<p>This week we reflect on the readings for this week in year A, which is the Baptism of the Lord: Isaiah 42:1-9, Acts 10:34-43 and Matthew 3:13-17.</p>
If, therefore, we treat Christianity under the common name of ‘redemption religion’ we must add that in it a conception of salvation of quite a distinctive sort emerges. In all other doctrines of salvation, the belief in liberation is founded on the conviction of the ineradicable nobility of mankind, or on a metaphysical likeness of the soul with God. The god-like in man must come into its own. Jesus, however instead of this, sees a deep gulf between God and man. According to Him salvation consists rather in this, That God of His free grace comes down to meet man. It is the highest degree misleading that the infinite worth of the human soul is stressed as a fundamental doctrine of Christianity. For this immediately obscures the distinctive significance of Jesus preaching. With Jesus stress is laid rather on the fact that man has forfeited his worth but that nevertheless God accepts him.