Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

the process or the promise


A friend has described himself as understanding the promise of salvation a lot better than he understands the process of salvation. That caused me to think about how hung up the church is on the process by which one supposedly gains salvation, with little or no regard for God's promise in relation to salvation.. To the church, what God promised humanity at large is conditional. If we don't know the process and follow the process, then God's promise is nullified.

Did God's promise to the nation of Israel ever depend on their adherence to the process prescribed under the law? Many, many Christians obviously think not, given their visceral attachment to the nation of Israel and their insistence that the Jews are still a part of God's plan, despite continuous disobedience. They consider the promises of God to physical Israel to be without repentance or changing of the mind, but somehow the promises to the rest of humanity are dependent on their conformity to the sacred process. The promises of God on the one hand are unconditional, but then on the other they are very much contingent.

The difference between promise and process is one of security versus fearfulness. To stake one's life and happiness on the unalterable word (promise) of God involves relying only upon God's ability and faithfulness. To do the same based on acquired knowledge and proper response is shrouded in doubtfulness at every turn. 2000 years of preaching, sermonizing, and Bible exegesis have not lessened the inherent confusion and uncertainty of salvation by a human initiated process.