Monday, August 08, 2016

In or Of

A couple of weeks ago in Sunday School, Jeff taught a lesson based on Romans 3:21-31.  Here is something very interesting (to me) that he pointed out. Look at Romans 3:22:

New Revised Standard Version: the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction
Common English BibleGod’s righteousness comes through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who have faith in him. There’s no distinction.

In the passage, Paul is writing that all have sinned and fall short, and that they are justified through the grace of God. Read those two versions closely. In the first, the righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ. In the second, it comes through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. One word - one preposition, and the whole meaning seems to change.

Are we justified through our faith in Jesus or through the faithfulness of Jesus? The Greek doesn't have the preposition, so it's been filled in by those who do the translation. 

I worry that when we say that we are saved by our faith in Jesus that we create a litmus test - that our salvation is based on something that WE do. Our justification comes from God - it is a gift of grace through the faithfulness of Christ. Our faith in Christ is a gift of prevenient grace - we only believe because we have been given faith by God. We can take no credit or boast in our faith. All is grace.

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