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8.14.2005    |    Saved by the (church) bell?
A brief discussion with one of our deacons before Bible study this morning was a bit of an eye-opener. The subject was whether we have been saved. The deacon opined that those of us who were in church had, essentially by definition, been saved. And, this man being (sort of) a Five-Point Calvinist, once saved, always saved. In other words, by the fact that we attended our Baptist church, and, presumably, our Bible study group after services, we were good to go in the eyes of the Lord.

Not. Necessarily. True. Especially in light of today's lesson, which was a study of Romans 6. Sure, Romans 6 on its surface tells us that, now that we've become Christians,
22...you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yet the overarching message is that sin is pervasive in our world and that we will be living in sin until we are brought before the throne of judgment.

In other words, as any with eyes to see will know, we who think we are saved sin mightily. Along with all the rest of humanity. It is a natural condition for all of Adam's children.

The difference for those of us in church? We can at least hope to have been chosen by God to be among those sent to Jesus for salvation. And, now that we are slaves to Christ Jesus, we at least will feel good and guilty about our sins. Which is a hefty improvement over our lives before Christ entered them.

I don't know if I'm saved; I hope I am; I will run my life as though I were. But I will never, ever, claim to have been saved because of a sacrament, a feeling, or church attendance, or any other man-made thing over which I have control.

It is up to God. Always has been. Always will be.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.