Saturday, July 30, 2016

Rubrics of salvation

Believers, no less than Pharisees, have been known to shut the doors of the Kingdom of Heaven in men’s faces, while not going in themselves.

They do this by citing the sayings of Jesus or the apostles which are expressed to define boundaries, but they apply them as unjust judges, themselves not keeping the Law.

Quick to exclude others on the slightest pretext—whether moral or doctrinal it does not matter—applying to others what they do not apply to themselves.

If the apostle writes, ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ (Romans 10:13), they agree provisionally, which means not at all, and then cite other verses to qualify it.

If the Lord says, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die’ (John 10:25), again, they rush to qualify Christ’s words, to fit their rubrics:

‘No one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit’ (John 3:5), they quote, as if to pull out a trump card, changing Christ’s invitation into a stipulation.

But consider, salvation is nothing less or more than returning to our Father, we who have strayed. It is no more nor less than turning around, repenting, and accepting God’s mercy and pardon.

Over and beyond our return to Him, God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—imposes no other conditions, erects no other barriers between Himself and us.

Our sin covers us when we depart from Him, so we cannot see the road back. But His mercy also covers us when we accept it, and it hides our sins from us, and from Him.

Rubrics may be written well when they assist our return to God, but they are ‘lies from the pit of hell’ when they nullify our attempts to return by imposing restrictions.

‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life’ (John 3:16).

These are the rubrics of salvation, which even one for whom all is lost, even life itself, can take hold of, by confessing, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’

For Jesus answers, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise’ (Luke 23:42-43).

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