I love this passage. I was reading the Qu'ran the other day for World Religions and I was reminded of John Stott's quote about why he could never be any religion other than Christian, he says that it is the Cross, and that it stands at the centre of our faith, history, and the divine drama that we find ourselves in, it is on that Cross that Jesus made it possible for all men to come to faith (though Stott would disagree with the last part), and it is a redemption by GRACE, in fact it is a redemption by GRACE, ALONE!!!!
I was sitting in my heretical RCIA class today listening to the teacher exhort us in a Pelagian fashion that if we are nice to people and talk to them, even if we still hate them, this is Christian love and God will then let us into heaven if we do it.
"But if it is BY GRACE, it is NO LONGER ON THE BASIS OF WORKS; otherwise grace would no longer be grace." -Romans 11:6
This annoys me to no end. I'm definately not advocating justification by faith ALONE, but I am advocation salvation by Grace Alone, and Justification by faith first. (which is actually what the Catholic Church teaches, if you didn't know)
I read this passage from Peter Kreeft the other day who says that we cannot buy our way into Heaven by good works, and that we do not do good works to get to Heaven, we do good works because Heaven has gotten into us.
Kreeft also writes:
"The plant of our new life in Christ is one; the life of God comes into us by faith, through us by hope, and out of us by works of love. That is clearly the biblical view, and when Protestants and Catholics who know and believe the Bible discuss the issue sincerely, it is amazing how quickly and easily they come to understand and agree with each other on this, the fundamental divisive issue . . ."
But many Catholics to this day have not learned the Catholic and
biblical doctrine. They think we are saved by good intentions or being nice or sincere or trying a little harder or doing a sufficient number of good deeds . . .
"I remember vividly the thrill of discovery when, as a young Protestant at Calvin College, I read Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Council of Trent on justification. I did not find what I had been told I would find, `another gospel' of do-it-yourself salvation by works, but a clear and forceful statement that we can do nothing without God's grace, and that this grace, accepted by faith, is what saves us."
For the love of God, I hope everyone who knows me, knows firmly that Salvation is not by good intentions, nice things, or going to Church, it is about the gracious salvation that Jesus Christ is offering to you, you choose whether to accept it or not. I guess I'm still an Evangelical at heart, and pray that I always will be. I'll leave you with this line from an amazing hymn (which I happened to make an entire post ridiculing, but nonetheless it's good)
"For on that Cross where Jesus died the wrath of God was satisfied, for every sin, on Him was laid, here in the death of Christ, I live" - Hymn "In Christ Alone"