8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
grace (v.8) — the article in Greek points back to “grace” in v.5
have been saved (v.8) — tense indicates a past action with continuing results
that (v.8) — the fact of our being saved, our salvation. This isn’t referring to “faith.”
not of works (v.9) — The translation reads, “and this not out from you as a source, of God (it is) the gift.” That is, salvation is a gift of God. It does not find it source in man. Furthermore, this salvation is not “out of a source of works.” This explains salvation by grace. It is not produced by man nor earned by him. It is a gift from God with no strings tied to it. Paul presents the same truth in Romans 4:4-5 when speaking of the righteousness which God imputed to Abraham, where he says: “Now, to the one who works, his wages are not looked upon as a favor but as that which is justly or legally due. But to the one who does not work but believes on the One who justifies the impious, his faith is computed for righteousness.” — Wuest, pages 69-70
workmanship (v.10) = to do, to make, something that is made
The word translated “workmanship” is used only twice in the New Testament, here in Ephesians and in the first chapter of Romans where Paul is speaking of the testimony of creation. He says in verse 20, “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” In the original, one Greek word is translated here, “the things that are made.” That word is poiema. From it we get our English word “poem.” — Ironside, pages 115-116
for v.10) = with a view to. Good works are the object to which our salvation looked — not the cause of it.
walk (v.10) = to regulate one’s life, to conduct one’s self
in them (v.10) = in these (good works)
God’s purpose in the place which He gave to good works in His decree was that they should actually and habitually be done by us. His final object was to make good works the very element of our life, the domain in which our action should move. That this should be the nature of our walk is implied in our being His handiwork, made anew by Him in Christ; that the good works which are the divine aim of our life shall be realized, is implied in their being designed and made ready for us in God’s decree; and that they are of God’s originating, and not of our action and merit, is implied in the fact that we had ourselves to be made a new creation in Christ with a view to them. — Wuest, page 71.