Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Faith Alone or Co-Workers?

"Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. 
If you hear me call and open the door, 
I'll come right in and sit down to supper with you. 
Conquerors will sit alongside me at the head table, just as I, 
having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of my Father. 
That's my gift to the conquerors!
"Are your ears awake? Listen. 
Listen to the Wind Words, 
the Spirit blowing through the churches." 
Revelation 3:20

There is a lot of confusion with exactly what salvation by Christ looks like. How much of our salvation rests on us? Short answer, "Every Last Detail!" Yes, any salvation BY MEN is completely dependent on men, but - any salvation from God is completely dependent on God. (I'm playing with words here, but word play is really a matter of perspective.) I fear our flesh is tempted to assume that there was a phone call, from our behalf, before Jesus showed up at our door. But the text does not afford us that luxury. When Christ came to the world he was not invited. He showed up uninvited and rejected, even by His own. We were all perfectly content doing our own thing, working on our own idea and planning the cleansing of our own conscience. We were enemies of God and without the slightest bit of regret, we were marching straight down to destruction. We wanted nothing to do with anything else, but our own credibility. We had things figured out.

The wisdom of Solomon, however, interrupted that line of thinking when he said, "the ways which seem right to man, end in death." We are joint heirs with Christ, praise be to God for that, but we were not co-workers with Him. Our salvation is in Him and Him alone. This is the appropriate way to receive Christ at our door, as both Savior and Lord. In response on any attempt of the flesh to add or assist in the redemptive work, which is Christ's alone, in Jesus' own words, "Let the dead bury their own dead". The work was His alone to do. Any work on our part might perhaps be considered an offense to the Cross. Neither did Jesus say that we should clean the place up a bit first. Praise God also for that. If we were ever able to clean house (spiritually speaking), we would never have need of a Savior. He restores us to a right relationship with the Father, He is our Redeemer, not a life coach.  All praise be to God, so that we can boast in nothing.

"For my part, I am going to boast about nothing
but the Cross of our Master, Jesus Christ. 
Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world, 
set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others 
and fitting into the little patterns that they dictate. 
Can't you see the central issue in all this? 
It is not what you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. 
It is what God is doing, 
and he is creating something totally new, a free life! 
All who walk by this standard 
are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. 
Peace and mercy on them!"
Galatians  6:14-16

1 comment:

  1. I really like the idea. How many times do we, in a sense, call Jesus back and say; "I'm going to need a little more time to clean the place up. Not quite ready for company yet, Lord. Especially someone of your importance."

    Folks! Jesus came to clean our dirty laundry so that we no longer stink! When we try to clean our laundry ourselves, the only detergent at our disposal is "STANK!" Let Jesus in and He will clean, because it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to clean it yourself. He has this great new detergent just for cleaning filthy rags like yours. It's call BLOOD OF THE LAMB.