Listening to N. T. Wright today argue that Romans 3-5 are not so much about “how to be saved.” When he speaks he is often especially clear and lucid, but when he speaks about his “new perspective on Paul” I have never heard him be clear and understandable and complete. He seems, to my mind, to always complicate the message beyond the understanding of the common man.
…and that makes think of the young sailors who witnessed so boldly and clearly to may dad those years ago… “Are you born again?” “Are you sure you are right with God?” “Are you saved? The questions burned in his guilty and soul…
Would my father, who was among the first of us, would my mother who believed that Jesus died for her sins the first time she heard the simple story, would they have come to follow Christ as they have now all their lives. Would they have led their whole families to follow Christ. Would they have led generations of our family to Christ, had the ministers complicated it so?
I’m not arguing for ignorance, but the gospel message and gospel conversations must be so simple and so clear that they do not leave people with many open-ended questions, feeling as if only a scholar can really speak with any authority about salvation.
We need another generation of Heralds of the King, men and women who will make salvation by grace through faith alone, crystal clear to lost sinners who are destined for hell. We need people who will lead unbelievers to believe and challenge them to be baptized after they believe, as the Scriptures clearly teach and show. Get saved. Be baptized. That is what they did in the book of Acts. That is the heart of our mission in the world right now.
I’ll keep reading and listening to N. T. Wright. I thank God for his grasp of the scriptures. I am grateful for his defense of the resurrection, but I have never heard him speak with clear conclusiveness on justification by faith and I’m burdened about that.
An Amazing Confirmation
While I’m writing this a member called and asked me how to make salvation plain to a dying friend who was uncertain about her salvation. My point is just that. A common, believing, Jesus follower should be able to make salvation plain to a friend in conversation over a cup of coffee. Their eternal life may depend on it!
This is the heart of what we are here to do. Can you make salvation plain to a friend? When was the last time you did that? Are you praying for your friends and family members every day who do not yet know the Lord? What is more important than that? Will you have stories to tell about people you led to Christ or helped along the way?