I was at conference a couple weeks a go here in London hosted by CCEF. One of the things they mentioned doing when looking at the Psalms in order to get a clearer understanding of what the Psalm is saying is to take a look at what it is not saying. I loved the idea and decided to use it on Ephesians 2:8-9. If we turn those two verses on their head and turn them into Anti-Scripture, here’s what we get..
For by your efforts you have saved yourself through your hard work to please God. You’ve done it! You are now worthy of God, so take pride in your accomplishment and compare yourself to those losers who are not as far along as you. You have earned God’s acceptance, but you better keep it up so you don’t lose it.
I found this a powerful device to underscore what the verse is actually saying. I think I’m going to incorporate this as a regular part of my study of Scripture. What is this Scripture not saying? Just for clarity sake, let’s look at the legit verses.
Ephesians 2:8–9, (ESV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Praise God for his gift of grace!