Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been discussing and thinking about several questions which relate to HOW GOD SAVES SINNERS. So I thought I would post the questions and my responses. Here are the questions…
DOES OUR LIFESTYLE HAVE TO SURPASS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE PHARISEES IN ORDER TO INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE?
When Jesus said that our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees, He was talking about our need for imputed righteousness. The context is…
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them…For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Here is what Jesus is saying…
1. The Law must not be abolished. It is the standard by which we will be judged.
2. Jesus therefore doesn’t come to abolish the law, but rather he comes to fulfill the law on our behalf through His life, death and resurrection.
3. If we want to enter the kingdom of heaven, our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees. The only way for that to happen is if Jesus fulfils the demands of the law on our behalf, and credits His righteousness into our account. This credited righteousness will be so great it will surpass that of the Pharisees.
Martin Luther said…
“Through faith in Christ, therefore, Christ’s righteousness becomes our righteousness and all that he has becomes ours; rather, he himself becomes ours… This is an infinite righteousness, and one that swallows up all sins in a moment, for it is impossible that sin should exist in Christ. On the contrary, he who trusts in Christ exists in Christ; he is one with Christ, having the same righteousness as he. It is therefore impossible that sin should remain in him. This righteousness is primary; it is the basis, the cause, the source of all our own actual righteousness. For this is the righteousness given in place of the original righteousness lost in Adam. It accomplishes the same as that original righteousness would have accomplished; rather, it accomplishes more.”
IF REPENTANCE INCLUDES ACTIONS, WHAT DOES AN ALCOHOLIC NEED TO DO BEFORE HE CAN BE SAVED?
> DOES HE NEED TO STOP GETTING DRUNK?
> DOES HE NEED TO TRY TO STOP GETTING DRUNK?
> DOES HE NEED TO COMMIT TO STOP GETTING DRUNK?
Repentance does not include actions. It simply means ‘to be of another mind’.
John the Baptist called people to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8). The Apostle Paul said: “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 26:20).
Both these passages show that repentance is something that happens in the mind. It does not include actions. Actions will eventually flow as a result of repentance, but they are not part of repentance.
Therefore the alcoholic doesn’t need to stop getting drunk, try to stop getting drunk or even commit to stop getting drunk. He needs to agree with God that his sin is evil and destructive, and that he needs a Saviour from both the consequences of his sin, and the power of his sin.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE ALCOHOLIC WHO BECOMES A CHRISTIAN AND AFTER A PERIOD OF ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL, FALLS BACK INTO A PATTERN OF DRUNKENNESS? IS HE STILL GOING TO HEAVEN? IF SO, WHY?
The truth is, all of us fall back into sin in multiple ways at all times. Some of us never get out of it. And there are times (unfortunately) that we are not always trusting in the Holy Spirit’s enabling power to help us overcome sin.
The good news is that the alcoholic’s eternal destiny doesn’t in any way depend on his ability to walk closely with God, or always be admitting his sin and depending on the Holy Spirit to change him. It rests on the finished work of Jesus on his behalf.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE ALCOHOLIC WHO BECOMES A CHRISTIAN AND AFTER A PERIOD OF ABSTAINING FROM ALCOHOL, FALLS BACK INTO A PATTERN OF DRUNKENNESS AND EVEN STOPS TRYING TO FIGHT HIS SINFUL DESIRES TO GET DRUNK? IS HE STILL GOING TO HEAVEN? IF SO, WHY?
There is not a single Christian in the world who doesn’t have a multitude of unrepentant sins in their life. All of us fall back into sin. And all of us have times (unfortunately) where we stop fighting our sinful desires.
Again, the Christian is going to heaven not because they fight their sinful desires, but because of Jesus’ finished work on their behalf.
IF SOMEONE TRIES TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF THE LAW, AND BECOMES FULLY CONVINCED THAT THERE IS NOTHING GOOD THAT LIVES IN THEM, ARE THEY THEN MEANT TO GO TO JESUS AND MAKE A COMMITMENT TO LIVE A GOOD LIFE, EVEN THOUGH EVERYTHING ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCE TELLS THEM THAT THEY CAN’T KEEP THAT COMMITMENT? IF SO, ARE THEY SAVED BY THAT COMMITMENT? WHAT IF THEY CAN’T KEEP IT?
The whole purpose of the law is to fully convince us that we are completely and utterly sinful. That nothing good lives in us.
Therefore a person who sits under the law could never make a commitment to live a good life. They couldn’t come to God with their good intentions, because their intentions aren’t good. They are simply helpless and hopeless sinners who desperately need a Saviour.
A person doesn’t become a Christian by committing to live a good life. Rather a person becomes a Christian by declaring that they can’t live a good life, and trusting that Jesus has done everything necessary to save them.
Becoming a Christian isn’t about a bad person committing to become a good person. Rather it’s about a dead person being made alive. And dead people can’t commit to anything. Only after a dead person has been resurrected from the dead, can they have any hope of even making a commitment to do anything.
IF SOMEONE BECOMES A CHRISTIAN, AND THEY HAVE UNREPENTANT SIN IN THEIR LIFE FOR A SIGNIFICANT PERIOD OF TIME, ARE THEY STILL A CHRISTIAN? DO THEY LOSE THEIR SALVATION?
To think that any of us don’t have an absolute truck load of unrepentant sin is to minimize the law. Sin is not just about doing the wrong thing. It’s much, much deeper than that…
> Sin is doing the wrong thing.
> Sin is failing to take the opportunity to do a good work.
> Sin is doing the good work with less than 100% pure motives.
> Sin is doing the good work with less than 100% dependence upon the Spirit.
> Sin is having anything in our life that we look to for comfort, security and significance ahead of God.
Again, their salvation doesn’t depend on how well they continue to repent of sin. They will fail miserably. It depends on the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
A Christian doesn’t need to repent of every sin at all times to maintain their salvation. If they did, they could never know for sure that they are saved, for they could never be sure that they are repenting of everything.
So how does this person know they are saved?
If he is truly saved, the Holy Spirit will be waging war against his sinful nature. Sometimes he will be led by the Spirit, and he will love God & love others & hate sin. Other times he will be led by his sinful nature, & he will love sin and crave sin.
The key is not to expect an absence of sin or even an absence of sinful desires (for he still has a sinful nature that loves sin and craves sin), but rather to look for evidence of the Holy Spirit at work in his life.
WHEN A CHRISTIAN FACES JUDGEMENT TO DETERMINE WHERE THEY WILL SPEND ETERNITY, WILL THEY BE JUDGED BASED ON THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS ON THE CROSS, OR WILL THEY BE JUDGED BASED ON WHETHER OR NOT THEY HAVE COOPERATED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT TO PRODUCE FRUIT? OR BOTH?
A person will be judged based upon what they trust in.
If a person trusts in WHAT THEY HAVE DONE FOR GOD, they will be judged based on WHAT THEY HAVE DONE FOR GOD.
If a person trusts in WHAT THEY HAVE DONE FOR GOD + WHAT JESUS HAS DONE ON THE CROSS, they will be judged based on WHAT THEY HAVE DONE FOR GOD + WHAT JESUS HAS DONE ON THE CROSS.
If a person trusts SOLELY IN WHAT JESUS HAS DONE ON THE CROSS, they will be judged based SOLELY ON WHAT JESUS HAS DONE ON THE CROSS.
John Calvin said…
“A man is said to be justified in the sight of God when in the judgement of God he is deemed righteous, and is accepted on account of his righteousness; for as iniquity is abominable to God, so neither can the sinner find grace in his sight, so far as he is and so long as he is regarded as a sinner. Hence, wherever sin is, there also are the wrath and vengeance of God.
He, on the other hand, is justified who is regarded not as a sinner, but as righteous, and as such stands acquitted at the judgement-seat of God, where all sinners are condemned.
As an innocent man, when charged before an impartial judge, who decides according to his innocence, is said to be justified by the judge, as a man is said to be justified by God when, removed from the catalogue of sinners, he has God as the witness and assertor of his righteousness.
In the same manner, a man will be said to be justified by works, if in his life there can be found a purity and holiness which merits an attestation of righteousness at the throne of God, or if by the perfection of his works he can answer and satisfy the divine justice.
On the contrary, a man will be justified by faith when, excluded from the righteousness of works, he by faith lays hold of the righteousness of Christ, and clothed in it appears in the sight of God not as a sinner, but as righteous.
Thus we simply interpret justification, as the acceptance with which God receives us into his favour as if we were righteous; and we say that this justification consists in the forgiveness of sins and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ”.
IF THE HOLY SPIRIT’S TRANSFORMING WORK IN OUR LIFE AFFECTS WHERE WE SPEND ETERNITY, HOW WILL WE KNOW IF HE HAS TRANSFORMED US ENOUGH? WHAT IS THE STANDARD?
The Holy Spirit’s transforming work in our life doesn’t affect where we spend eternity. Rather one of the many gifts a Christian receives when they are justified by faith alone apart from works is the Holy Spirit.
FAITH leads to JUSTIFICATION which leads to HOLY SPIRIT + HEAVEN + ADOPTION etc.
Therefore a Christian doesn’t need to worry whether or not the Holy Spirit has transformed their life enough. This will only lead to pride (because they think they’ve arrived) or despair (because their worried they haven’t made it).
Rather the Christian is completely free of condemnation regardless of how much transformation the Holy Spirit brings about in a Christian’s life.
The hope of transformation is a privilege to be enjoyed, not a requirement that must be met. It is one of the many fruits of justification, not a means of justification.
WHAT DID JESUS ACCOMPLISH ON THE CROSS?
On the cross, Jesus took upon Himself all our past, present, future, deliberate, and accidental sin. As a result, God literally poured out His wrath upon Jesus. This is why Jesus cried ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me’. For the very first time in eternity history, the Son of God was separated from His Father in Heaven because of our sin.
In short, God got angry at the wrong person.
Martin Luther said: “Our sins are no longer ours but Christ’s, and the righteousness of Christ not Christ’s but ours”.
Now because our sins no longer belong to us, but have been credited into Jesus’ account, and because they were punished on the cross, we can no longer be punished for our sin.
He was condemned so that we could become uncondemnable.
WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING BEST DESCRIBES HOW PEOPLE GET SAVED?
(A) FAITH PLUS GOOD WORKS LEADS TO JUSTIFICATION
(B) FAITH LEADS TO GOOD WORKS WHICH LEADS TO JUSTIFICATION
(C) FAITH LEADS TO JUSTIFICATION WHICH LEADS TO GOOD WORKS
Protestants believe that we are clearly justified by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone.
Our justification in no way depends on our works. Therefore the answer is…
(C) FAITH leads to JUSTIFICATION which leads to GOOD WORKS
In Martin Luther’s Commentary on Galatians, he says…
“We are justified by Christ. Hence, we are not justified by the Law. If we observe the Law in order to be justified, or after having been justified by Christ, we think we must further be justified by the Law, we convert Christ into a legislator and a minister of sin.
With their doctrine these lying sects of perdition deface the benefits of Christ to this day. They rob Christ of His glory as the Justifier of mankind and cast Him into the role of a minister of sin. They are like the false apostles. There is not a single one among them who knows the difference between law and grace.
We can tell the difference. We do not here and now argue whether we ought to do good works, or whether the Law is any good, or whether the Law ought to be kept at all. We will discuss these questions some other time. We are now concerned with justification. Our opponents refuse to make this distinction. All they can do is to bellow that good works ought to be done. We know that. We know that good works ought to be done, but we will talk about that when the proper time comes. Now we are dealing with justification, and here good works should not be so much as mentioned.”
Added to this, the context of James 2 is clear that James uses the term ‘justified’ differently to Paul. Whereas Paul uses the term in a legal sense to mean ‘declared righteous’, James uses it in the same way a teacher might ask a question on a science exam: “Is it possible for humans to live on the sun? Justify your answer.” In this case, the term justify means to ‘show me how this is true’.
Therefore, when James says: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone”, he isn’t saying a person is ‘declared righteous’ by works and not by faith alone. Rather he is saying that a person shows how their faith is true by works, and not by faith alone.
John Calvin explains…
“Paul affirms in this passage that justification is so gratuitous, that he makes it quite evident, that it can by no means be associated with the merit of works… What, James says, that man is not justified by faith alone, but also by works, does not at all militate against the preceding view. The reconciling of the two views depends chiefly on the drift of the argument pursued by James. For the question with him is not, how men attain righteousness before God, but how they prove to others that they are justified, for his object was to confute hypocrites, who vainly boasted that they had faith. Gross then is the sophistry, not to admit that the word, to justify, is taken in a different sense by James, from that in which it is used by Paul; for they handle different subjects.”
Therefore the faith that leads to justification will eventually lead to good works. But in no way shape or form do those good works merit or affect or maintain that justification.
Paul obviously preached this gospel. As a result, some believed he was promoting sin (since his gospel was so full of grace). They asked… “Does Christ promote sin?” and “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may abound?”
This is what Martyn Lloyd Jones said about this charge…
“First of all, let me make a comment, to me a very important and vital comment. The true preaching of the gospel of salvation by grace alone always leads to the possibility of this charge being brought against it. There is no better test as to whether a man is really preaching the New Testament gospel of salvation than this, that some people might misunderstand it and misinterpret it to mean that it really amounts to this, that because you are saved by grace alone it does not matter at all what you do; you can go on sinning as much as you like because it will redound all the more to the glory of grace. If my preaching and presentation of the gospel of salvation does not expose it to that misunderstanding, then it is not the gospel. Let me show you what I mean.
If a man preaches justification by works, no one would ever raise this question. If a man’s preaching is, ‘If you want to be Christians, and if you want to go to heaven, you must stop committing sins, you must take up good works, and if you do so regularly and constantly, and do not fail to keep on at it, you will make yourselves Christians, you will reconcile yourselves to God and you will go to heaven’. Obviously a man who preaches in that strain would never be liable to this misunderstanding. Nobody would say to such a man, ‘Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?’, because the man’s whole emphasis is just this, that if you go on sinning you are certain to be damned, and only if you stop sinning can you save yourselves. So that misunderstanding could never arise.
Nobody has ever brought this charge against the Church of Rome, but it was brought frequently against Martin Luther; indeed that was precisely what the Church of Rome said about the preaching of Martin Luther. They said, ‘This man who was a priest has changed the doctrine in order to justify his own marriage and his own lust’, and so on. ‘This man’, they said, ‘is an antinomian; and that is heresy.’ That is the very charge they brought against him. It was also brought George Whitfield two hundred years ago. It is the charge that formal dead Christianity – if there is such a thing – has always brought against this startling, staggering message, that God ‘justifies the ungodly’.
That is my comment and it is a very important comment for preachers. I would say to all preachers: If your preaching of salvation has not been misunderstood in that way, then you had better examine your sermons again, and you had better make sure that you are really preaching the salvation that is offered in the New Testament to the ungodly, the sinner, to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, to those who are enemies of God. There is this kind of dangerous element about the true presentation of the doctrine of salvation.”
IF A CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCES SIGNIFICANT LOSS (E.G. THEIR DAUGHTER GETS KILLED IN A CAR ACCIDENT) AND THEY SPEND THE NEXT 3 YEARS BEING EXTREMELY ANGRY AT GOD, WOULD THEY STILL GO TO HEAVEN? WHAT IF DURING THIS THREE YEARS THEY HAVE NO INTENTION OF SUBMITTING TO GOD, AND ACTIVELY CHOOSE TO SIN AND REBEL?
If a person is a Christian, then they already have their sin paid for and have received the Holy Spirit. During this time, the Spirit would no doubt be speaking to them about God’s love for them, comforting them, and guiding them as they try to process what happened. He would also be calling them to repentance for their rebellion. But just because the Holy Spirit is at work, doesn’t mean the person will respond positively to the work of the Spirit. They may very well rebel.
ONCE A PERSON RECEIVES THE HOLY SPIRIT, ARE THEY GUARANTEED A PLACE IN HEAVEN? OR DO THEY STILL HAVE TO PRODUCE ENOUGH GOOD WORKS TO MAKE IT PAST THE FINAL JUDGEMENT?
The Holy Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing our place in heaven. We don’t need to produce a certain quota of good works to make it past the final judgement.
Of course the Holy Spirit will be active in the life of all believers, seeking to remind them of the gospel, guide them, comfort them, and empower them to do good works. But the degree to which a person produces good works will be very different from one believer to the other.
Paul even mentions the fact that some will make it to heaven with almost no good works to their name. This is because they get to heaven based upon Jesus’ finished work on their behalf, not their Holy Spirit empowered good works.
IF SOMEONE AGREES WITH GOD THAT A PARTICULAR SIN IS EVIL AND DESTRUCTIVE, WHILST AT THE SAME TIME ACKNOWLEDGING THAT THERE IS SOMETHING IN THEM THAT LOVES AND CRAVES THAT PARTICULAR SIN, ARE THEY REPENTANT? IF NOT, WILL THEY GO TO HEAVEN?
There will at times be very little desire to do God’s will. David took a very long time to repent in regards to his sin with Bathsheba. While there will be other times where repentance will come very quickly. It is a battle between the Holy Spirit and our sinful nature. Sometimes the Holy Spirit has control (and we love God and love others). Sometimes the sinful nature has control (and we love sin and crave sin).
IF JESUS IS NEVER PREACHING LAW, BUT INSTEAD IS ALWAYS PREACHING GOSPEL, DOES THIS MEAN THAT…
> THE RICH YOUNG RULER HAD TO SELL EVERYTHING HE HAD IN ORDER TO BE SAVED?
> THE TEACHER OF THE LAW HAD TO LOVE GOD AND LOVE HIS NEIGHBOUR BETTER THAN THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS IN ORDER TO BE SAVED?
In these cases Jesus is actually preaching the law. He is making it clear that…
> The Rich Young Ruler could earn his way by selling everything he has and giving it to the poor.
> The Teacher of the Law can earn his way to heaven by loving God and loving others better than the religious leaders.
Jesus does this to show people that they can’t possibly earn their way to heaven by trying to meet the demands of the law. He wants them to acknowledge that meeting the demands of the law are impossible, and trust their life in His hands as their saviour.
Tim Keller explains the Rich Young Ruler and Teacher of the Law…
“Jesus begins his reply by telegraphing the punch. The first thing he says to the man is “Why do you call me good? No one is good—except God alone.” That’s a hint, a preview. Jesus is not saying that he’s not good. He doesn’t say, “Why are you calling me good? I, Jesus, am not.” He is saying, “Why are you walking up to somebody you think is just a normal human rabbi and calling him good? There’s a flaw in your whole idea of goodness and badness.” That’s the hint…
This young man’s problem is not his financial worth; it’s his moral worth. It’s his sense that he doesn’t need the grace of God. Christians, you see, are people who know that their Christianity is impossible, a miracle—there’s nothing natural about it, it flies in the face of all one’s merits. Everybody has to recognize that we have been resting our hopes on some form of personal merit. And it’s our personal merit, our moral worth that keeps us from understanding the cross.
What happens with the young ruler is analogous to another, less confrontational encounter recounted a bit later, in Mark chapter 12. In that case, as in the first one, Jesus shows that the law demands that we give God everything. A teacher of the law is impressed with Jesus’s wisdom. So he, like the rich young man, asks Jesus a question: One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” (Mark 12:28)
Here we see him coming to recognize what an impossible standard the law gives us—that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a good man to satisfy the law. The closer he gets to seeing this, the closer he is to figuring out the gospel. If we concentrate on rules and regulations exclusively, we can begin to feel pretty righteous, but when we look at the heart attitude that the law really is requiring and getting at, we begin to realize how much we need grace and mercy.
And what was Jesus’s assessment? When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (Mark 12:34) We sense that Jesus’s answer—“You’re getting close”—might have given this teacher of the law goose bumps. On the surface it was almost the same answer he gave the rich young man—“One thing you lack”—yet that reply was met with something closer to nausea. Similar underlying questions, similar answers, completely different responses. Only one of them could see the trap.”
Martin Luther said…
“Whoever knows well this art of distinguishing between Law and Gospel, him place at the head and call him a doctor of Holy Scripture…
This difference between the Law and the Gospel is the height of knowledge in Christendom. Every person and all persons who assume or glory in the name of Christian should know and be able to state this difference. If this ability is lacking, one cannot tell a Christian from a heathen or a Jew; of such supreme importance is this differentiation. This is why St. Paul so strongly insists on a clean-cut and proper differentiating of these two doctrines…
When man, conscious of his failure to keep God’s command, is constantly urged by the Law to make payment of his debt and confronted with nothing but the terrible wrath of God and eternal condemnation, he cannot but sink into despair over his sins. Such is the inevitable consequence where the Law alone is taught with a view to attaining heaven thereby…
Note, this worthy man, despite the holiness of his life, has no acquaintance with any article but that of the divine judgment according to the Law. He knows not the comfort of Christ’s Gospel. After a long life spent in the attempt to keep God’s commandments and secure salvation, the Law now slays him through his own works. He is compelled to exclaim: “Alas, who knows how God will look upon my efforts? Who may stand before him?” That means, to forfeit heaven through the verdict of his own conscience. The work he has wrought and his holiness of life avail nothing. They merely push him deeper into death, since he is without the solace of the Gospel, while others, such as the thief on the cross and the publican, grasp the comfort of the Gospel, the forgiveness of sins in Christ. Thus sin is conquered; they escape the sentence of the Law, and pass through death into life eternal.
The holy Gospel, a message of healing and salvation; a precious, comforting word… comforts and refreshes the sad heart. It wrests it out of the jaws of death and hell, as it were, and transports it to the certain hope of eternal life, through faith in Christ. When the last hour comes to the believer, and death and God’s judgment appear before his eyes, he does not base his comfort upon his works. Even though he may have lived the holiest life possible, he says with Paul (1 Cor. 4:4): “I know nothing against myself, yet am I not hereby justified.”
DOES A CHRISTIAN DO GOOD WORKS BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO (IN ORDER TO BE SAVED, OR MAINTAIN THEIR SALVATION), OR BECAUSE THEY WANT TO (BECAUSE THEY ARE GRATEFUL THAT THEY ARE ALREADY SAVED)?
We do not have to do good works (for our eternal destiny rests solely on Jesus finished work on the cross). But we willingly, freely, joyfully do good works because we’re grateful for what Jesus had done for us.
Martin Luther said…
“A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful servant of all, and subject to everyone…
The works of a Christian man, who is justified and saved by his faith out of the pure and unbought mercy of God, ought to be regarded in the same light as would have been those of Adam and Eve in paradise and of all their posterity if they had not sinned. Of them it is said, “The Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Gen. ii. 15). Now Adam had been created by God just and righteous, so that he could not have needed to be justified and made righteous by keeping the garden and working in it; but, that he might not be unemployed, God gave him the business of keeping and cultivating paradise. These would have indeed been works of perfect freedom, being done for no object but that of pleasing God, and not in order to obtain justification, which he already had to the full, and which would have been innate in us all.
So it is with the works of a believer. Being by his faith replaced afresh in paradise and created a new, he does not need works for his justification, but that he may not be idle, but may exercise his own body and preserve it. His works are to be done freely, with the sole object of pleasing God…
Here is the truly Christian life, here is faith really working by love, when a man applies himself with joy and love to the works of that freest servitude in which he serves others voluntarily and for nought, himself abundantly satisfied in the fullness and riches of his own faith.”
IS A CHRISTIAN MEANT TO PRIMARILY SEE THEMSELVES AS A SON, WHO ENJOYS THE LOVE OF THE FATHER, OR AN EMPLOYEE, WHO HAS SIGNED UP TO WORK FOR A KIND BOSS?
A son. In fact, the prodigal son tried to return as a hired servant, and the Father would hear nothing of it.
A son loves and submits to his father because he wants to. He is driven by love. Whereas the employee submits to his boss because he has to.