30 days to growth: looking at Scripture from a different angle

 eyeball

  Not too long ago I bought my mom a pair of jeweler’s glasses. They were highly magnified and had lights on each side. Her eyesight is failing, and sometimes the smallest of tasks are frustrating. I hoped that the glasses would make things easier.

Before she could try them, my nephews tried them.  They put on the odd glasses and flipped the small light switch.

“Whoah,” one said. “You have to check this out.” He peered into his brother’s eyes and saw the intricate patterns of the human eye. For the next 20 minutes we all took time looking into each other’s eyes, amazed at the beauty that we simply couldn’t see before.

That’s how it is with Scripture. Sometimes we read a passage, or a chapter, and there are parts we just don’t see. Which is why it’s helpful to read it a second time in a different version.

On Monday I shared this same passage from The Message. It’s everyday language that paints it plain and simple.

The Amplified Bible looks at Scripture from a different angle. Scholars painstakingly took the original text of the Bible, and concentrated on context and word meaning. These can be watered down when one language is translated to another. Thus this version of the Bible “amplifies” words bring additional depth to a passage.

Today, read the Amplified version of this week’s passage. Do you notice anything new? Did something stand out in more depth? Any questions?

 

Ephesians 2:1-10 (Amplified Bible)

And you [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins 2 In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God].
3 Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.

4 But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,

5 Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved ([a]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).

6 And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us [b]joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

7 He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus.

8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved ([c]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;

9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]

10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [d]recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Verses 4-5 and 10 really stood out to me as I read through this passage today. I’ve really been struggling with feelings of hopelessness and simply being unloveable as the result of some unfortunate words from my pastor some time ago. I’ve been wondering if God really can love me anymore. If he can use me anymore. If I should step down from my ministry. But what hope! It’s so clear here! I am his own handiwork, recreated in Christ. I am. And even when I was dead in shortcoming and tresspass, He still loved me with a great and wonderful and intense love. He sees my mess. He just doesn’t want to leave me there. Thank you for your help, Suzie, as I begin to renew my mind.

  2. Brilliant post, Suzie! What a beautiful metaphor of new lenses! I love verse 4 – “But God, so rich is He in His mercy!” With “jeweler’s glasses” on, this verse popped out. I love that God embraces us and loves us, even when we get mad at ourselves. I love that no matter how much I blow it, His mercy is new every morning. This verse stirs me to be filled with God’s grace and to accept myself, shortcomings & all.

  3. Sandra Helton says:

    I really love to read the different translations of scripture. Context is so important . Reading the message translation rekindled my love for scripture Just a few months ago. If you are in a dry spot, try it! It may help you as well. I chuckled when I read Mary’s comment about “cracked pots”. She may have not meant it to be funny, but it made me chuckle. I find that laughter helps me be thankful. Praise is soooo important in our growth. Ohhhhh Praise His Name for He is good.

  4. WOW, That’s the first time I’ve read the Amplified version. It really makes thing more clear, doesn’t it. I liked the Message, too. Thanks, Suzie, for sharing all these with us and God bless you.

    • Pat, what I love is that I’m not introducing anything new, but just discovering together what’s out there for us to take truth deeper, and integrate it in our daily lives.

  5. Walking habitually under the influence of the world. That makes it about as plain as it gets. Yes, I have done that. And though I am in Christ today a new creation, I find there are still old habits that need to be removed. My prayer of thanksgiving is that I am a work in progress and loved in my imperfectness. God can and does used cracked pots, so I will keep moving on and let Him work in me and on me and through me. Praise be to God.

    • Mary, that’s the beauty of faith. It’s not cleaning up so that we look great to others, but transforming from the inside out — in our thoughts, in the way we approach life and others, heavily influenced by the relationship we have with God. It’s so much more a beautiful (and harder) way to live out our faith. You are growing, girl! Love that.

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