FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
“8For by grace (Gr., charis) you have been saved, through the faith5 —and this not of yourselves, it is the gift (Gr., doron) of God— 9 not by works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8, 9, Wilbur Pickering’s New Testament)-.
This aricle includes excerpts from Grace, a Free Ride to Heaven? GRACE IS A GIFT Chapter 9
We have established that “grace” alone does not meet the test of proximity for it to be the antecedent for the “gift” in Ephesians 2:8. Also, it does not meet the test of being in the correct “gender.” “A Greek pronoun like in English must agree with its antecedent in number and gender”.i Although “the faith” meets the test of proximity, it does not meet the criterion of gender either.
THE “OFFERING” GIFT FROM GOD
Ephesians 2:8 → A Sacrifice?
“By grace are you saved through the faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
Continuing with the word “gift” (doronG1435, Strong’s definition: “sacrifice”). Rule set forth in the previous section is a “gift offering” is from the lesser to the greater; e.g., a sacrifice from man to deity.
If we interpret Ephesians 2:8 to mean that God is offering a “doron” gift to a human being for their favor, then this would be contrary to how it is used in the entire Bible. It would contradict the “solicitation for grace” principle of Hebrews 7:7, “And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.” A gift from God to honor man would be more than unusual since the word (“doron” gift) consistently refers to man giving a sacrificial gift to God or a lesser being giving a present to a greater in order to receive a blessing or favor (grace). Would God seek the grace from a man that is in his mind had been subject to “the prince of the power of the air who works in the children of disobedience” (previous verse in Ephesians 2:2)? I think not.
Although the parallel passage for Ephesians 2:8-10 in Colossians 1:20-23 does not mention the word “gift”, it does explain that the sacrificial offering that Jesus has given for the salvation of mankind is revealed in the faith which is the gospel. So then, the record in Colossians becomes a commentary to us on what the gift of God is. “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself” … “In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister” (Colossians 1:20, 22, 23).
Jesus offered Himself as the ultimate “altar” gift for man to offer to God. “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests (of the Law of Moses), to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself” (Hebrews 7:27).
Man in and of himself as a sinner (“his works”, Colossians 1:20-22) cannot offer a sufficiently worthy donor gift to God to atone for his sins. So God has provided for us the gift that He authorizes us to render according to His will (Ephesians 1:6, 7).
What offering could man give to God that would be sufficient? Everything belongs to God. “The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalms 24:1). Likewise, He “neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:24). However, just as God by type provided the sacrificial ram as a gift for Abraham to offer to Him God (instead of Isaac in the previous section), surely God provides to man the only approved sacrificial gift offering for man to render back to God.
Hebrews 9 explains that the doronG1435 gifts and sacrifices of the OT tabernacle that was imposed until the time of reformation “could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience” (Hebrews 9:9). “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12).
The idolaters have their “altar” table of communion with devils with what they have sacrificed but Christians partake of the Lord’s “altar” table with the bread and the fruit of the vine (1 Corinthians 10:20, 21) commemorating our Lord’s one time body sacrifice for us.
“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:23, 24).
This power is provided through the gospel, the faith. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
This saving grace is available then through “the faith”, the gospel, at the feet, as it were, of our resurrected Lord and King (Hebrews 2:8).
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15, 16).
This underscores the importance of our showing our gratitude by continuously being participants weekly in the memorial Lord’s Table, the sacrificial table of the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:16-21) just as the first century disciples practiced (Acts 20:7). It all ties together in the perfect Law of Liberty revealed in the Faith of the New Testament (James 1:25 & Jude 3).