In his latest post, Dan asks, "Just how hard is it to be saved?"

It reminded me of this passage from my novel Black Dog Man:
Walter looked him in the eyes. “Do you believe,” he asked, “that God can forgive anything?”


“No, for real. God can forgive someone no matter what they do?”

“Seriously, yes.”

“It’s that easy?”

“It’s easy for God to forgive, I think. It’s hard sometimes for us to receive forgiveness.”

“But that’s not fair,” Walter said.

“What do you mean?”

“We go through the hard work of guilt and feeling ashamed and worrying about being forgiven and measuring up, but he just snaps his fingers and forgives us? Shouldn’t it be hard to forgive the bad sins?”

“Well, there is that thing Jesus did on the cross.”

“Yes,” Walter said, looking across the hall at the blank wall. In an instant he seemed afflicted by an immeasurable pain. It was more a thought than a question, really, but he said, “So forgiveness isn’t easy.”

“No,” David agreed, feeling Walter’s sadness. “In that sense, it’s not easy at all.”

My answer in the thread at Dan's place begins: "The answer is that it's not hard at all, and it's also as hard as one sinless life and crucifixion."



I'm a jerk. And a screw-up. And a liar and a pervert and a hypocrite.
I'm defensive and offensive. I make excuses, shirk obligations, and ignore the needy.
I am a stumbling block to myself and others.
The weight of these things (and more) bends me low.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

-- Romans 5.1-11 (ESV)

Oh God, thank God.

I don't feel like I'm standing. But I can throw my stupid feelings up there into the list in my first paragraph.
"Although illumination by the Spirit begins the process, or order, of salvation (Heb. 6:4; 10:32), it continues throughout the life of the believer. The Holy Spirit leads us to a deeper understanding of God (John 16:3), prompting both repentance for the sins that we commit and assurance of God's grace and the certainty of our election.

-- from the 1 Corinthians article commentary "Illumination and Conviction" in the ESV Reformation Study Bible