Ascension: The Present-Tense of the Gospel

ChurchLeaders | 6/13/2019 | Staff
leeann77 (Posted by) Level 3
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What Pliny required of Christians who would renounce their faith is no different from what the Apostle Paul says is required for Christians who would be saved by their faith.

In his Letter to the Romans, Paul writes that “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord…you will be saved” (10.9-10). The word Paul uses there for confess is homologeo. It means “a public declaration of fealty.” In other words, what Paul says will save you for God is the equal and opposite expression of what Pliny said would save you from Caesar and his wrath.

Notice - Paul - Jesus - Fulfillment - Promise

Again, notice Paul doesn’t say “If you confess that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise to David (or Abraham), then you will be saved.” Paul doesn’t write that if you confess that Jesus is God incarnate then you will be saved; nor does Paul say that in order to be saved you must confess that Jesus died for your sins. When it comes to salvation and the necessary confession of faith for it, Paul focuses squarely on one specific stage of the Gospel: the Lordship of Jesus.

Why?

Paul - Participation - God - Salvation - Confession

Why does Paul fix our participation in God’s salvation to the confession of Jesus as Lord? Why not confess that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself; believe and be saved? Why not while we were yet sinners…put your faith in what he’s done for you and you will be saved?

Why does Paul say that in order to be saved we must confess Jesus not as Savior or Substitute or Sacrifice, not as Son of Man or Son of God, but as Lord?

Paul - Incarnation - Crucifixion - Resurrection - Reconciliation-

Because, for Paul, the incarnation, the crucifixion, resurrection and reconciliation- those are all past perfect events.

The present Lordship of Christ is the stage of the Gospel we now occupy....
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