Thursday, January 17, 2008

Saving grace

Salvation. The meaning is pretty clear:
1.
. a. Preservation or deliverance from destruction, difficulty, or evil.
. b. A source, means, or cause of such preservation or deliverance.
2. Christianity
. a. Deliverance from the power or penalty of sin; redemption.
. b. The agent or means that brings about such deliverance.

There is a finality aspect to salvation. When God does something it is done. Yet...

We sometimes tend to look only at the completed transaction. We think, "It is finished." And when we do it isn't bad.
Yet, do you not need God to save you every day? I know I do. I am tempted every day. I am tried every day.
And when I think I don't need to be saved anymore, I find out I still do need to be saved.
Every day.
You could look at this as sanctification. And it is, but even sanctification, doesn't describe what happens completely. (sanctify -1. To set apart for sacred use; consecrate.)

One day, God will be foremost in our thoughts, doing right to others and ourselves will be foremost in our thoughts.
We will see everything through the eyes of Love and Goodness and Charity.
I don't know what that will really be like.
Will we still need to be saved and sanctified?
Oddly enough, I think so.
None of us are ever truly going to be God.
So we are always going to need Him.
To help us.
To love us.
And to save us.

14 comments:

Timm said...

I went out to lunch with Geppy about a month ago. You know that Geppy and I, although we think a lot alike, also disagree on quite a bit. While we were eating and talking, Geppy said something that bothered me. I'll paraphrase, but it was something along the lines of "salvation isn't complete until the very end."

Through the conversation attached to your last post, I finally understand what he was talking about. I think J Razz explained it best:

"[Salvation] is a three part process: You have justification, sanctification and glorification. Justification is what happens upon recieving the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is the ongoing process of becoming like Christ. Glorification is the point in which we will be like Christ and it will not happen while we walk the earth in this body."

It is not complete until the end. Thanks to everyone for helping me work through this concept.

j razz said...

No problem Timm. I am glad that God used me in that.

Roland, I believe I am going to add you to my side bar as I find myself visiting here more often (just a heads up).

j razz

layneh said...

That is a good explanation, my question to you would be if God returns, and lets say you are in step one, what does that mean for his/her salvation?

If that person backslides, does it mean they are not going to be saved?

I guess this all goes back to Once saved always saved, so i guess we are not going to reach a agreement, I just wanted to poke a little I guess. Sorry Roland, but I am still going to post this. :)

Craig said...

I have little time, but I would like to say that I don't believe we are saved everyday. That does sound like progressive sanctification and repentance. There is a difference. There is a change once someone excepts Christ.

I see what j razz is saying, I don't know if I agree or disagree. I look at it more as glorification is the end result. Justification, Sanctification and Glorification all go together. I don't see Glorification as a process, but more of a promise.

j razz said...

Glorification is not a process. Sanctification is a process.
Justification is a one time act. You cannot be continually justified as you are justified once for all just as Christ has been offered as a sacrifice once for all time. Once you have been justified, sanctification starts immediately. Not because of what you do per se, but because of the good works that our Lord has planned in advance for you to walk in. (Don't hear me wrong, you are still responsible for your actions regardless of what has been planned). Then once you are given your ressurected body, you are glorified as you have become fully like Christ.

Again, sanctification is a process. We are told to be holy as He is holy. We are told to be perfect as He is perfect. These are things that we strive after and work towards while all the while being sanctified.

I hope that clarifies things a little.

Layneh, I would say that once you are justified (covered by the atonement of Christ) that will never be revoked as it was acceptable to God on your behalf. For you to lose that justification, one would have to conclude that Christ's sacrifice was not good enough for God the Father to cover your sins.

On the other hand I would also argue that if you do backslide and fall away from the faith, you were never really a believer to begin with. (Read I John chapter 2)

j razz

Craig said...

j razz,

i understand what you are saying, I might have been a little confusing because of the lack of time I had to type a response. What I was trying to say is that I agree with you, but I don't know if I would classify salvation as a process.

I understand justification, sanctification and glorification. But I think there is a difference in positional sanctification and progressive sanctification.

And to reaffirm j razz's point to Layne...
Hebrews 10:10 "By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

Someone cannot be re-sanctified.

j razz said...

I am not quite sure I know what you mean by this statement as I am not familiar with the descriptive adjectives you use: I think there is a difference in positional sanctification and progressive sanctification.

Are you referring to the difference between say what the Nazarene's believe concerning sanctification (you can be wholly sanctified) and what the Southern Baptist's believe concerning sanctification (you are continually being sanctified)?

As for salvation not being a process, how would you explain when scripture tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who is at work within us both to will and to want for His good pleasure? Or For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
This uses the present tense in the greek. Not the aorist or perfect tenses- it uses the present form of σῳζομένοις (being saved) The word katergazesqe (work out) is present middle imperative and carries the meaning of keep on working out (continuous) and the imperative here means that it must be done and some would argue that the middle voice means that it is an act upon you but this is debatable and I will not press it (but the very next part of the verse will). (I Cor. 1.18 & Phil. 2.12)

j razz

j razz said...

hmm. That's odd. Only one of the words kept the greek.

j razz

Roland said...

J Razz, I love the way you explained it on the post 2 previous to this one. I just wish you would have done it before I made this post. Would have saved me time. ;)

Craig, I want to clarify something.
I need salvation every day.
If you're looking at the act of justification, I think J razz articulated it excellently. I hadn't ever really thought of it that way, but it fits really well.

Geppy and Timm, thanks for the encouragement of knowing that we can understand each other. Sometimes. :)

Layne, keep asking the questions. Not one of us has arrived. And to be honest, I backslide more often than I would like. But He always remains faithful. Even when I don't. And keep poking. IT bursts those stupide little ideas that I have that are wrong sometimes. I love learning and growing. Okay, not always, but in the long run I do.

It amazes me how much I learn every day just from going to all of your sites. Thanks for the good work you are all doing. I mean it.

Craig said...

j razz,

After looking at the verses you cited I am without a doubt convinced that you are correct and I was wrong. And with this view it makes it impossible for anyone to lose their salvation.

What I meant by the two types of sanctification is: Positional Sanctification = Set apart by God by justification and identified as a saint. Progressive Sanctification = the process we talk about being more Christlike.

Thanks for clarifying and helping me understand this better.

j razz said...

After looking at the verses you cited I am without a doubt convinced that you are correct and I was wrong.

This really encourages me. Not that I am correct so much as the "After lookin gat the verses..." you looked for yourself, saw what scripture says and then you accepted it for what it is. This is truly encouraging. Usually the places where I comment I usually get a "well, this is what I was meaning" or "Well, if you take it this way then...". Thank you for your humility in this as it is a great blessing for me to see this from another believer.

I hope that whenever I am proved wrong, God grants me the grace to accept it and the humility to admit it. (That is not to be taken as if I have never been proven wrong, just for future occurences).

Again, thanks.

j razz

j razz said...

Also, when I first posted concerning Salvation (two of Roland's posts down (Hiding), I gave a context to the quote Timm supplies above. If you view scripture through this lens when it speaks of salvation, I believe you will have a better understanding of the passage in which it is contained. This is how I understand the Apostles and the author's of scripture to have understood salvation.

I just thought I would throw that in there.

j razz

Geppy said...

Hey Timm, thanks for thinking of me. :)

Sorry I haven't been around. But my new computer is mostly built and back together. Yay!

J Razz, your comments interest me. And they make me wonder: are you in the ministry? If so, where did you do your training?

This was a good post Roland. Though the post and the comments haven't quite gone to what I think I was saying at lunch with Timm. My mind hasn't finished working on that thought yet either Timm. ;)

J Razz said something that is tickling the brain though (something about this body, this world), so hopefully I make a post on it soon. I would be interested in each of your feedback on it.

j razz said...

Geppy, I am not in the ministry per se (or a man of the cloth as I was called recently- see my post on ebay). I do minister though. I recieved my education at Union University (www.uu.edu) and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (www.sbts.edu). I majored in Biblical Studies with an empasis in languages and at seminary I studied the same. Although, while doing undergraduate work, I minored in graphic design and that is mainly what I do today (www.jrazzcreations.com)

With that being said, I would say that what I learned at both places is the responsibility of the church and it has been abdicated to the universities for whatever reason I know not. I will say this as well, Union prepared me really well for seminary (almost too well) and what is more, what I learned at both is the same things I am currently learning at my church now. They take their responsibilities seriously. The church is Cornerstone Community Church (www.cccnow.org)

That may have been more information than you wanted, but I thought I would take the time to explain.

j razz