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Radical Grace/The Lutheran Difference

Feb 16, 2012

This edition of Radical Grace Radio is the beginning of a re-release of four programs that began with an episode that goes into Justification and Propitiation. 

If I were to take a microphone with me right now out on the street and ask Christians how important the forgiveness of sins is to the Christian Faith, I’m certain that nearly all them would agree that it is most important.  But if I were to ask this same group of Christians how is it that God forgiving sins amounts to salvation, there would be all kinds of answers.  The problem with many of the answers is that too often what is said is that salvation comes from either us having cleaned up our act, or that we’ve quote “believed” unquote, and that these things are the conditions we must meet in order to stand before the Holy and Righteous God.  On the one hand there are people who teach that Salvation comes from obeying the law and that obedience is rewarded by God with Salvation, while on the other hand more Christians would teach that it’s by faith that we are saved and that only by believing in Jesus Christ can salvation come to the sinner. 

But both of these definitions amount to the same thing.  On the one hand people who teach Works, called Pelagians, are obviously teaching that we can manipulate God by obeying his law, as if we could ever hold our many works over God that he would have to owe us something in return.   But, all too often the opposite teaching, that we are saved by faith, is stated like this:  If you believe God and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, that’s ALL you have to do to be saved, as if you can manipulate God by performing the ONE work that God will accept.  But scripture teaches us that no one will be justified by works before God.  So what gives?

The Bible talks about “salvation” in a different way, in terms of being “justified”.  Indeed, the Apostle Paul talks about how God “Justifies the wicked”.  But again, we have to be careful, because a lot people would say, “oh, I know what Justified means.  “Just as if I’d never sinned”.  Well, in this program, as always, we refuse to talk down to people, but rather would tell them the truth the way the truth really is.  To be Justified is something more than just forgiveness.  Wicked, constantly sinful people need more than forgiveness to make it to heaven, and that’s what we’re going to talk about on this edition of Radical Grace Radio.


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