Home > Miscellaneous > A Different Kind of Works

A Different Kind of Works

Sorry, I’ve got to talk a little about history to preface this. Before the Catholic Church, we’ve got the Jewish Christians who are corrupting the gospel of Jesus by propagating the idea that salvation comes from the outworkings of the Law. I think it was so popular because it allows people to gauge their level of salvation and to plume themselves above others. Paul counters this by making the profound point that salvation is the gift of God, not obtained through works.

Protestant Christianity is the result of a reaction against the Roman Catholic Church in some year a while ago. Don’t ask me dates. The Catholic Church was purporting the theologically absurd idea that salvation can be acquired through people’s actions. Same deal, different form. Implicit in that way of thinking is the belief that God’s grace can be earned. It’s preposterous because it’s impossible. Unless you’re perfect. And you’re not.

So, much of the Protestant (protesting against Catholicism) Church is focused on salvation as the free gift of God. Which sometimes creates a problem because there’s the element of God’s grace that empowers us to live lives that are pure, holy, and godly, so the Christian life should be morally pure, but expounding on that tension is another topic altogether. Anyway, what I’ve seen recently is an attempt to oversimplify, and thus destroy, the gospel.

Some churches get caught up in the idea of loving people. That becomes the focus. They make it really simple to be a follower of Jesus. You just love people, and there you go, problem solved. Through that you can find Jesus, through that you’re really following Jesus. And it’s easy to advert to passages that talk about love. But here we are again. Making it about what we do.

Granted, this way is simple. This way is comprehensible and straightforward. But sometimes mystery is not a tergiversation, but the truth. Only through Christ can we love. Going out and loving people is not the answer, Jesus is. He is our locus, and from this relationship comes a centrifugal outpouring of love for God and people. The free gift of salvation and the redemption of our souls makes this possible. Let us never make our life about our own faculties, but about what the spirit of God in us does to us and through us.

I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Galations 2:20
We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:19

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Categories: Miscellaneous
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