Sunday, May 25, 2014

We would be free but on our own.

From Tim Keller's Commentary on Romans:

Yet it is very easy and common to think of our salvation only in terms of the first and not the second, only as the transfer off of our sins, but not as the transfer on of his rights and privileges. 

We tend to think only that Christ has pardoned us and removed our legal liability. When we do that, we are really only “half-saved by grace.” We can get pardon, but now we have to live a good life to earn and maintain God’s favor and rewards.

But this text shows us that not only did Christ remove the curse we deserved, but he also gives us the blessing he deserved. God’s honor and reward is just as secure and guaranteed as our pardon. To use another image. Jesus’ salvation is not just like receiving a pardon and release from death row and prison. Then we’d be free, but on our own. Jesus has also put on us the Congressional Medal of Honor. We are received and welcomed as heroes, as if we had accomplished extraordinary deeds.

Unless we remember this we will be anxious and even despairing when we sin or fail. We think our slate has been wiped clean, but now God’s opinion and acceptance of us is based on our record. That is not the case. When a son becomes heir, that inheritance is guaranteed. It is not a prize to be won. It is his. So is our salvation.

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