Well, this Christmas the carnival of the reformation has asked us to post about the centrality of Christ the “sola christus”. This is a request I am only too happy to comply with and helps bring a number of threads together that I have been posting on lately.
The last thing I posted was a link to our series on the book of acts Any good bible student knows of course that this book should really be called the acts of Jesus as Luke introduces it in such a way as to make clear he believes that Jesus was still around at the time “doing stuff”
I do believe that he is still around today doing stuff also. In fact, it is Christ that is central to the other issue I have been discussing lately- assurance of our faith.
I asked “How can I know if I am saved?” and my answer which I will unpack in the next little while in later posts I am sure is simply this- You can know you are saved because of Christ, what he has done and your current relationship with him.
There is much that can be said about that but really too many people fail to realise that the essense of calvinism is quite simply a high view of Christ, and a high view of just what his death and resurrection accomplished. All too often alternative views of sovereignty such as Arminians and alternative views of the cross such as that postulated by Steve Chalke have one thing in common- they minimise the centrality of the role of Christ.
I recently blogged through the TULIP acronym, and a year ago preached a sermon in church which highlighted these so called five points of calvinism. It is vital for us to realise that actually these concepts are supposed to lead us to the doctrine of the centrality of Christ.
This is knowhere more clearly seen than in the doctrine of Total Depravity. We needed Christ to do something for us because we could do nothing for ourselves. I know that left to myself I would have rejected Christ by my own choice. I delight in knowing that Christ chose me before the foundation of the world and that choice was totally unconditional. It really was because of all that Jesus did for me that I can be confident that I am saved.
I believe that the so-called “limited atonement” is applied to be in a very special way that guarentees it will work- in a real sense Christ died PERSONALLY for me. I am sure that grace must be irrisistable because that demonstrates that Christ and not I are in the driving seat in our relationship, because of that I can be confident that I will persevere in my faith not because of my own will power and determination but instead because I have trusted myself into the hands of Christ and he will never let me go.
These truths comfort us because we suddenly realise salvation is not about us, not about what we offer and contribute (except our sin!). We realise that not even our faith comes from us and could be seen as somehow making us more deserving. We come again to Christ and say “thank you for what you did for me”. Thank you for choosing me, thank you for dying for me, thank you for taking my punishment, thank you for helping me to see the truth, thank you for granting me faith and wooing me to you, thank you for giving me new life, and thank you that I will spend eternity with you.
So it really is “all about you jesus”
It’s all about you, Jesus
And all this is for you
For your glory and your fame
It’s not about me,
As if you should do things my way
You alone are God
And I surrender, to your ways