Death Will Not Have the Last Word

Only the church can declare the message that it has heard: that through Christ and faith in his victory, death will not have the last word; that violence, oppression and injustice will not be an unending struggle; that disease and hunger will not claim the bodies of millions forever.  It is the victory of the seed of the woman over the seed of the serpent that Christ has achieved and the visible effects of that conquest will be fully realized when Christ returns in glory.  Right now Christ is ruling from heaven, in common grace over the nations and in saving grace through the proclamation of the gospel (Colossians 1:15-23)

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 177

Advertisements

This is not the Means of, Nor an Alternative to, but is a Consequence

Following Christ is not the means of, much less an alternative to, but is the consequence of our union with Christ.  Like Christ’s own death, burial and resurrection, baptism is not a repeatable event.  So our Christian life is focused on objective, perfectly completed events in the past, of which the Spirit has made us beneficiaries through the gospel here and now.

Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 151

This is What We Mean By Justification

To make a way for us to be saved, God sent Christ to live a perfect divine-human life and die an obedient death.  In this way Christ became both the substitute punishment for our sins (Matthew 26:18; I Corinthians 15:3; I Peter 3:18) and the substitute performer of our righteousness (Romans 5:19, 10:4; II Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9).  Therefore, in the courtroom of God, my guilt for sin is removed by Christ’s blood (Ephesians 1:7) and my title to heaven is provided by Christ’s obedience (Romans 5:19).  I am declared just – freed from the punishment of sin and now possessing a title to heaven.  This is what we mean by justification.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 83

Salvation is the Purchase and Provision

Salvation is the purchase and provision of sight for the blind.  God sent Christ into the world to die for our spiritual blindness, pay its penalty, absorb the wrath it deserves, and provide a perfect imputed righteousness for all who believe.  This is the most beautiful display of God’s glory that has been or ever will be.  The divine glory we have been redeemed to see is most beautifully shown in the redemption itself.  The all-glorious Christ is both the means and the goal of our salvation from blindness.  His life, death, resurrection, and present reign in heaven are both the means by which we sinners regain our sight and the highest glory we are saved to see.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 62