sermonette: Is it Salvational?
A Better Question to Ask
David C. Grabbe
Given 15-Dec-18; Sermon #1465s; 19 minutes
David Grabbe, reflecting on a notion that Sabbath-keeping is not a "salvational matter," urges that the question of a matter being "salvational" is a deceptive red herring, obscuring the real question: "Is it relational?" After Adam and Eve disobeyed God's command in a matter they must have considered "non-salvational," their relationship with their Creator suffered immediate and long-lasting damage. Consequently, they hid themselves in shame. If we had been in their place, what value would we place on a peaceful relationship with God? Jesus Christ defines eternal life as knowing the Father, and adds that if we love Him, we will keep His Commandments. Failure to obey God's commands demonstrates our disdain of them. Cultivating a relationship with God resembles cultivating a marriage relationship; if we know that some "minor" behavior annoys our spouse, we will avoid it, insignificant as we think it is. If our greatest desire is to live with God, we will do our best to live that right way, realizing that everything matters. We should not seek how much we can get away with, but instead study how we can maximally yield to His desires for us. Instead of asking if something is "salvational," we should ask if it will gradually erode the relationship between us and our Lord. Too often, our judgment of our own character is the opposite of God's assessment because we have allowed our conscience to "adjust" to compromises in areas we might consider "inconsequential." Isaiah 66:2 reminds us that God responds to those who tremble and revere His Word, focusing on the relational rather than the salvational aspect of obedience.