“Of course, now that I am a Presbyterian…”

In relation to “Greatest Hit“, Neil Remington Abramson commented as follows:

Of course, now that I am a Presbyterian, I am supposed to argue with Luther that we are already saved by faith. However, it seems to me that God would hope for more than my resting on His laurels.

I find it difficult to believe that I am saved by faith, no matter what I might do, or not do. I understand that I am saved by grace because I cannot achieve perfection. I remain enough of a Universalist to believe that most, if not all, may be saved given appropriate action, perhaps in a place resembling purgatory.

But suppose we are all saved by God’s grace and our faith in Him – already, and despite what we do. Kierkegaard said, and it has stuck with me, that the best is to forgive others easily, but to forgive oneself only when one is sure one has done one’s best.

And so God forgives us easily. But should we also ourselves? I note that God did not forgive Himself easily. He came to Earth as one of us, to guide us against our own evil natures to him, and was tortured and nailed to a cross in partial payment for his love.

Should I not try to follow His example? Even if it is hopeless for me to hope to be good, should I not try? Should I not struggle against an evil, un-benevolent, unrighteous nature, cracked through with infidelity? Would God not hope that I would try, even if He was willing to forgive me if I failed, or even didn’t?

And if I loved Him, and He was truly my template, why wouldn’t I try?. It’s like a boxing match. God sits at my corner cheering me on. He patches me up after every round and sends me out to try again. He doesn’t give up on me. I hope He hopes I won’t give up on Him. I hope I don’t.

No doubt I will fail. I just hope to try, and to try again.

Powerful sentiments, just before Easter.

About brucelarochelle

This entry was posted in Christianity, Lutheranism, Presbyterianism, Religion. Bookmark the permalink.

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