Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Atgodstable.com has had a couple of devotionals recently focusing on faith as a very, not as a noun. Following is one of those articles. Pretty good stuff.

Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 6:23

With – You wouldn’t think there was much to make from a preposition, but you might be wrong. You see, Paul is unusually particular about using his Greek prepositions in deliberate ways. The result is quite revealing, as we shall see.

There are two prepositions in Greek that could be translated “with.” They are syn and meta. In most cases, there is hardly any difference between them – except when Paul uses them. Paul never uses meta when he describes our personal union with Christ. For that expression, he always uses syn. But when he describes other close associations and circumstances, he always uses meta. So, we can conclude that for Paul there was a difference between the kind of relationship a believer has with Christ and the kind of relationships that someone has with other people and circumstances. Now that you know this about Paul, which Greek preposition do you suppose he uses here? It would be meta, of course.

Since Paul is not using the preposition of intimate personal union, what does he imply with this unusual phrase “love meta faith?” How can love be with faith? What does Paul mean when he implies that love is in close association with faith? It’s not quite what we usually think. For the answer, we need to look to James.

Both James and Paul have a Hebrew perspective on love and faith. Both of them know that love is a verb. It is benevolent action toward another at cost to myself. And both of them know that faith is also a verb. Faith is not some set of statements that I believe. Faith is doing what is right before God. Faith is the fulfillment of the covenant obligation, the demonstration of my fidelity to my Lord. James tells us that whatever is not of faith is sin. Now we can see why. Whatever is not of the verb “faith,” is disobedience, and, of course, disobedience is sin. Paul has the same perspective. Since both words in Hebrew would be verbs, whatever the relationship between love and faith will be active, not merely cognitive.

Now we can understand what Paul might have in mind. Love in Hebrew (ahav) is the full engagement of a person on behalf of someone else. It is the application of my mental, emotional and volitional abilities to assist, support, encourage – even to sacrifice – for another. It is the fulfillment of the commandment to care for my neighbor as I care for myself. If I do that, I automatically produce faith (‘emunah). How is that possible? Don’t I have to sign some creed or something? No, you don’t. You have to read Habakkuk 2:4 and Deuteronomy 32:4. You will discover that faith is nothing more, or less, than the truthfulness of God’s character and actions. When I get in alignment with those, love erupts from what I am doing – and you can’t tell the difference between the two.

Don’t tell me you have faith unless you have love – and treat both as verbs!

  posted at 5:55 AM  


Post a Comment

<< Home

Who Am I?

Todd M


An ordinary guy. A wife I love very much. A great son. Wonderful friends. A metal roofing business and a sales training business. A loving church family. A few trade associations. A Christian school. And a four-pound poodle. Just trying to follow God and see where He leads.

My Complete Profile

Buy My Book! (please)
  • Trying To Lose My "Self" In Israel

  • Past Posts
  • WORKING 9 TO 5
  • I SAMUEL 18 (The Message)
  • I SAMUEL 17 (The Message)

  • Great Blogs
  • Dan Gildner
  • Hope Shifts
  • Trey Morgan
  • Hey Jules
  • DadBloggers
  • David Porath
  • Antique Mommy
  • Tony Morgan
  • Chris Reeder
  • Gary Lamb
  • Perry Noble
  • David Foster
  • Scott Hodge
  • Mark Meyer
  • Donald Miller
  • Sidney First Leadership Community
  • Irenic Thoughts
  • Sidney First UMC

  • Archives
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • June 2010
  • September 2010
  • July 2011

  • Gargantuan List of Methodist Bloggers

    Credits and Links


    Christian Blogger Network