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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Is there hope for me?

salvation & grace

Roberto asked tough questions in confirmation class: "Is there a Creator behind the vast universe? Does that Creator know me? Is that Creator friendly to my life on this planet?"

"What you're really asking," his pastor replied, "is the question of salvation. The salvation question is really the question of human life. Is there hope for human beings given life by God but plagued on earth by the many enemies of life?"

Jesus Christ answers: "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10). Salvation is the work of God for human beings where we receive the gift of life abundant. Jesus says the Creator intended that this would be a good world of life for humans. Jesus is God's good life in the flesh for us. He came to destroy the forces that would negate life — sin, death and the devil — and offers us life that can flourish even into eternity. This is the offer of salvation.

Why would the Creator of all that exists leave the divine world and come to live in the world of humans? Because God is gracious.

When we stare into the void of space, a graceful presence behind that void favors us with love. Grace is God's unmerited, free, spontaneous, anticipatory love for human beings caught in the complexities and difficulties of earthly life. God is the source of grace. Jesus Christ is God's grace in a human life. The Spirit is the breath of God that enables God's grace-in-Jesus-Christ to breathe upon us and give us life today and into eternity.


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