Friday, September 19, 2008

Saved from ourselves

A quote from one of my all-time favorite books, If Grace is True: Why God Will Save Every Person, by Philip Gulley and James Mulholland:

"Ironically, both the rejected and the righteous have misunderstood the grace of God. The rejected assume their 'sinful' behavior has removed them from God's affection and desire. The righteous conclude their 'goodness' has assured them God's love and favor. [I would also include those who have rejected God, who think they can live without God in various forms: church community, faith, unconditional love.] Both groups have defined their relationship with God by their behavior rather than by God's character and will. In that sense, both groups are self-absorbed.

"...Salvation comes with believing God loves you unconditionally. It is abandoning the misconception that you are rejected because of your bad behavior or accepted because of your goodness [or righteous because of your rejection of God and/or organized religion]. Only when we repent of this self-absorption and focus on God's love can this love alter us. Then and only then can God transform hearts darkened by sin and soften hearts hardened by self-righteousness. ...It is from this self-absorption that we must be saved."

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