Wednesday, April 4, 2012

But for Christ

Here let us notice first of all that there is an aspect of reconciliation which is outside man, an objective element. We are said to have received the reconciliation, which, therefore, is in some sense independent of us. Obviously reconciliation must be personal to be effective, and we must enter into a state of being reconciled; but, nevertheless, there is a sense in which a reconciliation can be said to be proffered to us. In other words the New Testament view is that reconciliation was wrought on the cross before there was anything in a man's heart to correspond. There is an objective aspect to reconciliation, and this may well be held to imply that there is a sense in which God can be said to be reconciled to man. As James Denney puts it: 'Reduced to its simplest expression, what an objective atonement means is that but for Christ and His passion God would not be to us what He is.'

(Morris, Leon. The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955. Print. 226)

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