For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says that the source of our salvation is grace. Grace is God’s unmerited favor toward us revealed in the redeeming love of His Son. The way God saves us is through faith. It is through faith we accept God’s gift of salvation that is offered by grace. Therefore, we are saved “by grace through faith.”
Faith gives us access to God’s grace (Romans 5:2). Without faith, God’s grace cannot bear fruit in us, and without grace, faith has no power. Faith in God’s grace has to be exercised to receive what God has provided through Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 2:8 refers to the gift of our salvation in Christ. Our salvation is not of ourselves. It is the gift of God. Grace and faith are not exclusive of each other. Just as salvation is a gift so is faith a gift of God. The faith we exercise to receive salvation is not of ourselves.
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3)
Grace has been given to you by God. Each Christian has been dealt a measure of faith by Him.
“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1).
Each Christian has obtained “like” precious faith. Each one has received the same “like” faith or the same measure of faith from God. Not one Christian has received more faith than another Christian. The difference is found in how much the gift of God’s faith has been exercised.
The faith given to us by God is faith that believes in the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). God’s kind of faith believes without seeing or needing physical proof.
To receive God’s gift of salvation, we had to use God’s kind of faith that isn’t limited by what we see or feel. This is because to be saved, we must believe in things that we can’t see or feel. We haven’t physically seen God or Satan. Yet, as believers, we believe each one exists. We don’t believe they exist because of our human faith that senses. Human faith can’t even believe the Gospel on its own. It takes God’s kind of faith to receive the gift of salvation.
God moves of His own free will by His grace. God gives us free will to exercise the faith that has been given to us by His grace. Faith only appropriates what God has already provided through His finished work of grace. Putting faith in what God has already provided by grace is the only way to live a victorious Christian life.
How do we understand what we have received “by grace through faith?” Paul says in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We received our salvation by God’s gift of faith when we heard His Word in our hearts. As we continually hear the Word of God, God’s faith comes alive in us so we can believe God’s Word and live by it.
We live by the faith of God.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, KJV).
God has given each believer a gift of His faith by hearing of the Word in his heart. It empowers us to live in Christ. This is not the spiritual gift of faith Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 12:9. The spiritual gift of faith is given to certain believers as the Holy Spirit decides. It is a supernatural faith that brings supernatural results. “The faith of the Son of God” mentioned by Paul in Galatians 2:20 is the measure of faith that God has dealt every believer. It is His faith given to us for salvation and to appropriate what God has provided in the redeeming love of Jesus. We must renew our minds with God’s Word to believe that we have received God’s kind of faith, and then learn how to exercise it.
“By grace through faith.”
This is how we receive salvation, and this is how we receive the truths of God’s salvation in our hearts. Grace and faith are God’s gifts that work together in our lives. They come not by our own merit or our own works or our own human faith, lest we should boast in any way. What Christ has given to us with His precious blood is precious beyond any measure. It is His Word yearning to live in us.
© 2023 Lynn Lacher