6. Is God in the process of saving both Christians and Jews?
To a large extent, Jews and Christians have similar understandings of the
salvation God is
working in our lives. Together we share the Hebrew Scriptures, and in them God establishes
that to be saved is to be delivered from any force or creature that threatens or oppresses. On
the shore of the Red Sea, when Miriam and the children of Israel sing and dance to celebrate
their deliverance from bondage in Egypt, they are singing of salvation. Thus for Jews and
Christians alike, God saves us by freeing us from all that binds us to any power, person or thing
that would harm us, and by freeing us for enlarged, abundant life. To be saved is to be made
whole, and to experience the full, authentic human life God intended. Although this abundant life
is not ours in fullness yet, both Jews and Christians agree that God is at work to make such a
life ours as fully as possible on earth and in the present.
There are also distinctive features to the Christian understanding of salvation.
into covenantal relationship with the one God is through God's forgiveness granted and revealed
to us in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Our salvation flows from that forgiveness and
through it we are being transformed, freed from slavery to false gods and from the sin and guilt
attendant to such bondage. Freed also to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are formed into
one Body, the Church, commissioned to carry the same loving forgiveness we have received to
a world broken, enslaved, and yearning for fuller, more authentic life. But the wholeness and
fullness we receive and bear to others is, we believe, only a foretaste of what we will share in
the life to come.
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