The Wrong Emphasis on Salvation (#870)

What would it change in the way we live our lives if we knew salvation is not primarily about getting us into heaven but about God rescuing us from the dark places where the broken Creation has twisted us?  Kyle And Wayne explore the idea that Jesus really did come to bind up the broken-hearted, set free the oppressed, and give sight to the blind. How would that change our presentation of the Gospel in the world They also talk about whether or not Jesus can really understand our feelings of failure, having never failed himself.

Podcast Notes:
The video version of the recording of this podcast
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  1. Excellent topic Wayne! We are not called simply to be saved but it also entails a positive process of change and growth in our lives. I am just reading a Brennan Manning book called, The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus where Brennan shares a story about being on a 5 day spiritual retreat. Initially he felt disconnected, distracted and discouraged with no sense of connection with Jesus. He made a realization along with an interesting statement that Jesus didn’t turn His back on Brennan but simply changed direction and wanted Brennan to follow Him. The outcome was a positive change in Brennan’s perspective and his heart towards others. This book is well worth the read as it turns my own misconceptions about God’s purpose on their head and helps me to understand our Lord’s heart towards each of us.

  2. I’ve been thinking about this podcast, both about salvation and Kyle’s question related to horrific situations and whether God has ever felt a sense that he failed. That question turned out to be more thought provoking than I realized at first. After listening to this podcast, I went about my day and realized how many times I feel like I’ve failed. I also thought of the last episode of the Luis podcast: There was a conversation about the time with his father on the mountain and Luis said he’d failed: the response from Rapha was an emphatic “no you didn’t”. Something else was going on.

    I really don’t know how God sees things, but my heart and gut says that this sense of failure something deeply ingrained in my DNA, but not in God’s. I don’t know how to explain it, but I think God must be so others-focused and caring in a way that I can’t even imagine: perhaps he’s so with people in hard times that thoughts about himself don’t come to mind. I’ve often wondered what it would be like for God to set me free from shame and my own ego, what’s on the other side must be more wonderful than I can imagine.

    Waking up this morning, I had another thought: What about Jesus on the cross? Wayne said a while ago that Jesus crying out “my God, my God, why have your forsaken me” could be what Jesus felt in that moment, but not the reality of what’s actually happening from the Father. At the cross, perhaps it’s possible that Jesus could have felt an overwhelming sense of failure, but of course that wasn’t the case at all.

    I’m still processing this … Also, I’ve so appreciated the conversations over the past weeks and months, and Wayne, it’s a joy to hear of your happiest day and what God has done for you and Sara (and continues to do!)

  3. Hi, Wayne!
    Very short, didn’t Jesus knew how failure feels when he was made sin on the cross? He would feel ashamed and abandoned because sin ( other people sin toward us and our own sin) make us all feel that way, that we are bad, like we are sin itself. Didn’t he knew how failure feels greater than any human?
    Lovely podcast.

    • I think you’re right, Donia, at least he felt the weight of all our failures, but still not his own. I do like your take on it. They say the One that knows the depth of temptation the most is the One who has never fallen to it. It’s like an oak tree standing tall against the wind versus a sapling that bends with it. What feels the force of the wind more? Wouldn’t it be the tree that doesn’t get blown by it?

  4. Just had a fascinating conversation with a friend after listening to this podcast myself… in the course of which I ended up bringing up the comment that if you are behind of a wall thinking it is up to you to get through that wall to God, He is behind the wall. If you are lost, He is there lost with you. It also reminded me of another God Journey episode that talked about having “too high” expectations of God; if we are expecting Him to swoop in and rescue us (64 years earlier, maybe, in Sara’s case) in a certain way, as the Jews were, we may not have eyes to see salvation in a weak, helpless little baby like Simeon and Anna did. Made me want to ask for eyes to see, and “How are you with me, right here?” Also brought to mind a Jason Gray song called, “I Will Find a Way” from his album A Way to See in the Dark.

  5. I liked Caleb’s response, and I like the question “does God know what it’s like to fail?” If he doesn’t, in his humanity, what hope do we have?
    While listening to the podcast I immediately thought of Jesus’ woes to the Pharisees – his heart was as a hen to her chickens, to rescue them. Are the the expressions of anger a form of giving them over to their choices?

  6. Thank you both for sharing! Being a person struggling still with pornography addiction and your discussion was the impetuous for this post.. This addictive behavior which is rooted in trauma from my formative years at the hands of my earthly father and consequential distrust of God have rendered me unable to connect vitally with Christ. Pornograhy destroys intimacy with Christ, a person’s ability to receive or give love, and in my case quenching the Holy Spirit. The first Christian book I read on this topic was pastor Ted Robert’s titled Pure Desire and the reason I mention it is that his instruction in this book agrees with yours .That instruction was to focus on God’s love to dispell sin and shame and find Christ right in the midst of my struggles not after I clean myself up. I’ve been trying to do this since I rededicated my life to Christ in my early twenties off and on alternating between giving up on God and choosing to provide my own comfort through sin. Using my extreme personality to pursue God with the same fervor but unable to find Him anywhere no matter which Christian fix it curriculum I employed trying to fix myself so as to be loved and accepted by God. Yes Kyle I’m an all or nothing thinker with perfectionistic tendencies and have the idol of perfect me in my heart. I share a similar vision with the big picture of relational Christianity that’s taught here and at 60 years of age have for many years as my online ministers teachings ,Even the Eastern Orthodox teaching of the cross from 2 Corinthians 5 he’s been teaching for many years. I’m mainly trying to persist in praying daily for the Father to restore me to innocence and reveal His love for me daily while I painfully continue my journey to the end of myself. Thank you again for your open and honest sharing….Brene Brown would be proud of you!

    • My heart goes out to you. It’s amazing how abuse at a young age can translate into destructive and additive behaviors that can last a significant part of our lifetimes. But he is bigger still. I join you in that prayer for freedom, Randy. Also, I would encourage you to think less about what you have to do to fix this and instead focus on what God is already doing to win your heart and, through that, your freedom. This is his doing, not ours.

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