Saved By Grace  Through Faith

Ephesians 2:4-10

 

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast

 

It seems strange that though this astonishing passage is a greatly  loved scripture... it is a most misunderstood  passages. Some see nothing here at all but “grace” and have emphasized it so much they have developed a doctrine of “grace only” In effect teaching God saves man unconditionally.

 

Others have magnified faith in this and other  passage developing a doctrine of “faith only” concluding that one is saved at the point of faith, again no other stipulations required.   Still others who neither believe in “grace only” or “faith only”, yet have difficulty in placing both properly  in God's plan to save man.

 

This passage emphasizes  both faith and  grace.  We must therefore conclude that in salvation both faith and grace are important and closely related to our salvation.  

 

It is critically important that we study and understand what the Bible teaches regarding salvation. Someone may misinform you about a Business Investment, and it could cost you all your life's savings, but it won't cost you Your Soul. You may be misinformed about your Personal Health, it could cost you your life, but it will not cost you Your Soul..  But on the other hand a misunderstanding, or partial under-standing Concerning Salvation, will cost a man his eternal destiny in heaven.

 

This text points out many different things.  First, man has sinned.  That man needed to be punished for there is a  penalty  for sin.  "The soul that sinneth it shall die."  But because of God's great love wherewith He hath loved us, though we are sinners,

 

His nature causes Him  to act in  such a way as to be just. The penalty of the law could not be overlooked, but  had to be respected.  Therefore , God provided a sacrifice in the offering of His Son to take man’s place and pay the penalty of Sin... (Romans 3:19-28)   Christ’s  Death Atoned For Man’s Sin.

 

 It is not possible to find an earthly illustration that will do justice to the idea of atonement. It is beyond our comprehension, but I heard the following illustration.. I trust will help us

 An earthly monarch was exceedingly troubled because of his kingdom was becoming a nation of thieves. In an effort to overcome this national weakness, he passed a severe law that one caught stealing would be beaten with one hundred stripes on his bare back in the presence of a multitude.

 

To the king’s dismay the first to violate the law was his mother. Being greatly distressed he went into seclusion to decide what could be done to spare his mother he loved so much   and at yet the uphold the dignity of his law.

 

The day came for her to be punished. People had come from far and wide. As the officer raised the whip to lay the lashes on the king’s mother, the king stepped from his throne and said, “stay your hand, I will take her place.”

 

He removed his royal robe exposing his own back and commanded the officer to lay the stripes on him.  The king took his mother’s punishment, and she went free, but the  dignity of the law was upheld, the penalty paid in full  mercy and grace were granted.

 

So Jesus took our place on the cross, he bore our sins in his body, and through faith in Him we are now justified by means of his blood and His death.    &  Romans 3:24-26

 

One of the most beautiful passage in the Bible John 3:16

 

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  

 

1-  Think about  "grace in view of Calvary. All the human race could expect in view of sin was the righteous wrath of a holy God, and eternal banishment from His glorious presence. But God stepped down from  His judgment seat and took upon himself at Calvary the guilt and penalty of sin, thus satisfying His justice and making possible the bestowal of His mercy.  This he did not for friends, but for enemies. Romans 5:8-10

 

8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

 

No wonder Paul would write in the words of our marvelous text:   8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

 

Well  that  the Bible teaches that  "We Are  Saved By Grace Through  Faith."  No student of the Bible would willingly deny, for the evidence is not lacking. But that we are saved by grace alone, or by grace irresistibly we emphatically deny.

 

There are many things  which the  Bible          contributes to justification or being right in God's sight, SAVED……  1 Corinthians 6:11  Paul speaks of their former sinful conditions  and states: —

 

 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

        

Romans 5:1 we are said to be  justified by faith,  Romans 5:9 “justified by his blood”. And in James 2:24 the ever familiar passage    

 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    

So there are many things to which salvation  or  justification is ascribed, and  we believe all of them to be crucial and important in man’s salvation, for they are  God’s word regarding the matter.

 

Now, Salvation or justification by grace: what  does it include?  

First The Agency of Choice:  Man has always had a choice whether to serve Jehovah or no. You see God wants sons not slaves.   & Deut 30:15 & 19

 

15“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, ........ 19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

 

Again in Joshua 24:15

    

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose  you this day   whom ye will serve; whether the gods  which your fathers served that   were on the other  side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in  whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the  LORD.

 

Those on Pentecost Day  were told in Acts 2:40

40And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this perverse [crooked] generation.

Serving God is a choice, and when the choice is made, we need to serve Him with all diligence.  

 

But next— Salvation by grace includes our obedience to  the Heavenly Father. Men of every age have walked with God obeying His  voice and been justified (Abraham Job) Enoch walk with God and was translated  (Genesis 5;21-25).

In Acts 10:34-35, Peter speaking to the household of Cornelius stated:   Of a truth I  perceive that  God is no respecter of persons: 35But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

 

These astonishing words are recorded of Noah! Gen 6:22

Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.   This verse I believe a divine commentary regarding Noah's salvation.    Paul writes to the church at Rome: Romans 16:25-26

 

25Now to him that is of power to stablish you according  to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was  kept secret since the world began 26But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets,  according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations    — [watch it]   for the obedience of faith:

Salvation by grace through faith, is one of choice and is one of obedience to God….

 

But! someone says, “I thought salvation was a gift and therefore excludes my doing anything.   In Joshua 6:  God tells Joshua, “see I have given you the city”.  Then precedes to given him instructions of what must be done to take the city. A gift doesn't necessarily exclude our doing something to appropriate that gift.

     

Did you know, belief is a work to which no one  would object to our believing in order to be saved   in John 6:29

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that   ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

         

Belief is a command of God,  1 John 3:23  and therefore a work....   Repentance is a work- yet  all agree, we must repent if we are to be saved — (see Luke 13:3-5)

 

In Jonah chapter three and verse ten we read:    “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way”.  

But in Matthew  12:41 Jesus styled their turning  as repentance, hear it:  41The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

 

Faith and repentance are both works yet no one objects, but let someone mention “baptism”, and right away another will object saying “the Bible says salvation is by grace, it is a free gift, we cannot work.”

 

Did you know that nowhere in all of the Bible is baptism referred to as a work.   People will freely submit to belief and repentance (both called works in Bible) and even to confession which is commanded, and must be obeyed; but will object to baptism.

 

Now I'm about to make a statement,   here it is: “Salvation by grace includes obedience to the gospel plan of Salvation”  namely: Hearing the word and  believing  it, repenting of one’s sins— confession and  baptism.   In Ephesians  2:8-9 we read before and do so again:

8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast

 

These Ephesian brethren  were saved by grace, no doubt about it for our text so states and I believe it. So I ask... “What did the Ephesians do, if anything in  order to obtain salvation”?  If we can find that out, we  learn what we need to do to be saved by grace.

 

First They Heard The Word Of God: Faith Comes By Hearing  Word:  Rom. 10:17  And they believed It. We turn to

Ephesians 1:13 and read  their account: 

13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise   

 

Hearing produces faith and you and I must hear the word, for we are saved by grace through faith…and without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)  but James warns us : James 1:22-27 not to be hearers only so - there is more.

 

Next — The Ephesians who were saved by grace repented :  In an account describing what Paul had preached to them we read:  Acts 20:18-21

 

18....Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, 19Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: 20And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, 21Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Beloved, God commands all men everywhere to repent:      Acts 17:30-31  Jesus said Luke 13:3    3I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.  To perish is to be lost!   We too must repent of our sins or we likewise will perish. To perish is to be lost.

 

 Next: The Ephesians Confessed:  & Acts 19:17-18

 

 17And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also  dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds.

 

Likewise Jesus says to us: Matt 10:32-33

 

32“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33“But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.         And if we would desire to  be saved, we too must confess the greatest name known to mortal tongue,    We read in Philippians 2:9-10

 

9Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

 

And Then Lastly The Ephesians who were saved by Grace were Baptized:  Notice this account  of their actual conversion recorded in & Acts 19:1-5

   

1And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” 5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

 

We conclude then:  The  Ephesians were saved by Grace: But Grace Included God’s Plan  Of Salvation,  namely hearing the word of truth, believing,  repenting, confession and baptism.

 

Have you ever thought about Noah (the old patriarch and preacher of righteousness) just how he was saved by faith?  Hebrews11:7

 

7By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

 

Noah was saved by his faith, but Noah was saved by grace or favor of God: Genesis 6:8  8But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.     But Noah’s salvation by grace did not exclude water... Noah was saved by water: 1 Peter 3:20-21

 

  20Which sometime were disobedient, when once the  longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us 

 

But Noah's salvation is summed up in Gen. 6:22  22Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.    

Are you willing to do as did The Ephesians or Noah?   Salvation by faith through grace   There is the matter of choice, you can chose to be saved or lost — it is a matter of submitting to God's will.  As the Ephesians did. 

contact:

Ron Cope Minister churches of Christ

email:  RonCope@chestnutmtchurchofchrist.com

phone:  (678)617-9658