Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Screen door on a submarine - about as useful as Law in the life of a Christian

One of Rich Mullins' early songs spoke about faith without works being about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. I see what he was trying to say... "faith without works is dead..." and on the one hand I can easily accept his analogy, but on the other hand I'll just say that I've spent too much time over-analyzing the analogy. :)

However, no matter what the worth of the analogy, I've been ministered to greatly by the life of Rich Mullins and there are many, many of his quotes that I love, and I shared some a year ago on the tenth anniversary of his death. If you've not followed this blog for that long (or even if you have, and have already seen these), I highly recommend checking out these two posts: Rich quotes and More Rich quotes. (Even a year later, I welcome your comments there if you have any).

What I really wanted to get at here was a different use for the phrase "screen door on a submarine." Law in the life of a Christian is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. I suppose you could spend some time analyzing that statement, and you're free to do so! :)

But if, as Christians, we had to die to the law in order to be married to Another - that is, Christ - and in Him we are now alive with real life (which the law could never produce) and we are now a solid, leak proof "submarine" - because in Him and Him alone we bear fruit to God and we are complete and we have Life, and we are new creations with spirits that are joined together with His, not by works or law, but by grace alone - then why would we try to add anything to this, especially the ministry of death and condemnation that we had to die to in order to be joined to Christ???

It's the ministry and life of the Spirit that brought us to life, saving us from death and condemnation, and it's the ministry of the Spirit that keeps us. The law could do nothing to save us and the law can do nothing to bring us to maturity in Christ. Isn't it all the work of the Spirit?

FWIW: Screen Door On A Submarine - live


  1. Hi Joel….

    As usual I completely agree with you….

    Salvation can not be earned in any way whatsoever by following the law or “being good” (its grace alone thru faith alone in Jesus alone) etc.

    Plus transformation (sanctification) takes place by the power of God working thru our lives not by our feeble attempts with the law, religion or morality etc….

    Of course if a person has genuinely become a follower of Jesus then this transformation should be taking place in their lives (in other words those good things start to happen by God working in our lives not our attempts at do and don’t lists..)

  2. LS,

    Right on. It's all by grace through faith, from salvation to sanctification. "Life" is now what we have, and as we grow in grace, that Life will naturally work in us and flow out of us.

  3. Hey Joel,

    I love the way you used “Life” in your comment I think I will start a blog called Life on the Blade! Thanks for the idea! *Sound of me running of to Blogger to start a new blog*