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We launch our Fall Worship Series this Sunday. The series is called CORE and we’ll spend eight weeks looking at the core elements of our faith. The first week is titled “Jesus is God’s Best Idea Ever.” The texts are Galatians 2:16-21 and Luke 24:44-48.

I soaked in Galatians 2:16 this morning and geeked out on the Greek study. Below is the visual process of my discoveries. Enjoy.

This is the entire passage.

This is my point of interest. It’s a big verse.

Notice the interesting structure. The fancy term is chiastic. It begins and ends with the same point.

Paul argues that we are not justified by the works of the Law, but through faith.

here’s the Greek text.

Let’s zoom in on the positive sentences. Notice that the words translated as faith and believe in English are actually the same word in Greek: pisteuo. What if we translated all three occurrences as trust(ed)?

Here’s where it gets really interesting. The English translates all three prepositions as in. The Greek is in the genitive and should really be translated of in the first and third orange highlights. The purple highlight is correct in English and Greek.

So, here’s how I would translate these sentences.

You’re asking, “So what?” Last month I wrote this post and drew the image above. This text study gives a deeper look at the topic.

We are justified by faith, yes. However, it is Jesus’ faith, trust, and faithfulness to God and to us that saves us, not our own. This is the GOOD NEWS!

What part do we play? We can choose to not believe that God loves us and live in the shadow and deception of our own making. God allows us to do this, but it doesn’t change the fact that Jesus has redeemed us and set us free. When we, to quote Jesus, “change our perception of reality and believe the Good News, then we will realize that the Kingdom of Heaven is right there, and has been there all the time.” (my paraphrase of Mark 1:15)

The salvation process is often a slow and painful journey of “waking up” to the reality of God’s love and God’s Kingdom. See this post for more on the stages of the journey.

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