Salvation in Two Parts for Duet

I will tell you what I think.

I think salvation comes in two parts.

The first part Jesus accomplished at the cross, and by walking away from the tomb. There is absolutely nothing you can do to earn it, buy it, achieve it, deserve it, or merit it. It is finished. It is an overture that has been written. You just accept it as a gift and become immersed in its music. It is eternal, and it begins at that moment. It is life without end, life in God’s presence, life free of sin and guilt and death.

The second part you work out in partnership with God. You allow Him to do His work through you, and it matures you in Him – because you are not finished, and the draft of your libretto has rough edges. There is absolutely no limit to the potential that the partnership can achieve if both parties are willing. You do your share in gratitude for what He has done for you by His Son and through His Spirit. Some parts are recitative. Some are arias. Both carry the strong themes of the overture. This salvation song is temporal; it begins with physicality and continues in metaphysicality when Jesus takes you home. It is life in the maturing, life in the growing awareness of God’s presence, life in which sin and guilt are constantly overcome and increasingly conquered, displaced by the occupation – the passion – of singing His Story in this world.

Jesus wrote the melody with His life, His death, His resurrection. He invites you to sing a wondrous, improvisational duet with the harmony of your life, your death to sin, your resurrection to an endless life that He provides.

Together, you sing a life-lyric that praises God and gives Him glory for all eternity, where it joins in chorus with millions of voices, all tuned to the same chords and harmonies.

That’s what I think.

What do you think?

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Salvation in Two Parts for Duet

  1. Keith, before I give my opinion or (how I see it) allow me one question.When your earthly body dies, when do you think you ascend to heaven immediately or will you have to wait for Christ to come back?what you said about when never ending life begins brings me to that question.quote“It is eternal, and it begins at that moment. It is life without end, life in God’s presence, life free of sin and guilt and death.” Please show me in the bible where you found this.

  2. Keith one more quick question if you have the time. You said “There is absolutely nothing you can do to earn it, buy it, achieve it, deserve it, or merit it.”In Luke 20:35 what did Jesus mean when he said “accounted worthy “? Lk:20:35: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:

  3. laymond, I don’t believe it makes a whit of difference whether, upon death, you ascend to heaven immediately or wait for Jesus to come back. (Nor does it make a whit of difference what I believe!) God will make it happen in the way He chooses, and I trust Him. There is no one place in the Bible to find the quote you selected; it’s what I think, drawing the best conclusion I can from many.The unending life that is given is given on the condition that we accept it and live it – because faith without doing something about it is like being dead (< HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=66&chapter=2&version=31&context=chapter" REL="nofollow">James 2<>).To your second question: How can anyone be accounted worthy to obtain that world apart from the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus?The more pertinent question if you want to argue for a works-earned salvation would come from < HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%2025&version=31" REL="nofollow">Matthew 25<>. You can’t just ignore it because it’s inconvenient, or stand upon it alone because it’s what you want to believe.I believe it means that it’s possible to fall. It is possible to receive the gift and then trash it; to hear the song and then intentionally parody it, mangling it by the way you live. You sing the major chords in a minor key, as it were.If you are not about singing His song in your life, then you don’t believe; that’s the way others will judge you and therefore (I believe) it is perfectly fair, legitimate and even merciful for God to judge us the same way.I obviously do not believe in “once-saved, always-saved” as a scriptural doctrine of salvation. (< HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%206:4-6;&version=31;" REL="nofollow">Hebrews 6:4-6<>)

  4. Great post Keith!Jesus promised eternal life to those who trust him. Some folks evidently miss statements like that from the lips of Jesus himself. They appear to be so consumed with saving themselves they can’t see truth when its staring them in the face.“Once saved always saved”, is tossed around like a theological hot potatoe with no one holding it long enough to examine it. I have been given “eternal life”, “everlasting life”, will “never perish” and will be raised from the dead. That sounds exactly like “always” to me.Keith, I appreciate your pursuit of biblical truth even when it cuts against the grain.Royce

  5. Keith I am not looking for an argument, but when you are a leader in the Church, and teach others, it does most certainly make a “whit” what you think and especially what you teach. When you teach that eternal life starts at acceptance (I suspect that, means at baptism) and continues uninterrupted through eternity. It makes more than a whit where you come up with that conclusion. In my opinion and understanding, that could only happen if our spirit was whisked away to be with God, at our physical death, which is plainly denied in scripture. Paul’s description of the situation in 1st Cor.15, seems to me to cover what is said in the rest of scripture.

  6. laymond, what I meant – and should have said – was that it doesn’t matter a whit to God what I believe about how He achieves resurrection.And I think Einstein posited that time in such cosmic situations is simply a matter of point-of-view. God’s temporal point-of-view is quite different from ours, and I imagine it pretty much defies description. Otherwise, the Bible might spend more words on what eternity is like.With regard to the last trumpet in < HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2015&version=31" REL="nofollow">1 Corinthians 15<> – do you know for certain when it sounds? Is it a one-time all-at-once event for everyone? Or is it an ongoing sounding that began when Jesus established His church and continues to this day? If “no one comes to the Father but by me,” as Jesus says in < HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=14&version=31" REL="nofollow">John 14<>, then how did Moses and Elijah become resurrected in order to visit Jesus in transfigured form? Is His power to resurrect too weak to roll backward in time as well as forward to our era?It’s my understanding from < HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=55&chapter=6&verse=8&version=31&context=verse" REL="nofollow">Galatians 6:8<>, < HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=8&verse=1&end_verse=2&version=31&context=context" REL="nofollow">Romans 8:1-2<>, < HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=8&verse=11&version=31&context=verse" REL="nofollow">8:11<> and other passages that our eternal life comes through the Holy Spirit, and I think you’ve read my posts long enough to know that I believe the Holy Spirit hovers around the baptism of a Christ-follower as surely as He did around the baptism of the Christ. It’s the act of partnership with God that He wants for us to begin our duet of transformation with Him and into Him. Baptism sings of Jesus’ love for us in a graphic, dramatic way, and testifies of our faith in Him.Viewing baptism as something <>we<> do, a work apart from what God is doing to us, in us and through us, is arrogance or ignorance or both. Jesus did/does the heavy lifting in baptism – and whatever trillionths of an ounce we carry, we do so by His power and His given Spirit.Royce, I think I understand what you’re saying, and in principle I agree. Salvation for the follower of Christ should not be something constantly fretted over because of one’s unworthiness or doubted on God’s willingness to give it. No one is worthy of it. And God was willing for Jesus to die in order to give it to us.Salvation shouldn’t be viewed as something we can lose by not doing enough. But it can be lost by defiance, rejection, intentional disobedience. What we do in working out our salvation is done in gratitude – our gift to God – not out of duty or doubt.

  7. Keith,You cannot stop being your fathers’ son. You can’t become unborn. The creature does not have the ability to uncreate himself.Jesus and His followers used terms to describe believers on purpose. If a sheep, a child, a new creation, or many others I could mention, not one of them is reversable. One who is truely born again from above can no more become unborn than I or you can undo our natural births.In the Bible words mean things. Every word is inspired and there are no frivilous terms applied to believers. If anyone will only take a Bible and read Jesus words, that person is faced with a crisis of faith if they are serious. Either His words are completely true or they are not. If they are, a person cannot be saved, then lost, then saved, etc., etc. If what He plainly said in this context cannot be taken exactly as He said it then we might just as well go fishin’ Sunday morning. Thats the way I see it.Royce

  8. Keith you asked “With regard to the last trumpet in 1 Corinthians 15 – do you know for certain when it sounds? Is it a one-time all-at-once event for everyone? Or is it an ongoing sounding that began when Jesus established His church and continues to this day?” Answer; No I don’t know anything except what I read, but what I read seems to favor the “one time for all event”Mt:25:31: When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:32: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:33: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.1Thes:4:16: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:17: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.18: Wherefore comfort one another with these words. Rev.6: 9: And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:10: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?11: And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

  9. Royce, you and I may just have to agree to disagree.We evidently see < HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%206:4-6;&version=31;" REL="nofollow">Hebrews 6:4-6<>, < HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%2014:15-20;&version=31;" REL="nofollow">John 14:15-20<> and many other scriptures quite differently. One can rebel against God. And you are right, there is no being saved, then rebelling, then being saved again. But it is a wholly different thing to err, to make a mistake, ask forgiveness and be forgiven – than to set one’s life against the God whom he/she has professed to accept and love. If you cannot discern the difference between those two, I would beg you to prayerfully reconsider large portions of scripture which describe rebellion against God and the punishment for it.Laymond, you and I may have to agree to disagree. But are we arguing to a point, or just arguing? I’ve made my point, I believe. What’s yours?Simply quoting scripture doesn’t help me understand what you see there. The ones you cite are heavily symbolic in an apocryphal way. They cannot be taken completely literally. (I doubt that Jesus will be separating sheep from goats, for example.) If you have insight into what they mean to you, why not share it?

  10. “The first part Jesus accomplished at the cross, and by walking away from the tomb. There is absolutely nothing you can do to earn it, buy it, achieve it, deserve it, or merit it. It is finished. It is an overture that has been written. You just accept it as a gift and become immersed in its music. It is eternal, and it begins at that moment. It is life without end, life in God’s presence, life free of sin and guilt and death.”Keith, your first paragraph is where I have a problem, remember you are talking about salvation , not the grace of God that leads men to salvation.Title; I think salvation comes in two parts. I agree there is nothing we can do to deserve the grace that God has shown men by giving his son Jesus as a sacrifice for man’s sins. But that said , I do believe there are many places where we are given instructions as what we must do if we are to be saved by that grace. I would think, if you were to think about it you can name a few yourself.(Tell me where it is written that God did away with the commandments) That is just to start.

  11. Keith, my point is just because you believe in Jesus being Christ, will not save you. Even the demons knew Jesus was the son of God. Mt:7:21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.24: Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, ———Mt Ch 5, ch 6, ch7 is chocked full of instructions.

  12. “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Cor 2:15)

  13. Laymond, I think you’re arguing with something I didn’t say, then.(Or maybe with someone that I’m not.)Try not reading into what I wrote what you think I’m saying.

  14. Keith; I am sure you are right, I just mis-interpreted what you saidI am positive you know what you intended to say, better than I. 🙂

  15. OK Keith, sometimes I’m like a rock but if you try hard enough I can be moved.I finally see what you said and it is different than what I thought you said.You said, “There is absolutely nothing you can do to earn it, buy it, achieve it, deserve it, or merit it. It is finished.”You were referring to “IT” as the “first part” I thought you were referring to “IT” as salvation.“IT” could also be referred to as “God’s Grace” now that “IT” is clear, I totally agree. If you look back to one of my comments you will see that I agree. God bless. Oh BTW I still have a small problem with the “life without end” thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s