In which there is a “Eureka!” moment

by Craig on June 22, 2011

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This is a momentous finding!

And I just kind of glossed over it yesterday.

I began this study of daisies in the New Testament in order to get what the Bible says about “works” – “works” being a word that is only defined by context, and the Bible being the context I’ll use to define the word.

If this is your first time reading of this study of daisies – please read this first – otherwise what’s up ahead may not make much sense.

I respect the teaching of the great theologians of the church, but what I respect more than anything else are these collected writings that the church holds as the inspired word of God – the Bible.

And the words in the Bible that perk my ears up more than any others, are those red letter words – the ones spoken by God as he walked this earth as one of us.

And Our Lord said this,

“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” (JN 6:29)

Did you catch that? I didn’t at first.

Faith is a daisy – a white daisy.

How can this whole debate have raged for 500 years about what saves us – whether it be faith or works – and everybody have jumped right over this verse?

If I’m looking at James 2:17 (and 2:26)

and viewing it in the context of the entire New Testament – in the context of all of the daisies…

then what Jesus says in John 6:29  makes James 2:17 light up like neon .

It makes me want to put the words of the brothers James, and Our Lord Jesus, right next to each other to see how they fit.

This is the work of God, that you believe [and] faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Somebody tell me if I’m crazy.

Of course faith is dead without works…

if faith is…

in itself…

a “work”.

I’m going to have to study this further because this seems like such a new discovery. The two keywords linking the two passages are these:

The noun, “work” or in the Greek, ἔργον ( pronounced air-gone)…

And the word for faith which comes in two varieties…

in James it’s the noun form, and in Our Lord’s words it’s in the verb form – “faith” and “believe”.

A closer look…

Faith,

in the Greek, πίστις (pronounced Peesteece – emphasis on the first syllable)

is the noun in James.

and…

Believe,

in the Greek, πιστεύω (pronounced peestay-ewe-oh – emphasis on the “ewe”)

is the verb John.

I think this is really big…

I’ll be studying it further…

In the meantime I’m going to continue to pick daisies tomorrow…

But now I’m expecting more monumental stuff to emerge in the picking.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa notes... June 22, 2011 at 10:33 am

A great word study on works. And I know you’ll have a great study to on faith and believe too. I love looking at Greek words. It can really give such a deeper meaning to our English text. Thanks, Craig!

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Craig June 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm

thank you Lisa. I have a feeling that what lies ahead are more surprises like this one. It is one of the proofs that Scripture is really more than just a bunch of books – that they are so connected with each other all of these “books” – in mysterious and magical ways. I’ve read this Scripture – how many times? A thousand? And never once did it occur to me that faith is a “work” until I discovered it this morning. Our Bible is amazing. God bless you Lisa

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Cindy Holman June 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Love this – it’s always great to study the Greek and find out the actual meaning of things we may have taken for granted for years!

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Craig June 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

it really is a special privilege to live in this time Cindy, when we all can look into the original languages and not depend only on the translations of others. We can look at the translations in the light of what the original languages said. And anybody can learn Greek, and anybody can learn Hebrew, the Bible really is open to all of us now in a way that it never has been before. It’s a special time. Thank you Cindy, and God bless you.

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Christina June 22, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Love when you’re making discoveries because then we benefit:) Tying the two verses together really puts everything in it’s place–very cool.

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Craig June 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm

thank you Christina – and this really is a discovery. In everything that I have read – and I have read a lot on the whole faith versus works thing – not once have I come across anyone quoting Jesus as saying that faith is actually a “work”. That’s why I’m going to look into it a lot closer. How can so many people have missed such a simple thing. Unless maybe agendas got in the way – or unless maybe I’m wrong. I’ll know more after I study more – but a plain reading of the text seems pretty obvious. No?

Again, thank you Christina, and God bless and keep you.

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Bristol June 22, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Hey, Craig! It’s been a while since I stopped by… it’s so hard to keep up with you. I need more time to really soak up all your insights :) But I’m really appreciating your daisy study. And I think the connection you’re sharing here is awesome. Thanks for all the time you put into what you write! I can’t wait to read more about the connections you make between those two verses!

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Craig June 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Bristol, I hope things are going well. I hope you’re in a good place. And this daisy study? I’ve never seen anyone do it. And I’m hearting it myself – a lot more twists and turns than I could have expected. Of my two blogs – this is the easy one to write – because the Word is better to just there to be opened up – all I have to do is study it – and pray about it – and then share. It’s easy for me – and it’s fun! God bless you Bristol – and I truly hope everything is okay.

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Grace Walker June 22, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Isn’t it great how the words can just jump right out and grab you like that! Even better when you can dig deep in the Greek and find the tidbits our English language obscures.

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Craig June 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm

and Grace – this verse is so crystal clear – Jesus, Our Lord Calls faith a “work”. I find this absolutely astounding. 25 years of studying Scripture – those years in seminary – and those years since studying more deeply than ever before – and I’ve never even noticed it. And this time the English language doesn’t even obscure it. It’s about 14 hours since I first uncovered this and I’m still a little taken aback by it. It really is a “Eureka” moment. Thank you so much grace, and God bless and keep you.

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Dawn June 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Dear Craig,

I read Deep into Love first. You really needed this daisy today. I thank the Lord that He has blessed you with a keen mind. It is sleepless, as well, and you thank Him for that, too, even though you hate it because you believe you are being blessed via the thorn. So I guess I should say I thank the Lord for your mind. I wonder if once you get to a certain point in your life if it will all resolve, you know, like in the movie Ground Hog’s Day where he kept going through things and going through things until he didn’t need to go through them anymore? Ah, well, that’s what’s in my mind.

Hooray for the White Daisy you found today–for you and for those of us who read you,
Dawn

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Craig June 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm

and on – what you read over at deep into love – it’s not what I originally wrote – things changed just after dawn and in a sleep deprived and muddled mind what came out was that post. And this thorn? Maybe one day it will be lifted – but maybe this heart of mine which historically has fallen prey to pride – it really needs to be kept in check – and not getting sleep – and all the ways that keeps me in check – well who knows. Regardless humility is more natural now than it has ever been – and that cannot be a bad thing. And this white Daisy?! Wow! What a cool discovery. I heart this – LOTS, thank you Dawn. and God bless you!

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Debbie June 23, 2011 at 2:04 am

I love your excitement and all that lies ahead. I feel like your not just a daisy picker now, but an archeologist! God bless you for what you discover and share about Him!

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Craig June 23, 2011 at 11:33 am

it would have been so easy to just look up all of the instances of daisies and type out a list – and count – and quantify – but then I would’ve missed some of the surprises that I’ve already had – and the surprises I’ve already had tell me there are more surprises ahead. I heart that. And it IS exciting for me! It is fun (written with a smile) God bless YOU Debbie for letting me share with you.

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A. June 28, 2011 at 11:31 am

Late here, but thinking and WOW…faith is a work!!!!! I never thought of that or saw that either! It looks like…if I am understanding that verse correctly, that our faith is a work of God? So for us, it is not a work, rather a gift…a noun,-something we received, but for God that same faith He gave us is a work?

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Craig June 28, 2011 at 11:52 am

this one I’ll respond to :-) can’t resist. It seems that faith is a “work” – or better yet faith is a Daisy – a white Daisy. “Works” – a.k.a. daisies – are not fearsome things to be lorded over us – but acts of love to a loving God – and yes, according to the verse, faith is a work – but it’s also a gift – interesting… God bless

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Kim July 28, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Faith as a work of God…is faith as a gift, something given to us by God that we can’t quite work out by ourselves. Yes? No? It seems rather circular, and I love how you uncover that circularity. Is faith a work or a gift from God? YES!

You write faster than I can read, Craig, but I always love trying to keep up! Hope all is well with you.

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Craig July 29, 2011 at 2:20 pm

isn’t this the strangest discovery – that yes, faith is a gift – but yes it’s also a “work” – mind-boggling. It’s just as you said, “Is faith a work or a gift from God? YES!” – he is so far beyond our ways in the way that he does things – amazing! And thank you for dropping by Kim – just drop by when you can – I know there’s a ton of blogs that we all heart – and we want to read them all – but we can’t all the time – I’m honored every time you do drop by – thank you very much – and God bless and keep you.

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