Monday, November 12, 2012

Going Deeper for the week of November 11, 2012

How can anyone (no matter who they are) be saved?

(Read Romans 10:1-21)

How can anyone (no matter who they are) be saved?  Paul cuts through the controversy and confusion by offering a clear answer in verse 13, "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."

So calling on the name of the LORD, and more specifically believing God's promise fulfilled in Jesus is the ONLY way to be saved.  And that way is open to "everyone" no matter who they are!

Unfortunately, too many folks try to make things more complicated than they need to be.

Some will promote the idea of "replacement theology" when it comes to God's relationship with Jews.
"Replacement theology" says basically that Christians have taken the place of Jews as God's people.
"Replacement theology" has unfortunately been used to commit many atrocities against Jewish people from pogroms to the holocaust some form of "replacement theology" has been used to justify injustice.

Others will promote the idea of what I will call "two covenant theology".  In an attempt to avoid the pitfalls of "replacement theology" they posit that God has two covenants (unbreakable promises), which are ongoing and exist side by side still today.  They believe God's promise to the Jews will yet be fulfilled.  They will once again receive the promised land, the temple will be rebuilt, and the Jewish religion will flourish in the sovereign nation of Israel.  In addition, they believe Gentiles (non-Jews) have been "grafted in" to the people of God through faith in Jesus.

However, this does not make sense either.  If this were true, then why would Paul make it his "heart's desire and prayer to God" that the Israelites might be saved?  If they were already going to inherit God's promises through being Jewish, then why would they also need to be saved?

There is much more to say here, and I hope some of you will take time to respond and offer your own thoughts, but before I end let me offer you mine.

Paul is very clear in Romans 10:13, "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved."  He is also very clear that the identity of the LORD is Jesus (see verse 9).  So anyone who calls on Jesus  (believing God's promises fulfilled in Christ - see II Corinthians 1:20) will be saved no matter whether they are Jew or Gentile, everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved!


p.s. While I would appreciate your comments on today's blog post, I would also request that you share with me some real questions you have been asked by non-believers or skeptics when you have engaged them in conversations about Christianity.  I would like to offer a series of posts, which grapple with some of these very difficult questions and propose a framework for discussing them with grace and truth.  So please share your questions.  I would love to hear what challenges you have been facing in your attempts at bringing Jesus to others, and I would be honored to join you in that significant journey.
Thank you!

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