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)
• You (one or more)
• He / she
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.
Watching the circus across the United States I get a jolt of pride that my mother, Africa, is not an imperial serial rapist. My smile is not without a twinge of pity for the deceived millions, who have bought the idea that capitalism and democracy are the essential paths to greatness.
The GOP and its heartless talking heads are temporarily incapable of repenting of following a broken foundation. At least there is hope that a remnant -preferably young people – will call the the attempt to make a beast a person what it is: silly rebellion. The U.S. was born out of rebellion. Remember?
Idiotic isn’t it? Any fool with a gun becomes a patriot, defending stolen land, and denying people the very cradle that bore the nation.
By the way, any nation built by bloody hands is, to speak kindly, an abomination.
People are gobbling up what ever is on the table: at church, work or school. The enduring foundations of family life and secular society did not begin in the middle ages or in the 19th century. If the leaders who got us into the Middle East mess or the abominable support for Nazism, violence against women, and misogyny or sold our future to China, had glanced at Abraham, father of the Jewish people, we would be light years ahead of the current devastation that makes even a civilized conversation implausible.
Let us watch the game until the next revolution comes around. It will not be on TV or YouTube.
A rash of TV programmes with supernatural themes are grabbing attention. Both the sci-fi and religious worlds are pulling out all the stops to create narratives and discussions that they hope will convince the audience of life after death, long-standing and ongoing contact with extra-terrestrial beings.
I don’t have to wonder why. The practitioners of sorcery, necromancy, and witchcraft are often the religious. In the modern era psychics can be found in most neighbourhoods. The newspapers have several pages of spiritualist advertisements. However, Saul’s visit to the witch of Endor, people consulting the dead instead of the [L]iving in Isaiah’s days, and the insistence of people all over the globe from antiquity to the 21st century that the living can contact the dead, or be contacted by the dead is condemnable as the lie, that humans do not (cannot) die.
Greek mythology, Dante’s inferno and other extra-biblical sources of thanatology are utterly false and contradict the facts and explicit wisdom of the two Testaments of the Christian Bible. When the dead are not really dead and God is not unique and incomparable in the area of life and death we can be sure that the source of these sentiments are the same as that first lie. Demonic doctrines should not dominate Christian beliefs. For an introduction to demonic influences in religious circles please read 1 Timothy 4:1-11
Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry by Dr. Elbert Joseph.