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Monday, October 13, 2008

A God instigated salvation

From Athanasuius On the Incarnation

"He saw how the surpassing wickedness of men was mounting up against them; He saw also their universal liability to death. All this He saw and, pitying our race, moved with compassion for our limitation, unable to endure that death should have the mastery, rather than that His creatures should perish and the work of His Father for us men come to nought, He took to Himself a body, a human body even as our own. Nor did He will merely to become embodied or merely to appear; had that been so, He could have revealed His divine majesty in some other and better way. No, He took our body, and not only so, but He took it directly from a spotless, stainless virgin, without the agency of human father—a pure body, untainted by intercourse with man. He, the Mighty One, the Artificer of all, Himself prepared this body in the virgin as a temple for Himself, and took it for His very own, as the instrument through which He was known and in which He dwelt. Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to the corruption of death, He surrendered His body to death instead of all, and offered it to the Father. This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, having fulfilled in His body that for which it was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men. This He did that He might turn again to incorruption men who had turned back to corruption, and make them alive through death by the appropriation of His body and by the grace of His resurrection. Thus He would make death to disappear from them as utterly as straw from fire."

I am so weary of our Evangelical emphasis on personal decision, as though we opened heavens gates by our own power and belief. This is beautiful.


Anonymous said...

I don't see "Personal decision" as meaning '...opening Heaven's Gate by our own power...', but rather, accepting the Gift that has been offered to each of us. The very Name of Jesus demands action, personal action, either 'accept' or 'reject'. To me, that is 'personal decision'.

Don Hendricks said...

Thank you for reading. My comment at the end of the quote reflected my feelings after reading "The Great Dance" on this subject by Baxter Kruger and his reflections and conclusions. This pursuit of mankind is unrejectable, all are included, and this is the missing peace of our evangelical gospel which Paul saw and taught, and we stay mired in thinking we are making an offer, when we are supposed to be making a proclamation. God has reconciled Himself to sinners, while we were sinners, this is good news for all the people.