Ghetto Meal x Sin, Faith, & Salvation
A “ghetto meal” (said the one who comes from across The Pond where they have such places) of Tesco Everyday Value beef frying steak (that we cut with mismatched dinner cutlery), brussel sprouts fried with bacon lardons, and sweet potato mash stirred through with English mustard (that we scooped from a mixing bowl), for less than £1.70 per person. And there was strawberry trifle for afters.
A decent meal that fuelled a 4-hour discussion on sin, faith, and salvation.
Sin is more than mere flouting of Creator-given laws; it is ultimately distrusting the Creator and so distrusting his words, and asserting that we finite creatures know better and can determine what is right and wrong. Adam and Eve are a case in point (Genesis 3). So while sin may hurt others, sin is primarily rebellion against God.
Sin is universal. There is no one who isn’t a sinner, for “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10-11).
The consequence of sin is death: both the physical death that we all face (“sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:12)) and the eternal death (“He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thessalonians 1:9-10)).
What hope do we have? How can we be saved from this certain end?
Merely by trusting (cf. sinful distrust) God’s promise that Jesus’ death has paid for our sins. God is the one who does all the saving.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
We can do nothing to deserve this salvation; it is all God’s work. And the mindblowing thing is that God sent his only Son to die for us because God loved us: “God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2). That is some awesome love.
And the faith in issue here is not blind. Or do we take a “leap of faith”. Rather, it is based on (1) the trustworthiness of God as Creator and as LORD of Israel who has demonstrated himself in human history to be consistently worthy of trust; and (2) the trustworthiness of the Old Testament prophets and the witnesses of Jesus’ ministry, death, and resurrection (this itself demonstrating the trustworthiness of Jesus’ claims).
And this is the assurance: “Since we have now been justified by [Jesus’] blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:9-10).