I Couldn’t Have Done It Without You… and Vice-Versa

“Another fellow – Lodowick (Lodo) Legup – has been convinced that he needs Christ as Savior and Lord, and has come to be saved and led. Lodo knows he’s a sinner, and looks to Christ to do something about that.

“But, oddly enough, Lodo thinks that sin has disabled him, hurt him, wounded him – but not killed him as dead as, say, Julius Caesar. So Lodo has this inner notion that he still brings something positive to the equation. Lodo’s Jesus holds out most of the makings of a nice big yummy Salvation Pie, but it’s not really a pie until Lodo puts the “decision cherry” on the top, or the “faith sprinkles.” Jesus is really a great help, He did a lot, all the heavy lifting and big stuff; but it’s still nothing until Lodo does his part. Jesus helps Lodo – but Lodo helps Jesus, too. In fact, without Lodo’s help, nothing happens.

“So, without in any way meaning to, Lodo has Jesus as Cosigner instead of Savior. Because the relationship is still partly based on Lodo’s performance, on his works, he has the feeling deep down that God doesn’t really like him much, or love him, unless he does his part. After all, He didn’t save him until Lodo did his part first. God responded to Lodo then, so maybe He responds now. Lodo works so that God will like him, so that Jesus will love him and keep him. If Lodo stopped, he’d lose that relationship.

“That kind of fear motivates Lodo. To Lodo, the Cross is where God did everything He could, made salvation possible and attainable, and then left it to Lodo to make it happen. The relationship started partly because of what God did, and partly because of what Lodo did. But Lodo added the decisive element. The relationship continues in the same way. Lodo may not be prepared to take up a cross himself, or do anything radical. After all, God didn’t do anything too radical to save him. Lodo wasn’t so bad off that Lodo himself couldn’t provide the essential ingredient. Lodo kept part of the salvation package, and now he’ll keep part of the Christian-life package.”

~ Dan Phillips, The World-Tilting Gospel (Ch. 1, pp. 57-58)

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