By grace, have you been saved through faith?


I’m not a Greek scholar, but I have been reading the Greek of Ephesians 2:8 and it uses the word “ἐστε” which reads “you are”. This strikes me as a present tense word and occurs in the Bible many times. Here are some examples:

Matthew 5:11 Blessed** are you** when they shall insult

Matthew 8:26 Why fearful **are you **O [you] of little faith Then

Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when shall hate

John 8:37 seed of Abraham** you are** but you seek

John 10:26 because not** you are** of the

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace** you are** saved through

The ESV seems to render this passage in the past tense, which seems incorrect:

2:8 For by grace **you have been **saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God

Whereas the KJV seems to get it right:

2:8 For by grace** are ye** saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Douay Rheims agrees with the KJV
2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, for it is the gift of God;

But the RSV writes similarly to the ESV

2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—

So, my question is this. Have you been saved by grace through faith? I believe it’s the Catholic position that no one is currently “saved” here on Earth but Paul seems to indicate that you are saved by grace through faith. Present tense, not future. What should we make of the original wording? What is Paul really trying to say.

Did he mean “You are” as in, it’s something that’s already happened and therefore you have been. Or does he mean it as some sort of a process? As in, “you are being saved”. I think the Catholic would take the latter.



I believe, as a Catholic, Jesus Christ saves us!

I believe that Jesus Christ is Justice and Faith, just to mention a few (could even include Temple and Lamb).

We are saved by Faith, that is, Jesus Christ.

We inherit eternal by love–Luke 10: 25-28. “Do this and you will live.” (present tense)

It is in the present, and all tenses.

One major point: Grace includes faith, hope, love, wisdom knowledge and so forth.

For myself, I used the comparison of milk–homogeneous. Every drop of milk contains protein, fat and the rest.

Grace contains justification, faith, hope and love.


Salvation in the Bible is past, present and future. It is something that has happened, is happening and will happen.


*For in this hope we were saved. (Romans 8:24)

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – (Ephesians 2:8)

but when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:4-5) *


*For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. (Romans 10:10)

For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, (1 Peter 3:21)*


*and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)

But he who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:13)*

There are many other examples of past, present and future salvation.




It doesn’t have to be either/or. It can be both/and.

I think is means that we have been saved, but whether that is for good is a different story. I think of it like drowning, or spiraling down in addiction. We can be saved–brought out or turned around–but we can still fall again and need to be saved [from ourselves] once again. So, in faith, we are saved when we believe and cling to Christ because we are turning from sin, but if we then turn around and start living immorally, we are letting go of our life-preserver and risk dying.

I guess a point of confusion is: what do Protestant/Evangelicals mean when they say someone’s been saved? Does that mean that the person is good to go to Heaven no matter what they do from now on?


I guess the question is really whether one who has been saved can subsequently loose that salvation. A Catholic will answer in the affirmative, as will anyone else who takes Scripture seriously. The Bible is clear (to me at least) that the one who does not endure to the end will not be saved.

I think many, including a great number of Catholics, forget that St. Paul had great confidence in God and his own salvation, stating that he had run the race well and waited with great joy for the crown of glory which had been reserved for him. A very wise man once said to me, “Whether you are saved or not is entirely up to you.”



Yes, for us, maybe. Only God knows with 100% certainty whose names are written in the Book of Life.


This doesn’t contribute much in answering the question, but if Paul had used the Greek present perfect tense in that statement, as the ESV and the RSV translate it, it would refer to an action that happened in the past, whose results continue into the present (e.g., I have painted my house white [and it is still red].) The use of a present tense verb (este; the Greek present tense indicates action or state that is true in the present and is expected to continue into the future) with a perfect participle (“you are having-been-saved”) almost seems to combine both concepts – we have been saved, and that condition is still true in the present and expected to continue into the future.

The unspoken condition here is that we are continuing to live in that salvation and have not “backslidden,” to use a term from my Arminian Protestant Pentecostal days.


Consider that the use of the present tense means it can change. If you have faith (a right healthy living faith) then you are saved (present tense) lose that faith and you are not saved (still present tense).
Make sense?



Revelation 3:5 “The victor will thus be dressed in white, and I will never erase his name from the book of life but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father and of his angels.



Define saved?


I don’t think these have to contradict each other. So, both/and would apply. Many good responses so far.

A couple thoughts…

The “Book of Life” is not something “in time” but in the knowledge of the Father.

Being saved at our belief and Baptism is being forgiven of sin and being made worthy of Christ’s life on account of His merits. Yet we are still in time and can turn from His life, so it is always a living salvation.

Hebrews 10:26-31(RSVCE)

26 For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 A man who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy at the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.


Philippians 3:7 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Straining Toward the Goal
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Anything else that has been said in the past/present/future about being saved should be meditated on what Paul is saying here.

Paul, of all people, tells us that he has not yet obtained the assurance of the resurrection (If you are already saved, you have this assurance).

Paul clearly says that he has not made it his own, yet.

So he presses on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

We have been set apart by the calling of Christ and responding to that call by faith and baptism, we must now press on towards the goal like Paul says. We have assurance as long as we remain in the vine, which is Christ Jesus. When we fall away we need to be grafted in and press on so we are not tossed into the fire (John 15).

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.



My :twocents:

Yes, Salvation is sure. “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13. You believe, you have eternal life. It doesn’t say you have eternal life now.

Also, the only verse on losing salvation gives a very grim, very clear picture: “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4-6. If you could lose your Salvation, it seems quiet clear that that’s it, your done.


That’s not the only verse

1 Pet 2:20

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”:eek:

Also don’t forget St Paul’s words “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Cor 9:27

Rev 2:5 Realize how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. Otherwise, I will come to you and* remove your lampstand from its place*, unless you repent.

Catholics believe in salvation as a process that begins with baptism (which by the way, is done in faith-- either of the recipient or their parents). If a person were to die immediately after baptism, they would go straight to heaven. But most people don’t die immediately after baptism and so there is the possibility for them to reject the free gift of grace that the Lord gives them through mortal sin. If an evangelical were to ask me “Are you saved?”, I would say “I’m saved, being saved, hope to be saved, and I will be saved if I endure to the end.” And I would be the one who is biblically accurate. Focusing only on the present tense verses “You ARE saved” leads to false doctrines like OSAS.


Exactly. For me to say “I am breathing” does not mean that I will still be breathing 20 years from now, or even an hour from now. “He that endureth to the end . . .”

:OT alert: The KJV translates that as “I buffet my body. . .” Some people take that as a justification for frequent visits to Golden Corral :smiley: :/OT alert:


It’s my screen name, one of my favorite and most meaningful scripture passages.

I take it in my heart to mean, my faith in Jesus saved me in my life, to turn to Him, become Catholic, and it is a gift from God that I will hopefully have everlasting life. It’s past tense only in that I realized the power of His love a few years ago and welcomed him into my heart- but present and future, for the rest of eternity.


Also don’t forget St Paul’s words “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” 1 Cor 9:27

*yacar *in Hebrew can be translated as punish or discipline.

I think of God’s yaca as medicinal discipline.

Comparison, I am sixty. If I exercise I am fine. If I train and push my body too far, I will actually harm my body. If I sit and eat ice cream all while playing on my electronic toys, I will get sick.

God’s Word is protects me-if I miss the mark of love, that is, do evil, bad or sin.

Moses saw the Ten Words/Commandment as discipline. He went up the mountain and got them. Some of us see them a punishment.


For a moment, I thought you said [yuca] :smiley: Now I will crave “yuca frita” all day :wink:


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