Linda once again asks a question that has dogged me for some years:
The crucial question is “What about making a decision?”
This is the manner in which I have always heard the gospel presented. But what does it mean? That by OUR decision something is accomplished?
She then refers to Ephesians 2:4-8, in which Paul writes that even while we were dead in our sins Christ made us alive with Christ–not through our own efforts, but as a gift. Similarly, she quotes Romans 5:10, which says something similar. She notes:
I am not saying that choosing, believing, and repenting (turning your life) are not vitally significant. They determine the way in which you experience (continue to experience) salvation and life in the kingdom as a daily lived reality.
…It is the gift of God. Grace is not a transaction.
There are 46 comments on the post. I haven’t read them all, but from what I did read there was a helpful, friendly conversation about what she said.
Wow. I’m not sure how this woman (Linda at Kingdom Grace) got into my head and then took what she found there and made it so beautiful and succint:
This might be kind of quirky, but I really am enamored with this topic. For over a year now, it has been like a shiny object that I hold in my hand or pocket and take out frequently to admire, study, and enjoy. I am not sure if the fascination is because it is new to me or if it is just inherently fascinating. Anyway, I appreciate the people in my real life and on the blog who humor me in my latest obsession.
So what did Jesus accomplish in his death and resurrection?
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. (Romans 5:18)
One has died for all, therefore all have died. (II Cor. 5:14)
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:5)
For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (I Cor. 15:21-22)
Who are the exceptions to “all”?
Just as death spread to all men through Adam, in Christ we all died and we have all been raised into new life. We weren’t consulted about this.
The gospel has never been about qualifying people for salvation, it is about letting them know the really good news . . . that they are already loved and embraced by the Father. (Link)
(I posted something similar by Bonhoeffer earlier.)