Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Path to Salvation

Of Well, I'm back in the saddle, and, appropriately enough, talking about redemption, or salvation, today. Personally, I think the term salvation is more appropriate, as redeeming, to me carries the connotation of something you do for yourself, such as when I post in a timely manner and redeem my trustworthiness. However, it is fairly clear that we are saved not through our own effort, but through God's beneficence, through Jesus' sacrifice.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9
Of course, exactly who is saved and how is a matter of much debate, and obvious importance. However, I tend to agree with my sister when she says that perhaps we worry a bit too much about whether or not other people are saved. Since I believe that logic is a good way to approach one's faith, here is an example of why I do not believe salvation is as restrictive as people sometimes make it out to be.

Assumption one: We are all saved in the same manner, and that manner is through Jesus. As he himself is said to have spoken in John 14:6, "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

Assumption two: People who lived before Jesus can be saved. The best support for this that I can think of is Jesus' parable about the rich man and Lazarus, which can be found starting in Luke 16:19.

Conclusion: The mechanism of salvation must be a bit more inclusive than belief in Christ Jesus as Savior. Which is not to say that believing Jesus is one's Savior is bad, or unimportant, just that I do not believe that we should write people off for failing that standard. It seems to me that doing so ignores God's great love and ability to meet us where we are, praise God!


Frank said...

I read Kare's post but could not find a way to comment on it using Mozilla. Drat! One of the most interesting stories in the entire Bible on this issue is when Namaan was healed. He is getting ready to go back to Syria and he says, "Hey, Elijah! When I go back I will have to go with my master into the temple of Rimmon and I will be expected to worship the old boy with my master. If I don't, it's bye-bye Namaan. So, here's the deal. I will bow to Rimmon, because I have to, but please tell God that as I am bowing with my body, I am worshiping the true God with my heart." And what does Elijah say? Hey, no sweat, that's fine Namaan. Go in peace. I have always been intrigued by that story because God plainly told anybody who cared to follow him that he was an exclusive God, and that they should not bow to anybody but him, but here is a brand new convert who is going to blatantly break this most basic of rules and God's prophet says it is ok. Hmmmmmm.

Kenny said...

I am sorry that Blogger seems to have such trouble with Mozilla. I use Firefox and have no issues, so it may be a setting on her blog, I'll try to remember to mention it to her.

I am glad you mentioned the story of Namaan, I just went and read it, and it is, as you mention, quite interesting. Then there is the passage "'Everything is permissible' —but not everything is beneficial. 'Everything is permissible' —but not everything is constructive." in 1 Corinthians 10:23.

Karen said...

I finally got around to reading this, and when I took a peek at the comments, I was glad I did!

Regarding Namaan, that is an interesting story. Perhaps when God requires us to not bow to other gods, He is more concerned with our heart than our body. It seems like sometimes God asks people to go against the system (like Daniel), but I feel like it's usually less out of concern of "morality" and more because God wants to show some people who He is. In Naaman's case, maybe God was OK with him doing what it took to survive as long as his heart wasn't in it. I could be wrong there, but I don't think that it's too wild of an idea. :)

Regarding commenting on my blog, I'm not sure why it doesn't work. If you click on "View comments" for the post you want to comment on, it should open the current comments and provide a place to write something new under those.

Karen said...

Also, hopefully that made sense. I really need to go to bed, and my eyes are blurring as I try to read what I'm typing.... ! Good night!