For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
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Ambrose of Milan
Do not rely on your own efforts but on the grace of Christ. “You are,” says the apostle, “saved by grace. Therefore it is not a matter of arrogance here but faith when we celebrate: We are accepted! This is not pride but devotion.” .
The blessed Paul argues that we are saved by faith, which he declares to be not from us but a gift from God. Thus there cannot possibly be true salvation where there is no true faith, and, since this faith is divinely enabled, it is without doubt bestowed by his free generosity. Where there is true belief through true faith, true salvation certainly accompanies it. Anyone who departs from true faith will not possess the grace of true salvation. ...
Paul says this in case the secret thought should steal upon us that “if we are not saved by our own works, at least we are saved by our own faith, and so in another way our salvation is of ourselves.” Thus he added the statement that faith too is not in our own will but in God’s gift. Not that he means to take away free choice from humanity … but that even this very freedom of choice has God as its author, and all things are to be referred to his generosity, in that he has even allowed us to will the good. –. ...
* For by grace, says he have you been saved.
In order then that the greatness of the benefits bestowed may not raise you too high, observe how he brings you down: by grace you have been saved, says he,
* Through faith;
Then, that, on the other hand, our free-will be not impaired, he adds also our part in the work, and yet again cancels it, and adds,
* And that not of ourselves.
Neither is faith, he means, of ourselves. Because had He not come, had He not called us, how had we been able to believe? For how, says he, shall they believe, unless they hear? Romans 10:14 So that the work of faith itself is not our own.
* It is the gift, said he, of God, it is not of works.
Was faith then, you will say, enough to save us? No; but God, says he, has required this, lest He should save us, barren and without work at all. His expression is, that faith saves, but it is because God so wills, that faith saves. Since, how, tell me, does faith save, without works? This itself is the gift o...
So that you may not be elated by the magnitude of these benefits, see how Paul puts you in your place. For “by grace you are saved,” he says, “through faith.” Then, so as to do no injury to free will, he allots a role to us, then takes it away again, saying “and this not of ourselves.” Even faith, he says, is not from us. For if the Lord had not come, if he had not called us, how should we have been able to believe? “For how,” he says, “shall they believe if they have not heard?” So even the act of faith is not selfinitiated. It is, he says, “the gift of God.” . ...