In recent times, out of necessity, Christians have had to emphasize the steps to salvation, and great good has been done through studies about faith, repentance, baptism, and obedience. This emphasis has been due to the false teachings about how we ought to respond to the grace of God.
At the same time, great benefit will accrue to those who study the wonderful concepts of salvation.
Terms like redemption, justification, reconciliation, sanctification, atonement, and others hold great truths and powerful images for our understanding and appreciation of what God accomplished at the Cross of Christ.
Even the word salvation gathers a rich collection of concepts so that we might know what happened at Calvary and how the forgiveness of sins completely transforms our past, present, and future.
Such words as these offer us the big picture of God’s eternal project to bring man back to himself. They describe the great event of God’s interventive action in Christ. They are the divine interpretation of his movements in this world on man’s behalf.
Postmodernism emphasizes action at the expense of explanation. God doesn’t think like that. He gave us an entire history, an amazing book, as the unfolding revelation of what he was planning, of how he went about that plan, and how he brought it to pass. And how he continues to carry it forward to its final conclusion.
That history book contains the recipe for making the Cross event a present reality and a future hope.
The Bible is the greatest example of learning from history and, even more, making that history alive in us, of turning divine history into human inheritance.
God didn’t write a book to profit from its sales. He brought it into being as a part of his plan of salvation. Through this book, a soul is grabbed from the clutches of hell to be placed in a wide space of divine blessing.
This is not dramatic theater, but a description of reality. And not only a description, but the means by which the rescue action is performed.
Like the words at a wedding, “I now pronounce you …,” God’s words make the transformation actually happen.
Postmodernists tell us not to get bogged down in the big ideas, in the meaning of words, in the details of the plan. Just get out there and do something good for humankind. Whatever strikes your fancy.
God tells us to study carefully the book, its words, their meanings. See the over-arching concepts, the exquisite details, the amazing unity, and the inerrant fulfillment with the Cross as the center point of history.
The Lord wants us to feel the power that leaps from each page into our hearts. He wants us to grasp the truths that transform our minds. He wants us to see his vision painted broadly across the skies that penetrates the mysteries of the universe and brings the guiding Star within our sight.
Let us note, then, every word, great and small, every jot and tittle, every letter writ large.
For there be heavenly gold in its pages.