The Narrative Arc of Christ’s Saving Work

Early on in his masterful book The Cross of Christ John Stott quotes Emil Brunner’s statement: “The Cross is the sign of the Christian faith, of the Christian church, of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ…. He who understands the Cross aright—this is the opinion of the Reformers—understand the Bible, he understands Jesus Christ” (44). To my mind, this emphasis on the primacy of the cross is healthy and biblical. The cross is the center of our salvation and the heart of our faith. There is always, however, the danger of centrality morphing into exclusivity, such that the periphery…

Resurrection as the Goal of the Old Testament

I just read through the last few chapters of Acts this morning (catching up on a bit of tardy Bible reading), and found it interesting that Paul repeatedly identifies his hope in the resurrection from the dead as the reason he is on trial. 23:6: “It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.” 24:21: “It is with respect to the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you this day.” 26:7-8: “I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to…

Charnock on Christ’s Exaltation and Triplex Munus

I’ve recently written an article on how Christ’s resurrection intersects with his messianic offices of prophet, priest, and king, so I found this statement by Stephen Charnock interesting, which I came across at Fuller Seminary’s library last week while working on a new project on Christ’s intercession: “Had not Christ been glorified, the offices conferred upon him by his Father could not have been executed; his prophetical, priestly, and royal functions could not have been exercised, to which he was chosen by God, and without which he could not have been a Savior to us.  He had been a sacrifice,…

Quotes on Christ’s Resurrection (14)

I have been reading, and greatly benefiting from, the chapters on the resurrection in Thomas F. Torrance, Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ, which is drawn from his lectures which formed the basis of his Space, Time and Resurrection. So far Torrance has been the most helpful theologian I have read on the resurrection after Richard Gaffin and N.T. Wright. From p. 221 (italics his): “What Jesus Christ is in his resurrection, he is in himself. The resurrection was not just an event that happened to Christ, for it corresponded to the kind of person he was in his…

Resurrection Power

Probably the greatest thing I have learned from my study on the resurrection thus far is: by the Holy Spirit, the resurrection is at work in the Christian’s life through our union with Christ. I remember reading Richard Gaffin’s Resurrection and Redemption: A Study in Paul’s Soteriology, by far the best book I have read on the resurrection, and as I was struggling to understand his exegesis of Romans 6 and the very mysterious and difficult-to-wrap-your-brain-around truth of union of Christ, all of a sudden it hit me that union with Christ was not for Paul merely an analogy of…

Quotes on Christ’s Resurrection (13)

“The parallelism between Christ and the believer is not simply one of similarity. It is that, but more than that. The resurrection of the believer is regarded primarily as the effect of the resurrection of Christ, yet not effect in the sense of some new and subsequent event, but effect as something that is already involved in the resurrection of Christ. Our resurrection has already taken place and is already fully tied up with the resurrection of Christ, and therefore proceeds from it more by way of manifestation of what has already taken place, than as new effect resulting from…

Quotes on Christ’s Resurrection (12)

Jonathan Edwards: “That justification that believers have at their conversion is as partaking of the justification that Christ had in his resurrection; and so all the benefits that believers [have], their comfort and hope and joy here, and their eternal life hereafter, is as partaking with a risen Savior.” Quoted in Warnock, Raised with Christ, 140. Once again the idea of “union with Christ” is seen to be prominent how the resurrection saves us.