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Attainment Or Obtainment?
"... he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead ..." (v. 18)
For reading & meditation:
Does salvation come up from mankind through striving, helped by the Divine, or does it come down to us from above, through the act of God and our receptivity of that act? Is it an attainment or an obtainment? The answers separate Christianity from all other religions. Non-Christian religions teach that salvation is the work of mankind; the Christian faith teaches that salvation is the gift of God - Christianity alone falls into the category of obtainment. Some people try to blunt the sharpness of the question "Does mankind strive to reach up to God or does God come down to redeem mankind through the incarnate Jesus?" by saying the answer is both. But by the very nature of things it cannot be both. The starting points are different. One begins with mankind; the other begins with God. Since the beginnings are different, the endings will be different. The whole of the New Testament revolves around the Person and work of Jesus. In some form or another He is on every page. A letter I received protested against a statement I made which went something like this: "There is only one Person around whom the universe can unite, and that Person is Jesus." "There have been good persons in history," said my correspondent, "why not unite around all of them rather than just one?" Because Christ is the meeting point of the human and the divine. No one else can hold that position. An Indian Hindu said recently: "There is no one else bidding for the heart of humanity except Jesus. There is no one else on the field." There isn't!
O Father, we want to thank You that when we couldn't come to You, You came down the ladder to us through the Incarnation. We are eternally grateful. Amen.
Taken from 'Every Day Light' devotional, by Selwyn Hughes. © 1999 and is used by permission. All rights reserved.
Hughes, Selwyn. "Devotional for January 11". "Every Day Light". <http://classic.studylight.org/devos/edl/index.cgi?FirstSelectMonth=&FirstSelectDay=>. 1999.