I’m always amazed by the life found when we study under our English. What I found today makes Cyber Monday deals pale in comparison– and I love a good bargain. Are you ready to understand this verse in a new light? Let’s dig deep.
He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful (1 Cor. 1:8,9).
What words jump out at you as you read the verses above?
Wow. . . I love when that happens. (Smile.)
Anyway, at first glance when reading these verses, though Paul was telling the Corinthians that God will keep them (us) strong, there’s just something about “strong” that makes me feel like I have to do my part.
Strong is a big deal. Nobody wants to be weak. We are proud of strong but embarrassed by weak. Well, I am. Maybe you’re not. I hate when I’m weak physically, mentally, or spiritually.
The word “strong” indicates that something might happen if I’m not “strong”.
But a closer look into this word translated as “strong” in the NIV removes any demand of my own strength. The word is bebaioo.
Read the meanings:
fixed, sure, certain. To make firm or reliable so as to warrant security and inspire confidence; to strengthen, make true, fulfill. Used in the NT with the personal object to signify confirming a person’s salvation, preservation in a state of grace. (Key Word NIV)
Preservation in a state of grace.
He will keep us preserved in a state of grace. If we are preserved, we don’t have to strive to be strong. The rest of verse 8 reads:
. . . to the end, so that you will be blameless.
For some reason, the word “blameless” also feels like it comes with responsibility to be good. But the Greek word’s meaning clears that up too:
Anenkletos: unaccused, free from any legal charge at all . . . . (Key Word)
Let’s plug these definitions into the scripture:
He will keep you preserved in a state of grace to the end so that you will be unaccused, free from any legal charge at all on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Lee translation)
Can somebody say “Hallelujah!”? Do we feel the freedom this gives?
It’s been increasingly clear to me the longer I live how very much I need a Savior–how very much I need grace. There was a time in my life when I thought I was pretty good. But now I know those were prideful, selfish thoughts. Though His Spirit changes us, as long as we walk in this skin, we will need His preservation in a state of grace. He promises this.
“God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.“
“Faithful” was translated from pistos. Look how beautiful this word is. It means: “Worthy of belief, trust, or confidence. True, just, trustworthy.”
“Faithful” is a good word, but there’s something about knowing beyond knowing that God won’t go back on His word. My confidence is not in my goodness but His trustworthiness. I can rest in His promises.
I think we can be striving for righteousness without realizing we’re doing it. Striving never produces life. It sucks the life out of us–and others. As people preserved by grace (of which we’re filled with gratitude) we become life givers as we share that grace with others. Grace changes us.
Will you pray with me?
“Dear God, we are blown away by the life and promise in your Word. Thank you for Jesus and what He did on the Cross as a sin offering for the world. We recognize our need for you. Thank you for your grace. And thank you for the promise that we are free from accusation when we stand before you one day. Don’t let us keep this a secret but share it with others who need your grace. We love you. Amen.”
Digging Deep in Grace,