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Sunday, April 23, 2006

In reply…

Bobby Grow is a brilliant theologian and one of the few free thinkers in bloggerville. You may have to chase after him to keep up with his writing but it’s worth the effort. In his recent article titled "Salvation in the Old Testament: and "Active Obedience"" he questions the intent of the Mosaic Covenant with respect to soteriology. Bobby’s question is this,

"what is the relationship between the Mosaic Covenant, i.e. the "Old Covenant", and salvation for the Jews"?
He closes his article,

“I'll leave you with this question, was the Mosaic Law originally intended to provide salvation for the Jews; or was its intention to provide "sanctification" unto Yahweh, in a prepatory sense, until Christ came, and established a better way and covenant in HIS blood?”

I don’t believe a thesis is necessary to adequately respond to this question. The third chapter of Romans alone dispels the notion of salvation through the Mosaic Law and Hebrews 11, in concert with the entire NT, clearly establishes that salvation is and has always been only through faith in God. Even a cursory read of the OT would illustrate that these OT saints were not found worthy by keeping the law but by their trust in the Law Giver and His righteousness. The message is and has always been, “trust God” and the well being of the individual has always been determined by his own willingness to do so. I wholeheartedly agree that subjection to the law was only an outward evidence that they had been set apart to God.

Bobby states that his reason for questioning this is,

"because recently I have been interacting and corresponding with some "Reformed" folks who argue that the Mosaic Covenant is the basis for Christ's imputed righteousness and ultimately salvation for us"
Men have sought to justify themselves through their own efforts since the beginning of time. There are many today who continue to try and convince us that in order to gain salvation or to insure it we must depend on ourselves and our own efforts. Others contend that some sort of works are the evidence of our justification and without these works we simply cannot be regenerate. The scripture teaches that our salvation is illustrated, both to others and ourselves, by our love for one another. Until we are willing to accept that our righteousness is in Him alone we will remain bound to sinful pride and unable to properly pursue the good works of faith that please Him but by no means justify us before Him.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Bud Brown said...

Thank you for this post. Your discussion of this issue with Bobby might be more productive if you could define exactly what kind of "salvation" is in view in the OT. A study of the various fields of meaning for salvation in the Bible would be helpful.

We often commit a grave exegetical error when we read of or discuss "salvation." We too readily assume that the salvation in view in any given passage is eschatalogical deliverance from hell. Yet in most of the OT, and in a major of NT passages, the salvation in view is physical salvation - rescue from peril or imminent death!

This is "thinking out loud" here, but it occurs to me that the Law performed a dual role - sanctification AND salvation; deliverance from God's wrath over sinful disobedience and deliverance from foreign enemies.

When Israel sinned against God by breaking the law, they placed themselves in danger of God's wrath (so the fertility covenant of Deuternomy 28). When Israel obeyed God by keeping the law, they were safe from that wrath. Ergo, obedience to the law DID have a salvific effect, but not in the terms in which the debate is usally framed.

As I sit here thinking out loud through the keyboard it occurs to me that I should do some more work on this and perhaps post a few items on my own blog.

Again, thanks for engaging in this discussion.

4/24/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Bud welcome and thanks for your thoughts. You make a valid point concerning the distinction between immediate deliverance from certain danger and eternal deliverance. I addressed this article as pertaining to the latter.

To be honest my current thinking is that trust in God is requisite in both cases with assurance being made to the former by some subsequent action on our part and assurance being made to the latter by God through Jesus Christ. When this distinction is made the error in attempting to earn or secure eternal life by works becomes evident.

I look forward to reading your continued thoughts on this subject.

4/24/2006 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Bud is absolutely right.

4/24/2006 03:24:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Matthew thanks for adding your voice.

4/24/2006 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi KC,
I am going to read Bobby's post on this. I also remember that Doug Eaton (Godward thoughts) did a post on Federal Headship that I need to read - I think they tie in together. Thanks for sharing YOUR thoughts. We think a lot alike.

4/25/2006 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks Rose, and thanks for letting me know my comments were closed! ;-)

4/25/2006 08:09:00 AM  

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