The Problem With Salvation and Forgiving Grace

Part One // A Culture of Confession

As I continued to think about my post from last Thursday (A Culture of Confession) I started to think about how it all relates to our view of salvation.

In our culture salvation has become another one of our quick fix schemes.

We view salvation as a stamp of approval, a one-time ticketĀ  for our safe passage through this life and onto the glorious riches of heaven.

When we view salvation and grace in this way, I wonder what we do with passages in the Bible that speak to us “working out our salvation through fear and trembling.”

Salvation is clearly an event, and yet it is also a process. Think of the implications of this…if salvation is an ongoing aspect of the Christian’s life, then grace is also.

Now let’s tie this all together.

I think we see confession as unneeded in our lives because we don’t see forgiveness and grace being offered to us even now. “That was only when we accepted Christ into our lives,” we would say. Because of this we live our lives by rigid and legalistic rules to live up to God’s holy standard of living. Something that, dare I say, we simply cannot do.

Richard Foster puts this perfectly:

“People have told us to take our forgiveness by faith and not to call God a liar. Not wanting to call God a liar, we do our best to take it by faith. But because misery and bitterness remain in our lives, we again despair. Eventually we begin to believe either that forgiveness is only a ticket to heaven and not meant to affect our lives now, or that we are not worthy of the forgiving grace of God” (Foster, Celebration of Disciplines, 147).

What if confession was the catalytic discipline we needed in our corporate church settings and also in our private personal times with God?

What if we totally missed the boat by twisting salvation and forgiveness to be something different than it really is?

I’d love to hear your feedback on this. Thanks.