Saturday, December 19, 2015

What Does It Mean To Be Saved By Grace?

Ephesians 2:8

"For by grace you are saved through faith and this not of yourselves [it is] of God the gift." (Greek Interlinear Bible)

First of all let's define the words 'grace' and 'saved'.

1) Grace - Strong's Concordance

Charis: grace, kindness
Original Word: χάρις, ιτος, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Transliteration: charis
Phonetic Spelling: (khar'-ece)
Short Definition: grace, favor, kindness
Definition: (a) grace, as a gift or blessing brought to man by Jesus Christ, (b) favor, (c) gratitude, thanks, (d) a favor, kindness.

2) Saved - Strong's Concordance

Sózó: to save
Original Word: σῴζω
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: sózó
Phonetic Spelling: (sode'-zo)
Short Definition: I save, heal
Definition: I save, heal, preserve, rescue.

Ok, now that we have the meaning of the two words we can begin to understand what Paul was saying to the Ephesian saints.

The first thing we need to understand is that Paul preached to some disciples in Ephesus on one of his missionary journeys and they were converted to Christ by believing the word Paul spoke and then being baptized in water and the Holy Spirit.

Acts 19:1-7

"And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all." (NKJV)

Now we can also understand that the epistle to the Ephesians was initially written to those who were already converted to Christ by obeying the New Covenant ordinances of baptism in water and the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:1

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:"

Now let's come back to Ephesians 2:8 and apply the definitions of 'grace' and 'saved', and apply what we have learned above to this text so we can understand what Paul wrote.

"For by grace you (Ephesians) are saved through faith and this not of yourselves [it is] of God the gift."

Paul is saying, 'brethren, by God's favor, and His kindness, He saves you, you are healed, you are preserved and rescued from danger, death, and His wrath'.

Nowhere in these scriptures is Paul telling the Ephesian saints what they should DO in order to be saved or converted to Christ like he told the disciples he met when he entered Ephesus! (Acts 19:1-7)

So those who quote Ephesians 2:8 today, as proof text of their salvation are in error and should repent!

To be saved (healed, preserved, rescued), by God's grace (favor, kindness), is a daily blessing and provision for those who have been truly converted to Christ, who abide in Him, and are faithful to Him everyday.

The salvation of the soul is also a future blessing for those who endure until the end.

Matthew 24:13

"But he who endures to the end shall be saved"

There are many who say 'I got saved at this time', or 'I've been saved for x amount of years', etc... those are cliché phrases that are taught and quoted by those who do not understand what it really means to be 'saved by grace!'

In Jesus,