Tuesday, September 05, 2006

God - Self - Sin - Salvation

I've found no better help to see the relationships between biblical theology and practical experience than the four-fold pattern laid out by Richard Owen Roberts in Salvation in Full Color.

He writes, A powerful relationship exists between what a person thinks of God, what they think of themself, what they think of sin, and what they think of salvation (Roberts, xi).

In his introduction, Roberts shows how:
  1. A Right View of God leads to
  2. A Right View of Self, then to
  3. A Right View of Sin, and finally to
  4. A Right View of Salvation
If correct, then seeing God for who He is in the Scriptures is indispensable for those who desire to be saved by Him. Isn't it only obvious that for someone to be saved he must know (at some level) the God who does the saving? This is not to suggest that Robert's is under the delusion that anyone has an exhaustive knowledge of God. But, there must at least be the beginnings of a biblically informed view of Him to begin the pattern. Agreed?

Excerpts from Roberts introduction:

A Right View of God
Many tolerate a view of God which is vastly beneath the revelation which God makes of Himself in the Holy Scriptures.

Contrary to the thinking of many, God is not evolving into a softer, more cuddly Being, but is as full of righteous indignation now as when He flooded the earth, destroying the civilization of Noah's day and when He poured fire and brimstone from heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah.
A Right View of Self
Every person who maintains a view of God as high as is set forth in the Bible is forced into a correspondingly low view of self. No man can be great in his own eyes when his eyes are fixed on the high and lofty one whose name is holy, who alone is great. Conversely, a degraded view of God promotes an inordinately high view of self.
A Right View of Sin
A high view of self invaribly leads to a distorted view of sin. The proud sinner demands the right to determine what is acceptable and what is unacceptable behavior for himself. His pride forbids him to bow to God's definition of sin, and his arrogance enables him to snub his nose at God's threatnings and warnings.

In that pride prevails both in the world and in the church, new definitions of sin are issued and degradation marches like an army of locusts across the land.
A Right View of Salvation
A distorted view of sin naturally leads to a corrupted view of salvation. If, by human definition, sin is of minor consequence, then the need of a God-sized salvation is eliminated.

If it is not New Testament salvation, and if it is not the salvation of historic Christianity, is it salvation at all?

No comments: