Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Just a part, not the whole!

That Jesus died for our sins and, as a portion of that “our,” that he also died for my sins is truly part of the gospel—emphatically so!—but it is imperative to realize that it is only a small but vital portion of the gospel as properly understood, not the whole gospel. It is also critical to recognize that “faith” is not primarily aimed at trusting in the forgiveness-of—sins process. For Paul does not primarily call us to “faith” (“belief” or “trust”) in some sort of atonement system in order to be saved (although mental affirmation that Jesus died for our sins is necessary), but rather to “faith” (“allegiance”) unto Jesus as Lord. Abstracting this for—our-sins portion of the gospel from the full gospel and the larger narrative frameworks that control its meaning is risky, especially if over time this “Jesus died for our sins” portion is placed in a new, slightly different me—centered controlling narrative—as has happened in much of our contemporary Christian culture. For the wider narrative frameworks determine what “sins,” “my need for salvation,” and indeed what has traditionally been termed “faith” as it relates to the gospel might entail in the first place.—Matthew W. Bates, Salvation by Allegiance Alone, 39

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