Certainty of Salvation
Autor: Nick Rosioru
Album: fara album
Categorie: Meditatii

Certainty of salvation

On one side there is legalism, that seems to imply that you have to do works to be saved, like the Pharisees. The problem with that is that, if you are able to earn your salvation by works, then, there is no need for Jesus’s sacrifice and atonement. This is a false doctrine, since no amount of works could account for covering your sins. The sacrifice has to be spotless, from an innocent entity (without defect according to the Law of Moses). But, since man is a fallen creature, he cannot redeem himself, or ever present an acceptable sacrifice for his own atonement. Our salvation is based 100% on Jesus sacrifice at the cross, Him being the only one without sin. God received His sacrifice as sufficient to cover all our sins and bring us back in fellowship with him. So, we are saved by grace, without us doing anything to help it. All we have to do is accept his grace just like a prisoner is invited to walk free after someone else volunteered to be executed in his place. On the other side, now, someone might say – I don’t have to do anything, change my behavior, or do any works since Jesus did everything that was necessary. Any attempt for me to do something would imply that His sacrifice was not complete. All I have to do is accept his salvation as an intellectual exercise, and after that my salvation is sealed. I can now continue to do whatever I want, because I have liberty in Christ. After I sin I’ll have to ask for forgiveness, then I sin again, and ask for forgiveness again, and this cycle will continue forever. This is also a false doctrine – it describes someone that was never truly converted and is still living in the flesh. I described above the two extremes that a lot of people fall into. The first one is “merit based salvation” characteristic to some legalistic churches with focus on works. According to them, the certainty of your salvation hangs in a very delicate balance and you can lose it at the moment notice – everything is on you and your performance. God is perceived as a tyrant ready to drop the hammer on you at the slightest slip. At communion time some pastors say that you should make yourself “worthy” and “feel” God’s presence and forgiveness or otherwise abstain from participation. The second extreme is more characteristic to some “modern” churches subscribing to this shallow Christianity where you are no different than the world in any respects. These churches have been permeated by the culture and have become like social clubs. The meaning of being a Christian has been diluted to the point of almost taking you out of the equation completely when it comes to behavior and works – God took care of all of that and your salvation is certain regardless of how you live. It’s like you can have your cake and eat it too. Someone put it this way: “don’t worry you are not that big to affect God’s plan for you”. Churches with a Calvinist bent will go that far to say that it is actually impossible to fall from grace – in other words once saved always saved. We are faced with two concepts that collide with each other. Where is the truth? The sequence is not “obey – salvation” but rather “salvation – obey”. The works are not a requirement to be saved but rather the natural expression of someone after being saved. The gratefulness in your heart produces works automatically just like the fruits come out on a fruit tree. The key to understand is that the goal is to have a relationship with God, instead of us mechanically checking boxes of on a long list of restrictions and then feel good about it. When you were dating and in love with your future wife (or husband), you would spare no effort to meet her/his needs. Looking from inside you took pleasure to anticipate her/his needs – it did not feel like a burden at all. You would swim through shark infested waters to bring her lemonade. God desires that kind of love often symbolized in the Bible as between a groom and his bride. When you sincerely and passionately seek fellowship with God, your humble and loving heart will be in the right place, and works will be the only natural physical expression of your salvation. He promised that there is nothing that will pluck you out of His hands and that is the origin of your certainty - not in you, or how you feel in the moment, or in your works, or in the shallowness of a fake conversion, but in God. Nick Rosioru - Seattle

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