11/5/12 SAVED

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Eph 2:8-10

Morning Meditation 11/5/2012

Our text says: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

From verse one through verse seven God has brought us from the tragic state of death and despair to resurrection and ascension in Christ. Now we come to a restatement of grace and what we are saved to do here on this earth.

The word “For” continues the statement in verse 7: “the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” What has he just said? Grace has in it God’s exceeding riches and it expresses his kindness and this is done through Jesus Christ. God is incomprehensibly kind and it is expressed toward us. This is done through Jesus Christ. Why could not God act directly in bestowing his goodness upon us? This is impossible. God cannot give salvation to someone against whom the charge of sin can be leveled without that sin being paid for. The penalty of God’s holy law must be paid. So in order for God to be just and save the sinner there had to be a Mediator. That Mediator is Christ. He died and paid the sin debt so that God could express his exceeding riches toward us and this was done through Jesus Christ.

The words “For by grace are ye saved” identify God’s riches toward us. The words “are ye saved” are two separate verbs. “Are” (este) is a present indicative verb meaning the saints in Ephesus are saved at the time of the writing of this Epistle. Let me state it another way. They are not waiting to be saved. It is not a hope for the future. They are already saved. The word “saved” (sozo) means “to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction.” The verb form is a perfect passive participle. The perfect tense represents a completed action in the past with the result that it is still true. Now this means that they were saved in the past and they remain in that saved condition. The passive voice is where the subject (the Ephesian Christians) is acted upon. In other words being saved was not a result of their action, it is the result of God acting upon them. Let me restate this whole idea. Paul is saying you are saved right now because you were saved in the past by the Lord himself and as result you remain in that saved condition.

The words “through faith” are the introduction of the means of receiving salvation from man’s standpoint. Faith is a non meritorious action. You cannot brag on my faith in my wife without questioning her character. You cannot brag on a persons faith in God and Christ without suggesting that they are a risk. God is no risk. It is completely out of order to compliment a person for putting his faith in Christ. A person who has just put his faith in Christ has simply been restored to sanity.

The words “and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” mean one of two things. It means that the salvation that you have received is not of yourselves or the faith that you used as a means (faith) to obtain God’s gift of salvation is not of yourselves. I lean toward believing that it is speaking of faith. Romans 12:3 says, “ For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” God has dealt to every man “the measure of faith.” I believe it is saying that salvation is by grace through faith and that faith is not even something that man can boast about. Even that faith is the gift of God. This means that salvation and the means by which we obtain it, is a gift of God.

The truth of verse 9 is just a continuation: “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” God has made it clear in many places that works and faith does not mix as a condition to salvation. The words “lest any man should boast” make an undeniable statement that if salvation were by works salvation would not be a matter where God alone received praise. Man would also take his place beside of God as a part of the reason he is saved. God alone will receive praise for man’s salvation because he alone is responsible. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith.

The words in verse 10 which says, “For we are his workmanship” mean that we are the recipients of God’s creative work in salvation. The words “we are” (esmen) is present indicative verb. Paul includes himself in this statement. He speaks to the Church in the “ye” in verse 8. He includes himself in the “we” of this statement. The word “workmanship” (poiema) means “that which has been made.” It is also used of the works of God as creator.

The words “created in Christ Jesus” define “workmanship.” The word “created” (ktizo) means “to create.” It is used “of God creating the worlds, to form, shape, i.e., to completely change or transform.” This creation takes place “in Christ Jesus.” It is not in a denomination or in a church. It is “in Christ Jesus.” This is something that faith has to lay hold of. I can get a little glimpse of what this means as I think on the truth of me being in Adam when God created him. When God saves us, he puts us in Christ (2Cor 5:17). This puts to an end any claim to salvation apart from the miracle of the new birth and apart from Christ Jesus.

The words “unto good works” mean that good works are the natural evidence of the work of salvation in us. It is not the cause of but the necessary evidence of salvation. God created the world to function and it does. God saved us to work and we will have to resist keeping that from happening. It is hard to imagine a person who has been saved by the grace of God and then resisting God’s continued work in him toward doing good.

The words “Which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” declare God’s purpose. The words “hath before ordained” (proetoimazo) means “to prepare before, to make ready beforehand.” It is an aorist active indicative verb. The aorist tense is a once for all act in the past. The past in this case goes back before the foundation of the world. There is nothing that happens by chance. Now don’t start trying to figure that one out or trying to explain it. You’ll just mess it up. Just like I would. We are safe to say that God fixed the outcome before the income!!!

It is good to reassure our hearts as we examine in some detail a passage like this. Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone. We are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Let’s work as those who have been saved for that purpose. May God bless each of you.

In Christ

Bro. White

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