Friday, January 29, 2021
Damned or Saved
It’s our choice.
How will we live out today, as saints or sinner?
Both always at the same time!
Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Words of Grace For Today
The world’s equations are simple and messed up. They speak of just rewards. The wealthy and ‘successful’ hold that they have earned their wealth and ‘success’, and the poor just have not worked hard enough!
Those in deep poverty don’t have time to waste on such equations: life demands everything of them just to survive another week, maybe even just one more day!
Those in between, afraid they may end up in deep poverty, buy into the work-reward equation as protection from sliding into desperate poverty (until they do, not a result of their own doing) and as a faint hope that some day, if they work hard enough they may climb up into better circumstances, even become one of the wealthy or ‘successful’.
God’s equation is not tied to our efforts, not efforts at good works, nor efforts at true belief, not efforts of right thoughts. God’s equation of ‘success’ requires only God’s acting on us, in us, and through us …. By grace alone we are saved.
So what do we do with these biblical texts and many like them that seem to throw us right back into the ‘our good efforts and good results net us eternal salvation or eternal damnation – so buck up pal and do good OR else!’ equation?
First of all: it is a life long challenge to remember and hold to God’s equation for our eternal salvation. Some hold (not us) that it’s all up to God, so what we do does not count at all! It’s just that our lives will reflect God’s choice of salvation or damnation for us: that is if we look like God has saved us it means we are and the other way around. In this way of living one falls right back into desperately trying to be or at least look good, so as to show in this life one is chosen by God to be saved! And that brings us right back into the futile equation of ‘it’s all up to us, so buck up pal Or else.’
Second of all: it is not up to us to get it right. We do not hold that we can save ourselves, but we certainly can ignore God’s good work in us and live like hell. Literally we can sin madly and never take claim of the gift of salvation that God has already given to us and constantly newly gives to us.
So our salvation is a result of God’s good work for us.
And our damnation is a result of our own evil work in creation.
A paradox, but what else is faith, than a tension beyond comprehension, requiring trust each day, each minute.
Before God we are all in deep poverty, needing God’s gift of redemption. We are all sinners.
Before God we are all given the greatest riches and real success, claimed as God’s own children. We are all saints.
So how to live each day: simple! Share God’s Grace with everyone.
As Jesus summed it up: love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength, and your neighbour as yourself, even your enemies!
That equation for each day is like the bright sun in the mild air on the cold snow returned after weeks of cloudy, snowy, deep-freeze weather: it’s filled with thanks for the light, love for creation, and hope for each new day!