salvation-handsHere is the basic verse I am looking at. Ephesians 2:8 (paraphrased) For you are saved by grace, through faith; it is the gift of God.

Grace is God’s influence on the heart. It is freely given, not based on anything we have done. We don’t earn a gift. The Greek word translated as grace is charis, from which we get the word, charismatic.

Now see this: the word translated as gift is doron. It means a gift, present.

  • gifts offered in expression of honor
  • of sacrifices and other gifts offered to God
  • of money cast into the treasury for the purposes of the temple and for the support of the poor
  • the offering of a gift or of gifts

So the gift of God’s influence and favor (charis) is given as an offering or honor. In other words, grace is freely given, showing divine favor. But it’s more. Jesus gave Himself as an offering, for us, as the word doron implies. He is our salvation. Our gift. Amazing God, amazing grace!

Here is a friend’s breakdown of the Ephesians 2:8 sentence:

Subject: “You” Predicate: “are saved” (present participle I think) Adverb phrase: “by grace” modified by additional adverb phrase “through faith”… then compound sentence this is the subject (being saved) “is” (implied predicate) “of yourselves” is prepositional phrase modifying subject, then simply “it” (subject) “is” predicate “the gift of God” is the predicate object. How’s that for “it’s Greek to me”? (Thank you, Michael Proctor)

I think we can read it this way: So then by His grace/divine influence on our hearts (and His favor towards us) we are made whole (and delivered from death) because we have trusted/believed God; and this wholeness is a gift from God. We did nothing to earn it. I believe that the Holy Spirit is the agency by which this works.

God has made us so that we have the ability to trust/believe/be persuaded/have faith. Then He is working, drawing us, through grace. It’s twice a gift. Grace is a gift, and salvation is a gift.

Grace opens our hearts and draws us to God. Then we hear and we are persuaded and we trust. In other words, we have faith and believe. It’s the same word in the Greek – pistis, to trust or be persuaded; or being trustworthy and faithful.

Or, in some cases, we just see and believe. Who can stand in the light of His love? I don’t believe anyone can see Him and not be changed. Some believe that eventually everyone will see, and run to meet the One who is running to meet them.

 What an awesomely beautiful thing He has done.