Exploring the Gift of Faith: The Pathway to Salvation

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”


Ephesians 2:8-9 is one of the most extraordinary statements in scripture – salvation is God’s free gift.

You would think that would be good news. In fact, the Bible’s term for this is “the gospel,” and the word “gospel” derives from the Greek word “euangelion,” which means “good news” or “glad tidings.” Yet only one religion has any concept of a free gift of salvation: Biblical Christianity. All other religions offer a system of works in exchange for salvation.

Yet, man is actually suspicious of a free redemption. This may be based on the view that you get what you pay for, so if it’s free, what value does it have? It may also be predicated upon the fact that man is naturally prideful. How can I sing “I did it my way” if I didn’t do anything? In reality, we deal again with the actions of Satan to hide the truth of the gift of salvation as discussed in 2 Corinthians 4:4: “…the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

If we can generally concede that the Bible is the word of God and since Titus 1:2 claims “…God…never lies…” it may behoove us to try to understand precisely what Ephesians is offering.


To that end…


For refers back to Ephesians 2:7, “…in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us…”

“by grace…”

Grace is universally understood as “unmerited or undeserved favor or blessings.” Grace is the headwater of salvation. This source is often repeated in scripture, such as Titus 2:11: “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.”

“you have been saved…”

The mystery of salvation is partially explained in Ephesians 1:4-5, which claims, “…He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love, by predestining us to adoption as sons…” In other words, salvation for those chosen is a “fait accompli.” “Fait accompli” is a French phrase that translates to “accomplished fact”. It refers to a situation or action that has already happened or been completed without any possibility of change or reversal.

This truth is illustrated in Acts 13:48, which states, “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.” What we witness here is a fait accompli. In this miracle of salvation, the person saved is simply the last to know.

“through faith.”

Whereby God’s grace is the source, faith is the means. Romans and Hebrews discuss faith in a little more detail. Romans 10:9 promises, “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Additionally, Hebrews 11:1  claims, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This faith is also a gift, but it is much more than a feeling; it is an intellectual accord and dependence on the sufficiency of Christ’s death on the cross that must be the object of one’s faith.

True saving faith consistently entails genuine repentance. Repentance involves a change of mind and heart, leading to a turning away from sin and a turning toward God. Genuine belief in Jesus Christ transforms a person’s life, leading to a desire for righteousness and obedience. Mark 1:15 illustrates how this relates to salvation, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

“And this is not your own doing…”

In Greek, “this” needs to agree with its antecedent in gender and number, and whereas “this” is neuter, “faith” and “grace” are both feminine. Because of the exactness of the Greek language, we know that the demonstrative pronoun “this” refers to your “hav[ing] been saved.” This again emphasizes that redemption is not of our will, merit, or effort, as Romans 9:16 states, “So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy.”

“it is the gift of God…”

This, then, is a gift from God. Gifts are neither earned nor merited but given out of love, as well-known John 3:16 claims, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

“not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

We now come full circle; salvation is not by worth or merit; it is a free gift. We have no claims to boast, or surely we would. The Bible emphasizes this in 1 Corinthians 1:26, explaining our complete lack of merit in being chosen for salvation, “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.”


I leave you with one thought to consider: the most essential thing you can do in life is to pray for your salvation. Then, begin praying for others.






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