Eph 2:8-9?

Discussion in 'Languages' started by thistle93, Apr 19, 2011.

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  1. thistle93

    thistle93 Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi! I have a question about the follow verses:

    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.

    One of my friends says that this verse is saying grace is a gift from God but the faith is our part, where is I read this verse as saying that both the grace and faith are gifts given from God. Is there anything in the Greek structure that would speak to which is the correct way to translate this verse?

    Thank you!
  2. kodos

    kodos Puritan Board Junior

    See also Php 1:29.
  3. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist

    I think the easiest disproof of your friend's conception of this verse is to point out that the Greek pronoun τοῦτο, translated "that", which appears here is neuter, while χάρις ("grace") is feminine. Thus "grace" cannot be the referent of "that". Of course, so is the most immediate word in the list, "faith" (πίστις), and this is why many argue for "that, not of yourselves" as referring to the whole shooting match as being the gift of God... faith and salvation.

    It's also somewhat silly (in my book) to make Paul here point out that "grace" is a gift. Where elsewhere he contrasts "grace" and "works" it's clearly presupposed that they are diametric opposites.

    It sounds to me like your friend is arguing simply on the basis of presuppositions about salvation, rather than deriving his point of view from exegesis. I say this in part because of your other posts today in which it seems quite apparent that the primary driver of interpretation is presupposed ideas about God and his decrees.
  4. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritanboard Commissioner

    "grace" is, by definition, a gift, something unearned.

    It would not be necessary to say, in effect, a gift is a gift.

    Rather, the (saving) faith is the gift in the sense of the passage, and the context of surrounding scripture.
  5. fralo4truth

    fralo4truth Puritan Board Freshman

    If faith were on our own contribution, then the very point the Apostle is making is violated. Man would most definitely boast!

    "Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." (John 6:20)
  6. discipulo

    discipulo Puritan Board Junior


    It may be an opportunity to share with your friend the Biblical foundation of Sovereign Grace.
  7. louis_jp

    louis_jp Puritan Board Freshman

    See also, 1 Cor.12:9, Acts 13:48, 2 Tim. 2:25.
  8. InSlaveryToChrist

    InSlaveryToChrist Puritan Board Junior

    “But by the grace of God I am what I am [“not of works,” nor “of myself”]: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Cor. 15:10)
  9. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    The neuter for "that" (not of yourselves), is the kind of construction used commonly when a relative pronoun is used for a whole series of things--in this case, it is grace, faith, and everything else about salvation. NONE of it is "from yourselves," not the grace, the faith, or anything else.

    Taken together with the other references given (Php.2:29 is most powerful), the witness of Scripture is uniform. Saving faith is a gift from God, it is the first breath of newborn spiritual life.
  10. athanatos

    athanatos Puritan Board Freshman

    This is exactly what I was going to point out. That pronoun isn't referring to a particular noun, as one of my Calvinist friends pointed to me, but rather the series (grace, saved, faith) or situation ("...by grace you have been saved, through faith"). Both of those are totally supporting a Calvinist worldview, in my opinion.
  11. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor

    1Cr 12:6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
    1Cr 12:7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
    1Cr 12:8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,
    1Cr 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
    1Cr 12:10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
    1Cr 12:11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

    According to the above verses God even gives us faith..and empowers some w/ more faith than others..

    and looking at Luke..

    Luk 17:5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"

    The Apostles prayed for more faith..so if the faith we do have is our part, then why would they have need to pray for more?? and even then wouldn't we have to 'bring' something to our
    own salvation??

    The only thing we have to bring to our salvation is our confession and repentance of our sin against God....so even then we bring nothing..as the Spirit of God convicts us, the Spirit gives us the ability to confess we have sinned against God, and it is the Spirit that comforts us by giving us the faith that God will and does forgive..so again we bring nothing..not even faith.
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