved through faith, and this faith was not from you, but it is the gift of God, These interpreters were either native Greek speakers or, in the case of Jerome and Fulgentius, Latin speakers of undoubted Greek ability, or, in the case of Augustine, the greatest extant theologian of the first Millennium.This is doubly important because the ancient Greek-speaking exegetes themselves were inclined to see faith as a human work. boast in Christ alone. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”. Matthew 6:9-13), but faith is not a direct gift from God given to some and not to others. Faith in God is something that comes from God, through the power of the Holy Spirit. -Sort By Book Order. Faith is not an all or nothing proposition. Scripture emphasizes over and over that the faith which receives forgiveness and salvation in Christ is a gift of God’s grace. Faith does call forth a human response, but the act of faith presupposes that God is already drawing that person to Himself. Some say that both the grace and the faith mentioned in this verse are gifts. September 10, 2001 | Portland, OR I want to respond to two comments from good friends of mine recently which were objections to the biblical concept that faith is a gift of God. Faith Is A Gift From God; View on one page; Download (PDF) Copy sermon Print ; Save View all Sermons. People who are not in Christ are in the flesh, so they lack the ability to do the Lord’s will. There are 15[3] certain or highly probable examples of this rule—ten in the classical literaturę[4], four in the Septuagint[5], and one in the Greek New Testament[6]. [10] Jerome (AD 342–AD 420): Latin text in J –P Migne, Patrologia Latina (Patrologiae Cursus Completus. AD 532), On the Incarnation, 1, in Mark J Edwards (ed), Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians: Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, New Testament VI: (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1998), 133-134; also cited in Oden, Justification Reader, 48. Ephesians 2:8 is often used to support the idea that faith to believe is God-given: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Rather than rebuke a person for lacking faith those with the gift should pray that God increase the faith of those who need it. We are not to look at ourselves as better than others because we First, we must look at the ultimate origin of our faith. Reformed Evangelicals love this passage, using it to explain what sits at the heart of the gospel—the relationship between grace, faith, and works in salvation. Faith is not a gift, it is the means by which the gift is received. The ‘works’ promised to be rewarded at the judgement with eternal life for those who have not sinned but have done the law are ‘good works’ (Romans 2:6-7, 12-13). Are the works we are saved for different from those we are not saved by? To thank him for that gift I accept I do what I can to not only grow my faith but to share it with others. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. The chapter is entitled ‘Defective Learning’, and can be accessed at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/kuype… Verse 9 says that some people are given the gift of faith, but the gift is not specifically explained. Reflecting on them and reading some contemporary Catholic theology, I think that during the last few years I have come to understand the mystery of faith a little better. Rather than rebuke a person for lacking faith those with the gift should pray that God increase the faith of those who need it. Texts such as John 6:44 and Ephesians 2:1–10 reveal this precious truth, which is why the Westminster Confession of Faith stresses the work of the Spirit in bringing us to faith (14.1). Fix that problem! It’s a key passage in the popular Just For Starters: Seven Basic Bible Studies. If we believe that we are capable of working up faith in our souls, we cannot And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. After all, if faith is a work, then we must say that faith is a gift from God, for we cannot teach that humans are able to work for eternal life. This faith when read in context has to do with using our individual gifts. Your gift enables our worldwide outreach. People who have faith in God are, in a sense, plugged in to God, the timeless power source for all peace, joy, and unconditional Love. Unsurprisingly, the word translated ‘prepared beforehand’ also appears in Romans 9:23, in a context which suggests divine predestination. These ‘good works’ are the purpose of our creation in Christ Jesus—not its basis. [16] John of Damascus (AD 676-c. Faith comes from God in the form of a gift (Ephesians 2:8). Through faith alone I look for finding some mercy in the day of the Lord’s appearing.’[1]. Jesus refers to the disciples' "little" faith while also applauding others' "great" faith. Faith is presented as a gift from God in 2 Peter 1:1, Philippians 1:29, and Acts 3:16. So are we saved by ‘good works’ after all? 1 John 4:19: We love because he first loved us. [23] Augustine, On the Grace of Christ and Original Sin, Book 1 Chapter 34 in P Holmes, R E Wallis (trs), B B Warfield (rev), P Schaff (ed), NPNF1 5:229-30 online at https://www.ccel.org/ccel/scha… and http://www.newadvent.org/fathe… accessed on 3 September 2017. Series Graeca) Vol 118, Oecumenius Vol 1: Commentary on Acts, Commentary on Paul’s letters, Commentary on the Catholic letters, 118:1192B-1193B at http://www.archive.org/details… accessed 1 October 2016;. Since His will for us is that we trust in His promises, unbelievers are incapable in themselves of believing in Christ Jesus for salvation. [14] Œcumenius of Trikka (c. AD 990): J–P Migne, Patrologia Graeca (Patrologiae Cursus Completus. To put it in theological categories: regeneration precedes faith. The matter at hand is this: If faith is the sole instrumental cause of justification — the only way we may have the righteousness of Christ imputed to our accounts (2 Cor. [15] Theophylact of Bulgaria (AD 1055–AD 1107) also gives a second interpretation: ‘Or [we can] also [take it] in another way: He is not saying [that] faith is the gift of God, but that to be saved through faith, this is the gift of God. 6; ‪ Biblia Graece: He Kaine Diatheke 5.6 Volume 1 of Exegis eis tas praxeis ton apostolon kai eis tas epistolas tu PIaulu: Triccae episcopus Oecumenius (Athens, 1844), 108 fn (1); Also J –P Migne, Patrologia Graeca (Patrologiae Cursus Completus. God gives me lungs and air, but I can smother if I want to. M J Edwards, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians: ACCS NT 8 (Downers Grove: IVP, 2005), 126, citing Jerome, Epistle to the Ephesians, 1.2.8-9; Ronald E Heine, The Commentaries of Origen and Jerome on St Paul’s Epistles to the Ephesians: Oxford Early Christian Studies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 129-130. All believers have been given saving faith by God as the only means of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), but not all believers are given the spiritual gift of faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”). J C Ryle was converted simply by hearing it read in church. Deuteronomy 30:6Jeremiah 9:23–24Lamentations 5:21–22Romans 2:29. Today we return to our look at the biblical doctrines outlined in the Heidelberg Catechism. Those who view faith as a gift interpret man's condition, described in Ephesians 2:1 as "dead in trespasses and sins," as a total inability to respond to God in a positive way. A number of scriptures speak of faith as a gift of God, such as 1 Corinthians 12:8-9, “For to one is given…faith by the same Spirit.†These verse when carefully studied reveal that this gift of faith is not a condition for salvation but a requirement for effective Christian living and service. For by grace are ye saued, through faith, and that not of your selues: it is the gift of God: - King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, {it is} the gift of God; Bible verses related to Gifts From God from the King James Version (KJV) by Relevance - Sort By Book Order James 1:17 - Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Ephesians 2:8 is often used to support the idea that faith to believe is God-given: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. [5] Genesis 2:22-23, 14:17; Isaiah 6:6-7; Ezekiel 16:49 (LXX). [20] Raphael Kühner, Ausführliche Grammatik der Griechischen Sprache (Hanover: Hahn, 1870), Vol 2 Part 1 §361 p54; William Edward Jelf, A Grammar of the Greek Language Chiefly from the German of Raphael Kühner: Syntax (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1842), p35 §381 Obs 2; Basil L Gildersleeve, Syntax of Classical Greek from Homer to Demosthenes (New York: American Book Company, 1900), 18.2.501. Ephesians 2:8-9 . ); Commentary on Paul’s letters, retrieved from http://books.google.com/books?id=lzURAAAAYAAJ on 7 October 2016, Col 1056B-1057A. W A Jurgens, The Faith of the Early Fathers: 3 Volumes (Collegeville: Liturgical, 1970-79), 3:248-9 sec 2163, cited in T Oden, The Justification Reader (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 44. It had to be, because by nature we were spiritually blind (Ephesians 4:18), but “The Lord opens the … For details see https://sites.google.com/site/mattolliffe/articles/is-fath-gods-gift-ephesians-28-9-fulgentius. ): 5. Ephesians 2:8-10 is well-known as Paul’s doctrine of salvation in miniature. Rather, as Paul wrote to the church at Rome, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). For [it is] by grace you have been saved through faith, and this [is] not from yourselves, [it is] the gift of God, [it is] not from works, so that no-one may boast. And what about the relationship between ‘not from yourselves’ (v8) and ‘not from works’ (v9)? “The gift of God” in the original Greek appears in the neuter grammatical form, which means that it refers back to both grace and faith earlier in the verse. [21] It is not ‘either/or’ but ‘both/and’. [19]  However, 19th century Greek grammars, steeped in the Classical literature from which Koinē Greek developed, articulate the rule that a neuter demonstrative can refer back to a masculine or feminine word[20]. AD 458/466), Letters 83, ‘To Dioscorus’, in Blomfield Jackson (trs), P Schaff and H Wace (eds), NPNF2 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co, 1892), 3:279; online at http://www.newadvent.org/fathe… accessed 3 September 2017; cited in N Needham, ‘Justification in the Early Church Fathers’, in B L McCormack (ed), Justification in Perspective: Historical Developments and Contemporary Challenges (Grand Rapids/Edinburgh: Baker/Rutherford House, 2006, 51. Jesus refers to the disciples' "little" faith while also applauding others' "great" faith. Even now, I continually return to this beautiful simplicity, because I’ve never graduated beyond my debt to grace, no matter what I think I’ve achieved. First, Classical Greek literature, the Septuagint, and the New Testament, provide evidence that ‘this’ can indeed refer to ‘faith’. For details see https://sites.google.com/site/mattolliffe/articles/is-faith-gods-gift-ephesians-28-9-theodoret. God has made Himself known to us through His Son Jesus Christ. We were ‘dead’ in our ‘transgressions and sins’ (v1), and Paul includes himself with us in that plight (v5). Thus God gives the gift of faith to all who are saved and to … Our conversion was worked entirely by God. Ephesians 2:8 confirms the truth that faith is ultimately a gift of God. ... Salvation Free Will Faith Kjv God's Grace Being Saved Working For God Having Faith Anxiety And Stress lungs Believing In Yourself Faith In God Not Being Alone Grace Accepting Christ. When verse 22 says that “God’s righteousness is through faith for all who believe,” it means that this righteousness is counted as ours. So justification is not an act of God that makes us righteous. [25] However, we might consider that ‘faith’ is ‘not from works’ in that no works merit the divine granting of faith. From various theological quarters it has been argued that the NT teaches that saving faith is a gift of God. Faith indeed is a gift of God, but it cannot be proved so by this verse. Romans 11:36, NLT For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. Faith is not an all or nothing proposition. The works that we are not saved by, these very same works we are saved for. So faith is a gift from God that we receive from the word of Christ, which in this dispensation we get from the Bible rather than from a burning bush. God gives some the gift of mercy and they are to exercise mercy cheerfully. Scripture Quotes on What it Means to Have Faith. I am guilty of many errors. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” Romans 5:15 For details see https://sites.google.com/site/… The elderly Bishop Augustine effectively united the majority Eastern exegesis of Ephesians 2:8-10 with a theological underpinning that gave this exegesis its natural home. There are degrees of faith. Speaking more generally, faith surely is a gift from God, ordinarily infused at Baptism. 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. Some say that both the grace and the faith mentioned in this verse are gifts. It is not only the divine invitation to, but the divine enablement of, faith, that more accurately accords with faith being ‘the gift of God’. But Scripture is clear about faith, that it is not a work; it is not meritorious. [31] Vincent of Lérins (d. between AD 434-450) obliquely criticized Augustinianism as heresy and as having failed his test of catholicity: Commonitory: For the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith Against the Profane Novelties of All Heresies, Chapter 26, in  C A Heurtley (trs), Philip Schaff and Henry Wace (eds), NPNF2 Vol 11 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co, 1894), revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight http://www.newadvent.org/fathe…; J Ghellinck, ‘St Vincent of Lérins’ in The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol 15 (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912), retrieved 25 June  2017 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathe…. Most modern interpreters believe the ‘gift of God’ is ‘salvation by grace through faith’. It is the unique way that God uses to bring salvation to his people. [22]  ‘[W]e receive, without any merit of our own, that from which everything  … has its beginning— that is, faith itself.’[23]  Likewise, Fulgentiussays ‘and, since this faith is divinely enabled, it is without doubt bestowed by his free generosity’. The last bastion of pride is the belief that we are the originators of our faith. Other aspects of Barclay’s thesis, such as asserting that Ephesians was not written by Paul, or regarding it as a decline from Paul’s teaching on salvation, are open to criticism. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Donate Now. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. I realised that my acceptance before God at the judgement is not based on my goodness or moral effort, but on God’s goodness and Jesus’ moral effort. ‘By grace you are saved’ appears again (v8), but a new, human element is introduced—‘through faith.’ This makes it more likely that the new element, ‘faith’, is the subject of verse 9.

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