With respect to Eph. 2:8 we read that we are
'initially' SAVED by God's Divine GRACE (which is the SAME as God's Divine
FAVOR), greek chariti, the same word used in respect to Jesus increasing
in FAVOR with God (Lk. 2:52), through FAITH. Moreover, God's Salvation
CANNOT be 'merited' by any means or cause from man's individual
efforts...it is a free GIFT. This is the fundamental essence of Ex. 33:19
and Rom. 9:15..."I will have mercy/favor on who I will have favor."
This then attest to the absolute Sovereignty of God.
Ephesians 2:8 (KJV)
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Luke 2:52 (KJV)
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour
with God and man.
Therefore, as I have stated on many other occasions,
the FAITH of Eph. 2:8, is not the Faith given to us as a 'Gift' of God,
but the Free-Will exercise of our own personal Faith/Believing, directed
towards the object of God...Jesus and His Divine work of the CROSS. As
such, Heb. 11:16 reveals that it is therefore IMPOSSIBLE to PLEASE God
without Faith. Thus, the PLEASING of God can ONLY be accomplished through
our individual FAITH directed towards and in accordance with God's Word,
but CANNOT be merited by works...God is Sovereign.
With respect to
Rom 9:16 Paul reveals that God is indeed Sovereign over His own Favor and
Mercy, and that man CANNOT demand from God the wages of 'merit'
by ANY act of his (man's) own Will or Work, the FAVOR and Blessings of God
are then subject to the Sovereignty of God. Thus, it is the ABSOLUTE
RIGHTEOUS good pleasure of God who 'chooses' to Bless man. As
such, God has PREORDAINED before the foundation of the world His PLAN, and
has therefore laid down His terms and conditions for His Favor, Mercy and
Compassion - Obedient FAITH in His Word...and He will NOT wavier.
Romans 1:5 (KJV)
By whom we have received grace and
apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations,
for his name:
Romans 9:16 (KJV)
So then it is not of him that willeth,
nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
The Scripture is replete with men who have PLEASED God, by their personal
FAITH, and subsequently found the FAVOR of God (see Hebrews chpt. 11, et.
al)...Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, David, Jesus, John the
Baptist, Apostle Paul, Peter, James, John, Cornelius, and the lists goes
on and on... Nonetheless, the KEY in all cases is FAITH - Faith finds
However, while Faith finds the Favor of God, it by NO means OBLIGATES nor
supersedes the Sovereignty of God.
The summation is this, we are SAVED by the Divine FAVOR of God THROUGH the
exercise of our own personal Free-Will FAITH, directed towards the finding
of and Preordained PLEASING of God...FAITH in Jesus and HIS ETERNAL WORD
His Work of the CROSS.