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7so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.


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7. Greek, "That He might show forth (middle reflexive voice; for His own glory, Eph 1:6, 12, 14) in the ages which are coming on," that is, the blessed ages of the Gospel which supersede "the age (Greek, for 'course') of this world" (Eph 2:2), and the past "ages" from which the mystery was hidden (Col 1:26, 27). These good ages, though beginning with the first preaching of the Gospel, and thenceforth continually succeeding one another, are not consummated till the Lord's coming again (compare Eph 1:21; Heb 6:5). The words, "coming on," do not exclude the time then present, but imply simply the ages following upon Christ's "raising them up together" spiritually (Eph 2:6).

kindness—"benignity."

through Christ—rather, as Greek, "in Christ"; the same expression as is so often repeated, to mark that all our blessings center "IN Him."

8. For—illustrating "the exceeding riches of His grace in kindness." Translate as in Eph 2:5, "Ye are in a saved state."

through faith—the effect of the power of Christ's resurrection (Eph 1:19, 20; Php 3:10) whereby we are "raised together" with Him (Eph 2:6; Col 2:12). Some of the oldest manuscripts read, "through your (literally, 'the') faith." The instrument or mean of salvation on the part of the person saved; Christ alone is the meritorious agent.

and that—namely, the act of believing, or "faith." "Of yourselves" stands in opposition to, "it is the gift of God" (Php 1:29). "That which I have said, 'through faith,' I do not wish to be understood so as if I excepted faith itself from grace" [Estius]. "God justifies the believing man, not for the worthiness of his belief, but for the worthiness of Him in whom he believes" [Hooker]. The initiation, as well as the increase, of faith, is from the Spirit of God, not only by an external proposal of the word, but by internal illumination in the soul [Pearson]. Yet "faith" cometh by the means which man must avail himself of, namely, "hearing the word of God" (Ro 10:17), and prayer (Lu 11:13), though the blessing is wholly of God (1Co 3:6, 7).

9. Not of works—This clause stands in contrast to "by grace," as is confirmed by Ro 4:4, 5; 11:6.

lest—rather, as Greek, "that no man should boast" (Ro 3:27; 4:2).

10. workmanship—literally, "a thing of His making"; "handiwork." Here the spiritual creation, not the physical, is referred to (Eph 2:8, 9).

created—having been created (Eph 4:24; Ps 102:18; Isa 43:21; 2Co 5:5, 17).

unto good works—"for good works." "Good works" cannot be performed until we are new "created unto" them. Paul never calls the works of the law "good works." We are not saved by, but created unto, good works.

before ordainedGreek, "before made ready" (compare Joh 5:36). God marks out for each in His purposes beforehand, the particular good works, and the time and way which tie sees best. God both makes ready by His providence the opportunities for the works, and makes us ready for their performance (Joh 15:16; 2Ti 2:21).

that we should walk in them—not "be saved" by them. Works do not justify, but the justified man works (Ga 5:22-25).




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