A Short Study of Ephesians 2:8-9
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Whatever is man’s duty is God’s claim; and whatever is man’s duty is demanded to be of him; and consequently if faith unto salvation be the natural man’s duty, then faith is accordingly demanded of man, and should be of him, and a great and grievous fault must lie against the natural man for not having faith of himself. This is how the matter must stand for faith to be of man, and to be the natural man’s duty. But this is altogether opposed to the apostle’s inspired testimony of faith, saying, “By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). These words were not spoken in any way to find fault with the Ephesians because their faith was not as a matter of duty produced of themselves, nor yet to say that it should have been of themselves, but to commend the great love and free favour of God, and to cut off all occasion of boasting after the flesh, either about the matter of their salvation, or the means by which they obtained and enjoyed it; shewing that the one was as perfectly of grace, and of grace only from first to last, as the other is; saying, that faith is not only the gift of God, but that it is not of man, either by human production, or by divine requirement; for that God had determined that it should not be of works, and so not of duty, lest any man should boast.