Of the Gospels, it could be asserted that the Johannine version is that which is most replete with cruciform language. Though each Gospel makes its own “turn” towards Jerusalem and, therefore, towards the cross, John’s narrative is uniquely concerned with the Son of Man’s accomplishments on Golgotha’s tree.
Fundamental to the gospel itself is an understanding of its inexorable testament to a literal devil figure, whose might and minions are at once thwarted in their mission to subvert God’s reclamation of creation by the Son of God’s triumph over death. Evidence throughout the Gospels affirm the real activity and tangible presence of Satan and demons, with Jesus trouncing their operation at every turn.
One of the core Reformational ideas that many ascribe to today is what is known as sola gratia, or “grace alone.” This Latin phrase is one of the pillars of the Reformation, the five solae, which were advocated in order to summarize the foundational structure upon which the Reformers’ took their stand.
As someone who’s confessed to being a “grace-addict” on numerous occasions, there are certain questions and cautions that you hear a lot. It’s so difficult to get the Pharisee out of people that at the first hint of unmerited favor they pounce, wanting to be caveats and provisos where God has put a blank check.