Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gaffin on the efficacy of the cross

Richard Gaffin on the efficacy of the cross as elucidtaed by Paul:
Only now are we in a position, finally, to address more specifically how Paul unfolds the efficacy of Christ's death. He does so using a number of themes or motifs that reinforce each other, and at points overlap. Prominent among these are sacrifice, or expiation; propitiation; reconciliation; redemption; and justification. As we have already seen, Christ's death, together with his resurrection,  is God's eschatalogical answer to sin as rebellion against God, specifically his revealed will. In the cross and resurrection, God addresses sin in its essential and irreducible twofold aspect. He removes the sinner's sin both as recurring guilt and as corrupting and enslaving power, and in so doing, he effects the removal of his just wrath, terminating in eternal destruction, which that guilt and corruption deserve. (Nicole, Roger R., Charles E. Hill, and Frank A. James. The Glory of the Atonement: Biblical, Historical & Practical Perspectives : Essays in Honor of Roger Nicole. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004. Print. 156-7)
This is monumentous! God, through Christ, defeats sin at the level of our experience removing its guilt-inducing, corruption-producing, and slave-recruiting efficacy. But, more importantly or at least more foundationally, in doing so God removes his own just wrath which had destined us for eternal damnation. Amazing grace!

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