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It's tragic that "salvation" is reduced to "getting your sins forgiven".
I need to tell you that I'm not interested here in saying that we should "do more than go to church and sing hymns and read our Bibles."
Is there anyone--ANYONE--who professes the name of the Lord Jesus who doesn't know that? Who hasn't known it since childhood?
Don't you get weary of and impatient with these banal reminders that "sitting in a church building no more makes you a Christian than sitting in a garage makes you an automobile"? A pox on them!
I'm sure there must be some of those around who think "all they have to do is attend worship services"--but how would we know they feel that way unless they told us? We're too quick to think we know what's really going on in the lives of even those closest to us. Let's have some modesty and if we suspect that of some people let's have the good sense and decency to ask their opinion on the matter. It just might be that we'll discover that "going to church" is almost an act of heroism in those people and that they're barely making it through life--that they're living lives of "quiet desperation".
No, I'm not wanting to talk about what our response to God should be--critically important as that can be. I want to make a single point and leave you alone. I want to say that the "salvation" that God offers in Jesus is completed only on that day when Jesus returns, rights all wrongs and restructures the world and delivers us finally and completely from the world-spirit and the perverted world structures it functions through.
In our better moments we want more than forgiveness [though we hunger for no less]--we want holy freedom. We want freedom from our inner shaping out of which our sinful thoughts and attitudes and deeds rise. We know in our bones that we can't free ourselves from this inner bentness. Bless me, we're addicted to all kinds of things that in private moments we confess to ourselves we're helpless to deal with. The smug among us need deliverance from their smugness and they often think that if their lives were structured the same as others that they would still be Mr. or Ms. Wonderful. They too need rescued.
We want freedom from the deranged world powers, from cultures that pour us into their mold from childhood and from laws that promote greed and shrewdness and manipulation and abuse of others. These too help shape us inwardly and as long as this world stands as it now stands we'll never be fully liberated, never fully rescued and therefore never fully saved.
The biblical witness offers FULL salvation in the Lord Jesus and in him alone. He came and comes to offer FULLNESS of life and not only forgiveness. He came and will come to deal with Sin in ALL its forms, with all its devices and to transform THE ENTIRE PLANETARY LIFE. Individuals will experience salavtion because his salvation is COSMIC and embraces the individual. Individuals are not saved in a vacuum, they are not saved as free-standing and isolated units. Individuals even now experience salvation because the saving work of the God in the Lord Jesus is COSMIC and those saved individuals, as a body, bear witness to the truth that Jesus has indeed overcome THE WORLD.
The day will come when all who down the ages are embraced in God's saving work will see and know and rejoice in the truth that what God's elect [not elite! not elite!] have been bearing witness to was indeed true--that God had come to the rescue! That GOD in and as Jesus Christ had come to do what we could never do for ourselves. Such a deliverance could only be accomplished by GOD and not by the addicted and self-enslaved human family.
To FULLY save us is more than to forgive us our individual sins [not less]. It means defying and dismantling "the world" from which the sinful human family could not save itself. Dismantling it and renewing it!
Only a God could do that! Only a God like Jesus Christ would want to do that!
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