Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 2

By grace, through faith

Ephesians 2:8

The Bible teaches that God saves his people by grace, through faith.

To ‘save’ means to rescue. All people very much need God to rescue them (Romans 3:23). Our evil deeds have caused the death of our spirit (Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:1); the spirit is the part of us that will continue to exist either in heaven or hell after the death of our body. When God saves a person, his Holy Spirit puts new life into their spirit (John 3:3-7). God rescues that person from the devil, from hell and from death (Hebrews 2:14-15).

That can only happen because of God’s grace, his great kindness. God showed his great love for us when he sent Christ, his Son, to die for us (Romans 5:8). Christ took upon himself the punishment that we deserve. In his grace, God works in our lives to bring us into a right relationship with him (Mark 2:17; Luke 15:1-7; 1 Corinthians 15:9-10).

God works in the lives of those people who believe him; in other words, we must have faith (Hebrews 11:6). Faith means belief and trust in God. We should not think of faith as a quality that some people have. Instead, faith comes to us as we hear God’s word, the Bible (Romans 10:17). In particular, we hear God’s promises, and they give to us the confidence to believe and trust God (2 Corinthians 1:20; Hebrews 6:17-18). For example, God promises to save all who invite him into their lives (Romans 10:13). So, we believe and we declare our own personal agreement with God’s word (Romans 10:9).

This great work of God in our lives is God’s gift to us. We cannot pay for it, and we could never earn it. Neither the grace nor the faith come from ourselves. God created the faith in us by his word, his promises in the Bible. So, God alone can save us (Psalm 62:1; Jonah 2:9).

Next part: Our 'works' cannot save us (Ephesians 2:9)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.