Salvation and Football

prescottBear with me as I use football to explain the glories and struggles of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ Jesus alone.

Concerning salvation and football, some of us limit what it means to be saved by Christ to being baptized. We are like those who limit what it means to play football to a bunch of guys who wear jerseys. Surely football includes jerseys, and salvation includes baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and membership, but salvation is gloriously more than initiation.

Concerning salvation and football, some of us limit what it means to be saved by Christ to speaking in tongues. We are like those who limit what it means to play football to a bunch of guys holding up signs, making signals and calling plays. Surely football includes signs, and salvation includes communication with God, but salvation is gloriously more than speaking in tongues.

Concerning salvation and football, some of us limit what it means to be saved by Christ to keeping the law. We are like those who limit what it means to play football to a bunch of guys following the rule book or play book. Surely football includes rules and plays, and salvation includes commands, but salvation is gloriously more than keeping the rules.

As we seek to understand salvation, our football illustration breaks down. Playing football is something a person does in his own strength. Surely he wears his team’s jersey, communicates to his coaches, and follows the rules, but he needs no outside strength. A football player doesn’t need the power of the Spirit to play the game. He simply plays the game. Salvation, on the other hand, while also including the signs (baptism, Lord’s Supper, and membership), communication (prayer), and the rules (the law of Christ), a person cannot be a Christian in his/her own strength. We need the Holy Spirit for every act of faith.

This week, on Sunday the 21st, we will look in Romans 7:13-25. Surely there we see the inability of any person, even a Christian, to keep the law in his/her own strength. Our flesh is weak. We need to learn to follow the Spirit (Romans 8). This, I believe, is no second blessing or Spirit baptism. This is discipleship; learning to follow the Lord according to the power of the Spirit within you at regeneration.

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