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Examining "The State of Theology": Salvation

Updated: Jul 3, 2020

In the New Testament, the word for "salvation" or "deliverance" in Greek, the original language of the New Testament, is sótéria (σωτηρία). It is because of this that the doctrine of salvation, and the academic field concerned with the study of the doctrine of salvation, is called soteriology. Soteriology is the study of how it is that God saves us. Several questions and other topics are lumped into that all-important question.

In the last post, we discussed the doctrines of sin and hell. As difficult as these doctrines are to stomach to some, they speak to a problem in the human condition felt deeply by every person. Just as much as the world is good and beautiful, just as much as we experience the depth of love and connection in relationship with other people, just as much as we see the goodness of humanity in our capacity for love, relationship, creativity and culture, evil is part of this world. Evil is both external and internal to us. It is external to the extent that we see it in those around us, not only in others' actions but in others' experiences. It is internal to the extent that we see it in ourselves. We see it when certain urges or impulses come to the surface, and we cannot explain them. In the briefest moments of self-honesty, we realize that we are not good. There is goodness in us, but it seems to be corrupt in some way. All too often, love gives way to hatred, light to darkness, life to death.

If what is called the doctrine of original sin-that Adam, in committing the first sin by eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, brought sin and death into the world-is true, then this is the state of the world we live in. The doctrine seems consistent with the human condition. We really do experience a good world invaded by evil.

How is it that God saves us? It seems reasonable that, in "saving" us (saving us from what?), God must save us from what we've done to ourselves. And, in a sense, from the internal experience of evil that tells us that, whatever hell is, we deserve it. It's difficult to admit because admitting it requires humility, and we are, as sinners, prideful beings. No one likes admitting that they're wrong. Even less so that they're not good. In our brief exploration of soteriology, then, we must first address the question of the state that we're in.

But first, let's actually cover the respondents' responses from the relevant statements in "The State of Theology." Here are the statements and their results:

  • #13: God counts a person as righteous not because of one’s works but only because of one’s faith in Jesus Christ. (A: 54%; D: 32%)

  • #34: Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation. (A: 58%; D: 42%)

Among evangelicals, the results leaned much more heavily toward Agree (#13: 83%; #34: 89%). This is interesting to me but not altogether unexpected, since these two statements are specifically emphasized in any typical evangelical church. Remember that, since that category is broad by definition, focusing as it does on unity about the essentials of the faith, then this includes many churches and denominations, such as Southern Baptists and Presbyterians.

When we discuss the broader topic of soteriology, however, we should recognize that these statements, while important, do not express in full what salvation is and what concepts fall under it. It is for this reason that I'm going to discuss salvation under five main ideas. These ideas will build upon what we've already learned and each other in order to give us a fuller and more complete idea of what the Bible talks about when it discusses salvation. My goal here is to help you to understand how it is that you can/were saved by God and to show you how significant this truth is for us.

Here are the five main ideas:

  1. A Fallen World and Image-Bearers

  2. The Incarnation

  3. Jesus' Death and Resurrection

  4. Justification By Faith Alone

  5. Our New Vocation in Christ

A Fallen World and Image-Bearers

The existentialist philosophers of the early- to mid-20th century often talked about the "thrown-ness" of the human condition. It seems like we, as beings in the world, are simply thrown into a world that existed before us and will exist long after us, and in which we have no meaningful part. The apparent evil and suffering in the world and the certainty of death render our present existence seemingly meaningless, purposeless, and valueless. We live as meaning-driven beings in a meaningless world, according to these philosophers, and, therefore, life seems absurd. These philosophers reached these conclusions, however, on the presupposition that God didn't exist. If God does exist, and if our purpose as human beings is summed up in Genesis 1 and 2, then our thrown-ness in the world takes on an entirely different meaning. The seeming absurdity of life isn't evidence of its absurdity, but evidence that something good has been lost. Or, perhaps, overshadowed by evil.

As I said before, the doctrine of original sin seems consistent with the human condition. Life and the world are good. Connection with others and love are good. But evil seems to invade this goodness. In the last post, I said that sin results in three things: death, ugliness, and broken relationship and isolation. These three results are the antithesis of God's good purpose in creating us and the world: life, beauty, and connection with Himself and others. Along with this, we were created with the imago dei, or image of God, to reflect God into the world. We honor Him by reflecting Him into the world through joyful dominion over the world and the expression of love and other capacities that He has given us. With the Fall, we do not lose the imago dei, but it is corrupted. God has given us a wonderful capacity to create new things with the stuff of His creation. We, in our fallen state, built nuclear weapons.

Again, everyone wants world peace, but no one wants to admit that they're part of the problem. The external reality of evil shows us that evil is part of this world, even as an invader. The internal reality shows us that we are part of the problem. God, since He is just and perfect, must do something about me in order to do something about evil. Those who do evil must be dealt with so that good can prevail. What will He do with us? Once we realize that we are also evil, that sin exists in us, punishment begins to make sense. We cannot stand before a just and holy God.

Scripture abounds with descriptions of the sinfulness of humanity. It is one of the central themes of the Bible. Let me share three texts to represent this. First, when the Bible explains why God decided to destroy the entire world with a flood, it says in Genesis 6:5 (NASB):

"Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

Second, Paul compiles different verses from the Old Testament to show that Scripture teaches that all people are sinners before God in Romans 3:9-18 (NASB):

"What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, There is not even one.' 'Their throat is an open grave, With their tongues they keep deceiving,' 'The poison of asps is under their lips'; 'Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness'; 'Their feet are swift to shed blood, Destruction and misery are in their paths, And the path of peace they have not known.' 'There is no fear of God before their eyes.'"

Third, Paul shows in Romans 1:18-32 how idolatry in the Greeks led to immorality, such that worshiping things as if they were God corrupts the soul (NASB):

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them."

These passages are illustrative of two realities about sin. First, sin corrupts the soul. Second, sin is universal. We are all part of the problem. Adam and Eve's sin affects all of us. Thus, we find ourselves in a situation that could easily lead to despair. The existentialists rightly saw a problem in the human condition, but their only option was despair. If God exists, then His presence fills us with terror. But He created us for His presence. What are we to do about this?

The Incarnation

A few weeks ago, I wrote about christology, focusing in particular on the incarnation. While I wrote a lot about how to explain the doctrine of the incarnation, I did not write much about its significance. As I wrote in the post, by taking on a body, the divine Son of God shows us the heart of the Father. He shows us that, mysteriously within the being of God, there are relationships, and that this relationship between Jesus and the Father can be described in just that, familial terms. And, in His teaching, Jesus invites us into this familial relationship. In Mark 3:31-35, Jesus' family comes to Him as He is teaching, and the people point out to Him that His family has arrived. The text says, in verses 33-35 (NASB):

"'Answering them, He said, 'Who are My mother and My brothers?' Looking about at those who were sitting around Him, He said, 'Behold My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.'"

Jesus is not denouncing His physical family. He is simply teaching the people that, by doing the will of God, they can be part of a spiritual family, brothers and sisters of Jesus and sons and daughters of His Father. John the disciple of Jesus conveys the same message in John 1:12 when he writes that, "as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God" (NASB).

There is even more to this than what we've already said. Even more importantly, we must realize what it means for Jesus, as God, to take on a body in the incarnation. Not only does He reveal the will and nature of God, but He becomes a kind of location, as it were, where heaven and earth meet. I always describe Jesus as the God whose hands you could shake. To touch the body of God is almost beyond imagination, yet we should try, as much as we can, to wrap our heads around this idea. Jesus' every word is God's word. His every movement and expression are the physical movements and expressions of God. This is not just revelatory. It is profoundly new. More than anything, Jesus taught that in Himself, the kingdom of heaven had come to the earth. His proclamation of a new kingdom, somehow, included the chance for us to partake of Him and of the Father. Praying for unity in the Church, Jesus prays to the Father in John 17:20-21 (NASB):

"'I do not ask on behalf of these alone [the disciples], but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.'"

If we believe in His name, we abide in Him. But how can these things be? Remember, we are sinners in a fallen world. God intended for us to have relationship with Him, but we rebelled against Him, and we can't stand before a just and holy God. If He will not punish us, then what will he do about our sin? Being in unity with Him sounds great, but it also sounds impossible.

Jesus' Death and Resurrection

And then the incarnate God died. But how can the incarnate God die? And, even more puzzling, He died as a punishment for the charge of blasphemy. So the One whom St. Anselm called the God-man died for claiming to be God. This seems incredible, if not downright irrational!

The disciples agreed. They scattered when Jesus died out of fear and in much confusion. New Testament historians point out that Jews in the first century had a concept of who the Messiah would be that Jesus didn't totally fit. They saw their Messiah as a conquering king, so, naturally, he would overthrow Roman rule over them and establish his kingdom on the earth for eternity. Jesus claimed to be the Messiah (and much more), and He backed up this claim with miraculous signs and His teaching. But then He is killed as blasphemer in the most shameful and painful way.

Many skeptics claim that Jesus, while a good teacher, isn't God or the Son of God. This claim seems to misunderstand two basic facts about Jesus. First, He clearly taught that He was divine and therefore God in the flesh. Second, His crucifixion, if left alone, contradicts this claim. That is, if Jesus is still in a tomb somewhere, then He could not have been a good teacher. What good teacher lies and, by lying, misleads millions? C.S. Lewis summed up this argument in Mere Christianity (52):

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. . . . Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God."

There are therefore three options, according to Lewis. Either Jesus was liar, lunatic, or Lord of glory. "Good teacher" is not one of those options. What this essentially necessitates is staggering. In order for Jesus' claims to be vindicated, He must be raised from the dead.

And that is exactly what happened. The tomb was left empty, and, over the course of 40 days, Jesus appeared to disciples all over Israel, including 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6). This event utterly transformed the original 11 disciples, who then went to spread the message of the resurrection of Jesus all over the known world.

In the resurrection, Jesus' claims of divinity are vindicated by God as true. What, however, is the meaning of His death and resurrection? The New Testament abounds with teaching about the gospel, which, in Greek, is euangélion (εὐαγγέλιον) and means "good news." What's this good news proclaimed in the death and resurrection of Jesus?

If you recall, the reality of sin and our culpability before a just and holy God, and all of the sin that befalls the world because of this, is the state in which we find ourselves. God, who is just and holy, must do something about our sin. The incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus tell us something about this new thing that Jesus inaugurated in and with His own body 2,000 years ago, which the first Christians called the gospel. The good news can be summed up in our final two points: justification by faith alone and our new vocation in Christ. Jesus' death is the basis for the former, and his resurrection proclaims the latter.

Justification by Faith Alone

This doctrine, first explicitly expressed in the Reformation, explains how it is that one is saved when one puts one's faith in Christ. Most people have heard these expressions, such as "believe in Jesus," "have Jesus in your heart," or, "place your faith in Christ," before. They are common ways of expressing that placing faith in Jesus secures for us a place with Him in His eternal Kingdom.

But how can this be? We saw earlier that the state of affairs looks grim for us. The world, though good in so many ways, is corrupted by evil, which exists both externally and internally. In light of the realization that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), we realize that we cannot stand before a just and holy God. We were created for beautiful communion and relationship with Him, but we have forfeited that in order to be our own gods. Because of this, we begin to lose those good gifts that He freely gives us. Something must be done about this. What can be done?

The word "atonement" is an old one, originating from some time in the 16th century. Its meaning is quite literal, meaning "at-onement," expressing how it is that we are made one with God again. Thus, atonement is a term that necessarily expresses the restoration of something that was lost, how it is that we and God reach reconciliation. I do not have the time to dive deep into the doctrine of the atonement, but one core piece of the doctrine is important for us here. In Isaiah 53, which was written sometime probably in the seventh century B.C. (about 600 years before Jesus' birth) is called the Suffering Servant of the Lord. It is a prophecy, fulfilled in Jesus, about the servant of the Lord who dies for the people. Here it is (NASB):

"Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors."

It is hard to read this passage, which, again, was written 600 years before Jesus, and not see Jesus in those words. This passage has a tone of shock, that God would take pleasure out of the death of the righteous servant! Why would He approve of this, as a holy and just God? What good God would allow His righteous servant to be treated this way? According to the passage, however, God was pleased because, in His death, the servant bore our sins! As it says, "But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities" (verse 5).

This doctrine is called substitutionary atonement or penal substitution. It sums up two important truths about the meaning of Jesus' death. First, He faced the death that we deserved instead of us. Second, that substitutionary death reconciles us to a just and holy God. Jesus' death achieves this because, as Isaiah 53 states, He took the penalty that we deserved for our sins. In other words, "He was pierced through for our transgressions."

That is an example from the Old Testament. Here are some texts from the New Testament that illustrate substitutionary atonement. First, we have 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASB):

"He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

Second, we have 1 Corinthians 15:3, which introduces the language of Christ dying "for our sins" (NASB):

"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures..."

Third, we have 1 Peter 2:24, in which Peter defends the notion that Jesus bore our sins on the cross with a reference to Isaiah 53 (NASB; emphasis is my own):

"And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed [Isaiah 53:5]."

Finally, we have Hebrews 9:13-14, in which the author references the sacrificial system of the mosaic covenant in order to defend the notion that Christ's death was truly efficacious to in cleansing our consciences before a just and holy God, thereby freeing us to serve Him (NASB):

"For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

These are just a few references that show that the earliest Christians, in trying to wrap their heads around the significance of Jesus' death, saw in His death, the death of the incarnate God, a sacrifice for their sins, which reconciled them to God and enabled them to serve Him. What motivates this monumental sacrifice on the part of the Son of God? Love. Just to illustrate this point, I'll quote John 3:16-17 (NASB):

"'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. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.'"

Motivated by love for us, even as sinners who deserve His wrath, God sent His Son to die a humiliating and painful death on our behalf, bearing our sin, so that we may be reconciled to God. Early in this post, we asked, "What will God do about our sin?" We're given only two options. Either we can be our own gods and refuse to come under the authority of the God who loves us and created us, and die in our sins by doing so, or we can call on Jesus in faith, seeing what He has done for us, and be reconciled to God and freed to serve Him. There is no third option.

You might wonder, then, how God can be just. Does He just blink at our sin by choosing to forgive us? No, but in the death of Jesus, we see how seriously God takes sin. Sin is death, so God faced death to deal with our sin. My sin and your sin put Jesus on that cross. And because Jesus graciously took the punishment in my place, I get to be with God for eternity and receive all that He promised to give us and more in the beginning in the Garden. Can't you see how ridiculous, how irrational, it is to know all of this and still refuse God? He's done all the work for us already!

Now we finally get to justification. To be justified in the Scriptures is to be declared righteous. The obvious way to be declared righteous, then, is to be righteous. Actually follow God's commands in every way! But, as we've already seen, we're all sinners before a just and holy God. No one is righteous before God. How, then, can the sinner be declared righteous before God? This is one of the main themes of the letter of Paul to the Christians in Rome, and unfortunately, I can't just go through the entire letter. I'll highlight some main points. After making a sustained argument from Romans 1-3:20 that all have sinned and that, because the law merely gives us knowledge of what sin is, the works of the law cannot declare us as righteous before God, Paul sums up the notion of justification by faith (as opposed to justification by works of the law), in Romans 3:21-26 (NASB):

"But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

Anyone familiar with Paul's letters knows that he can be dense, so let me try to simplify this by highlighting some main points. Again, in the context of what Paul has already written, he has made the argument that all have sinned before God. Therefore, no one can be justified by works of the law, since everyone has, in some way, broken the law. First, because of this, if anyone is to be justified before God, he or she must be justified by faith, "for there is no distinction" (verse 22). Second, justification, then, being by faith and not by works, is a gift of God, since Jesus did all of the work for us on the cross, having been perfectly obedient to the law (i.e., justified by works) yet still dying for our sins. Third, this sacrificial death and justification by faith actually displays the righteousness of God, since the cross shows not only God's grace but also His wrath against sin. In other words, God has done something about sin in Christ.

Let me really highlight that third point because it's so important that we get it. God doesn't just blink at our sin when we put our trust in Christ. He simply applies Christ's death to our sins, thereby declaring that we, in Him, have faced the wrath of God and are therefore now no longer guilty. This is why verse 26 calls God "just and justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." He is just because the sin is dealt with, and justifier because that saves me. This frees us to worship God by restoring the relationship that we once had with Him in the Garden, before we were ever guilty of sin, thereby freeing us to live joyously in His presence without fear. This is why Romans 8:1 says (NASB):

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death."

And 1 John 4:18 says (NABS):

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love."

Whereas God's presence would have brought terror, now it brings delight and joy, as it was supposed to be. This delight and joy can only be ours in Christ. At the end of the day, then, how can this incredible gift be applied to us? Again, Paul explains it well in Romans 10:9-10 (NASB):

"If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."

You must admit that Jesus is Lord and therefore that His authority is over yours. This involves recognizing your sin and need for a Savior, so this process also involves repentance, or turning away from your sin to God. Hopefully, now, you can see all of the strands of what we've already talked about coming together to this awesome message, which is called "good news" or the gospel. Have you made this decision before? Have you truly placed your faith in Christ for salvation? If not, then please consider making this decision. Reflect on your own sins before a just and holy God and need for Jesus and believe in His crucifixion and resurrection. You will not regret it.

Our New Vocation in Christ

Finally, to close this post, I want to discuss briefly what comes next. I don't have the space to go into detail all that is promise to the one who places one's faith in Christ. But I do want to highlight the picture that I've attached to this post. Remember that, in my post on sin and hell, I attached a picture of a single rose, wilted and dying, to illustrate that sin results in death, ugliness, and isolation. In announcing the coming of the Kingdom of God and salvation by faith in Him, Jesus announces the coming of a new, redeemed and restored creation. This happens first in us, as 2 Corinthians 5:17 states (NASB):

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

This message begins with the redemption and restoration of those who are in Christ. One day, however, at the end of history, Jesus will return, and there will be judgement day. Those who have put their trust in Him will receive eternal life in a new heavens and new earth, and those who have rejected Him will be thrown into the lake of fire and face the wrath that Jesus faced for them, if they had just put their faith in Him. Then everything in the entire universe will be renewed and restored for eternity. Not only are Christians to eagerly anticipate the coming of this day, but the creation yearns for it as well, as Paul states in Romans 8:22-23 (NASB):

"For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body."

In other words, in Christ, right now, we experience a taste of this restoration in ourselves. We have new life, new beauty, and new community in the Church. But this restoration will extend to the entire universe, when the wilted rose will be made alive, vibrant, beautiful and bountiful again. It's an awesome thing to be part of this.

There is so much more that I could talk about, but that will have to do for now. This is a long post, but it seemed important to me to lay as much as I could out, for Christians and non-Christians, to consider a fuller picture of the message of the gospel and its significance for every one of us. Next week, we'll discuss how the resurrection of Jesus must be an objective historical fact for any of this to be true.

Please consider sharing this post with others via social media. This is such an important message that people should see and know about. Don't do it for my notoriety but for that one friend or family member that you think would benefit from this post. If you find yourself continuing to come back to the blog, please consider subscribing to it, so that you will get notified of each new post. With a subscription, you can also comment below and start a discussion! Finally, if you have any questions or comments about the blog, then you can send me a message from the bottom of the homepage. I look forward to receiving messages from you. Thank you for reading!


Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. Revised Edition. New York, HarperCollins Publishers, 2001.

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