Thursday, May 29, 2008

A salvation metaphor

Let's pretend you are an empty cup.
In the sink the water is running from the spout. Let's name that water the Love of Christ, once it is in the cup call it grace, once it wets the outside of the cup call that works.
You have four options:
  1. You put the cup under the stream of water, and it will be filled with grace. Once the water reaches the brim it will overflow unto works, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Works (holy living by the rules in the bible) become a by product of Grace.
  2. You fill it with water, and then remove it from underneath the stream once it is full. People who oftentimes do this begin to shake their cup to get works out of it, until of course it runs dry, at which point they become bitter, rule bound, and rigid, mostly because they have lost so much of their grace. Grace saves us, they will say, but you can lose your salvation unless you get to work. Soon you will forget about grace altogether because so long as you are wet on the outside you are going to make it. Starting in grace continuing in works.
  3. You turn the cup upside down and put it under the water spout. No grace can get in, but you are throughly wet on the outside with good works. Obviously since water is rushing over you and you are wet, everyone thinks you are saved. But you're not. Good people don't go to heaven.
  4. You leave the cup alone and it remains empty.
For lack of a better vocabulary, let's call case number one protestantism, number two catholicism, number three good people, and number four atheist jerks who are, if nothing else at least honest.
The point of this is that once you start in grace, grace sanctifies you. It is the unending love of Christ that transforms your heart, from start to finish. A protestant is tempted to say "God started it, God works it, God will finish it, it belongs to God." Or you could say that since he started pouring before I got there he will go on pouring after my vessel disintegrates, to Him be the glory. Never confuse the water that comes out (that man looks at) with the water that goes in (that only God sees). Coming out it's called sanctification and going in it's called salvation.
How can someone who is a useless Christian jerk get to heaven? Because you are confusing the two. I think I can lose grace after accepting Christ into my heart. Confusing the two. I think.. there see? Thats the problem, I. I want, I'm confused, I don't like, I reject this model. I don't believe in eternal security and God producing sanctification by grace. Ok feel free not to, but at any time you can put the cup back under the fountain, accept security, accept peace, and accept your best life now. Grace is not like salvation in the sense that it is "one and done" - its a fountain. Feel free to drink eternally from it.

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