Monday, March 30, 2009

What gets you "in".

By "in" here, I mean "in the faith", "in Christ" and so forth.

When I was in Charismania,

my Arminian teachers warned:

- faith got you in, faith will keep you in.

then I swang to Calvinism and this got transformed to

- grace got you in, grace will keep you in.

None of these gave assurance. I did not find all the above adequate as the first points to me or my faith, while the second points to me again, I am sure that comes as a surprise, correct? The second also points to me because here is the question: did this grace "happen" to me? In effect, did this faith which is a gift of God happen to me? Both point to something in me. Both get me edgy.

My assesment, and I believe is consistent with the Scripture's teaching on the means of grace:
- The Gospel that got you in, is the same Gospel that keeps you in.

The Lutherans Confessions taught me the last one and it points me to the Promise, outside me.

Now, if I could get these Lutherans excited and believe their own doctrine and trust the means of grace...


Steve Martin said...

Good one!

Good luck! (getting the Lutherans excited)

I haven't seen an excited Lutheran since the last time we had a pot luck and the Swedish meatballs ran out.

L P said...


LOL. Well, where I am, people get excited if you invade their church territory - the kitchen! That is more sacred than the sanctuary!


Jim Robertson said... I've seen Lutherans get excited. Just try to get them to change anything.

J. K. Jones said...

Jim R.,

Sounds like the joke about us Baptists:

How many Baptists does it take to change a light-bulb?


L P said...

This is probably similar to the "not invented here" syndrome.


joel in ga said...

Haha. But I see an excited Lutheran as I often as I see one reading Bo Giertz's Hammer of God.

How about, "God got you in, God will keep you in"? 1 Thess. 5:24.

L P said...


Yes to be understood that God uses means, God got you in by the Gospel and will keep you in by the Gospel.

As to excitement, sometimes I am sceptical, may be if they understood the Gospel, they will get excited?

Absolute good news, but if there was no understanding of the bad news, the good news is not as exciting, no?


joel in ga said...

That's a point worth pondering. I don't see the Gospel so much as good news in comparison with the bad (if by bad you mean the lot of sinners in the hands of an angry God), but as God's truth, good and glorious on its own as well as in comparison with the lies of men and the devil.

L P said...


That is the root meaning of Gospel, good tidings as in the announcement of the angels, to the shepherds. It is truth about salvation, people need saving and God has done that.

I was an atheist, and I became a theist, but that did not give me comforth to acknowledge God, in fact it made me very very scared.


Steve Martin said...

If the Gospel is not good news then there is no good news.

That the war is over and now we are reconciled to our Maker and Redeemer and will live forever with Him, inspite of all our best and worst efforts, to me, is the greatest news I could ever hear.

joel in ga said...

Well said.

Dizma said...

An what's the Gospel? It is all about God's grace. :-)

L P said...


Yes indeed, just being specific.

From my perspective, we can see the grace of God in every aspect of life, but the ultimate grace is when he sent his son to die in our place, in our sted. All other graces pale into darkness when compared to this - as Jesus said, what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul.


Frank Sonnek said...

The Holy Gospel is actually The work and person of Jesus himself. who he is, what he did , and why he did it. Best to think of the Holy Gospel not as a doctrine or thing to believe but rather a Person mighty to save you who HAS saved you whether you believe it or not. That Jesus seeks you out and finds you and brands you with his name "christ-ian" in your baptism. He then feeds you and keeps you in that faith through multiple means. if you stray he goes looking for you to bring you back through those same means.... over and over and over and over and over and over and over....

L P said...

Hi Frank,

if you stray he goes looking for you to bring you back through those same means.... over and over and over and over and over and over and over....
That is so true and good of the Lord. Amen.

HAS saved you whether you believe it or not.Well the sinner better believe that Christ has paid for his sins, or he is not saved.

This is the thing, the Gospel by its word and therefore by its nature is the message that Jesus took our sins, i.e., took our punishment for our behalf.

The Gospel is not you are SAVED whether you believe it or not. I hope we are not saying that.

I say this because of the idea of imputation; our sins have been imputed to Christ, but his righteousness is not imputed to us without faith in the sin imputation, i.e., atonement. Only at faith is his righteousness imputed to us.