Dabi burning Tomura alive because Tomura lost his quirk to AFO and the old bastard is taking also Tomura's mind.
Tomura asking for Dabi to burn him alive because he doesn't want to hurt anyone anymore. He doesn't want to hurt his friends. He doesn't want to become a doll, to be used forever. He doesn't want to be touched and seen like a toy or a weapon. He doesn't want the heroes to try and save him and die trying.
So he asks Dabi, because Dabi understands.
Because Dabi won't doubt.
They have no time. And Dabi decides his gonna start the fire on his lips by kissing him goodbye.
As Tomura burns, Dabi understands that Tomura wanted it to be his blue fire because he had always thought it was a beautiful quirk. Very traditional, very ritualistic, the demon boy turned into a pyre to light the future and guide the world.
The only thing left is Tomura's coat, the one Dabi is holding, and the ashes Dabi collect an put on the empty bottle he carries around.
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Grace vs Works
The Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that we are saved by grace, not by works. (Ephesians 2:4-10) This means that Jesus did ALL the saving, and NOTHING we do can earn or “improve on” His gift of forgiveness and salvation from sin. We have only to accept His gift and give Him our hearts.
(For clarity, “grace” means the giving of good things that are not earned or deserved by the person receiving them. “Mercy” is withholding punishment or consequences that ARE deserved.)
But at the same time, Jesus makes it clear that Christians SHOULD do good works. In fact, He tells a story of the end of time, when those who did good would be rewarded while those who did not “never knew me.” (Matthew 25:31-46) We as Christians are expected to do His will, which means good works of kindness, compassion, love, justice, etc.
This often raises the question: how can both of these things be true?
Here is a simplified explanation that I hope will help clarify this important issue for someone:
- If you are doing good works AS A DEMONSTRATION OF YOUR LOVE AND GRATITUDE FOR CHRIST AND HIS SAVING WORK, that is a natural byproduct of faith. When we truly have faith in the Lord, He changes our hearts to be more like His, and that means an increasing desire to do good for others and share His love. Think of a child doing the dishes or weeding the garden for their mom or dad, just to surprise them and see them smile after coming home from a long day’s work. Their reward is pleasure at the happiness they brought the person they love. This is the kind of good work God calls for us to do, and He delights in helping us do them!
But if we DON’T do good works, if we simply don’t care and treat Christ’s salvation as a Get Out Of Jail Free card, this is a massive red flag that our faith is not genuine. We may claim to be a Christian but not have the salvation that comes from surrendering our lives to Christ and accepting our need for His forgiveness. If we claim we are saved but care nothing about our Savior and His commands, we have not actually accepted the grace that saves us. We are no better off than those who honestly declare they don’t believe in God - in fact, our self-delusion may mean we are worse off than them.
- If you are doing good works TO EARN CREDIT OR DEBT FROM GOD OR SOCIETY, you are not demonstrating faith. This is the kind of toxic do-goodness that only focuses on YOU. This person EXPECTS God or people to admire and praise and bless them - to be seen as better than other people - and if they don’t get those results, they are angry and resentful. They may act kind and holy, but they are motivated by sinful pride.
Or there are those who may do public good to cover up less visible sins in their lives, like tithing extra while verbally abusing the family at home, or volunteering for nursery duty while spreading vicious gossip - or performing the works of a pastor while committing adultery with a church member. Think of a child who is always sweet when the adults are around so that the adults won’t believe it when other kids say that child is mean and nasty to them.
Those who do good works for these reasons are showing a LACK of faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior, the master of their lives. They show a lack of recieving God’s saving grace, and will find that the “debt” they thought God owed them is worthless at Heaven’s gates. The state of our hearts might be hidden from other people here on Earth, but it will be laid bare for all to see when we meet God face to face.
- I want to add something for those like me, who may love the Lord but worry they aren’t “doing enough” to show it. First, let me assure you that the fact you even HAVE that desire to do better is a sign of the Lord’s work in your life! Someone at bible camp told me that as a kid, and it has been a source of comfort to me for years, even when I struggle.
Please understand that only the Holy Spirit can make the changes in our hearts that are needed to make our feelings line up with the good works He calls us to do. We can’t force our subconscious selves to be naturally more godly or patient or faithful than we currently are; only the Holy Spirit can do this. But there are two ways we can help:
First, we can ask the Lord to change our hearts so that we WANT to do the things we know we should be doing! I have found this really does help! God delights in answering prayers for better heart motives and stronger faith and more wisdom. The answer may not always come in the form we expect (and the answer may be harder to deal with than we want), but He WILL give us opportunities and guidance and STRENGTH to develop these good things in our hearts! When we choose to trust the Holy Spirit to make these changes in our hearts, we give Him room to do what He already wants to do for us!
Second (but this is really just an extension of the last point), we can choose to DO the good things, even when we don’t feel like doing them. Because sometimes we think we have to “feel” a certain way to do good, or that a good work doesn’t count if our feelings don’t line up. C.S. Lewis talks about this in his book Mere Christianity: it is the act of putting on the mask of Christ, “pretending” to be like Him. Not pretending as those doing good works for praise pretend, but pretending to OURSELVES. We pretend we ARE more patient, and act more patient towards those who annoy us. We pretend we ARE more helpful, and act like a helpful person. And if we do this long enough, we will find that our faces have “grown to fit the mask” - we will become more like Christ simply by acting like Him and letting the Holy Spirit make what started as pretend become a reality.
I hope this is helpful to someone out there! I am not a Bible scholar or anything so formal, but I’ve found that the Lord grants understanding at unexpected times and in unexpected ways, and He can use any of us. Keep going strong!
If you aren’t a Christian but are thinking about it, or if you have always thought yourself a Christian but wonder if you actually have submitted to Christ as God and accepted His salvation, please reach out. I am happy to try and help, and there are many places online and IRL with people and resources that God can use to get you the answers you need. And above all, read His Word and pray for His help. I promise you that He will give it. =)
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