Kaleidoscope

Justification

Posted on: Jueves 26 mayo 2005

Lauren asked me to explain how one doesn’t “accept Jesus”. I’m going to be as clear as possible, although when there are a lot of things to explain, I often mix them up in my head to finally just say the 2 or 3 essential things… Oh, well! How does my mind work? Only God knows.

One cannot accept Jesus for the simple reason that He said: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44) That’s it.

We cannot perfect our conduct, try as we might. We cannot understand God through our own intellects. We cannot become one with God. Instead of human beings having to do these things, the Bible teaches that God does them for us–He becomes one with us in Jesus Christ; He reveals Himself to our feeble understandings by His Word; He forgives our conduct and, in Christ, lives the perfect life for us. We do not have to ascend to God; rather, the good news is that He has descended to us. Most philosophies and theologies focus on what human beings must do to be saved; The Bible insists that there is nothing we can do, but that God does literally everything. We are justified by grace through faith in Jesus, the Christ.

In a great book, “The Spirituality of the Cross” by G. E. Veith, the author explains clearly what the Christian faith is all about, but because he understood this in the Lutheran church, he tends to talk too much about “Lutheran belief”, when it could/should be referred as “Christian belief” or “Biblical truth”.

I find confusing to say Lutheran all the time, and for two reasons:
1) There are 2 different Lutheran church bodies, who have different doctrines, one teaches the good thing, the other is as so so as the rest.
2) Lutherans don’t believe in Luther, rather believe that the Dr. Luther was right in wanting to reform the Roman Catholic Church. (That didn’t work, but a history of the Lutheran Church belongs to another post, I think)

2 comentarios to "Justification"

Noelia,

Thanks for your clarification. I like your idea of faith that WE don’t have to ‘do’ anything– it just happens within and through us without any effort on our part. At least, that’s how I understood your explanation.

It’s always been distressing to me, people who strive and strive and strive to be the ‘perfect Christian,’ and it seems to be beside the whole point. Your idea of faith puts the question of ‘what we have to do to be good enough’ to rest. There IS nothing to do. That’s great.

So… now, that’s a version of Christianity that I could get along with.

Lauren

Hi Lauren!! I’m glad you understood! Talking about faith is always a chalenge, because it only depends about…faith. And you know, if one believes (or starts to think about God) it’s already the work of the Holy Spirit!! So many Christians forget about this… And that’s sad because in wanting to do things and perfect ourselves, the focus is on the “human force” (if there could be any) rather than what triune God has done and is doing for us, in us, through us!!!

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