*The following is a repost, and one that I wrote quite some time ago; I doubt that hardly any of you have read it before. It is relatively short (for me), so give it a read. I am going to be writing formally for a forthcoming something on the doctrine of assurance, and I also have recently been in discussion with someone who helped trigger for me how important and liberating a genuine and radical message of grace-filled Gospel reality actually is; and how thirsty and needy we all are for this message. What I want to do is to make sure that we ground our conception of grace properly in who God is (doctrine of God), and who He is for us in Christ (Christology and a rightly articulated doctrine of election). Grace is rich and deep, it is more than a concept, it is God’s act for us, when, not only did we not deserve it, but without it we would not exist in the first place (doctrine of creation). Anyway, read the following post, it is pretty simplistic and straightforward, assertive and suggestive. I have written more cogently or theologically on the matter elsewhere (and I will be writing on this matter quite formally in the days to come).
Often when we talk and think about salvation “we” are at the center of the discussion. In other words, so many times we think about salvation as if it is all about ME. But to the contrary, this couldn’t really be further from the truth. Indeed, salvation includes humanity; but not as its center-point. You might want a little more proof than my mere assertion. Okay, here’s Paul:
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33. Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ . . . ? ~ Romans 8:31–34a.
There is something lurking behind what is communicated here. As we read this, at face value it almost appears that “we” are the point of this passage; but I would want to counter that in fact it is Jesus who is the center-piece here. What Paul is doing is encouraging us, by an unspoken reality here, and that is that Christ is the One who has overcome condemnation; overcome by being condemned for us! The Son, the second person of the trinity, is whom salvation revolves around; it is His obedience, His sin-bearing, His resurrection that provides the framework for any discussion on salvation. He included us, by becoming “us” in the incarnation, in becoming the first fruits of His salvation.
And this is the point of “Christ-centred” salvation, it is His salvation, His plan, His gift, His triumph, His victory that we have been united to. Any time that we start thinking that salvation is mine, or that “I” am at the center of salvation; we fail to grasp the point of salvation, and that is to magnify the name of Jesus.
I hope this helps, I’m afraid this isn’t as clear as I would like . . . but it is what it is . I will be working at developing this more cogently later.
**This post was prompted by this post. It makes me sad to see folks within a “system of salvation” wherein issues of assurance are at the forefront (“because of” the methodology employed in order to articulate a “theory of salvation”). Here’s that post: The Struggle for Assurance