Monday, April 05, 2010

"An Inseparable Unity"

(Romans 4:24–25) It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

"By his death sin was taken away, by his resurrection righteousness was renewed and restored. For how could he by dying have freed us from death, if he had yielded to its power? How could he have obtained the victory for us, if he had fallen in the contest? Our salvation may be thus divided between the death and resurrection of Christ: by the former sin was abolished and death annihilated; by the latter righteousness was restored and life revived, the power and efficacy of the former being still bestowed upon us by means of the latter." (John Calvin)

"He did not say, he was handed over for our justification and rose, for the sake of our sins. In his being handed over sin is mentioned; in his resurrection justice is mentioned. Therefore let sin die, and let justice rise." (St. Augustine)

"That is, delivered for our offenses, and raised again that he might see to the application of his sufferings to our justification, and that he might plead them for our justifying." (Jonathan Edwards)

"For Paul, the death and resurrection of Christ belong together, and the former without the latter would be of little significance. Therefore he rarely thinks of one without the other." (Tremper Longman and David Garland)

"Sadly, there are those who err in emphasizing either the crucifixion or the resurrection of Jesus at the expense of the other. Some preach only the cross and its result of forgiveness of sin and justification. Without preaching the resurrection of Jesus as well, Christians are prone to overlook the mission of Jesus and the new life he has for them on the earth. They tend to see Christian life as little more than going to church to soak in teaching until they get to heaven. This is the perennial error of Christian fundamentalism.

Conversely, there are others who preach only the new kingdom life that Jesus offers through his resurrection. These Christians excel at helping the poor and handing out hugs and muffins, but fail at repenting of personal sin and calling others to repent of personal sin so that they might be forgiven and reconciled to God through Jesus. This is the perennial error of Christian liberalism." (Mark Driscoll)

"Let us remember, therefore, that when [in Scripture] death only is mentioned, everything peculiar to the resurrection is at the same time included, and that there is like a synecdoche [a figure of speech in which a word usually used to refer to a part of something is used to refer to the whole] in the term resurrection, as often as it is used apart from death, everything peculiar to death being included." (John Calvin)

"It is, moreover, of the greatest importance to see the significance of Christ's death and resurrection, which are the center of Paul's proclamation, as an inseparable unity; and particularly to keep in view how the significance of Christ's resurrection is determined by that of his death, and vice versa." (Herman Ridderbos)

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