An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 137 of 270
One other passage demands a consideration, namely Ephesians 2:8:
'For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God'.
In the passage before us this salvation which is by grace is declared
to be through faith, and this statement is followed by the words, 'and that
not of yourselves: it is the gift of God'.  If the latter statement be
limited to faith, it is apt to lend colour to a hyper -calvinistic view that
becomes almost fatalism.  The word rendered 'that', however, in the
expression.  'and that not of yourselves', does not agree with the word
'faith': rather must we conceive of 'a grace -by -faith -salvation' as a
whole, and realize that this is the gift of God.  This gift is evidently
unique.  The Greek word translated 'gift' here is doron.  Its first
occurrence is in Matthew 2:11 where the Wise Men bring their gifts of gold,
frankincense and myrrh in worship.  It is associated with the work of a
mediating priest (Heb. 5:1; 8:3,4; 9:9) and with the offering made by Abel
(Heb. 11:4).
In nearly every case the word doron refers to a gift or an oblation
brought By Man to God, but Ephesians 2:8 is the glorious exception.  Here it
is that grace makes the great reversal, and represents God as coming forth
With an Oblation to Man! another of the features of Ephesians that make that
Epistle unique.  (See for further notes, Gift, p. 247).
To understand the abyss of sin and the power of its dominion; to ponder
the vanity of life which ends in the grave; to know, only too well, the utter
inability of the flesh to accomplish justification by works is to realize
something of the blessedness of this great salvation.  It is nothing less
than the exchange of the horrible pit and the miry clay for the solid rock.
This puts a new song into our mouths, a song that glories in grace.
Had such a salvation cost us our all, it would have been beyond our
estimation; what then shall we say when we realize that this, which has
verily lifted us from the dunghill and seated us with princes, is the gift of
God?  He has done all, provided all, and we are the unworthy recipients.
This is salvation by grace through faith, not of works, it is the gift of
God.  It is expressly so planned to exclude boasting.  Salvation in all its
parts, wisdom, and righteousness, as well as sanctification and redemption,
is in Christ:
'... in order that, according as it hath been written, He that
boasteth, let him boast in the Lord' (1 Cor. 1:30,31 author's
We must beware of thinking that until and unless God gives to the
sinner a miraculous gift, he cannot believe, for this reduces all preaching
to a piece of theatricals.  John puts it this way:
'If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater' (1
John 5:9).
If we believe the
of fallible, erring and sinful men, as we
must and do in order to
live at
all, how much easier, how much more
reasonable should it be
for man
to believe God!  Again, 'He that believeth
not God hath made Him a
True, our reason has become blighted and