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Over the years I have written several "book" or "booklets" and many, many, many newsletter and bulletin articles. Because the book market seeks writings to meet specific needs at specific times, my material has never been accepted. I have a tendency to write what is on my mind and so I am left with self publishing. So, with the encouragement from my wife and others, I am beginning this blog in order to put my "ramblings" "out there"! I hope you enjoy!

Disclaimer

Please note that while my intentions are to use good grammar, because of the way in which some of the material presented here is presented (orally) the grammar and syntax might not always be the best English. Also note that good theology is not always presented in the best English so there may be times when the proper grammar rules are purposely broken.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

What’s The Difference?

I find it rather perturbing when I read disparaging remarks concerning Roman Catholic Christians when especially made by Evangelical (Reformed, Anabaptist, etc.) Christians. My questions is what is the difference? Both Roman and the Evangelical theology confuse Law and Gospel and change God’s grace into a new type of works righteousness. To be fair, at least the Roman Church is honest and confesses that they believe that one is saved by faith and works. Whereas the Evangelical attempts to hide the insistence on being saved by faith and works by suggesting that they believe one is saved by grace and dedicating ones life to Jesus, or committing ones life to the Lord, or making a decision for Jesus. What is the difference when anything is added to Grace except that one is no longer saved by Grace, but by what is added. To put it in mathematical terms, zero plus anything is the anything, so 0+1=1, 0+2=2, etc. And so it is when anything is added to Grace. Grace is zero, zero requirement on our part. Thus, Grace, zero, plus anything, i.e., works, decision, dedication, committing, etc. means one is no longer saved by Grace, but by works, decision, dedication, committing, etc. In essence there is no difference because Grace is on longer Grace and instead one is pointed to oneself and one’s own devises for being saved.

Grace is Grace and needs nothing added. Grace always and only points to Jesus. I am “saved by Grace (God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense) through faith and this is a gift of God so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8,9). Such boasting as, “I chose Jesus, I dedicated my life to Jesus, I did this or that for Jesus.” Notice that Paul says there is no pointing to self, to works, to decision, dedication, committing, etc only to the gift of God. I make mistakes. I get it wrong. I cannot depend on my doing anything. But I know that God gets it right. He is never wrong and I can depend on Him. Thus I am saved because God chose me. God put His name on me at my Baptism. God put faith in my heart. God gave me forgiveness of sins and wrote my name in the Book of Life. Jesus, just Jesus is the reason I am saved.

2 comments:

  1. There are many problems with the false doctrines of the Roman church, but the evangelicals who preach that salvation comes by a mere decision without the calling of God are also following a wrong belief. The Bible is clear. It speaks of election, justification, redemption, and yes.....works....not a basis for salvation but a byproduct. So unless you want to delete the book of James from the Bible, you will have to give the evangelicals partial credit for their insistence on works as evidence of a transforming witness.

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  2. Actually, if you read the book of James you will find that James always points to Jesus first. "Our works" follow, but only as a response of faith first given. I like the example of the Sun and the Moon. We only see the Moon shine because it is reflecting the light of the Sun. Likewise we only love others and do good works as Jesus the Son of God first loves us and works those good works in and through us. Thus, even Sanctification points to Jesus!

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