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Posts Tagged ‘Salvation History’

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The Old Testament promises a REIGN OF GOD that will ESTABLISH SHALŌM. Shalōm is wholeness or complete-positive-peace, particularly personal and relational harmony. This harmony is based on reconciliation, the integration of forgiveness and friendship. Forgiveness removes debts caused by offenses, resulting in the elimination of enmity and strife. Friendship imputes right standing, resulting in restoration that includes progressive healing, holiness and communion. God intends Shalōm to characterize one’s relationship with God, the state of one’s being, and the states of relationships among individuals and among groups of people.

God made Jesus of Nazareth Lord and Christ, whose reign would achieve Shalōm. Jesus inaugurated his reign by initiating the New Covenant, ushering in a perpetual Jubilee marked by reconciliation. The forgiveness or liberation upon which this reconciliation is based, includes liberty from sin as well as liberty from oppression, including its economic and social forms.

Believers look forward to the day when Jesus returns to earth to consummate his reign.

God freely grants kingdom citizenship—and the reconciliation it entails—through FAITH APART FROM HUMAN MERIT. The object of this faith is God, based on the promises of forgiveness and restoration contained in the Gospel. One must exercise faith consciously and freely. One may not exercise faith for someone else, nor may one passively receive faith through participation in a religious rite.

Faith is trust or dependence that necessarily INCLUDES REPENTANCE AND DISCIPLESHIP. In repentance one departs from sin. In discipleship one follows Christ’s example and teaching as well as the teaching of His apostles. In this realm of faith, there is no distinction between the sacred and the secular. Christ’s Lordship impinges on every area of life.

This integration of faith and ethics is abundantly affirmed in Scripture, but with particular clarity in James, 1 John, and Hebrews. Synonyms for faith which convey its inseparability from good deeds include surrender, yieldedness, devotion, commitment, allegiance, and loyalty.

Ever increasing faithful discipleship is made possible by the new birth granted by the Holy Spirit. Consequently, as one continues to place faith in the Gospel, the Holy Spirit progressively deepens the believer’s relationship with God and progressively increases the believer’s resemblance to God or holiness.

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