How can that be?
The question is “how is one saved”?
My question is, saved from what?
The popular answer these days is, our sin.
To that end, most north American denominations hold that we need to either ask Jesus to forgive our sins and or accept the forgiveness Jesus purchased for us on the cross.
What are the odds that the issue of forgiveness of sin has been distorted from what Jesus taught His disciples during the 40 days after the cross?
Could it be that we’ve made the same kind of mistakes that the Pharisees did with the OT?
• The old testament Jews sacrificed animals on account of sin. (See the entire book of Leviticus) Our understanding is that it was for forgiveness of sin. Sounds reasonable. Use your electronic concordance and see if you can find the word “forgive” or “forgiveness” connected to any one of the prescribed sacrifices in the book of Leviticus? Forget that. See if you can find the word forgive anywhere in the book of Leviticus.
• The book of Hebrews says that it’s impossible for the blood of bulls and Goats to take away sins? (Heb 10:4) Perhaps the writer(s) of Hebrews knew what he/they were writing about?
• Paul indicates that God “passed over” the sins of the OT folks in order to deal with it at the cross. (Rom 3:25-26)
• Just prior to the cross, John the Baptist’s baptism of repentance was for “the forgiveness of sins”? (Mk 1:4) I thought only Jesus could forgive sin? Did the act of repenting cause forgiveness? Did the act of being baptized cause forgiveness?
• Jesus said that if we don’t forgive others, God will not forgive us. (Matt 6:15) Sounds reasonable.
• John said that if we confess our sins, then God will forgive our sins. (I Jn 1:9) Sounds legalistic.
• John indicates there is a so called “unforgivable sin”. (I Jn 5:16) Sounds mystical … and scary.
• Yet Paul says twice that in Adam all die and in Christ all are made alive. (Rom 5:18 and 1 Cor 15:22) If Adam was our Federal head and all of us were born spiritually dead, and Jesus work at the cross made us spiritually alive, doesn’t it stand to reason that sin is no longer the primary road block between us and God?
• Jesus says that some who say Lord Lord will be told “I never knew you”. (Matt 7:22-23)
• Paul gives us a hint when he self corrects in his statement about being “known” by God rather than “knowing” God. (Gal 4:9)
Perhaps the question of how one is “saved” is the wrong question?
Could it be that the real question is “how do we become known by God”?