Posts Tagged ‘Salvation’

Secure in our Saving God

I’ve just got back from UCCF: The Christian Unions Forum Conference 2010. It was a wonderful time of learning more of Jesus, being encouraged by searching the scriptures, praying and enjoying fellowship with 900 other Christian students in a field in Shropshire.

The highlight for me was the seminars I went to in the morning, aptly called ‘Secure in our Saving God’ led by Mike Reeves and Angus Moyes. You can listen to the audio here (I cannot recommend it highly enough). Having started on the first morning looking at a rounded view of the doctrine of original sin and federal headship, how in Adam we are sinners because he first sinned, we moved on to salvation being found in Christ alone, and more specifically the crucial truth that we can only be justified before our holy Father through being united in Jesus.

I have never before realised Union with Christ is absolutely essential. It warms my heart to the very depths hearing of the fact that I am clothed with Christ, it is in itself the life transforming message of the gospel. Isaiah 61:10 says ‘I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness.’ Christ alone is my robe of righteousness. I wore a robe of death.

The Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright, claims that on the cross righteousness and sin cannot be transferred between Jesus and a sinner as if by osmosis. And this would be a credible argument, if this was actually the evangelical claim. But it isn’t the claim at all. We only receive Christ’s righteousness because we are actually wrapped up in him. In salvation, it is as if we are grafted into Him so that he can carry our body of sin and death, and we can claim his very own righteousness for our own. Ephesians 1 is helpful in showing how all the Spiritual blessings are not from Him as such, but rather are found in Him!

And there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because He is the same yesterday, today and forever. If you are a Christian, you can be secure in the Saving God because He is our means of knowing the Father at all times, today and forever.

Holiness is good for you, but it’s not for me?

Just read this excellent insight on holiness and the doctrine of sanctification from Josh Harris in his book Dug Down Deep;

‘I used to think that sanctification was a matter of personal style. Like some sort of spiritual hobby that certain Christians were really into. Some Christians are into holiness, while others might make evangelism or Scripture memory or potlucks their thing.

But that’s not how the Bible talks about sanctification. God’s Word teaches that sanctification isn’t optional for believers. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Strive for… holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” That verse always sobers me. It says that if there isn’t some degree of holiness in our lives, there’s a real question of whether we’ve truly experienced God’s saving work. If we don’t love what Jesus loves, if we don’t want to be like him, then maybe we’ve never really met him.

This isn’t to say that our good works earn salvation – we are saved only by grace (Ephesians 2:8). But the way we live proves the reality of our salvation. If a person has truly been saved, truly been justified by grace, it shows in a new lifestyle. Every genuine Christian is being sanctified. The process might be slow, it might move ahead in fits and starts, but if we’ve been justified, we will also begin to be sanctified.’