constantly remind the class that I am not a Greek scholar. I have enough trouble with English. Yet looking at a Greek word can instantly bring another English word to mind and give you some insight into the word. Here are some of the things we found.
2 Cor 5:7 says “we walk by faith not by sight.” That word is peripateo and you should instantly think of the word “peripatetic.” Someone who is peripatetic is a pacer, constantly moving back and forth, usually talking at the same time. Think ADD and you have the picture. We aren’t to be just strolling on this walk of ours.
Gal 5:6 mentions “faith working through love.” The word for “working” is energeo. That brings to mind the English words “energy” and “energetic.” This is not a lethargic faith that simply assents to a belief, but one that works because of that belief.
Paul says we are to be “striving for the faith” in Phil 1:27. That word is sunathleo. Don’t you see the word “athlete” there? We are supposed to be working at it the way an athlete works out—hard enough to raise a sweat.
“Fight the good fight of faith,” Paul says in 1 Tim 6:12. “Fight” is agon and if you don’t see the word “agony” there, you simply won’t see anything. Then there is this, which I have gleaned from years of crossword puzzles—an agon was the fight between two gladiators in the coliseum, a public fight, usually to the death. Are you publicly fighting for your faith, and fighting so hard that you often find yourself in agony from the sheer effort you are putting forth?
We found several other passages as well, all of them strong active words. None of them had anything to do with mental assent, with saying, “I believe,” and thinking that would do. Even such simple things as “Ask in faith,” took on a new meaning when we discovered that the word is often translated “beg” or “plead.” This is not a casual request.
No one should ever need to ask if you are a believer. It should be evident every minute of your life. They should see it in your service to others (Phil 2:17), in your morality (Phil 1:27), in your love (Eph 6:23), in your confidence (Heb 10:22). Believers do work and they work hard. Lazy people need not apply.
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. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10