onsdag 8. mars 2017

I am saved three times

In the last chapter in his letters to Timothy, it is evident that Paul is preparing for a new court trial and that he expects that this time he will face death. Yet it seems as though he lived a relatively normal life despite of this situation, and that he must have thought that it could take some time. It is also evident that he did not regard being saved from the lions (1) as a true salvation. This he made clear in this way:
The Lord will deliver me from every evil work and save[a] me into His heavenly kingdom.
2 Timothy 4:18
Like most "theologians", Paul saw salvation in three stages:
  1. Jesus' sacrifice was a “righteous act” which “resulted in justification and life for all people” (2). Ergo, I was saved on Calvary together with all people.
  2. This is the gospel. However, because of our free will salvation must be made valid for every individual through faith by confessing this as true for themselves (3). Ergo, having done so, I am saved today.
  3. The last stage is “to depart and be with Christ” (4) - and that is what Paul is referring to in today's greeting to Timothy. Ergo, I will be saved when I one day I “depart to be with Christ” in eternity.
‘Manna’ for today:
I am so glad that I was, am and will be saved.
(1) In the previous court trial Paul was "rescued from the lion's mouth" v 17b - a description that probably was literally. Many Christians became food for lions in the circus.
(2) Romans 5:18
(3) Romans 1:16-17
(4) Phil 1:21-23

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