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Thursday, March 5, 2009

And THAT not of yourselves...

I'm gonna share another video, but this one has more to do with a Scripture passage that I believe everyone should take the time to examine. Most people who have any familiarity with the Bible know this verse, but not as many people have taken the time to think through it long enough to benefit from its true meaning. I say this assuming that most people had the same understanding of it that I had. Allow me to explain...

I would always read Ephesians 2:8 (For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,(Eph 2:8 ESV))as teaching that salvation is not by works and use it as an argument against those who incorporate works into their understanding of how to be saved. This is certainly valid, but there is so much more here to be understood. The thing that set me into a deeper study of the verse was my college English class. I was learning about demonstrative pronouns (this/these, that/those), and I learned that when these are used they usually refer to the word that immediately precede them. Taking our passage as an example, this would mean that faith is the word that this (or that, depending on your translation) is referring to.

This initial thought is what set me off into a study that included checking commentaries and the Greek that (notice the usage?) I had also been learning. I recall the pastor in this video saying something like "I don't know Greek, but I know how to listen to people who do." Well, I do know some Greek, and I can vouch for his presentation.

I figure that I couldn't possibly have been the only person to stumble upon this reality, but I don't think that many people let themselves take it for what it means. I think that many people probably do what I did and shrug off the sneaking suspicion that faith itself is indeed a gift (which inevitably leads to further complications in one's set of theological presuppositions). And if you are like I was, I'd say that the only reason you haven't let yourself take God's word at face value has everything to do with a concept that you thought didn't affect you...tradition. I'd like to write more, but I don't think I need to detract any more from the video. Enjoy!

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Dramatized Exegesis