dimanche 19 octobre 2003

"And this not from yourselves"

It is so amazing how God can teach me the same thing through so many different ways! For example, I'm working on a sermon/talk right now for my preaching class and it's on the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke. I've also been studying Mormonism in Cults class. And we are currently going through the book of Romans in the main services at church. So what do these things have to do with each other?

Well, I didn't see the connection until now actually. For the last few weeks, I've been trying to figure out the key idea in the parable to focus on, and God led me towards the idea of thinking it all depends on us, when it doesn't. And then, with Mormonism, my class TA mentioned that the Mormons basically got this verse:

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
- Ephesians 2:8-10

the other way around. We are saved by faith not by works. Works come as a result of our being saved - they don't come as a precursor to getting saved which leads to the Mormon belief that our salvation can come from our own efforts.

And then in the Roman series, our pastor pointed out that salvation is unearned.

"Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify."
- Romans 3:20-21

So I guess I could say that I've been bombarded (in a sense) with this lately! I'm glad though because I have to communicate this to my class tomorrow morning and I'm scared out of my wits. Have I mentioned how intimidating preaching to your peers can be?! Pray for me tomorrow at 10:00am MST please, that I won't throw up or faint or anything!! Thanks :)