Sun City, Calif.
God’s grace is a gift freely given to us. We do not earn God’s love, we only try to live in response to God’s gift of unconditional love. No one is climbing the spiritual ladder; we die and are made new by God’s Spirit. Luther’s favorite verse was John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” We are saved by Grace through Faith in Jesus Christ.
We are both sinner and saint, 100% of both, all of the time. We are sinners because of our nature and we are saints because of what God, by the sacrifice of his Son, has done for us.
The Bible is not God and the Bible was not written by God. The Bible was written by men inspired by God, but includes the prejudices and opinions of those writers. Luther said, “The old testament conceals the new testament and the new testament reveals the old testament.”
Our relationship to God is always from God to us. We cannot through our piety, goodness, power, or strength, move closer to God. God is in control. Jesus said, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” God is revealed to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. We can not find Jesus, but Jesus finds us.
This article originally appeared in the Nov. 7, 2014, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.