Friday, October 22, 2010

Salvation Series: Faith in Christ Alone vs. Works Pt. 3

It is about time that I posted something. As a matter of fact, I recently finished an eight week course, while I was taking three other classes at the same time. I was bombarded with schoolwork, and now the recent shift in less schoolwork has given me more time to post. Anyways, enough of that and let's delve into the more important facets of life. The place where we left off last time in the Salvation series was when I was going to bring in Ephesians 2:1-10 into the picture. For review, I posed a definite question that is rather important in response to the battle between Faith through Grace in Christ Alone Salvation vs. Works based salvation. That question is: Is Christ's death enough to save you from every sin you have ever committed? We argued that works based salvation supports a Christ plus works view of salvation. If that is the case, then Christ's death is not sufficiently, exclusively enough to save you. He died in vain, for no purpose, as it says in Galatians 2:21. You need to add works into the mantra of that particular type of salvation.

Then, we asked the question of why Jesus came to earth at all? If he died in vain, then there is no point into why he came to earth, since his sole purpose, in living on earth, was to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). He came that we may have life and have it abundantly as it says in John 10. Now, I will pick up where we left off. We will be diving into Ephesians 2:1-3 today in relation to the controversy of a works based salvation. If you have a Bible near by, you can open up to the passage or you can read it here.

What Ephesians 2:1-3 primarily says is that we are dead in our transgressions and sins. We have no hope. We are lifeless. It is completely impossible on our own strength to mount up enough righteousness to save ourselves. Isaiah 64:6 says, "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away." The Hebrew term for "polluted garment" refers to menstrual rags. When a woman has had her period back in the Old Testament days, the complete ugliness and smelliness of the menstrual action was accomplished on old rags, which were specifically used for that purpose. These menstrual rags represent our righteous deeds, our good works in relation to God's penetrating holiness. Good works, the primary source of salvation for most people, is in total, direct opposition to God. He does not want your so called "good works". The Christ plus works view of Catholicism does not bode well when interpreting the actual truth of Isaiah 64:6 itself. Isaiah 64:6 wholeheartedly speaks for itself. Then, the verse continues on to say that our iniquities blow us away like the wind. The rest of the verse signifies the heart of the human condition.

I was watching the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe the other day. If you have seen that movie before, you probably know where I am headed with this point. Well, if you don't know, Edmund is seduced by his own pride when he meets the White Witch for the first time. The White Witch, in a subtle manner, tells Edmund that he could be the rightful King only if he brought his brother and sisters to her castle between the two mountains in her icy dominion. While the White Witch is telling Edmund this, Edmund is comforted by the Witch through warmth, Turkish delight, and hot chocolate. Edmund is pleased and decides to follow through with the plan, so he can be the only King. When Edmund reaches her icy dominion the next time, he comes alone and is wondrously surprised. He is thrown into a cell without a small taste of Turkish delight and is held captive by the Witch's power. All along the White Witch was planning to kill him along with his brother and sisters, but she only had Edmund within her grasp, the ultimate traitor. She needed the others: Peter, Susan, and Lucy. Somehow, the other three siblings made it safely to Aslan's camp. Aslan ordered some of his army to save Edmund from being held captive to the Witch's power. The task was eventually accomplished, but the Witch demanded from Aslan Edmund's blood, because Edmund was a traitor. His sentence was death.

In the Chronicles of Narnia books and movies, Edmund is known as the "bad boy". The character, who strayed away from good wisdom and followed the evil wisdom of the witch. He is not a good character by any stretch of the imagination. However, Edmund is a lot like us. His sin completely rammed him down into a deep gorge. His iniquity blew him away like a mighty wind. His sentence was death. Our iniquity completely rams us into a deep gorge. Our sin blew us away like a mighty wind. Our sentence is no doubt death as well, and with this picture, many look to good works, good deeds, good tidings as their only hope of salvation. How sad is that? We need to reach these people with the Gospel and knock their brains with these truths. If we don't, hell is waiting in the near distance, waiting to suck these people to their eventual deaths. These people have no hope. Edmund had no hope. Complete, total, definite hopelessness, dead in transgressions and sins. Do we place our hope fully in good works? Gratefully not. Where does our hope come from? Stay tuned... End Part 3


Toyin O. said...

Great post.

Rachel M. said...

I read your post, brother ;)

I so appreciate your heart in sharing what the Lord is teaching you and continue to be that example for Him alone!

Blessings, your sis,
Rachel ;)