I agree with most of this, and really like a lot of your thoughts on it.
However, I start to see things a bit different at the following point.
I'll try to sort through it with my personal understanding;The danger is in seeing faith as a LEGAL requirment to get saved AT ALL - when in fact it is a psychological requirement to a healthy life with God and a life lived in the truth.
I don't see faith as a LEGAL requirement, but still a requirement, to be saved at all. Over and over the scriptures teach this, that it's "by grace THROUGH FAITH are you saved" Eph 2:8. I agree, the LEGAL requirement was paid on the cross. The Lamb slain, the Perfect Sacrifice. But IMO, until the Holy Spirit draws each one individually, and God provides His faith into us by which we believe, then we're still lost - and will still need to bow and confess in faith at some point. Now or later. Furthermore, we can speak about salvation in two ways ... the salvation from God's anger about sin (which is about eternal life), and the salvation from our current miserable and godless lives into a better and more godly life, the whole package with rescue from sinful habits, letting go of hatred against others, getting to know God personally and living out Christ's example communally in the church. The first kind of salvation needs no faith from us, it is the product of the Cross which God takes care of and attributes to us. And second salvation, that is where we do have to believe because without faith we cannot please God and so we couldn't come to Him, and it's a cognitive impossibility to live with someone for real if you don't believe in Him.
I see this as "very close" [IMO] but with the following line being one on which we differ. "The first kind of salvation needs no faith from us, it is the product of the Cross which God takes care of and attributes to us
." Actually, though God does give us the faith (He provides us with all good things), still there is again, a faith requirement to place trust in the finished work of the cross. "by grace we are saved through faith that not of yourselves it is the gift of God", "call on the name of the Lord shall be saved", "believe in your heart, confess with your mouth", etc. So IMO, salvation isn't just a passive thing we acquire by osmosis. Jesus paid the legal price on the cross, and according as God decides, everyone comes to Him/is drawn to Him
at their appointed time, "each in his own turn/order". ]Furthermore Paul says we must believe God raised Jesus from the dead, to enjoy this salvation.
Paul didn't quite say that. He didn't say enjoy, he said "TO be" saved. WE ENJOY our salvation through obedience and trust AFTER the new birth and infilling of the Holy Spirit, as we walk in the Spirit and experience the fruit of the Spirit. I believe it's also called "living in the kingdom, or inheriting the kingdom". Close, unencumbered relationship - righteousness, peace, joy..It's not about the crucifixion then - which ended the old things. It's about how Jesus makes everything new, which leads us to the resurrection and God leading us into a resurrection life. Basically salvation is by God, and grace and faith just describe things that help us understand salvation.
Yes, salvation is by God, but grace and faith make the salvation an individual, personal experience - not just a universal ideology. That is how salvation must logically lead to Universal Reconciliation, because it depends wholly on Christ the cornerstone. Everything else would make salvation depend on men, and that's impossible to work out nor to include really everyone of us, and we are all God's creations and so everyone must get saved to satisfy God's love.
Again, I believe it does depend on God, by His grace He gives us the faith to believe and trust in Him as the Savior - rather than continuing to trust in ourselves. So IMO, what leads to Universal Reconciliation is still by God and about God and His Son. It's just that some are spiritually reborn (given faith to believe and trust in His work on the cross) in this age, the rest later - the elect/predestined in this age, and those destined to eventually be brought into the faith in the next age. Paul said things like "not all are of the faith", "each in his own order", and "every knee WILL bow and every tongue confess Jesus is Lord".
Romans 10:14 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith
that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved
. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified
, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved
. 11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him
will not be put to shame." .. bestowing
his riches on
all who call on him
. 13 For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
How then will they call on him
in whom they have not believed
? And how are they to believe in him
of whom they have never heard
?[c] 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ