Of all the things to be worried about, for a Christian, or those heavily embedded in the Christian worldview (ie children of Christians), I would think one’s own salvation can play a heavy part in their thoughts. Am I saved? How does one become saved? What am I being saved for? All very good questions, but I’m sure these if dwelled on can become an unintended and perpetual “dark night of the soul”.
While reading through Phillipians, this is what I got stuck on today,
For his sake I suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from god that deoends on faith – that i may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead (3:8b-11, ESV)
I can’t fully understand this on lots of levels. It reveals something deeper than me that makes it harder to grasp, because it is rooted in something so human that to assign it to an individual problem would make it irrevelant in the eyes of some for those who seem “fine”. Even with paul listing all of his accolades, I don’t find these titles or honors hard to grasp… they’re no different than the ones I carried. Different names for the same things.
Bu here’s what I can realize on the greater level of humanity: anything I think I am due, or is my right, is keeping me from Him and any hope of vinidcation with the resurrection of the dead.
My hope is built on a faith too great to hold with all the other stuff as well. When I let go of anything I think is my right or privelege, I can fully grasp the life and promise set before me in Christ. And in being made empty, I am full. And all of these anxieties disappear – but am exceedingly made glorious in the likeness of the one who called me. Worrying about whether or not I am “in” is secondary to the very nature of Christ… who was assurred of his place before the Father. Because he obeyed and trusted the Father’s will. Any talk of working out one’s salvation, even in fear and trembling, is based upon our obedience to him and trust in his “will and work for his good pleasure”.