Ephesians Chapter 2 Part 9
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God…” (Ephesians 2:8)
V. 8- The salvation spoken of here is spiritual salvation. It’s the salvation provided by the new covenant of grace. This is “The exceeding riches of His grace.” This is the salvation that has saved us for eternity. Wholly, fully, completely saved persons filled by the Spirit of God; that’s what we are! Our physical bodies will not be preserved forever, but our spiritual bodies can never die. We will live for eternity in whatever place we choose.
Let’s read Deuteronomy 30:19, 20. “I 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…” Sickness, disease, pain, hardship, poverty, disappointment and eternal death are not God’s perfect will for us. When we hear God’s voice by the power of His Spirit, we get to choose life or death by accepting or rejecting Jesus. I pray we all chose life and blessings, but many out there are still choosing the death and cursing warned about.
What is grace? It is the undeserved favor of God. It is the God of heaven’s way of reconciling us to Himself. How did this come to us? By faith! Is there any other way to be saved? Is there any other person who can cause us to even desire salvation? No, there is no one else. It is the Spirit of God alone who convicts of sin, Christ alone who saves, and God alone who has made this way possible for all humanity. II Peter 3:9 tells us that God is longsuffering toward sinners, not willing that any should perish. He is patient with us to the extreme. Go to Isaiah 30:18. “And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.” God waits for us until the very last breath of our earthly life before He turns away from us. Once we are dead, the choice has been made, the ticket stamped, and we are on our way to whatever destination we picked. There is no turning back.
The Land of Promise God has given as an inheritance is not only Israel, but also, where? Heaven! This is the true Paradise where we will live with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It is where the glory of God is so bright we won’t need the sun or moon for light. Jesus will reflect the Glory of God everywhere. “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God is its light, and the Lamb is its lamp” (Revelation 21:23).
Christians have a wonderful promise in James 1:12-18. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” No shadow of turning. God is unchangeable. He can’t go from the perfect, sinless Father, to a sinful dad who tempts us to sin. He is pure, and cannot participate in evil. That’s why God does not make bad things happen. He allows temptation to enter our lives, but He will never cause it.
The only way to receive this salvation is by faith. We need to believe in Someone we cannot see, but only our spirit can witness to. “The Spirit (of God) itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God…” (Romans 8:16) He is there, and our spirit knows it. He is speaking by His Spirit into each person daily. If we listen, which we need to do in order to be saved, we hear Him. Once we had the faith to believe, we were saved. Now we can never be unsaved. God said that it was once for all. Romans 6:10, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God."
Let’s read Hebrews 9:23-28. “It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
Isn’t it funny that God set up the Savior, and the redemption for His chosen people, Israel, first and it’s the gentiles who grabbed it and ran? The gentiles were not ashamed to admit they were sinners and needed grace and mercy. They accepted the Free Gift of salvation God offered. The Jews, on the other hand, were so stuck in the Law they could not see their Redeemer for who He was. All they saw was someone trying to change their ways of practicing religion. Love? Give to my family? Feed the poor? Are you nuts or something? Some Jews were saved, and still continue to be saved, but the majority of them were the ones who had Jesus crucified. They are the ones who killed the prophets of old, and the prophets of Jesus’ time, or the apostles.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. First let’s see what the word faith means. It is the Greek word Pistis. It means conviction, confidence, trust, belief, reliance, trustworthiness, and persuasion. We need to believe and rely on the trustworthiness of God to do all that He said He would. We need to allow the Spirit of God to persuade us of God’s truth and we need to build confidence in all that the Word tells us. If He said it, it’s true.
Let’s read about Israel’s rejection of the Gospel in Romans 10:14-21. “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: Their sound has gone out to all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says: “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will move you to anger by a foolish nation.” But Isaiah is very bold and says: “I was found by those who did not seek Me;
I was made manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands To a disobedient and contrary people.”
Moses and Isaiah made it clear to Israel that the Savior would come. Moses told God’s people they were so hard of heart that it would be “those who are not a nation” who would receive their blessing. Isaiah told them the Savior would be for people who had not even asked for Him. Why? Know that it was because God was stretching His hands out to His people, but they would not listen. They kept turning from Him and worshiping the idols of other countries. After God had proven Himself numerous times with His miracles, and with His care given them in the desert, they still chose wooden and metal objects to worship, items which could not speak to them as God had. They chose to sacrifice their children to Baal. They were a, “Disobedient and contrary people.”
Let’s look a little closer at what faith is. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the substance (or basis, the foundation) of things hoped for. These are the things in our future resurrection, and in our eternity, everlasting, pain-free existence. We hope we are saved for real and will live with Christ in heaven. Our faith allows us to believe in these things for ourselves.
The evidence of things not seen: Those things are the things that were done in heaven to make real our salvation. We can’t see God’s grace; we can only believe it’s real. We can’t see God’s mercy that grants us forgiveness of all sin, but we believe we receive it at salvation. We have never seen God, but we believe He is real. We believe it so strongly that we give our hearts and lives to it.
There are many names for God, and each one describes another one of His attributes. God is the I Am. He is Lord, Heavenly Father, Mighty God, Father of Lights, King Eternal, Almighty God, Eternal God, Living God, Holy One of Israel, etc. God is love. God is Good. God is gracious and merciful, and kind. God is the Creator. What other names do you know Him by? A simple study of your Bible will reveal His names to you.
More studies at http://www.newbeginmin1.org/BIBLESTUDYOPENING.html
About: I am a pastor, wife for almost 43 years, mother of a son and daughter, grandmother of three boys and one girl. As pastor of New Beginnings Ministry, it is my daily task to work on our two websites as well as monitor our chat rooms. We have a weekly Bible study on Sunday and Thursday nights at 8:00 eastern time in the chat rooms. Everyone is welcome to join us. I also write revsnotes which are occasional studies or musings I send to a list of people who have signed up to receive them, write guest articles for www.Ciloa.org and blog here at praize.Back to Blog | Add to Buddy List
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