Summing Up the Message

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I wanted to pause to reflect on the theology that is shaping up from all of this.

1. The essential nature of the fall, the inherent problem with every man that comes down from Adam, is that we desire the forbidden.

2. Restoration to the kingdom involves the redirection of the desire to God and to the things of His kingdom.

3. Grace means, God loves us and blesses us regardless of our adherence to the law. The condition for receiving grace is faith: “whoever believes in Him may not perish…” John 3:16;

4. Because God seeks the restoration of our desire, to reunite our sense of aesthetic good and moral good, He seeks a righteousness from the heart, not which requires law which imposes moral good over and against the inward desire. This means that we are not under obligation, even for laws such as “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor.”

5. Grace does NOT mean that God predestines some to eternal heaven just because He wants to, and predestines some to eternal hell for no other good reason. Because the Kingdom is about desire, His foreknowledge must allow free choice. Thus, the condition has passed from law to faith, belief that God loves us and that Jesus’ propitatory death is sufficient for justice to be served. Grace is not really about predestination vs. free will. It is the meeting of God and man in kind of romance.

6. We believe that grace is something which we obtain our introduction to by faith, a grace in which, from that time forward, we stand. There is a point of conversion, a point from which we have assurance of eternal life. Our eternal destiny starts now, and from moment to moment on to the final judgement depends on God’s love which He has for us. The minimal requirement is that we accept His offer by faith.

“Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1, 2, NASB.

7. However, grace is for our current lives. It is not operative only for a future judgement over past sins, it is the universe we now live in, the air we now breath. Repentance is not the agent of our justification, but our justification is the constant engine of our sanctification.

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1, NASB.

8. This is not a calvinist or arminian theology. It is not catholic, it is not Lutheran. It does not disavow the theological traditions of the past. We believe adamantly in the trinity, in the incarnation. We believe in faith alone, grace alone, in scripture alone. We aim for a more sure and a more certain orthodoxy. This is not a theology born of private interpretation. However, it is a theology which is distanced from what seem to be excesses and possibly the errors of certain theologies in the past which have held sway. It is consistent with the early church councils, and with the main tenets of protestantism. This is a theology which I am proud to teach, which I am comfortable holding, which I am glad to face God and account for.

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