The ‘faith and works’ debate seems to crop up alot and so I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, and I’ve been comparing Noah and the ark and the first Passover to Jesus’ atoning sacrifice.
The two OT types although offering mortal salvation, were surely types of everlasting salvation ie the obtaining of immortality through the Lamb of God.
What’s been especially interesting, is the nature of the two OT types: people had to act in order to be saved. The ark had to be built with hard work over many years. The people had to be preached to so that when the time came they would know to enter the ark. The Israelites had to kill lambs and daub the blood on their door posts to prevent the angel of death from striking. The theme seems to be a two way covenant: God does His part and they did their part. Is it the case with Jesus’ offer of salvation? Do we have to do anything to receive salvation? It seems to me that the overall theme of the bible from beginning to end is of hard work on God’s part and on man’s part. Work is a part of life and it’s a part of everlasting life too. If we look at Noah again- God required Noah to work with Him. God knows that hard work is doing us good, it’s teaching us things that we need in order to be transformed into Christ’s image. If we consider Adam. God planted a garden for him but God gave Adam work to do in looking after the animals. We all have so many talents that we are to use and like Kevin in the video I’ve just posted in the video forum, we can use them or we can chose not to. Jesus talked about two men who were asked to do some work and one said he would but didn’t and the other who had a bad attitude to begin with, then went on to do it.
When Jesus knocks at the door and asks to come in, are we forced to let Him come in? No. We have to ‘choose life’. We have to ‘reason’these things through (‘come let us reason together’). We are consulted and asked to choose and then ‘obey Jesus’ commandments’. If we do not love the Son, we will not see life, and I see ‘loving the Son’ as our trying to turn the other cheek, even if we fail, our trying to do good over evil even if we fail. At least we are trying. Our pathetic efforts don’t save us, but are evidence that we are being saved. If we dodn’t have the desire to try, then surely we aren’t being saved at this point. Like the people in Noah’s day. Not one of them (excepting his family) had the desire to act on Noah’s preaching and so suffered the consequences. God didn’t say ‘oh, well it’s not their fault they haven’t got the desire or mentality to know right from wrong and to listen to Noah and be saved in the ark’, so I’ll not destroy them after all. I’ll zap them all and change their hearts so they can desire good over evil’. The impression I get is that God gave them a life time to consider their actions, and to witness Noah’s work. I don’t believe God forced Noah to build the ark, just as God didn’t force Jesus to die for us (take this cup away from me if you can, yet not my will but yours) and yet they had to work hard to achieve salvation. Surely we are not exempt from doing the work God would have us do to ensure that the way of escape is available and not ‘closed’ as was the ark. If UR is true, then all the Kevins will eventually have to knuckle down and do what is required of them and then they’ll wonder why they put it off for so long and once they wake up and get with the program (a very apt saying I think), they’ll wonder why they resisted for so long.