What is your salvation for?

Jesus simply teaches the world that greatest orientation of God's people is that of love: loving God and loving neighbor (Matt 22:36-40). God saved his people so that they may love well. Very well!

In recent years, youth and young adults have been put under an enormous amount of pressure to be "extraordinary" Christians who "make a difference" to "change the world" and, in some cases, they pressured into being "radical." This new legalism has inadvertently created a grievous amount of anxiety, stress, and pressure to be some sort of "super Christian." These superlative slogans have left a generation of youth and young adults burnt out on their faith. There is a fear of being "ordinary." It's seems, however ordinariness is exactly what the Scriptures are calling God's people to be and do wherever it is that God places them. Anywhere. In their union with Christ, God's people are declared "extraordinary" and are, therefore, free to be a people of love in ways that are usually unnoticed by most and are only, at times, celebrated publicly. The glory of God is found in the ordinary. 

His people have been redeemed that they ordinary and wise lovers of God and others. This is what it means to be truly human.

As I've said before, "I continue to be amazed by the number of youth and young adults who are stressed and burnt out from the regular shaming and feelings of inadequacy if they happen to not be doing something unique and special. Today’s millennial generation is being fed the message that if they don’t do something extraordinary in this life they are wasting their gifts and potential. The sad result is that many young adults feel ashamed if they “settle” into ordinary jobs, get married early and start families, live in small towns, or as 1 Thessalonians 4:11 says, “aspire to live quietly, and to mind [their] affairs, and to work with [their] hands.” For too many millennials and Gen Xers their greatest fear in this life is being an ordinary person with a non-glamorous job, living in the suburbs, and having nothing spectacular to boast about."

{C}{C}The Shorter Catechism of Westminster Confession of Faith, however, provides a better entry point for understanding what our salvation is for with questions like these: 

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.

Q. 9. What is the work of creation?
A. The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.

Q. 10. How did God create man?
A. God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.

Q. 11. What are God’s works of providence?
A. God’s works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.

In the providence of God's mission to redeem all things, God places his people in all spheres of society and culture as "salt and light" to be full collaborators with Him in their day-to-day lives. God cares about his entire creation, here and now, in big cities, the suburbs, and small towns and plans to use his people in the mystery of his redemptive mission. Your salvation is about much, much more than you may have ever realized before. With the everything provided by the Trinity, God's people are free to love properly and freely (Gal 5). 

--Anthony Bradley, PhD

Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics, The King’s College

Research Fellow, The Acton Institute For The Study of Religion and Liberty