Friday, April 20, 2007

On Faith, God, and Heaven by John Walton

I have quoted from John Walton's volume on Genesis (NIVAC) before. He has some interesting (read: strange) views on some things in Genesis. However, the section cited here is one of his thought-provoking sections. It is not a perfect paragraph, but does have some food for thought in it. It is from page 469.

What does our salvation cost us? Nothing. What does our faith cost us? Everything. We are saved by grace alone, but as Christians we live by faith.

I suggest that we must be defined not by our salvation but by our faith. The “Lordship Salvation” debate is frustrating because sometimes proponents on both sides make it sound as if “salvation” is the reason for our faith. That cannot be right. Salvation is a benefit of our faith gained by the grace of God; God is the reason for our faith. It is foolish to dwell on whether we have to ilve a responsive life of faith in order to go to heaven. When will we realize how less important heaven is than God? How can we possibly feel good about gaining heaven if in the process we do not give ourselves to God? For some, eternity is nothing more than a selfish pursuit born of a fear of death or hell, and living for God is too much trouble. Let us hope that God does not grant their wish by leaving them alone. If he did, they would find to their dismay that if heaven were filled only with themselves, it would be little better than hell. They would languish in the vacuum.

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