The journey’s data depot (4): faith in Christ and faith of Christ

The previous article in this series is Gleaning Genitive Gems

If  the following characteristics describe you, have you considered the evidence for yourself?

  1. Don’t dismiss the professionals, just recognize they are human.
  2. The normal functioning and understanding is preferred over a claim for an unusual or exceptional one.
  3. Since scripture is the standard, follow the evidence.
  4. Our goal will determine what we find. Value truth.

Before unveiling more milestones from my journey, today’s article provides a way station, an organized table of the data. To be sure, additional ideas will still need to be addressed. Nevertheless, if you have been following this journey, you may want to review the data for yourself. Continue reading “The journey’s data depot (4): faith in Christ and faith of Christ”

The journey continues (3): gleaning genitive gems

The previous article in this series is Analyzing the Authorities.

Imagine landing on a remote deserted island with a small group of people. To your delight, you encounter unknown exotic plants, fruits and animals. Probably before too long names will be assigned. Will your group create names by appearance, smell, function or something else?

In a similar way, grammarians enter the world of language identifying how words function and relate to each other within sentences. Labels are assigned describing these characteristics.

In my journey, I learned Greek alters the forms of its nouns, pronouns and adjectives by sticking little suffix flags on them to indicate their function and relationship within a particular sentence. Neat eh? One of these suffix forms, the genitive, lies at the heart of the controversy swirling around the “faith of Christ.” Continue reading “The journey continues (3): gleaning genitive gems”

The journey continues (2): analyzing the authorities

This is the second in a series. The first article can be found here.

Ever sought a second opinion? Why explore additional insight? Aren’t doctors highly educated? Of course they are. Nevertheless, even when professionals are very proficient, sometimes their opinions will vary for a variety of reasons.

Would you be surprised at Greek experts disagreeing? Before delving further into my journey to explore what those “faith of Christ” texts mean, consider a little story about the Greek preposition “eis.”
Continue reading “The journey continues (2): analyzing the authorities”

The journey begins (1): faith in Christ and faith of Christ

Perhaps your experiences are similar to mine. As a young adolescent reading a King James Bible, I would occasionally stumble upon the phrase “faith of Christ,” as in Galatians 2:16. Since I had never heard anything about the faith of Christ, this phrase seemed to be an incomprehensible anomaly. After all, we were the ones who needed to have faith!

I smiled a sense of relief when I later discovered that other translations rendered this phrase as “faith in Christ.” However, my journey did not end here. This was only the beginning. Here’s the first few milestones from my journey as well as a few initial suggestions. Continue reading “The journey begins (1): faith in Christ and faith of Christ”

The battle belongs to the Lord again

Throughout history God’s people have derived courage, comfort and strength from knowing the battle belongs to the Lord. David confronted Goliath. King Jehoshaphat and the men of Judah marched out against a vast army.

Today Christians encourage each other in song singing, “The battle belongs to the Lord.” If we allow the armor of God metaphor in Ephesians 6 to suggest a spiritual battle background lying behind the Ephesian letter, another reassurance of God’s victory comes into view.
Continue reading “The battle belongs to the Lord again”

If babies inherit Adam’s sin, Paul’s argument fails

Do people sometimes regard doctrine as splitting insignificant hairs and being irrelevant? While humanity has indeed invented some hair splitting antics, biblical teaching is anything but trivial or irrelevant.

What Paul wrote about God’s judgment reveals volumes about the state of humanity’s nature. Does this have practical ramifications? You betcha. Continue reading “If babies inherit Adam’s sin, Paul’s argument fails”

When God’s power intersects our lives

It is an amazing prayer. The initial request was so simple. The heart of an apostle spilled forth seeking God to enlighten his people.

This was not a request for God’s people to grasp some grand nebulous understanding. With laser precision Paul prayed for God to enlighten his people in very specific ways, ways that have inspired and continue to infuse lives with direction and purpose.  Continue reading “When God’s power intersects our lives”

The chosen in Christ

Paul’s words in Ephesians 1 are clear. Nevertheless, a story about a letter can perhaps provide a fresh appreciation for his message and what it means for us.

Although I certainly did not graduate with a degree in chemistry and chances are you have not either, let’s pretend we did. Now imagine receiving a letter from our alma mater’s chemistry chairperson: “The president of our university chose us in chemistry before our chemistry program ever began to be educated and prepared for employment.” Continue reading “The chosen in Christ”