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View Full Version : Salvation is Not Just Forgiveness...



WSGAC
Dec 11th 2012, 03:53 PM
...it is a new kind of life!

"Once salvation is relegated to mere forgiveness of sin, the discussion of salvation's nature is limited to debates about the death of Christ, and how Christ's death makes forgiveness possible and actual." Dallas Willard, Spirit of the Disciplines

The Apostle Paul says it,

"For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" (Romans 5:10)

How can we be saved by his life when we've always been told that our salvation comes through his death alone?

RabbiKnife
Dec 11th 2012, 04:05 PM
Reconciliation is the act of forgiveness, of God accepting the payment of our sin.

Reconciliation keeps you out of hell.

Salvation is the act of adoption, of God clothing us in Christ's righteousness, and as an extra bonus, being granted new life because of the resurrection.

Salvation is not an act of Christ's death, but of his resurrection.

divaD
Dec 11th 2012, 04:19 PM
Salvation is not an act of Christ's death, but of his resurrection.


I would think it would have to be both. But I wouldn't conclude it could be His death only. Because without the resurrection, His death would have been meaningless. Without His death, a resurrection would have been meaningless, since without a death first, a resurrection would be illogical.

RabbiKnife
Dec 11th 2012, 04:25 PM
The death paid the penalty of sin, which meant that God did not have to unleash his wrath on humans.

If Jesus had died and not been resurrected, the sin price would still have been satisfied, and justice would have been done. However, it was God's great love for Jesus, and for us, that led Him to raise Jesus from the dead, thus giving us the possibility of eternal fellowship with Him.

WSGAC
Dec 11th 2012, 04:27 PM
Reconciliation is the act of forgiveness, of God accepting the payment of our sin.

Reconciliation keeps you out of hell.

Salvation is the act of adoption, of God clothing us in Christ's righteousness, and as an extra bonus, being granted new life because of the resurrection.

Salvation is not an act of Christ's death, but of his resurrection.


Nearly every preacher I've heard, has said it during the "Assurance of Pardon" in a worship service - "Believe the good news, in Jesus Christ we are forgiven!"
Now I know that this isn't said much in contemporary type services, but it's still regarded as a kind of summation of the "gospel of salvation" in most churches. Simply put, the atoning death of Christ for sin is what places us in the category of forgiven, and hence "saved." So how are we to understand Paul's meaning in Romans 5:10 which speaks of being saved by Christ's life? How does his life save me, since all along I've been told it's his atoning death that does so?

RabbiKnife
Dec 11th 2012, 04:28 PM
All along you have been told incorrectly.

WSGAC
Dec 11th 2012, 04:32 PM
Well thanks for the clarification. That helps!

TheDivineWatermark
Dec 11th 2012, 04:33 PM
I agree.

One author puts it like this:


Many are the aspects of the salvation that God has given us, but here our salvation is presented as in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 2:10), a salvation that is linked with eternal glory. Paul had already said that God "hath saved us" (2 Tim. 1:9), for we do know salvation from the guilt of our sins, from the judgment of God, from the power of Satan, and from the fear of death as presently enjoyed. Again, we need salvation for every step of the journey home, and for this we have a risen, glorified Christ on the throne of God, a great High Priest, Who saves to the uttermost them that come to God by Him (Heb. 7:25) [seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them]. Then we look for salvation out of this world with all that is against us as God's saints, and this we shall have at the coming of the Lord to take us to Himself (Heb. 9:28; 1 Peter 1:5).

Whichever aspect of salvation we may [consider], it is in Christ Jesus. He is the Author of eternal salvation (Heb. 5:9), and the Captain of our salvation (Heb. 2:10), having secured the salvation for us by His death upon the cross, and there overcoming all our foes, and is leading us through the wilderness to where salvation will be found in its completeness. Indeed, He is Himself viewed as salvation, even as the aged Simeon declared, "mine eyes have seen Thy salvation" (Luke 2:30).


The Apostle Paul says it,

"For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" (Romans 5:10)

How can we be saved by his life when we've always been told that our salvation comes through his death alone?

Well, having posted what I did, at the top, let me add this.

2 Corinthians 5:14b-15 says, "that if one died for all, then were all dead. And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again." And then it goes on to say, in verse 17, that we are an altogether New Creation (IN HIM)... the Old Creation (all that was connected as in Adam) "died" in His death (judicially), and only what is part of the New Creation (IN HIM) LIVES (because of His resurrection), that is, eternal life (which we have IN HIM).

I wanted to point out verse 17 of Romans 5, also, though:

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life BY [means of] one, Jesus Christ."

I think the "much more" (5x in Romans 5) is in addition to what we receive in "forgiveness of sins" (which we have indeed received, in Christ)... but has to do with "reign[ing] in LIFE" (which we can also have, by means of the risen and glorified Christ... HIS LIFE... and our "receiv [I]abundance of grace"). I'm probably not explaining it very clearly.

WSGAC
Dec 11th 2012, 04:37 PM
I agree.

One author puts it like this:


Many are the aspects of the salvation that God has given us, but here our salvation is presented as in Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 2: 10), a salvation that is linked with eternal glory. Paul had already said that God "hath saved us" (2 Tim. 1:9), for we do know salvation from the guilt of our sins, from the judgment of God, from the power of Satan, and from the fear of death as presently enjoyed. Again, we need salvation for every step of the journey home, and for this we have a risen, glorified Christ on the throne of God, a great High Priest, Who saves to the uttermost them that come to God by Him (Heb. 7: 25) [seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them]. Then we look for salvation out of this world with all that is against us as God's saints, and this we shall have at the coming of the Lord to take us to Himself (Heb. 9: 28; 1 Peter 1: 5).

Whichever aspect of salvation we may [consider], it is in Christ Jesus. He is the Author of eternal salvation (Heb. 5: 9), and the Captain of our salvation (Heb. 2: 10), having secured the salvation for us by His death upon the cross, and there overcoming all our foes, and is leading us through the wilderness to where salvation will be found in its completeness. Indeed, He is Himself viewed as salvation, even as the aged Simeon declared, "mine eyes have seen Thy salvation" (Luke 2: 30).

So what is the role of Christ's "life" in my salvation? What does Paul mean in Romans 5:10?

TheDivineWatermark
Dec 11th 2012, 05:27 PM
Did you see what I added to my last post? (I'm not sure it answers your question... I was still typing it when you posted.)

I'll think about your question, right now I need to sign off. :)

Rullion Green
Dec 11th 2012, 06:19 PM
So what is the role of Christ's "life" in my salvation? What does Paul mean in Romans 5:10?

I see it like this, in salvation His righteousness is imputed to us (Isa 61:10) and he covers us with His righteousness, In Romans Paul goes on to compare this life of righteousness of/in Christ to the old life of/in Adam, Paul is stating that through the fall of Adam we are separated from God by sin and as we grow we manifest the life of corruption as we bear the fruits of sin according to our life in Adam. But now in Christ we are being sanctified with the life of Christ, we are born again of the Spirit and now walk in the Spirit and manifest the fruit thereof and this is all through Christ and His faithfulness to His father and to the law. He justifies us and sanctifies us, He lives and reigns and intercedes for us as our great high priest and shepherd, without Him we can do nothing... this has not changed, we are still dependent on Him as much for sanctification as for justification.

so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me. Act 26

I see sanctification as the new life in Christ, we are His spiritual seed as once we were the seed of Adam by the flesh, but now we are being conformed to the image of Christ by the Spirit, He is the first fruits of the Sons of God and we are being conformed to His life by Him through His Spirit to the praise of the glorious grace of the Father who sent Him.

BroRog
Dec 11th 2012, 07:00 PM
Nearly every preacher I've heard, has said it during the "Assurance of Pardon" in a worship service - "Believe the good news, in Jesus Christ we are forgiven!"
Now I know that this isn't said much in contemporary type services, but it's still regarded as a kind of summation of the "gospel of salvation" in most churches. Simply put, the atoning death of Christ for sin is what places us in the category of forgiven, and hence "saved." So how are we to understand Paul's meaning in Romans 5:10 which speaks of being saved by Christ's life? How does his life save me, since all along I've been told it's his atoning death that does so?I think upon further investigation you will find that the Father has given his son the decision whom to save. You are saved by his life, because Christ needs to be alive for him to save you. And he alone makes the choice of whom to save, which is why he needs to "know" you. If he doesn't know a person, that person will not be saved. I can add details as we go along.

WSGAC
Dec 11th 2012, 09:46 PM
So the death of Christ reconciles us,
and the life of Christ sanctifies us?

I can see in the verse (Romans 5:10) that Paul does indeed say that Christ's death reconciles us, but he uses the word "saved" when speaking of Christ's life. It is the life of Christ that saves us! Unless that life enters into us, we cannot be saved. Salvation then is not mere forgiveness of sins, but the undying life of Christ that saves.

Thought: Salvation did not come to Zacchaeus's house because of Christ's death. Salvation came to Zacchaeus's house because the Lord of life was received with gladness into this sinner's home. Luke 19:9

BroRog
Dec 11th 2012, 10:03 PM
So the death of Christ reconciles us,
and the life of Christ sanctifies us?

I can see in the verse (Romans 5:10) that Paul does indeed say that Christ's death reconciles us, but he uses the word "saved" when speaking of Christ's life. It is the life of Christ that saves us! Unless that life enters into us, we cannot be saved. Salvation then is not mere forgiveness of sins, but the undying life of Christ that saves.

Thought: Salvation did not come to Zacchaeus's house because of Christ's death. Salvation came to Zacchaeus's house because the Lord of life was received with gladness into this sinner's home. Luke 19:9The pastor of my church has proposed a theory of the atonement he calls, "The Effective Advocacy Model", which looks at the atonement in terms of Jesus' role as our advocate. As you noted, the main feature of the cross of Christ, as taught by the apostles, is reconciliation between God and man. By allowing himself to voluntarily go to the cross, Jesus qualified himself through obedience to stand before the Father and intercede for those that are his. The main feature of the resurrection, according to the apostles, is evidence that God accepted this sacrifice and thus vindicating Jesus' claim that he has been given the right to forgive whomever he wants. When the Father raised Jesus from the dead, he signaled his agreement with everything Jesus said.

In John's gospel, Jesus claims that the father has given authority to the son to save whomever he wants. And for this reason, the most significant qualification for salvation is how a person is orientated to Jesus. As you rightly point out, salvation came to the house of Zacchaeus because he received the Lord with gladness. How we stand with regard to Jesus, how we treat Jesus and his followers, how we approach Jesus and what we do with him, etc. is a clear indication of where we are headed in the final age.

BTW I like where your thought is going.

Pbminimum
Dec 11th 2012, 10:35 PM
2 Cor. 5/17 Thefore,if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation;old things have passed away; behold all things have been made new.

Key word being "in"...This comes through faith by grace... It's waaay simpler than we make it...Simple for us, anyhow...Not so simple for Christ.. The price He paid cannot be understood by us, I think, until we meet Him.

Old man
Dec 12th 2012, 03:29 AM
... How does his life save me, since all along I've been told it's his atoning death that does so?

His life acts as an example for us to follow.


Heb. 12:1-8 “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, "MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES." It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers,


1Pe 2:21-23 “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; …”


Phil. 2:5-8 “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

WSGAC
Dec 12th 2012, 02:12 PM
But the life of Christ as an "example" to follow really doesn't save me anymore than following Beethoven will turn me into a top notch concert pianist. Christ's life as "example to follow" leaves me hopeless, for I know I can never live up to that example. In the end, Christ becomes an ideal, where I try hard to reach, but cannot. Invevitably, theories of atonement will quickly enter the discussion at this point as a means of extricating the believer from the dilema.

NT Wright makes an interesting point when telling of his early life when it was his turn to lead a youth study (he was around 15 years old at the time). In the study, each week, one of the participants in the group was to take up one of the questions:

1. Why was Christ born?
2.
3. Why did Christ die?
4. Why did Christ rise from the dead?
5. Why did Christ ascend to heaven?
6. Why is Christ coming again?

Question #2 was the question Wright had to lead discussion on. All of the other questions are answered quite easily by most, but it was the second question that was difficult. I left it out of the list because, as Wright says, the Western Church, as illustrated in our great creeds, has really not had a very good answer for it. The question?

2. Why did Christ live?

And because we haven't had a good answer for it, inevitably the answer given is one that tries to monkey wrench the life of Christ into an atonement theory...ie., "Christ lived in order to be the perfect sacrfice." Again, atonement is the umbrella under which we make sense of his life. But is this correct? Are we missing something here about his life, if our first impulse is to force it into a theory on the atonement?

The question is further illustrated in nearly all the creeds of the Western Church. Take the Apostles' Creed as an example, "I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ his only son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried...."

Notice that nothing in the creed says anything about Christ's life. And this is mirrored in other creedal statements like Nicea, et. al. All of the creeds move straight from the virgin birth to the crucifixion, with nary a word said about the life of Christ. NT Wright imagines the gospel writers standing back and saying to us, "Excuse me, but we put a whole lot of other stuff down on the page between the birth and death of our Lord! We didn't write all that other stuff about Jesus just as filler. There is something important there!"

And so we're left wondering about the "life" of Christ, and how it saves us...what that looks like in practical terms. Instead we move on quickly, reducing his life to mere "example" to follow, or "perfect sacrifice" to fit into our atonement theory, with hardly a word on how his life functions in our salvation.

Again the Zacchaeus passage in Luke 19. Salvation came to Zacchaeus's house with no mention of atonement. Jesus did not ask Zacchaeus, "If you died tonight, do you know where you would spend eternity?" and then point him towards the answer about his saving death. Salvation had come, even before his death.

So then, how does that life function in our salvation? What does it look like? It has got to be more than "an example to follow", or "a perfect sacrifice." There is something more!

RabbiKnife
Dec 12th 2012, 02:18 PM
Jesus lived to prove that he was God, and to thus prove God's effort and desire to be reconciled to man.

Jesus' "life"... that is, the 30+ years he spent on earth, are not efficacious to us in any way, except for the purpose stated above, and to the degree that we understand, accept, and follow his teaching.

The life of Jesus that is efficacious and necessary to us now is the life that He now lives, in His glorified flesh, as a firstfruits of the resurrection that we will all enjoy. His life now, as He interecedes and advocates for us. His life now, as he prepares his dwelling place in our hearts.

WSGAC
Dec 12th 2012, 02:29 PM
Jesus lived to prove that he was God, and to thus prove God's effort and desire to be reconciled to man.

Jesus' "life"... that is, the 30+ years he spent on earth, are not efficacious to us in any way, except for the purpose stated above, and to the degree that we understand, accept, and follow his teaching.

The life of Jesus that is efficacious and necessary to us now is the life that He now lives, in His glorified flesh, as a firstfruits of the resurrection that we will all enjoy. His life now, as He interecedes and advocates for us. His life now, as he prepares his dwelling place in our hearts.

If the earthly life Christ lived served no efficacious purpose for our salvation, all I can say is "WOW!"

RabbiKnife
Dec 12th 2012, 02:31 PM
Read the exception. The purpose was to prove that he was God and to prove God's effort and desire to be reconciled to man.

WSGAC
Dec 12th 2012, 03:25 PM
Read the exception. The purpose was to prove that he was God and to prove God's effort and desire to be reconciled to man.


The life he lived was no mere "proof of divinity." If that was the function of his life, then it failed. If he wanted to "prove" something, he could have. "If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!"

Because he was the Son of God, he did not! I submit that it was the kind of life he lived which underscores why he did not, and why it is absolutely efficacious to our salvation.

RabbiKnife
Dec 12th 2012, 03:33 PM
Of course the life he lived proved his divinity. He proved it over and over and over again.

The fact that he refused to give the mockers the "proof" they demanded is meaningless.

mcgyver
Dec 12th 2012, 04:09 PM
Of course, there is another way of viewing this passage...

If we go back to chapters 2-4, we see that Paul is writing with a definite "Jewish" flavor...that is to say that he (Paul) is using references that would be understood by those in the church of a Jewish background to illustrate or build upon the OT in showing that Jesus is Messiah.

We tend to think of the church in Rome as a gentile church, but in fact there was a large Jewish contingent...this letter was most likely written a year or two after Nero allowed the Jews back into Rome after Claudius had expelled them some years earlier. Let's face it, all the references we see from chapter 2 onwards wouldn't have made a whole lot of sense to the gentiles in the church who were not steeped in the OT.

In building upon Jewish theology, the life of Christ fulfills OT offices and prophecies that would have been recognizable to the Jewish followers of Jesus:

1. In that Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life He became the Lamb of God without spot or blemish...the only sacrifice able to pay for our sins once and for all.

2. He became the "Scapegoat"...not only to pay the price for our sin, but to "remove it from the camp" as it were.

3. He became our goel, our "Kinsman Redeemer". Fully human and fully God, as a human being able to redeem His kin: i.e. All of us.

4. He became our "High Priest and mediator", once again by the fact He lived among us.

5. Because Jesus lives, we shall live in Him.

And there are others...Point that I am trying to make is simply this: That when Paul writes: For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life , if we accept that Paul is writing from a Jewish perspective, then he is showing that Jesus is in fact Messiah who fulfilled the law and the prophets through His life...and that there is nothing more to be done.

As I said, just another viewpoint here.