The Impact Of The Resurrection — 2021

Lord’s Resurrection Day I

2.) Q — Since then the resurrection is true what certainties do we who rightly believe receive from this doctrine of Christ?

A. — First, that God by the resurrection has again confirmed that He does not speak without keeping His Word. (1) 

Secondly, the resurrection proves that the Lord Christ is indeed God, (2) which in turn confirms that the work of Christ on the cross was a payment for sin that truly saves all who rightly believe. (3)

Thirdly, the resurrection makes certain that we have closed with Christ do wear the righteousness of Christ, (4) and thus no longer remain in our sin, (5) since we too have been raised with Christ. (6)

Fourthly, now being clothed in the righteousness of Christ the resurrection power of God working within us (7) promises (8) and enables (9) us to live lives increasingly consistent with the righteousness given to us in Christ.

Fifthly, the resurrection of our Lord Christ is a certain promise that we who have embraced Christ will also resurrect in a like manner and so not remain captive to the grave. (10)

Finally, the resurrection proves that grace restores nature as in the resurrection we remain joined to our gender (11), our nation (12), our bodies with all their earthly scars (13) and capacities (14).

(1) = John 2:19, Hebrews 6:18
(2) = Romans 1:4
(3) = I Corinthians 15:17
(4) = Romans 4:25
(5) = I Corinthians 15:17
(6) = Colossian 3:1
(7) = Ephesians 1:19-20
(8) = Romans 6:4
(9) = Romans 6;10-11
(10) = I Corinthians 15:20-21
(11) = John 20:26-27
(12) = Revelation 21:24, 26, 22:2
(13) = John 20:26-27
(14) = Luke 24:43


Breaking the above down,

2.) Q — Since then the resurrection is true what certainties do we who rightly believe receive from this doctrine of Christ?

A. — First, that God by the resurrection has again confirmed that He does not speak without keeping His Word. (1)

John 2:19 Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”

Matthew 12:40 because just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea creature for three days and three nights,[b] so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

We are living in a time of an epistemological crisis. People insist that the only authoritative word is their own authoritative Word. This is seen in the way that everything is being reduced to being a “social construct.” The Resurrection of Jesus Christ proves again that there is an objective Word as found in Scripture and that God’s Word is reliable. The Lord Christ spoke of His coming Resurrection and His spoken Word was and remains true.

Because the Resurrection confirms that God keeps His Word we who believe God’s Word have a sure and certain foundation. We do not live by a word of flux but by a stable always true Word. The Resurrection of Christ confirms this.

Secondly, the resurrection proves that the Lord Christ is indeed God, (2)

Romans 1:and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

Now Jesus’ own enemies understood that Jesus’ claims to be God’s Son was a claim to deity and desired to stone Jesus for what they considered blasphemy.

John 10: 31 Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?

There are those today who want to insist that Jesus was a good man. The Muslims for example will concede that Jesus was a Prophet but they deny His Deity.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives people today no choice. Either they hold Him as very God of very God and so honor Him or else they deny His Resurrection and Deity and so show their contempt of Him whatever they may say.

The resurrection confirms the Deity of Jesus Christ. He was and is very God of very God. The resurrection was God’s declaration of the deity of His Son who was eternally begotten.

This means fallen man is obligated to own Christ and worship Him as God. Where fallen man fails to worship Christ as God fallen man calls upon Himself God’s wrath.

And this proof of Christ’s deity in turn confirms that the work of Christ on the cross was a payment for sin that truly saves all who rightly believe. (3)

I Cor. 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

The Resurrection confirms for us that the Cross was really about what the Scripture teaches it was about. If there had been no Resurrection there would have been no reason to believe that the Cross was really a payment for sin. There would be no reason to believe that the Cross was a divine transaction where the Son pays for the sin of the Church while at the same time the Church is reckoned with His righteousness.  Without the Resurrection, Jesus is just at best a Jewish man unjustly dying on a tree-like so many others crucified. Without the Resurrection, we remain in our sin and are of all men to be pitied.

The resurrection then is the ability of all believers everywhere to say “I know that my sins are forgiven and I no longer have to fear the judgment of God because my judgment fell on Jesus Christ as my substitute.” The Resurrection proves that.

Thirdly, the resurrection makes certain that we who have closed with Christ do wear the righteousness of Christ, (4) and thus no longer remain in our sin, (5) since we too have been raised with Christ. (6)

Romans 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Again, Christ was raised to life for our Justification.

Here we see the tightest possible connection between our righteousness and Christ’s resurrection. Christ’s resurrection was and is our Justification … our acceptability before the Father. Christ’s resurrection guarantees that when the Father considers us He considers us as being clothed with Christ’s obedience. Because of the death and resurrection of Christ, I no longer have to fear God’s wrath against sin. Without the resurrection, there is no peace to be had in life.

Further, we have to see that in Christ’s Resurrection we were objectively justified. Christ in His death and Resurrection justified His people. Now, to be sure the Holy Spirit would have to subjectively apply that justification in space and time but the Son in His Redemptive work of the Cross and His Resurrection set apart His people as the Justified ones. Our objective Justification is found in the Resurrection.

Scripture even goes so far as to say that the Church has risen with Christ (Col. 3:1). This is St. Paul’s way of saying that because of the work of Christ in bringing in the new creation (Kingdom) it can be said that right now we are living the resurrection life. The Resurrection of Christ was and is our Resurrection. We are Resurrected people of the age to come living in this present wicked age. This could be true apart from the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Fourthly, now being clothed in the righteousness of Christ the resurrection power of God working within us (7) promises (8) and enables (9) us to live lives increasingly consistent with the righteousness given to us in Christ.

Scripture teaches that the same power that raised Christ is now working in the people of God speaking of,

Ephesians 1:19 his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

That resurrection power is unto the end of conforming us ever increasingly to Christ.

Romans 6:We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

This new life that Paul is talking about here is the resurrected life. We are new men in the Resurrected Christ and so we live ever increasingly the resurrected life.

Romans 6:10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

As life goes on we continue to die to who we were in Adam and we increasingly live to who we are in the Resurrected Christ. Being Christ’s Resurrection people we are ever zealous for good works and make it our goal to please our great Liege Lord Jesus Christ.

Fifthly, the resurrection of our Lord Christ is a certain promise that we who have embraced Christ will also resurrect in a like manner and so not remain captive to the grave. (10)

I Cor. 15:20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.

The undertaker doesn’t get the final word.

We are in a culture that is obsessed with the fear of death. That is part of what the ChiCom Virus panic is all about. People are freaking out about the prospects of dying.

The Christian however, because of Christ’s resurrection knows that the end is not the end.

Christ was the firstfruits. In the OT economy, the first fruits were promissory of the fruits that were to follow. Christ’s physical and corporeal resurrection is promissory of our future bodily physical resurrection. There is life after life.

Only the Christian has this hope. All other men can only look forward to eternal death. All other men who do not have Christ attend funerals as those who are just waiting their turn.

The Christian doesn’t want to die but when he stares at death he knows His redeemer liveth and that in the end, his Redeemer will stand on the earth. The believer in Christ knows that after his skin has been destroyed, yet in his flesh, he will see God. Because of Christ the believer

Goes not to death, like the quarry-slave at night,   
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed   
By an unfaltering trust, We approach thy grave,   
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch   
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

The unbeliever knows that the opposite is true for him.

Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ the believer knows that he knows that he will be “gathered to his fathers,” where the circle will finally be unbroken — and all this because of the Redemptive work of His great High King and Priest, Jesus Christ.

Finally, the resurrection proves that grace restores nature as in the resurrection we remain joined to our gender (11), our nation (12), our bodies with all their earthly scars (13) and capacities (14).

After the Resurrection Jesus remained male, He remained as one who was from the tribe of Judah, He remained scarred, and He ate breakfast with His disciples. The Resurrection did not destroy nature but rather restored and enhanced nature. There is continuity between who we were in this life and who we shall be in the life to come in our glorified and resurrected bodies. Of course, there will also be a discontinuity between who we are now and who we shall be in the Resurrection.

Like Jesus, the firstfruits of our Resurrection, we shall remain joined to our Gender. Heaven will not negate us of our maleness or femaleness. We shall remain joined to our Nationality and ethnicity. Those passages cited in Revelation distinctly insist that it is the nations as nations who occupy the New Jerusalem. There will be people present from every tribe, tongue, and Nation but as members of their tribes, tongues, and Nations. The Resurrection does not strip God’s people of whom God made them by way of creation.

This idea that finds such currency in the contemporary Church in the West that somehow conversion strips us of who we are creationally is a lie from the pit. Not only does conversion does not gnosticize us but neither does Resurrection turn us into Gnostic beings.

Finally, as Jesus said “For I tell you that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes,” we understand that even our glorified bodies will have the capacity to eat, and drink, and be merry. Our natural capacities will not be destroyed.

So, we see that the truth of the Resurrection is entwined with many other stout Christian truths both confirming and sustaining those truths.

Christ is Risen.

(1) = John 2:19, Hebrews 6:18
(2) = Romans 1:4
(3) = I Corinthians 15:17
(4) = Romans 4:25
(5) = I Corinthians 15:17
(6) = Colossian 3:1
(7) = Ephesians 1:19-20
(8) = Romans 6:4
(9) = Romans 6;10-11
(10) = I Corinthians 15:20-21
(11) = John 20:26-27
(12) = Revelation 21:24, 26, 22:2
(13) = John 20:26-27
(14)= Luke 24:43

A Conversation on the Resurrection with my Friends on the Radio — “Political Cesspool”

James Edwards, the host of the Political Cesspool is fast becoming a new friend. James has hosted me several times on the Political Cesspool program. Tonight @ 9pm EST (2100) the program has me on to discuss the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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2021 Good Friday Meditation #9 — Christ’s Active & Passive Obedience

The Cross of Christ can’t be understood apart from the ideas of Christ’s active and passive obedience. On the Cross, Christ obeyed the righteous demands of God’s law against the penalty of sin. On the Cross Christ passively endured the Father’s wrath thus fulfilling all righteousness.

Galatians 3:13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. For it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”


I Peter 2:24He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree,


Theologians refer to this as Christ’s passive obedience. In Christ’s passive obedience the sins of the Church are imputed to Christ as he pays for them there on the Cross as our substitute. His obedience to the demands of the law stands in the place for what we were obligated to pay ourselves. This is one of the three great imputations recorded in Scripture (the Elect’s sin to Christ).


However, theologians also speak of Christ’s active obedience thus drawing the life of Christ into the orbit of our redemption. In Christ’s active obedience Christ obeys all that His people were required to obey at the laws righteous demands. We failed in rendering up the just obedience that God’s law required and without that necessary obedience we could not have concourse with God. As such, the Father takes the Son’s obedience and receives it as our obedience. The Son’s obedience is counted as our obedience. This is the 2nd of the three great imputations to Scripture … Christ’s obedience is imputed (reckoned to our account) to the Church. This is Christ’s active obedience.


There have been some throughout history (including recently with some advocating the Federal Vision heresy) that denied the active obedience of Christ. John Wesley and the Wesleyans denied Christ’s active obedience. The problem with this position is that while our sins are indeed forgiven we are left without the righteousness required to stand in God’s presence.

Commonly, those who have denied Christ’s active obedience have also then said that we have to, upon our forgiveness, build up a righteousness that can be received by God as the righteousness required. Often in history, this became a kind of neonomianism where the righteous demands of the law are reduced so that the saved can meet the law’s demands thus being able to build up salvation capital with God. Of course, there is no good news in denying Christ’s active obedience. Any Gospel that requires me to build up righteousness capital in order to have an audience with the Father is no Gospel at all.

History tells us that the last words of the great theologian J. Gresham Machen were,

“Thank God for the active obedience of Christ… no hope without it.”


How Good is your Good Friday?

 

2021 Good Friday Meditation #8 — Darkness Presages New Creation

Mark 15:33, KJV: “And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.”

The sixth hour is noon; the ninth hour is 3:00 p.m. Jesus has been on the cross since the third hour: 9:00 a.m. (Mark 15:25). At 3:00 p.m., Jesus will die. Some scholars believe at the same time Jesus dies on the Cross on the other side of the city, the priests will slaughter the lambs for the Passover meals of the people who live in Judea. Other Scholars believe that the very moment Jesus is being nailed to the Cross the Passover Lambs are being killed.


Scripture often marries Darkness as a Judgment prelude to a new creation. Before the earth is fashioned we read that “darkness covered the deep.” Soon following we see God’s new creation coming to pass.


Darkness was the ninth Judgment plague God put on the Egyptians (Exodus 10:21–29). The darkness enveloped Egypt for three days; in the death of the Lord Christ, it lasts three hours. Soon Israel would be released as God’s new creation people.


As God took the firstborns of the Egyptians to secure the rescue of His people the Israelites, God now accepts the death of His own Firstborn as a “ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). In each case, however, judgment typified by darkness is the prelude to deliverance.


In Isaiah 60:2 we read, “For behold, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness is over the peoples; but the LORD will rise upon you, and His glory will appear over you.”

With the death of Christ, the darkness covering the earth serves as a metaphor for the judgment darkness covering the nations. However, three days hence the LORD will rise and His glory will appear and with His glory, the new creation is established.

2021 Good Friday Meditation #7 — Christ Died For God

On Good Friday it is good to keep in mind that before Christ dies for the Elect, Christ died for God.

Romans 3:25f

25 whom God set forth as a [h]propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Donald Macleod gets at all this in his “Christ Crucified: Understanding the Atonement — p 71”


“It was no part of the work of Christ to make God love us, The very fact of his being on earth at all was proof of the divine love. The business of the atonement, therefore, was to propitiate the God who already loves us: to lay the foundation for an advocacy directed towards him specifically as Father (1 John 2: 1). God unequivocally requires such propitiation, but in the last analysis God also provides the propitiation and God even becomes the propitiation. The whole cost of our redemption is borne by the triune God. In that sense, the atonement is a transaction entirely internal to the trinity. But by virtue of the incarnation, it is also external. It takes place not in heaven, but on Calvary; not in eternity, but on Good Friday.”


This is the theocentric view of the Cross. This is the God-intoxicated understanding of the Cross. Before we speak about our reconciliation, our redemption, the sacrifice for us, before we speak of ransom, expiation, propitiation for us, we have needs to speak of this theocentric idea that Christ died for God. Christ satisfies and exalts the Father’s justice before it satisfies our sin problem.


Now let us take this one step further. Why is it that we are redeemed, reconciled, and propitiated for? Is it simply in order that we might be delivered from our peril? No … a thousand times no. Our rescue isn’t about us. Our rescue is so that we can make God’s name as famous as it never ceases to be.


This was all limned out even in the Old Testament,


The Redemption of Israel from Egypt accomplished by God is God-centered. For, as Ezra will later say to the Lord, in saving Israel, “you made a name for yourself (Ezra 9:10)”


Thomas Schreiner
The Beauty of the King — p. 217


Why would we think it any different when that typological Redemption of Israel is fulfilled in Jesus Christ Redeeming His Church? That Redemption as accomplished by God was and remains God-centered. God’s intent in saving His Church is not primarily about our rescue, or our being delivered from sin, Satan, self, and hell. No, those are only proximate purposes of God’s redeeming His people. Ultimately God’s redeeming His Church, in the sweep of Redemption centering in Christ, remains to make a name for Himself. God Redeemed His people so that His name may become as famous as it never ceases to be.


Our Redemption is not primarily about us. Our Redemption did not find its teleological purpose and end on and in the Elect. God did not Redeem us primarily because He loves us, though indeed He does. God Redeemed us because He primarily loves Himself and His glory. God Redeemed us so that He might make a name for Himself through His Redeemed people.


We were not the center of God’s purposes in saving us. The center was and is the making known of the majesty and glory of God. The center was and is that the goodness and beauty of God might become legendary among those with eyes to see. The center was and remains that in our Redemption the Cosmos would be awe-struck that such a great God could take such a lowly rabble as the Redeemed and use them to conquer all opposition while making the glory of His name known.