Saving Grace

While the ‘justified by faith alone’ crowd brings out the strawman of faith versus works, as Alister McGrath points out in his extensive historical survey of the doctrine of justification, the contention is rather between salvation by grace and justification by faith. While closely related, saving grace surely is the more extensive and prior foundation, one that doesn’t obsfucate the need for the Church.

When Bob Dylan first came to faith, instead of singing about his justifying faith, he proclaimed God’s saving grace:

If you find it in Your heart, can I be forgiven?
Guess I owe You some kind of apology
I’ve escaped death so many times, I know I’m only living
By the saving grace that’s over me

By this time I’d-a thought I would be sleeping
In a pine box for all eternity
My faith keeps me alive, but I still be weeping
For the saving grace that’s over me

Well, the death of life, then come the resurrection
Wherever I am welcome is where I’ll be
I put all my confidence in Him, my sole protection
Is the saving grace that’s over me

Well, the devil’s shining light, it can be most blinding
But to search for love, that ain’t no more than vanity
As I look around this world all that I’m finding
Is the saving grace that’s over me

The wicked know no peace and you just can’t fake it
There’s only one road and it leads to Calvary
It gets discouraging at times, but I know I’ll make it
By the saving grace that’s over me

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