Ghan at Marla SA



Salvation is not ours because we ‘kept close to Jesus’ or because we had a contract going between us and the Lord in which we fulfilled our part – or we lived the several identifying icons of our denomination that we call our Christian life that we put on like a shirt each morning. It is not what we do that makes us one with God. It’s what Christ has done that incorporates us into the Communion of the Trinity.

‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV. This is the day we are born out of self-effort into Christ’s life to live in His unconditional grace and express His Person as Bob, Mary, Sue and Ben.

Alexandra Radcliff writes, “
Sanctification is not a daunting, arduous endeavour. We are liberated to grow into the ontological reality of who we are in Christ as we freely share by the Spirit in the incarnate Son's intimate communion with the Father…

[There is a]
tremendous burden placed on people by preaching and teaching that, whether blatantly or subtly, throws people back upon themselves to earn their relationship with God and try to achieve by their own efforts the kind of person that they ought to be. Gary Deddo observes, 'Despite the pattern of biblical teaching which begins with God and his faithfulness, we feel the pressure to preach and teach and motivate folks to obedience by addressing the naked will with raw commandments.” …

“Yet to those who do receive God's unconditional grace, it is liberating. God's prior claim of us in Christ sets us free to enjoy our salvation, rather than endeavouring to obtain it. T.F. [Torrance] explains, 'Because he came as man to take our place, in and through his humanity our humanity is radically transformed, and we become truly human and really free to believe, love and serve him. That is the wonderful message of the Cross and resurrection.' T.F. writes, 'It is in this message of the unconditional grace and vicarious humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ that people have often told me that they have found the healing and liberation that they never thought possible.'” (1)

We are better off living in grace than we are in earning the grace that we already possess. The latter may make exemplary effort but they are often not alive in their spirit and role models of Martha when they could be their true selves and life-givers because Christ is in them and expressed as them.
Ray (not his real name embraced) “
the good news of God’s claim upon humanity in Christ. [This] liberated this man from his own efforts so that he could freely and joyfully offer himself back to God: ‘As Ray listened, a spirit of relief came over him. His face relaxed. The struggle was over. I think he laughed. The worry and stress was over in the joyful recognition that Christ had done everything. He knew his salvation was assured. He was now for the first time set free to serve God.”

We can do useful and beneficial works of charity for the poor and needy. But if we are doing this as a form of self-justification in the spiritual sense -  we are not multiplying the spirit and life that distinguishes the Kingdom Life from the kingdoms of this world. Why? Because we are doing it for ourselves. Martha multiplies activity. Mary multiplies the spirit and life that is the Kingdom Jesus began.
(1)Alexandra Radcliff. Phd Thesis. P 9.
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The Trinity in You