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Throughout history we have wrestled with questions about salvation. In our quest to know the truth about salvation, we have searched everywhere possible. In our search, we have constructed entire philosophies in order to find the answers we want. Religions have been created, codes and rules have been formulated, entire governments have been established, self-serving gods have been manufactured, and men have worshiped themselves. Indeed, this is the greatest atrocity of all.
This atrocity, however, does not reveal itself in such obvious ways. It is not as if people erect golden statues of themselves in their front yards and bow down to them asking for bigger cars, bigger houses, and smaller waistlines. Rather, our worship of ourselves has been revealed when we have looked to ourselves for the answers to life’s ultimate questions. When we felt we needed to know as God knows, we deceived ourselves and ate from the forbidden tree. When we felt we needed a god we could control, we deceived ourselves and created a golden calf. When we felt our race was inherently superior, we deceived ourselves and slaughtered the masses to gain a “pure” nation. When we felt we didn’t want to be inconvenienced, we deceived ourselves and began to slaughter children not yet born. When we felt we didn’t like the idea that God is the only source of salvation, we deceived ourselves and decided to create our own religion which holds that salvation is ultimately the decision of man, not the decision of God. In so doing, we have directly declared ourselves to be sovereign. Not only have we erected statues of ourselves, but we have praised and comforted ourselves. Indeed this is the greatest atrocity of all time, yet it is repeated in every generation of those who deceive themselves and covenant with themselves in order to save themselves.
The answers to life’s ultimate questions are not found in the mind of man. Rather, they are found in the eternal Word of God — and, according to the Word of God, salvation is not accomplished by those who seek it. From beginning to end, the covenant of redemption is central to our salvation. In His eternal plan, God established a covenant, not with man, but with Himself in order to redeem His people from their self-deceiving destruction. Therefore we live coram Deo, before the face of God. For it is God who has covenanted with Himself and has given His only Son for us. It is He who comforts us, and it is He whom we praise.