I'm working on an idea that maybe at the heart of the Calvin/Wesley conversation lies the preference of one prepositional phrase over the other from the statement "Salvation is by faith through grace." Each camp pledges the entire statement proudly, but I think each subconsciously emphasizes the concepts that support their theology. The Calvinist will stop short, ending with verse 9, "lest no man should boast" as the natural conclusion of God's work of Grace, while the Armenian will skip to verse 10 "created in Him to do good works" as the natural conclusion of man's work of Faith. Each uses the text to launch out into familiar territory. Each is an incomplete expedition. Let's now endeavor to pioneer the entire landscape of our salvation.
I've said before that prepositions are my favorite part of speech because of their ability to express relationships with precision. Based on those used, I'd like to suggest that faith is the door through which we receive the gifts of grace, which together offer a complete salvation (past, present, and future).
- Faith challenges us to rest from the past, remain in the present, and redeem our future.
- Grace gifts us with pardon from the past, power in the present, and promise for the future.
- RESTS in His PARDON for our past
- REMAINS in His POWER for our present, and
- REDEEMS his PROMISES for our future.
Glory, glory, to His Name!"