Sun - Sep 02, 2007 : 04:24 pm
Grace vs. Works
I just got back from a Presbyterian church meeting with Henry, Kim, Julia, Sarah, myself and our two kids. It was quite interesting.
We walked in there about 5-10 minutes late, and went forward until we were sitting like 5 rows back from the front.
A full band of 7 people was playing on a stage and was sounding quite wonderful, actually. Singing praises to God along with the majority of the audience, the band played on immersed by the music and probably a spiritual communion of sorts.
After singing 3 songs of praise, based mostly on the grace of Jesus Christ, the pastor got up and talked some more about the grace of Jesus Christ. Most of what he said I believe to be true, but there were some glaring problems with a bit of it.
The pastor said that people here on the earth were in a "state of rest". I didn't quite jive with that at all. He went on to explain that this state of rest we were in was due to the fact that Jesus Christ has already saved us all. All we need to do is "have Jesus in your heart" and you're good to go - salvation all the way, baby.
Man, I do not understand that. Not at all. How in the world can we say we're "saved" if we proclaim that we accept Jesus by doing nothing more than saying the words....? I mean, even if we mean it with all our hearts, I believe it is still not enough to claim salvation.
Here's my main point of frustration with the whole "we are saved by grace alone" mantra.
If we are to do nothing more than accept Jesus Christ by verbalizing it, then why did Jesus Christ give us commandments?
Inherent in a "commandment" is the need to obey it. Obedience comes through actions which prove our intent. "By their fruits ye shall know them" rings through my head while thinking about being saved by grace.
If grace is enough, why then are fruits so important? Why did Jesus tell us to keep His commandments, if we are required to do nothing more than walk around proclaiming that Jesus has saved us?
Anyway, that's pretty much it. It's a pretty heated debate among theologians, so I suppose there's much more to the whole debate than is presented in this little blog.
But, I thought you'd like to know what I think about it.