The Second Question
QUESTION 2: The Cross – Where do you draw the line between having faith that Christ died for my salvation, so I am saved, and being cocky about it.
Grace says, you have nothing to be cocky about!
It is unfortunately a fact, that many Christians who talk the most about grace, often display so little of it. But if we can home in on that one word, grace, then we’ll have the answer to your question. Because on the Christian view, one gets saved, reconciled to God and adopted into God’s eternal family, not by being awesome, but by recognizing that we’re not awesome, and realizing God’s favor is given to the broken hearted, the poor in spirit and those that mourn their own fallenness.
True Christians, who are really and truly saved, understand that salvation is not earned. Therefore, it robs you of any right to boast about it. In fact, boasting about salvation may be in some sense conspicuous evidence that you do not understand it, therefore have not actually received it. That is a bit a frightening. But Paul did say:
- Romans 3:27-28: “Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law of faith.”
Therefore Do Not Boast
It is not a question of being cocky, boasting is excluded in Christianity on the basis of salvation by Faith not Works. And what is faith? Some amazing quality in me that I have and that my unsaved friend does not have? No. Faith is a layered idea in Scripture which is not mere mental agreement with certain truths. No, faith is a trusting confidence in the Object of faith. Faith also is attached to the idea of confession and repentance because it puts not confidence in its own merit or worthiness. True Faith says I have nothing to bring to God, but a pocket full of iniquity and a mind broken and in need of repair.
Faith excludes boasting.
Add to this the fact that many and maybe most non-believers have better moral pedigrees than believers. They might have better moral resumes. They might be smarter than us and in part their rejection of Christ is built around their demonstrable self-sufficiency.
In fact, as Pastor Timothy Keller says, our doctrine of the fallenness of man should lead us to think that we Christians can be far worse than our correct beliefs should make us. And our doctrine of the image of God in man should lead us to think that outsiders can be far better than their false beliefs should make them.
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