The good news of Jesus Christ is wonderful news. This news has given new life to every believer, from the uneducated fool who knows nothing but simple faith in Christ, to the proud intellectual who knows all but still needs a savior. And the good news of Christ is superbly worded in the New Testament so that we cannot reduce salvation to mere head knowledge, but instead that our hearts would bow in submission and our hands be lifted in worship of the Lord Jesus Christ, Almighty God. One church I visited refused to even allow human fallibility to codify a doctrinal statement of the gospel believing that it was already excellently done for them with the Scriptures themselves.
I also have already suggested in a previous Zinger, Optimism Out of Control, Part 2: In the Same Place!, that ratiocinative systems like Calvinism or Arminianism fall short of summarizing the good news as expressed in the Scriptures. Sadly the multitude of doctrinal codes in Christendom today has divided Christ’s fellowship beyond our repair. The Mennonites are afraid to consider God’s grace in predestination, as I often am. The Catholics are afraid to let faith be a gift of God’s grace, but make it a work of man, as I often do. The Presbyterians are afraid to consider that God’s salvation extends to all mankind in their haste to limit Christ’s atonement, as I often am. The Baptists are afraid to consider that God’s grace was effectively applied at the cross to all God’s people and continue their efforts to apply it to themselves and others, as I often do. The Methodists are afraid to preach the urgency of salvation and are happy to simply play church, as I often do. And... the Lutherans who begat the reformation are now divided over the good news once again, as I often am. The church has had a great fall and all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put us together again, but the King will!
Fear is at the root of the division we see in Christendom today. We desperately need salvation. It is a most painful, nagging, uncertainty buried deep down in our souls. We need rest and assurance for our souls, but where can we go to get certain guaranteed salvation? We turn to church and the best doctrinal statements we can find; yet questions still remain like icy splinters in our hearts. How can anyone know if God will grant them heaven with certainty or give them the hell they deserve? How can we settle the matter today and find peace?
The answer, and there is an answer, is found with Jesus Christ and his word. Turn to him and you will find amazing grace to save and assure your soul. But will we turn to him or remain a divided body as each one turns to whatever code seems best to him? The last thing we need is yet another code, but since we are all firmly seat-belted into our distinct churches and doctrines speeding in different directions already let me throw this wrench into all our engines. Here is yet another ratiocinative codification of the gospel of Christ that was added to my simple faith that, I was taught, I then objected to, I then embraced, I then prayed about, I then deliberately forgot about, God then reminded me of, I then objected to again, I then forgot about again, God then reminded me of again, I then closed my eyes to God’s powerful defense of, I then forgot about again, I then suffered for my refusal of, God then reminded me yet again, and now, I have the honor to tell you, by God’s grace. I hardly have the same faithfulness of Apostle Paul, yet I have received grace from the same savior. And so I pray that this good news would break your engine and rebuild it again as he has mine and that we would see answer to Jesus’ prayer, that we would be one, even as the Trinity is one.
Apart from our good deeds and even our faith God the Father predestined His people for salvation, Ephesians 1:4, 2:8-9.Mankind is entirely and utterly bound to disobedience by God the Father for his purpose of giving mercy to all mankind, Romans 11:32.Atonement is made for all mankind by God the Son, Jesus Christ, forgiving the sins of all mankind, I John 2:2.Zealous faith in Christ is awakened in each individual human being by God the Holy Spirit at God’s appointed time, I Corinthians 15:22.Irrevocable gifts and calling are granted to all mankind whether believing or unbelieving, by God, Romans 11:28-31.Not all mankind are chosen trust and obey Jesus before their physical death and punishment in Hades for rejecting Christ, Luke 16:19-31.God finally saves all His people he predestined in the Book of Life from The Lake of Fire, which is instead prepared solely for the Devil and his angels, Revelation 20:11-15.