my journey – part 20

What is it that saves you?

Is it some checklist?
Some recipe in an eternal cookbook, that if followed to the letter, exactly to the letter,
guarantees salvation to anyone?

Does your biblical knowledge,
your theoretical understanding of God gleaned from years of research, listening and reading,
hold the key to heaven’s gates?

Can you rest your eternal security
completely and totally on your faith in the grace of God that you can say nothing else matters,
nothing at all?

For I know many people who can follow instructions
to the letter
who make lousy cooks.

And I have brilliant friends who know more than I ever will
and understand so much
who don’t know the first thing about applying their knowledge.

And I have seen many who believe strongly
and do nothing
and in the end that’s exactly what they have.

So what is it that saves you?

Paul says
“I now consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus. . . I want to know Christ . . . to become like Him in His death.”

To Paul
nothing
absolutely nothing
was more important than knowing Jesus and seeking a deep relationship with him.

I think that Paul would say
I am saved because
“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus,
took hold of me.”

Another early foray into a more post-modern way of thinking. As I sat and pondered, I came to the conclusion that there had to be something more to it than everyone was telling me. Is salvation baptism? Is it the sinner’s prayer? Is it how much I know, or how well I follow the instructions?

Ultimately all of these answers felt hollow and empty to me. They didn’t fully answer the question that was being asked – “How do I make myself right with God?”

What Paul says here was later put to me in an extremely cogent fashion by my mentor – “Relationships are more important than rules.” All too often we get caught up in the rules about what it means to be a person of faith and what we have to follow. Ultimately we have to follow Christ, and the relationship we have with him is more important than the rules.

Far more important.

“Relationships are more important than rules.” – Good words to live by.

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