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Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society, Spring 1994—Volume 7:12


IS FAITH A GIFT?
A STUDY OF EPHESIANS 2:8
 
GREGORY P. SAPAUGH
Kingwood, Texas
 
I. Introduction 

The nature of faith is a prominent part of the soteriological discussions of recent years. Some believe that salvation is a gift from God and even the faith a person exercises in order to be saved comes from God. Others likewise hold that salvation is a free gift but see faith as being personal. In other words, believing is the role of the individual in securing the gift of salvation. 

Ephesians 2:8 is a significant passage in this debate. It says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” This article will interpret the verse and render a conclusion regarding the source of faith. 

II. The Text

 The transliterated Greek text of Eph 2:8 is as follows: te gar chariti este sesosmenoi dia tes pisteos; kai touto ouk ex hymon, Theou to doron.[1] The only textual variant concerns the presence or omission of the article tes in the prepositional phrase dia tes pisteos. The inclusion of tes is supported by A, D (first corrected copy), Athos, and the great majority of the manuscripts (i.e., the Majority Text). On the other hand Aleph, B, D (original copy), F, G, P. 6, 33, 104, 1175, 1739, 2464, 2495, and a few Coptic versions omit the article. 

Since the presence of tes is supported by the majority of manuscripts as well as one important uncial in the Alexandrian family (and is therefore of great antiquity), it can be concluded from the external evidence that the article is original. 

With regard to internal data, the preposition dia plus the genitive of pistis occurs two other times in Ephesians. In both 3:12 and 17 the article tes is used by Paul. This would tend to support the appearance of the article in 2:8. 

Although the external and internal data support the inclusion of the article tes in 2:8, its presence or absence is not of critical importance to the interpretation of the passage. The basic meaning of the prepositional phrase is simply “through faith.” 

The translation of the verse according to the various versions is as follows: 

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God (King James Version; italics in original). 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God (New King James Version; italics in original). 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (New International Version). 

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God (New American Standard Version; italics in original). 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God (New Revised Standard Version). 

Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God (Jerusalem Bible). 

For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God (Amplified Bible; italics in original). 

For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved, through faith. It is not your own doing, but God’s gift (Today’s English Version). 

For it is by his grace you are saved, through trusting him; it is not your own doing. It is God’s gift (New English Bible). 

For it is by grace that you are saved, through faith. This does not depend on anything you have achieved, it is the free gift of God (Phillips Modern English Version). 

I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God (New Century Version). 

Because of his kindness, you have been saved through trusting Christ. And even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God (Living Bible). 

III. The Interpretation 

A. The Context 

Ephesians 1-3 may be termed the “doctrine” section of the Epistle. Here Paul writes of some of the great truths of the Christian faith, particularly regarding salvation. In chap 1, he tells the Ephesian believers of the great spiritual blessings that are theirs in Christ. Beginning in chap 2, Paul reminds them of their spiritual state prior to being saved. The Ephesian believers had been dead in their sins (2:1,5) and had lived only to gratify their flesh (2:2-3). But the gracious and merciful God demonstrated His great love for them by providing salvation through His Son (2:4-7). In 2:8-10, Paul summarizes the salvation experience and focuses on the work of God through Christ for us. 

B. Grace

 Ephesians 2:8 begins with te gar chariti (“for by grace”). The conjunction gar (“for”) is explanatory.[2] Paul is explaining the reason why God, for all eternity, will show believers “the exceeding riches of His grace” (Eph 2:7). Because He saved believers by grace, God will forever show them His grace. 

Te chariti (“by grace”) is the instrumental dative. It is the means by which the Ephesians “have been saved.”[3] This is synonymous with grace being the grounds of salvation, which is how some prefer to express it.[4] 

The article te is probably anaphoric, i.e., it refers back to the usage of charis in 2:5, 7[5] Paul now, in 2:8, will expand on the concept of grace which was previously spoken of in a more general way. 

But it may be that the article makes charis, an abstract noun, more concrete. Therefore in 2:8, the reference is not to grace in general or as an abstract concept, but rather to the historical fact of grace expressed in the death of Christ to secure salvation for humanity. In 2:5, the absence of the article focuses on the inherent quality of grace and that salvation is by grace and nothing else.[6] 

Te chariti also occupies the most emphatic position in the sentence.[7] Paul wants to emphasize the grace of God and the role it plays in salvation. 

For Paul, grace is from God[8] and is the basis for justification:[9] 

To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (Eph 1:6-7; emphasis added). 

Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Rom 3:24; emphasis added).

 Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began (2 Tim 1:9; emphasis added). 

That having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:7; emphasis added). 

Grace, then, is the foundation for all that follows. God took the initiative and poured out His favor on undeserving man by giving “His only begotten Son” (John 3:16) as the payment for sin. On the basis of the death of His Son, God was free to declare men righteous by faith. 

C. Salvation

  Salvation is expressed by the periphrastic participle este sesosmenoi (“you have been saved”). The perfect tense of the participle signifies the present state resulting from a prior occurrence.’[10] In other words, the Ephesian believers are now saved due to their past faith. However, the time element is not so clear and the focus may simply be on the present state of salvation with no implication of the prior action which produced it.[11] 

In the writings of Paul, salvation may have different meanings depending on the context. For example, in Philippians, Paul uses soteria (“salvation”) in a temporal sense, as in 1:19: “For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance (or “salvation”: soteria) through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (see also 1:28; 2:12).[12] 

In Ephesians, salvation is equivalent to everlasting life. The context of Ephesians 1 and 2 makes this clear. The noun soteria (“salvation”), is used only in Eph 1:13: “In Him you also, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (emphasis added).[13] Some other Pauline passages where salvation is the same as in Eph 2:8 are: 

For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe (1 Cor 1:21; emphasis added). 

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His-mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5; emphasis added). 

D. Faith 

The prepositional phrase dia tes pisteos (“through faith”) follows next.[14] The preposition dia denotes means.[15] This might also be expressed as cause[16] or agency.[17] The means or agent of salvation is faith.[18] Lincoln comments about faith: 

God’s act of grace is the ground of salvation and faith is the means by which it becomes effective in a person’s life. In Paul’s thinking faith can never be viewed as a meritorious work because in connection with justification he always contrasts faith with works of the law (cf. Gal 2:16; 3:2-5, 9, 10; Rom 3:27, 28). Faith involves the abandonment of any attempt to justify oneself and an openness to God which is willing to accept what he has done in Christ. The same applies here in regard to salvation. Faith is a human activity but a specific kind of activity, a response which allows salvation to become operative, which receives what has already been accomplished by God in Christ.[19] 

That salvation is by faith in Christ is a consistent theme in the writings of Paul:

 Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe (Rom 3:22; emphasis added).[20] 

To demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus (Rom 3:26; emphasis added). 

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law (Rom 3:28; emphasis added). 

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom 5:1; emphasis added). 

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified (Gal 2:16; emphasis added). 

And Luke records the words of Paul in Acts 16:31: 

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” (emphasis added). 

Concerning faith, Eadie concludes: 

But this grace does not operate immediately and universally. Its medium is faith . . . Salvation by grace is not arbitrarily attached to faith by the mere sovereign dictate of the Most High, for man’s willing acceptance of salvation is essential to his possession of it, and the operation of faith is just the sinner’s appreciation of the divine mercy, and his acquiescence in the goodness and wisdom of the plan of recovery. . . Justification by faith alone, is simply pardon enjoyed on the one condition of taking it.[21] 

E. The Demonstrative Pronoun 

The phrase kai touto ouk ex hymon (“and this not of yourselves”) occurs next in the verse. Kai touto is interpreted most simply as “and this,” although it may be understood adverbially as “and at that,” “and especially,” “and that too,” or “and indeed.”[22] 

The demonstrative pronoun touto is the neuter singular nominative of houtos, “this.” Generally, a pronoun agrees with its antecedent in gender and number. In this sentence, neither chariti (“grace”) nor pisteos (“faith”) satisfy this requirement since both nouns are feminine in gender.[23] 

A pronoun also may agree ad sensum (in meaning or sense) with the antecedent. If this is the case here, then the likely antecedent of touto is the nearest one, i.e., pisteos (“faith”). In this view, even the faith of the Ephesians has its origin in God.[24] Hanse comments: 

God does not merely give to both Jews and Gentiles the possibility of faith; He effects faith in them. Eph. 2:8 makes it especially plain that all is of grace and that human merit is completely ruled out. To understand the Pauline and then the Lutheran doctrine of justification it is essential to make it clear that faith is not a new human merit which replaces the merit of works, that it is not a second achievement which takes the place of the first, that it is not something which man has to show, but that justification by faith is an act of divine grace. Faith is not the presupposition of the grace of God. As a divine gift, it is the epitome and demonstration of the grace of God.[25] 

A major problem with this position concerns the grammar. If Paul wanted to refer to pistis (“faith”), he could have written the feminine haute, instead of the neuter touto, and his meaning would have been clear. Why would he change the gender if he wanted to refer to pistis?[26] 

A neuter pronoun may also be used to refer to a phrase or summarize a thought. This seems to be the best solution in Ephesians 2:8. Touto refers back to the entire phrase te gar chariti este sesosmenoi dia tes pisteos (“for by grace you have been saved through faith”). Therefore, the whole salvation experience, which occurs by means of the grace of God when a person believes, is what is referred to by kai touto ouk ex hyman (“and this not of yourselves”).[27] 

This position is further supported by the parallelism between ouk ex hymon (“and this not of yourselves”) in 2:8 and ouk ex ergon (“not of works”) in 2:9. The latter phrase would not be meaningful if it referred to pisteos (“faith”). Instead, it clearly means that salvation is “not of works.” Therefore, these two clauses refer back to the introductory clause of 2:8 and the entire salvation experience.[28] 

The preposition ex in the phrase ex hymon (“and this not of yourselves”) denotes source.[29] As a whole, the phrase means “not as proceeding from yourselves or of your own performance” (italics in original).[30] God is the Originator of salvation, not man. Justification is not based on personal righteousness but on the righteousness of Christ: “And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” (Phil 3:9). Calvin summarizes: 

First, he asserts that the salvation of the Ephesians was entirely the work, the free work, of God; but they had obtained this grace by faith. On one side, we must look at God; and, on the other, at men. God declares that He owes us nothing; so that salvation is not a reward or recompense, but mere grace. Now it may be asked how men receive the salvation offered to them by the hand of God? I reply, by faith. Hence he concludes that here is nothing of our own. If, on the part of God, it is grace alone, and if we bring nothing but faith, which strips us of all praise, it follows that salvation is not of us.[31]

 F. The Gift of God 

Since touto refers to the previous phrase te gar chariti este sesosmenoi dia tes pisteos (“for by grace you have been saved through faith”), Theou to doron (“the gift of God”) is salvation. God gives everlasting life, by grace, to the one who believes in Christ. Theou (“of God”) is placed first here for emphasis and to create a contrast with ouk ex hymon (“not of yourselves”).[32] Grace is not a gift, it is the basis of the gift.[33] Faith is not a gift, it is the means by which the gift is received. Salvation is the gift. Hoehner writes: “This salvation does not have its source in man (it is ‘not from yourselves’), but rather, its source is God’s grace, for ‘it is the gift of God.”[34]  

Scripture does not seem to support the idea that faith is a gift from God. The Bible simply calls upon people to believe. One example is in Romans 4. Here Paul cites Abraham as one who was declared righteous by God on the basis of faith and not works (4:1-3). In verse five Paul writes, “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (emphasis added). The personal faith of the one who does not work but only believes is what results in justification. There is no intimation that this faith is anything other than his own personal faith.  

Another example is in John 11. In verses 25-26, Jesus addresses Martha and says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” In 11:27, Martha responds: by saying, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” In the interplay of the words of Jesus and Martha there is not the slightest hint that her faith is anything but her own conviction concerning the words of Jesus. There is a simple response of “Yes … I believe” to a simple question, “Do you believe this?” 

The fact that faith is a personal response on the part of people must be balanced with the fact that God is sovereign. The Bible clearly teaches that God convicts men of their need for salvation: 

Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven (Matt 16:17).[35] 

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up the last day (John 6:44). 

Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father (John 6:65). 

And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged (John 16: 8-11). 

But as has been shown, the Bible also clearly exhorts individuals to believe. The fact that God convicts people of their need of a Savior and reveals to them the truth concerning Christ is not the same thing as saying that He gives them their faith. In commenting on Eph 2:8, Chafer writes: 

The point in the verse is that salvation is by grace in its totality…Though it is true that faith on the part of an unsaved person would be impossible apart from divine help, it nevertheless is a human decision, however difficult it may be to separate the human work from the divine work. The problem with making faith a particular gift from God is that it removes from man any responsibility to believe and leaves it entirely in the hands of God. If this were true it would be useless to exhort men to believe inasmuch as they could not do so.[36] 

The relationship between the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man is an age-old question and one that is a paradox from a human point of view. God convicts people of their need to be justified. He discloses to them the truth of the person of Christ. But “the convicting work of the Spirit in itself does not assure salvation.”[37] Individuals must believe. Ephesians 2:8 simply states that when a person believes in Jesus Christ, he receives the free gift of salvation. 

Eadie concludes: 

Men are saved by grace. . . and that salvation which has its origin in grace is not won from God, nor is it wrung from Him; “His is the gift.” Look at salvation in its origin—it is “by grace.” Look at it in its reception—it is “through faith.” Look at it in its manner of conferment—it is a “gift.” For faith, though an indispensable instrument does not merit salvation as a reward; and grace operating only through faith, does not suit itself to congruous worth, nor single it out as its sole recipient. Salvation, in its broadest sense, is God’s gift.[38] 

IV. Conclusion 

Ephesians 2:8 is a magnificent statement concerning the eternal salvation which is graciously provided by God through the medium of faith in Jesus Christ. Faith is not a divine gift from God. Faith is a personal conviction which a person exercises when he or she encounters Jesus the Christ. The clear exhortation from Paul and the other NT writers is for people to believe. There is no biblical data to warrant the belief that faith itself is given by God. Robertson correctly concludes, ‘“Grace’ is God’s part, ‘faith’ ours.”[39] God provides the free gift of salvation on the basis of His grace. People must receive the free gift of salvation by means of faith. Such is the clear and distinct message of Eph 2:8.

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[1] Based on The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text, 2d. ed., edited by Zane C. Hodges and Arthur L. Farstad (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1985).

[2] Eadie, A Commentary on the Greek Text of the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians, 2d. ed. (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1861), 153; Charles J. Ellicott, A Commentary, Critical and Grammatical, on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians, 2d. ed. (Andover: Warren F. Draper, 1862), 49; Andrew T. Lincoln, Ephesians, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word Books, Publisher, 1990), 111. Cause is another valid option for gar. See A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1930), 4: 525.

[3] Ellicott, Ephesians, 49; Fritz Rienecker, A Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament, ed. Cleon L. Rogers, Jr. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), 525; A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, 3d. ed. (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934), 533. Eadie calls chariti a dative of source. See Eadie, Ephesians, 153.

[4] Zane C. Hodges, Absolutely Free: A Biblical Reply to Lordship Salvation (Dallas: Redenciòn Viva, 1989), 219; Lincoln, Ephesians, 111.

[5] T. K. Abbott, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles to the Ephesians and to the Colossians, The International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark Limited, n.d.), 51; Henry Alford, The Greek Testament, 4th ed. (London: Rivingtons, 1865), 3:94; F. F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1984), 289; Eadie, Ephesians, 154; Ellicott, Ephesians, 49; Lincoln, Ephesians, 111; Robertson, Word Pictures, 4: 525; 5. D. F. Salmond, “The Epistle to the Ephesians,” in The Expositor’s Greek Testament, ed. W. Robertson Nicoll (London: Hodder and Stoughton Limited, 1900-1910; reprint, Grand Rapids:

Zondervan Publishing House, 1984), 3:289.

[6] H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1927), 142;James Hope Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, vol. 3, Syntax, by Nigel Turner (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark Limited, 1963), 176; Maximilian Zerwick, Biblical Greek Illustrated by Examples, English ed. adapted from the 4th Latin ed. by

Joseph Smith (Rome: Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblici, 1963), 57.

[7] Eadie, Ephesians, 153; Ellicott, Ephesians, 49.

[8] E.g., “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:2; emphasis added). Cf. Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:3; 2 Cor 1:2; Gal 1:3; Phil 1:2; Col 1:2; 1 Thess 1:1; 2 Thess 1:2; 1 Tim 1:2; 2 Tim 1:2; Titus 1:4; Phlm 1:3.

[9] “In Ephesians, salvation is equal to justification. This is not always true for Paul.

[10] Ellicott, Ephesians, 49-50.

[11] F. Blass and A. Debrunner, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, trans. and rev. Robert W. Funk (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1961), 134-35 (hereafter referred to as BDF); C. F. D. Moule, An Idiom Book of New Testament Greek, 2d. ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1959), 18-19.

[12] For a discussion of these passages see Robert N. Wilkin, “Working Out Your Salvation: Philippians 2:12,” The Grace Evangelical Society News (May-June 1993), 2-3.

[13] In Ephesians, the verb sozo (“save”) is used only in 2:5, 8.

[14] Some commentators believe the article is here used as a possessive pronoun, i.e., “through your faith.” This would support the idea that faith is personal and is not a gift from God. See Alford, The Greek Testament, 3:94; Eadie, Ephesians, 154.

[15] Eadie, Ephesians, 153; Zane C. Hodges, Absolutely Free: A Biblical Reply to Lordship Salvation (Dallas: Redenciòn Viva, 1989), 219; Harold W. Hoehner, “Ephesians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament Edition, edited by John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1983), 624; Lincoln, Ephesians, 111; Salmond, “Ephesians,” 289.

[16] Walter Bauer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 2d ed., trans. William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, rev, and augmented F. Wilbur Gingrich and Frederick W. Danker (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1979), s.v. dia, 180 (hereafter referred to as BAGD); Ellicott, Ephesians, 49; M.J. Harris, “Appendix,” in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, ed. Colin Brown (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1978), 3:1189-90.

[17] Robertson, Grammar, 582.

[18] Although the object of faith is not mentioned here, Paul elsewhere writes that the Lord Jesus Christ is the object of faith (cf. Rom 3:24, 26; Gal 2:16).

[19] Lincoln, Ephesians, 111.

[20] In Greek, the phrase “through faith in Jesus Christ” is dia pisteos Iesou Christou. Iesou Christou is the objective genitive. Jesus Christ is the object of faith. This is also the case in Rom 3:26 and Gal 2:16.

[21] Eadie, Ephesians, 154.

[22] BAGD, s.v. houtos, 597; BDF, 151; Robertson, Grammar, 118 1-82; Turner, Syntax, 45.

[23] This, however, does not absolutely rule out the possibility of the neuter pronoun referring to a non-neuter antecedent. See Abbott, Ephesians and Colossians, 51; Salmond, “Ephesians,” 289.

[24] John F. MacArthur, Jr., Faith Works: The Gospel According to the Apostles (Dallas: Word Publishing, 1993), 69, 149; The Gospel According to Jesus (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1988), 172-73; Salmond, “Ephesians,” 289. Eadie says this position is supported by Chrysostom, Theodoret, Jerome, Erasmus, Beza, Crocius, Cocceius, Grotius, Estius, Bengel, Meier, Baumgarten Crusius, Bisping, and Hodge. See Eadie, Ephesians, 155. This is also the clearly expressed position of the Living Bible paraphrase.

[25] H. Hanse, s.v. “langchano,” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Kittel, trans. and ed. by Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967), 4:2.

[26] Eadie, Ephesians, 155.

[27] Bruce, Colossians, Philemon, and Ephesians, 290; John Calvin, The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, trans. by T. H. L. Parker, ed. by David W. Torrance and Thomas F. Torrance (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965), 144-45; Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, abridged ed., edited by John F. Walvoord (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1988), 2:129; Hodges, Absolutely Free, 219; Hoehner, “Ephesians,” 624; Lincoln, Ephesians, 112; Robertson, Grammar, 704, 1182; Word Pictures, 4: 525; Salmond, “Ephesians,” 289.

[28] Alford, The Greek Testament, 3:94; Eadie, Ephesians, 155-57; Lincoln, Ephesians, 112.

[29] Eadie, Ephesians, 155; Lincoln, Ephesians, 112; Robertson, Word Pictures, 4: 525. This could also be termed origin or cause.

[30] Salmond, “Ephesians,” 289.

[31] Calvin, Ephesians, 144.

[32] Abbott, Ephesians and Colossians, 51; Alford, The Greek Testament, 94; Eadie, Ephesians, 156; Ellicott, Ephesians, 50; Lincoln, Ephesians, 112.

[33] As Hodges has said, “The giving of a gift is an act of ‘grace,’ but ‘grace,’ when viewed as a principle or basis of Divine action, is never said to be a ‘gift’ or part of a ‘gift” (italics in original). See Hodges, Absolutely Free, 219.

[34] Hoehner, “Ephesians,” 624.

[35] This is the response of Jesus to the declaration by Peter in Matt 16:16: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

[36]  Chafer, Systematic Theology, 2:129.

[37] Ibid., 2:130.

[38] Eadie, Ephesians, 157

[39] Robertson, Word Pictures, 4: 525.

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