Saturday, November 05, 2011

Salvation Is Fixed for Eternity

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
God does fantastic things, and the sooner we understand Him the better. He made what appear to be wild promises to His lone patriarch who was willing to forsake his home in the great city of Ur of the Chaldees, and live in a tent the rest of his life. God promised to give Abraham "the book"--the whole world for "an everlasting possession" (not just the measly little land of Palestine! Rom. 4:13), and the everlasting life needed to enjoy it (2 Peter 3:13), and of course the righteousness necessary to inherit it. All this God promised to Abraham and his descendants as an out-and-out gift.

But millions of Christians cling to the idea that 430 years later God revised His promise and changed it into a bargain arrangement, a mutual contract with legal arrangements. The inheritance must now be "offered" to Israel on condition first of their becoming obedient. The "promise" must now involve numerous blood-curdling "curses" threatened for disobedience--all of which were fulfilled to the crossing of the "t" in the multiple destructions ofJerusalem when Israelite mothers ate their own children.

The popular notion of the covenants requires that God change His out-and-out promises into a conditional "offer" of salvation that leaves salvation to the initiative of the people. "Obey and live" is now the fundamental idea; disobey and die.

But there's a snag: when God made His "wild" promises to Abraham, He not only promised--He swore an oath to "GIVE" it all to him and his descendants. He staked His very throne, His existence, on His promise to GIVE it all for free. God giving His law on Mt. Sinai introduces no new feature into His "covenant," for if He made the slightest change in its provisions He would nullify the "will" that was fixed for eternity by the "death of the testator" when "the Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world." No, says Paul; salvation is fixed for eternity: it's by grace through faith, which itself is the gift of God.

Which do you want--the New Covenant or the Old? Take what you want.

--Robert J. Wieland

From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: December 26, 2002.
Copyright © 2011 by "Dial Daily Bread."

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