Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saturday in Lent 2

Romans 3:19-31
vv. 22b-24 For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Jesus saves.

The language of salvation has been so hijacked by fundamentalism that it seems foreign to us. It comes laden with connotations of judgmentalism and exclusiveness. We want nothing to do with it.

Yet here Paul says "there is no distinction" and he means not only in sin, but also in justification. Salvation is a gift, he says, given by God through Jesus. It comes with niether a price tag nor an eligibility statement. The "they" who are justified are the "all" who are sinners. No theological or political litmus test here.

Perhaps you've been asked by someone (or will be), "Are you saved?" The answer is "absolutely." That will sometimes be followed up with a litmus-like question, "Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?" The answer again, is "Yes," which we, who receive him weekly in the Eucharist, can say without hesitation. One last question may follow: "Does your Church believe in the Bible?" Now perhaps we want to be a bit nuanced. "We believe in the God who is revealed in the Bible."

Paul wants us to have confidence in our salvation. Jesus saves. Yes, indeed, and thanks be to God.

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