I am truly grateful for my salvation and rest in a faithful savior. I cannot express how I rejoice in this great comfort and hope.
I recently read an article about a Roman Catholic priest in the United States who had for years wrongly used the pronoun “we” instead of “I” when administering the sacrament of baptism. This effectively invalidated something like 8,000 baptisms. For many people this seems like no big deal but for those who are convinced that the Roman Catholic Church dispenses grace, it is salvific. According to the article, one diocese made it very clear: “Baptism is a requirement for salvation.”
Now imagine if someone was wrongly baptized and has since died, the thought that crosses our minds, is that person now in hell because of this priest’s mistake?
There is a lot to unpack in all of this but for this short post I will focus on this—I am grateful that the Scriptures do not teach a Gospel that can be undone by the misuse of a pronoun. You see, no human error can undermine the grace of God in Christ. My salvation is not dependent on a priest, pastor, or the proper formula used in the sacrament of baptism. What is it dependent on?
Christ alone. See, Jesus has done it all. He has fulfilled every necessary condition, He has paid all of my debt, He has earned all necessary merit through His own righteousness. God Himself took on flesh, receiving a true human nature, that He might live the life of obedience that the first man Adam (and every one of us since) did not live. Not only did He live a life of perfect righteousness, but He was unjustly (but willingly) crucified in the place of all those who would put their hope and faith in Him. He died on a cross and was buried but three days later He rose from the dead.
He ascended into heaven—that’s where He remains as our high priest and advocate even today. Jesus is our High Priest. He has spoken the words of life and given us the promises that cannot be invalidated—“It is finished!” His perfect offering (of Himself) was accepted by the Father.
Consider this thought: Jesus is our true priest. Not someone who will die himself and so cannot stand in our place before the Father. Not some fallen human who needs his own sins forgiven. Not someone who will accidently use the wrong pronoun.
“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” Hebrews 7:25
“He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.” Hebrews 7:27-28
Where’s my part in this? Well… I don’t have a part in my salvation. I simply receive by grace through faith this glorious gift. My hope is in this great high priest who will never fail me. May we find rest in Him alone, confident to draw near because of His grace alone. Let us always only look to Jesus, “the founder and perfecter of our faith.” Don’t take your eyes off of Him, grateful that He won’t take His eyes off of you.