Thursday, April 21, 2011

Remember in the garden when you asked me where I was?

What is our God like? Who is he? What is his salvation like?
What about the difficult questions of "once saved, always saved?"
Jo Larcombe loves this song. Chase me by Miriam Jones. She should.
The gospel is surely the Son sent by the Father to bring us into the life of God.
As Ellis Potter says, Jesus question in the garden isn't accusation but invitation. Seeking us.
Chris Oldfield commends this video. He should.
The best bit, says Chris, is a quote from Calvin near the end.

Sanders cites Calvin around 55mins into his lecture.

"We see that our whole salvation and all its parts are comprehended in Christ [Acts 4:12]. We should therefore take care not to derive the least portion of it from anywhere else. 
If we see salvation, we are taught by the very name of Jesus that it is "of him" [1 Cor 1:30]. 
If we seek any other gifts of the Spirit, they will be found in his annointing.
If we seek strength, it lies in his dominion; if purity, in his conception; 
if gentleness, it appears in his birth. For by birth he was made like us in all respects [Heb 2:17] that he might learn to feel our pain [cf. Heb 5:2]. 
If we seek redemption, it lies in his passion; 
if acquittal, in his condemnation; 
if remission of the curse, in his cross [Gal 3:13]; 
if satisfaction, in his sacrifice; if purification, in his blood; 
if reconciliation, in his decent into hell; 
if mortification of the flesh, in his tomb; 
if newness of life, in his resurrection; 
if immortality in the same; 
if inheritance of the Heavenly Kingdom, in his entrance into heaven; 
if protection, if security, 
if abundant supply of all blessings, in his Kingdom; 
if untroubled expectation of judgement, in the power given to hiim to judge. 
In short, since rich store of every kind of good abounds in him, let us drink our fill from this fountain, and from no other." Calvin Institutes 2.16.xvi

A friend asked me what to say about "once saved, always saved" yesterday. Whatever the subject or question, keep it about Jesus would seem to set the conversation in the right key. In this case, if I'm tempted to anxiety about whether I'm saved - look to Jesus. If I'm tempted to complacency and wandering away - look to Jesus. "Saved" after all is another word for knowing Jesus and his Father who sent him (John 17:3). Worry less about when that relationship might have started and whether it can end - instead dig deeply into knowing Christ. To following him. To knowing the Spirit's annointing as he did, and indeed everything else his Father gave to him. And so, in Jesus, by the Spirit, let's get to know the Father. Trinitarianism is Christocentrism. He came looking for me, and I want to know him.

Keeps it simple, keeps it beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. Love this. And completely agree.

    As a grumpy 5-pointer (stereotypes are great) I have really valued my Arminian mentor's challenge to be the first to mention Jesus in any and all debates over that area (and any others...)