From the lives, hearts and minds of Matt and Carrie...
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Freely Saved or Something Else?
NIV Ephesians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-- 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
From Ephesians 1, I believe God saves us by the grace He freely bestows on rebellious sinners through Christ Jesus (Eph. 1:6). The only other alternative is that I'm required to do something or be something to merit salvation from sin, death, and hell. Tim Keller observes, "Unless you say, 'just because God opened my heart [I believe]', then you have to say that you are a Christian because you are (even slightly) more open, more repentant, more humble." Either we are given sufficient grace by God for spiritual transformation (that is "conquering grace"/grace alone) or there is something 'good' in the human person that helped us get where we were supposed to go. There are only 2 alternatives to thinking about salvation. Either God freely saves for His glory alone or we allow for some human, secondary force resulting in my salvation (contra Isa. 42:8; Eph. 2:8-9, see also Romans 3:10-18 as a reminder of humanity's sinfulness).
My response: profound humility before God and profound humility before others. I am better than no one. Only by the grace of God am I what I am. There is no good in me, except that which Christ has wrought through His life, death, and resurrection.