Post 10 analyzes Ephesians 2:8–9 (NASB95), which reads:
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Verse 8 begins with the Greek conjunction gar, which the NASB95 translates as “For.” In this context, gar functions as an explanatory conjunction used to explain a previously mentioned sentential element. See Lukaszewski, A. L. (2007). The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament Glossary. Lexham Press. The referent of gar is verses 4-7 (NASB95), which read:
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
These verses stress salvation is through God’s love, mercy, and grace. Verses 8-9 explain the principle that salvation is through God’s action alone.
The expression “by grace you have been saved through faith” is very close to the expression in verse 5 that reads “by grace you have been saved.” Verse 8 adds the language dia pistis, which the NASB95 translates as “through faith.” The Greek preposition dia functions as a preposition of means expressing an action’s means. See Lukaszewski, supra. Louw et al. defines this usage of dia as, “89.76 εἰςh; ἐνp; διάc: markers of the means by which one event makes another event possible—‘by means of, through, by.” See Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). In Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 785). United Bible Societies. Paul amplifies the principle of verse 5, i.e., by grace you have been saved, through adding the phrase “through faith.” The Logos 9 sense of pistis (“faith”) is, “trust (faith) – strong confidence in, and reliance upon, someone or something; often with the object of trust understood.”
Paul did not have to write further, but to leave no stone unturned about the God-only nature of salvation, he wrote, “and that not of yourselves.” He intended to convey that salvation was not from any human being.
He then reiterated the importance of grace when he wrote, “it is the gift of God.” Here, the NASB95 translates the Greek noun dōron as “gift,” and it means, “ 57.84 δώρημα, τος n; δωρεά, ᾶς f; δῶρονa, ου n: (derivatives of δωρέομαι ‘to give, to grant,’ 57.83) that which is given or granted—‘gift, present.’” See Louw et al., supra, at Vol. 1, p. 566. Salvation is not a “gift” if the recipient had any to do with its receipt.
Finally, Paul excluded any human effort to attain salvation when he wrote verse 9, “not as a result of works [ergon], so that no one may boast.” Post 7 took a detailed look at the definition of ergon, and ended with the statement, “it is biblical to say that any human physical activity falls within the scope of the Greek noun ergon.” Boldface in the original.
The NASB95 translates the Greek preposition ek as “as a result of,” and it functions as a preposition of source,which is used to express the source from which another sentential element is derived or is come. See Lukaszewski, supra. Therefore, the only legitimate interpretation of this expression is that any human physical activity (ergon) cannot be the source of salvation.
Works, i.e., any human physical activity, have no part in God’s gracious gift of salvation through faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches with clarity that water baptism has no role whatsoever in God’s gracious gift of salvation through faith.
IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT YOUR SALVATION
If you are unsure about your salvation, you need to check out my book The Salvation Meter: Biblical Self-Diagnostic Tests to Examine Your Salvation and Spiritual Growth (book link at Xulon Press: https://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781662828638 ). At Amazon the book link is https://www.amazon.com/Salavation-Meter-Biblical-Self-Diagnostic-Spiritual/dp/1662828632 . I also have a website in which I am updating the content in the book. The link to my website for the book is https://thesalvationmeter.com .
IF YOU ARE NOT A CHRISTIAN
… please (1) read through “God’s Plan of Salvation” so you can understand what God did for you through His only unique Son, Jesus Christ, and (2), from the bottom of your heart, pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” meaning every word. If you do, you will be reconciled to God – saved – through Jesus Christ.
God’s Plan of Salvation
In the beginning, God, who is holy, created the entire universe. As a part of His creative actions, He made humans in His image to know Him. For a while, everything was right between God and our ancestors, Adam and Eve. But Adam sinned, and his sin was passed down to all of humankind whereby we became separated from God. Nothing we could do on our own could bridge that separation so that without God’s intervention, hell would be our eternal destination.
Fortunately for us, in His great love and mercy God provided humankind with the only means of salvation, which is through Jesus Christ who is God’s only unique Son. While retaining His deity, God the Son became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law Himself and taking on Himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever repent and trust in Him for their salvation. Jesus rose from the dead, showing that God the Father accepted Christ’s sacrifice and that God’s wrath against us has been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust alone in what Christ did to save us.
If we repent of our sins and completely trust in Christ alone that He died for our sins and rose to life from the dead, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.
Scripture References: Genesis 1:1, 27, 31; Habakkuk 1:13; Genesis 2:7, 18, 21-25; Genesis 3:1-7, 23-24; Isaiah 59:2; Romans 3:19-20, 23; 5:17-19; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 John 4:10; John 3:16-18; Mark 1:15; Romans 1:4; 4:25; John 3:5-8; 1 Peter 1:3.
Lord, Jesus Christ, the only unique Son of God, thank You for Your free gift of eternal life. I know I’m a sinner who cannot save myself no matter what I do, and I deserve to spend eternity in hell. But, I know that because You loved me so much, You voluntarily died on the cross for me taking my sins upon Yourself, and You physically bodily rose from the grave showing that Your sacrificial death was sufficient payment to give me eternal life in Heaven. I now repent of my sins and trust alone in what You did for my eternal salvation. Please take control of my life as I now receive You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You so much for saving me. I am now Yours forever! (Scripture references: John 1:1-4, 11-14; John 3:16; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-26; Isaiah 53:4-6; Mark 1:15; Acts 16:31; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-10, 13; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4; John 10:27-29).
Upon your salvation, you must find a spiritually solid Bible-believing church that (1) teaches that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God, (2) believes in the doctrine of the Trinity, which means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and each Person is fully God, and (3) teaches that salvation is by grace through faith and not by works (e.g., water baptism by immersion).
ONE CAUTIONARY POINT. Please do not make the mistake of thinking that once you become a Christian, your life will become easy. Most likely, it will become more difficult. God’s blessing of salvation and life’s difficulties are not mutually exclusive. Jesus told His disciples, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” John 15:18 (NLT). Always keep in mind that you have an eternal home in heaven waiting for you per John 14:2–4 (NLT):
2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”
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