Originally posted by Rajk999
Here is one from Paul which is a much abused passage to show that Christians have eternal life through faith and that no works are required:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV)
But later on in Ephesians 5 Paul lists some other r ...[text shortened]... such as righteous living and good works. Obviously then being saved does not equal eternal life
Continuing with the Ephesians passage, Paul tells the Ephesians that they were dead in their sinful past life, but are now brought to life by Christ. This is what Paul means by the expression saved by grace
. He means two things here:
1. that they are saved from their old sins and brought into a life in Christ - a new lifestyle, new rules of conduct, new morals and behavior which are expected of the Christian Saint,
2. that Christ's death paid the price of their sins past, the old man is dead and a new one emerges, and the curse of the sin of Adam is removed.
Nothing in the 'saved by grace' expression means that these Ephesian Saints
- either have eternal life already
- or are going to get any guarantee of eternal life in the future.
These Gentiles were simply brought out of a life of darkness and sins and shown a new way, with the hope of eternal life. It was not because of their good works that they were transformed into a new people. It was through the grace of God, not good works at all lest any should boast.
Still this Ephesians 2 chapter says nothing about eternal life. Eternal life and who gets into the Kingdom of God is dealt with in chapter 5. What is obvious is that Christian Saints who are saved are not necessarily going to enter the Kingdom of God and be given eternal life.