By H.G. Dr Geevarghese Mar Osthathios
It is the fundamentalist brethren who are definite that they are saved and want to know whether you are saved. One of the opening questions of their conversation is this. I wish they had known from the scriptures that salvation is both past, present, and future. When Jesus was asked "Lord, will those who are saved be few? His answer was strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able" (Luke 13: 23). Here salvation is not something static already accomplished, but dynamic and gradual. In Acts 2: 47, it is the Lord who adds those who were being saved to the church by baptism. Here also salvation is a continuous process and not that which is accomplished once for all.
The past dimension of salvation is the Cross coupled with the resurrection which has happened in the center of history for the whole of humanity, once for all. The continuous process of salvation is by grace through faith and life, though close walk with the Lord, doing his will, through faith with works (James 2:17 etc), though the sacramental life, meditation, through obedience to the Word of God and above all through the power of the Holy Spirit. The future consummation of salvation is at the second coming of the Lord when new heaven and new earth will be inaugurated. The so called assurance of salvation based on the finished work of Christ is forgetting the needed response and the lack of assurance on the basis of one's own inadequacies, forgets that salvation is free and unmerited.
The paradoxical situation is that we are saved by Him and yet we are not yet fully saved because we live in a sinful world participating in the unjust social and economic structures and the institutionalized injustice. The best answer would be, "He has saved me freely and I am secure under His protecting arms and yet I have not fully appropriated the riches of salvation deposited in my name in the bank."
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