Diving into Christian scripture can be an adventure. Most often than not, most people don’t know how to go about studying the scriptures aside from just reading them straight through. One method I’ve found very useful is the SOAP method.
The focus on SOAP is to move from just reading the words but to study them and apply them to your life. S — Scripture. O-Observation. A-Application. P-Prayer. I go through and pick various scripture from the Bible and apply the SOAP method to them. I read the scripture. I note what I observe as I read. Then I point out how I can apply the words to my personal life. I end it with a prayer.
Here, I have chosen Ephesians 2:4–10. You can read through my SOAP review or you can just read the scripture and do your own SOAP method.
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:4–10 NIV)
The first thing that comes to mind is works-based religions. There are several within the Christian umbrella that push works over faith. How can they when they read these verses? “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith…not by works.” Paul specifically notes that this is done “so that no one can boast.” Doing it yourself means you don’t need anyone else…God. I recently was told by a Christian that they were a #^^% good Christian because they went to church regularly. I think they need to read this again.
The other thing I see is that God does so much for us. He “made us alive”, “seated us with him (Christ)”, saved us, and created us. This is all a gift from Him. Yes, we are to do good works, but everything should be centered around God’s great love. It is…