Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Justification by Faith - Oswald Chambers

A recent comment by Gary reminded me of my all-time favorite "Utmost for His Highest" devotional entry. It's dated October 28th, and both last year and this year I spaced off blogging about it, so I may as well do it now while I'm thinking about it!

Here's a snippet:
I am not saved by believing — I simply realize I am saved by believing. And it is not repentance that saves me — repentance is only the sign that I realize what God has done through Christ Jesus. The danger here is putting the emphasis on the effect, instead of on the cause. Is it my obedience, consecration, and dedication that make me right with God? It is never that! I am made right with God because, prior to all of that, Christ died. When I turn to God and by belief accept what God reveals, the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ instantly places me into a right relationship with God. And as a result of the supernatural miracle of God’s grace I stand justified, not because I am sorry for my sin, or because I have repented, but because of what Jesus has done. The Spirit of God brings justification with a shattering, radiant light, and I know that I am saved, even though I don’t know how it was accomplished.

I want to add that these words from Chambers sound somewhat "universalist," ("I am not saved by believing") but as far as I know that's not what he was. I take these words not as universalist but as words that put much more hope in the work of Jesus than in my own up and down, back and forth, unsteady belief system.


  1. I dont know anything about Chambers, but maybe his "Im not saved by believing"-statement could mean the same as Joseph Prince do when he says: "When you realize it's the blood alone that saves you, that cleanses you and makes you righteous, God sees that as faith in the blood. But it is not faith in the blood that saves you, it's the blood that saves you. But when you believe it is the blood that saves you, God sees that as faith in the blood..."

  2. Wow, I like that Markus, and I just discovered Joseph Prince and am thrilled!

  3. Markus, thanks for your comment. I think that is probably a very good reckoning of what Chambers was saying. Over the years I've read from the "Utmost" devotional book quite a bit, and I really get the idea that his focus is not on our "faith" but on God and what He reveals to us, which leads to faith, if that makes any sense.

    I've also recently heard of Joseph Prince (within the last 6 to 12 months). I've seen a few videos on youtube and he really holds no punches in preaching the good news!

  4. That one is high on my list of favorites as well.

    "The Spirit of God brings justification with a shattering, radiant light, and I know that I am saved, even though I don’t know how it was accomplished."

    This describes my salvation experience perfectly. There was repentance, even though I didn't say "I repent!" There was belief, even though I didn't say "I believe!" I just knew I was saved and it was the most wonderful thing imaginable. I still can't totally describe what I felt; love, joy, acceptance, light, warmth and then some. There were no words, just tears of joy...to wit, I blubbered like a baby. I didn't know how it happened, it just happened. No formula, no prayer; just the work of God.

    God is good!

  5. I like how you put that, Gary. "It just happened." I really can't recall any specific words that I ever said that marked a time of coming to know Jesus. I don't even have a date that tells me when I first believed. As far back as I can recall, I've always been a believer, but yet none of it hinged on saying certain words. I've just believed.