Monday, October 3, 2011

How Do You Understand Salvation?

Is God ultimately a passive bookkeeper who, after shaping the world lets it alone, concerned only to tally the relative merits of his creatures? Is this how you understand salvation? Is salvation something that you deserve based on your own work?

D.A. Carson and Doug Moo answer this question in their chapter on Galatians from their book, An Introduction to the New Testament.

"There is always a tendency for people to think that their salvation is something that is to be brought about by their own achievement. How they understand salvation may vary, and the kind of achievement they see as necessary may correspondingly vary. But that their eternal destiny rests in their own hands seems a truism so obvious that is scarcely needs stating. Christianity has often been understood as nothing more than a system of morality, as the careful observance of a sacramental system, as conformity to standards, as a linking up with others in the church and so on. There is always a need for Paul's forthright setting out of truth that justification comes only through faith in Christ. this must be said over against those who stress the importance of works done in accordance with the Torah or of any other achievements.

The Christian way stresses what God has done in Christ rather than what sinners do. There can be no improvement on the divine action by any human achievement, either by way of ritual observance or moral improvement. The cross is the one way of salvation, and no part of Scripture makes this clearer than does Galatians."

Carson, D.A., Moo, Douglas. An Introduction to the New Testament. pg. 473-474.

1 comment:

  1. Salvation is only by God's grace through faith in the perfect sacrifice of His Son who died to pay our sin debt in full, and who rose again that all who trust Him will have eternal life. On the cross, Jesus cried "It is finished!" because there is nothing any of us could add to His completed work of salvation, which is a free gift. If we were offered a brand new Mercedes Benz as a gift with no strings attached, it would be a supreme insult to offer a penny in a misguided attempt to pay for the car. Similarly, any works we could offer to "earn" salvation are just filthy rags, and imply that what Jesus did was not enough. Laurie Collett, Saved by Grace