Then he brought them outside and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?”

Acts 16:30

Are Christians trafficking in guilt and illness? What raises such a question?  The lipservice given to the Sinai Covenant and the essential reality of falling short of God’s glory.   Since claiming sinless nature or conduct is false (1 John 1:7-10) and since no Christian is in perfect health we can say guilt over sin and illness are being used to oppress and harass the elect.

“Be saved” is passive action. Passive action puts the person receiving the action as the actor. I must be saved, but who saves me is the question that will sniff out the truffle. As long as people keep separating the promise that makes lost people sons of God from generosity no safe space exists. Nothing is guaranteed. There is no real gift.

Here are two pairs of passive action and active action.

  • He was saved by grace
  • Grace saved him
  • They are often kissed by their mother
  • Their mother kisses them often.

Simple vs Infinite

Who is doing the kissing? Who is doing the saving?

In Ephesians 2 :8 “saved” is also passive but it is definitely not an ordinary (finite) action word. It is the linked condition or identity to “you”. Sesosmenoi (safe or saved) is like a colour or some other quality: in this case persons are sesosmenoi.
We cannot twist “saved” into an active statement such as
• Grace saved you
• Grace saved you through faith

Paul is describing an outcome or status. You are safe by grace through faith.
Saved, though it is a based on a verb, lacks person. It has the characteristics of a verb except for person (actor)
• I
• You (one or more)
• He / she
• We
• They
It is a statement of fact, not action.
You are light.
You were blind
You are my friends

Need to come and let Christ save us

This is one of many cases where translations have failed to state what the text says. One is safe and cannot drag works into the picture, except perhaps if one wants to brag about one’s contribution to the redemption that is exclusively by Lamb’s blood.  Moreover, if one accepts that Yeshua’s gift of the Holy Spirit is a downpayment towards (or a guarantee of) resurrection one cannot harbour the thought that Yeshua’s eternal will can be thwarted by human will or action. He did not need our will to shed grace on us, and he certainly does not need it to keep us graced. We only needed to come to him.  We only needed to surrender our record and efforts to set ourselves right. Apparently most of us stil do.

Christ Never Arraigned a Sinner

Having a host of entities all ready to throw one book or another at us, it is satisfying to know that God’s adjudication of the human condition is far more noble than the rush to repay God with our faithfulness. It may come as a surprise that when God speaks in his court he speaks to justify or vindicate himself. This appears in Psalm 51 as David speaks about his sin and his recovery.

Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Psalms 51:4

The cross is God’s verdict, conditional on grace (his gift and my thanks) and faith (his faithfulness and my faith).

If David was condemned for his sin he should have also been executed. Apparently, God forgave him. Our Lord demonstrates his advocacy when a woman accused of a capital sin walks free when he rules “no condemnation from me”.

Everyone was pretty sure that she was worthy of death but not the Lord. Even faithful Moses, prosecutor-General (John 5:45), would have concurred. Recall Moses’ divorce allowance (amendment?).

Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope.

Divine justice. Romans 3:25

Mercyseat operations – blood and atonement – show his rightness.

[Christ] whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.

Since we cannot pay for our unbelief nor pay for the gift of life let us love with the love he’s given us. Is not thanks enough?

Lord, thanks for the grace

κύριε, χάρις χαριτι