GodSpeak for the Week of October 27
We pause on this week – in the wake of Reformation Sunday – to consider why it matters (and, why it’s vitally important) not to “proof text” when it comes to our faith.
Day 1…Read Ephesians 2:8a, here…“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…” [NIV]
this – whenever we aren’t citing a complete verse from Scripture, we typically
NOTE it as such by using the letter “a” if the citation is from the beginning
of the verse; the letter “b” if it’s from the latter part of the verse.
- Also, we tend to use an ellipsis (i.e., “…”) or other appropriate punctuation mark to indicate that the verse continues after what we’ve cited.
- Answer this – why would this be an important practice to do?
- Answer this – as this partial verse citation stands, what does Paul tell you here? What do the words “…you have been saved…” imply? Who is doing the WORK of your being saved?
Day 2…Read Ephesians 2:8, as shared by a certain Christian pastor…“By grace you are saved through faith.”
- Consider this – the closest biblical translation Pastor Prin could find for this version of the verse is the King James Version (although it’s not an exact match).
- Answer this – how did this pastor end this version of the verse (i.e., with what punctuation mark)? What does this imply about the verse?
- Answer this – as this verse citation stands, what does it imply Paul is telling you here? What do the words “…you are saved through faith,” imply? According to this (erroneous) translation, who is doing the WORK of your being saved?
Day 3…Read Ephesians 2:8 (the whole thing, this time)…
Here’s the KJV > “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
Here’s the NIV > “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—”
- Answer this – now that you have the WHOLE VERSE to consider, what does it say in its entirety? What IS faith and FROM WHERE does faith come?
- Consider this – notice the punctuation marks both the KJV (a colon “:”) and the NIV (a hyphen “-“) use.
- Answer this – what do both versions’ use of these punctuation marks signify?
Day 4…Read Ephesians 2:9: “not by works, so that no one can boast.” [NIV]
- Consider this – these are the words which immediately follow the punctuation of v. 8.
- Answer this – based on what he says here, is “faith” something YOU GOTTA DO, as far as Paul is concerned? Does YOUR faith SAVE you? Can you even HAVE “faith” that originates from you?
- Answer this – why does Paul specifically jot these words down? What is he (dare we say God Himself through Paul) saying about the “works” of “faith”? If faith COULD originate from us, what would we have a tendency to do?
Day 5…Read Ephesians 2:10. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” [NIV]
this – Paul says here that we are:
- “God’s handiwork” – i.e., that which has been made by Him
- “created” – specifically here, this Greek word means to be “shaped” or “transformed”
- Answer this – again, WHO is DOING THE WORK of our faith? Why does this matter?
Day 6…Read Ephesians 2:10 (again). “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” [NIV]
- Consider this – according to Paul, “works” of ours DO PLAY an important PART of our lives!
- Answer this – but, HOW are we ABLE to “do good works”? How are we able to DO ANYTHING? From where does that power and will come?