Made Whole by Grace through Faith
*Ephesians 2:8: For by grace are (2075) ye saved (4982) through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Here is the same verse from other Bible versions:
Contemporary English: You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God's gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own. (CEV)
Good News: For it is by God's grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God's gift (GNB).
International Standard: For by such grace you have been saved through faith. This does not come from you; it is the gift of God (ISV).
Revised Version: For by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (RV).
Living Bible: 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. (LB)
*Amplified Bible: For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved ([a] 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 (AB).
New International: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (NIV).
*Lexham English: For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (LEB).
*Verbs are correctly translated
Why the difference with the verb translations? I believe the translator’s belief influenced it. Note, in the KJ quote, that there are two verbs in the first phrase - the first is in the Present tense, while the second is in the Perfect tense. The Greek Perfect describes a process, that took place in the past, the results of which continued to the present. It has no exact equivalent in English. The more modern Bible versions translate the verbs to make it sound as though the Ephesians were already saved. It is commonly taught and preached today that since the cross everyone is under grace, for ye are not under the law, but under grace (Rom 6:14). Grace and faith are key components of the Christian walk, so it behooves us to understand the concept of both.
The Greek root for faith is peitho (3982) which from Strong’s means to convince, by analogy to conciliate. So faith, then, is conviction . Thayer renders faith as a conviction of truth of anything, belief. When a person is convinced of a truth, the result is they “believe” (4100). Only the Holy Spirit can convince a person’s heart of the truth (Jn 16:8). “Grace and truth” came by Jesus Christ (Jn 1:17). Faith is embodied in the truth: Isaiah 53:11: ...by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify (make righteous) many; for he shall bear (or, carry) their iniquities. All who will, are made righteous by Christ’s knowledge, which is His faith, or convictions.
It is important to understand what faith saves you: Galatians 2:16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. The majority of other Bibles supply the word “in” rather than “of.” To say that we are saved by “faith in Christ” makes it a man’s faith by which we are saved.
How does grace come into the picture? Romans 5:1-2: 1. Having been declared righteous, then, by faith, we have peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2. through whom also we have the access by the faith into this grace in which we have stood, and we boast on the hope of the glory of God. (Young’s Literal Translation - YLT) So, we have access to grace by Christ’s faith, his understanding of truth, as He explains scripture.
What is this grace to which we have access? Luke 6:30-34: (for context read verses 27-36) 30. 'And to every one who is asking of thee, be giving; and from him who is taking away thy goods, be not asking again; 31. and as ye wish that men may do to you, do ye also to them in like manner; 32. and - if ye love those loving you, what grace have ye? for also the sinful love those loving them; 33. and if ye do good to those doing good to you, what grace have ye? for also the sinful do the same; 34. and if ye lend [to those] of whom ye hope to receive back, what grace have ye? for also the sinful lend to sinners - that they may receive again as much. (YLT) King James and other translations put “thank” and some “credit.” These verses define grace as the divine love of the Father manifested in His only begotten Son.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: By “love” are you saved through the faith of Christ. The Son of God is the channel through which we have access to the understanding of God’s love for all humanity, and it is the cross that reveals the love.
Look briefly at the word translated saved (4982). As discussed above, the verb sozo (4982) indicates an on-going process. This makes much more sense when it is understood that we are to receive Christ’s understanding, all of which does not come instantaneously. The process is emphasized because so many Christians have the idea that as soon as they accept Jesus they are saved. However, the primary meaning of the verb sozo is made whole. It can also be translated “delivered.” Keep in mind also that God sees the end from the beginning, and therefore, when we accept the cross God sees us as complete, though it will take time to be made whole, even into the next world for many. To be made whole, then, is when a person consistently, day after day, walks in love.
Being made whole applies only to the inward man. How do I know that? Because in the resurrections of the righteous and the wicked, all come up with new bodies. The wicked, however, were never made whole inwardly. Matthew 9:21-22: 21. For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. 22. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. The woman believed that all she had to do was touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, and she would be healed of her disease. The woman was literally healed. So, how does that help us today?
The woman touched His garment with her finger, and Jesus said, “thy faith hath made thee whole.” A Finger is a symbol of faith, and clothing is a symbol of character. Luke 11:20: But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you. Finger here, represents God’s spirit, His understanding (Mt 12:28). We are convinced by the Spirit and partake of the character (righteousness) of Christ (1Pet 1:4).
Luke 8:49-50: 49. While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. 50. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. For the man to believe, he had to have been convinced that Jesus could heal his daughter. By the time Jesus arrived at the man’s house, his daughter had died (verses 51-56), and Jesus raised her from the dead. When we have been convinced by man to believe error, we become spiritually dead. Jesus raises us out of spiritual death into a resurrected life when we receive His faith (understanding). The fact that we are being saved is manifest by the love we show toward others.
The letter of the Ten Commandments are easy to see. However, the depth of the law reveals that if a person gossips, they are not walking in love; If you are getting angry with another person, then you need to seek the Lord as to what is causing it. Ephesians 6:4: And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Colossians 3:21: Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. When you provoke another person to anger, you are not showing love, but demonstrating that the flesh (carnal way of thinking) is in control.
Hebrews 10:28-30: 28. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29. Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30. For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongs unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. We are judged by whether or not we receive truth. The spirit of grace is the love of the Father in the Son through whom we are made whole.
Zechariah 12:9-10: 9. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations (inward characteristics) that come against Jerusalem (mind-set of Christ). 10. And I will pour upon the house of David (a type for Christ as king), and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Christ’s way of thinking), the spirit of grace and of supplications (earnest prayer): and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. It is the understanding that the Father gave us, not a role playing god, but a real Son, who gave His life for each of us, and we realize that our selfish pride is the principle that caused the death of the Son, because even our mind and conscience are defiled (Titus 1:15).
Eventually, God will appoint unto them that mourn in Zion (those that dwell in New Jerusalem), to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil (spirit) of joy for mourning, the garment (character) of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he (God) might be glorified (in our understanding). (Isa 61:3) Amen.