Are You Still A Sinner?

One of my commentators didn't like my last post when I said that God really does change us when we become a Christian. I am not going to get into the philosophical arguments he does. As O don't think the Bible All I can say is that when God declares someone to be righteous, in some mysterious way he makes us righteous.I remember well what Terry Virgo who is one of my theological heroes once said in a comment I read in one of his books. He began a sentance as follows - "When I was a … [Read more...]

Is the Cross a Legal Fiction? No, Because the Resurrection Changes Us

Many people criticize Penal Subsitutionary Atonement on the basis that it makes justification into a legal fiction. I suppose such a criticism might be valid if a simplistic explanation of PSA was all that happened because of the cross. We have already seen that is not the case. But, more than that we must not think that nothing actually happens to us at conversion. No, we are united with Christ and a real change happens to us — we are born again. This rebirth is explictly linked to the r … [Read more...]

Jonathan Edwards on the Resurrection

Today, I thought I would share with you the following quote on the resurrection from Jonathan Edwards. So Christ, our second surety (in whose justification all whose surety he is, are virtually justified), was not justified till he had done the work the Father had appointed him, and kept the Father's commandments through all trials, and then in his resurrection he was justified. When he had been put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, 1 Peter 3:18, then he that was manifest in … [Read more...]

Resurrection Sunday – The Commission of the Risen Christ

When the risen Jesus appeared to His disciples, He had a job for them to do. When someone who has conquered death asks you to do something, you better sit up and take notice. If Jesus was meek and mild during His life, He was strong and victorious in His resurrection. In the following passage, Jesus gave a rallying call that has sounded through the ages. People sometimes ask why some modern Christians are eager to be "missional" — it is quite simply because the one Man who has conquered death a … [Read more...]

Resurrection Empowered Life – The Deposit Guaranteeing Our Inheritance

Two weeks ago we began to look at how Christ’s resurrection has already begun to have an effect on us. Today I would like to highlight the concept of having been sealed by the Spirit, and how this sealing is connected to Jesus’ resurrection.To Paul, the sealing with the Spirit is a foretaste of our inheritance, which surely includes our resurrection bodies. Thus, both our guarantee and the reality of it are provided for us because Jesus has been raised from the dead. I could write a lot about thi … [Read more...]

Resurrection Empowered Life – Dying to Live

Last week I made the point that to Paul the cross and resurrection of Jesus are so closely entwined that he will often use one or the other of them as shorthand for both. Today I want to point to another passage, this time in Peter, where I believe the same thing occurs."He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." (1 Peter 2:24)Notice first of all that this is a strong verse in support of a penal … [Read more...]

Resurrection Empowered Life – Raised With Christ

UPDATE - "Raised With Christ" is the title of my new book.Last Resurrection Sunday I ended with a quote from N. T. Wright which stated we were meant to be people of the resurrection. I think that phrase of his hints at what I mean by the resurrection empowered life. It is no accident that Protestant crosses tend to be empty for, like the tomb, the cross of Christ is indeed empty. I have already spoken about how it is clear that God intends us to fill our minds with images of Jesus in His … [Read more...]

N. T. Wright on Paul and the Resurrection Empowered Life

At the beginning of this series of “Resurrection Sunday” posts I bemoaned the relative lack of books on the subject. One of my readers was kind enough to remind me that, of course, N. T. Wright has written on the resurrection. I thought the following quote was definitely worth sharing with you: “For Paul, the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is the heart of the gospel (not to the exclusion of the cross, of course, but not least as the event which gives the cross its meaning); it is the object of … [Read more...]

The Resurrection Empowered Life – Victory All The Time?

Last Resurrection Sunday, we spoke about Revelation 1. I want to stay in that passage one more week and highlight just one verse. I'm sure that the words “The Resurrection Empowered Life” thrill some of my readers and make others of them nervous. I have noticed that some Christians tend to feel that the Christian life will always be a struggle with limited progress. Others believe that the Christian life is to be lived almost as though we are hovering six feet off the ground — from victory to vic … [Read more...]

The Resurrection Empowered Life – Gazing on Jesus

As I explained last Sunday, I am determined, at least whilst spending the rest of the week blogging about the atonement, to spend Sundays on a journey exploring the implications of the resurrection of Jesus.I am writing this post one week before you will read it. These days I like to try and get ahead of myself in my blogging as much as possible. This morning I awoke earlier than usual. The house was quiet, and I felt God drawing me to meet Him in His Word in a similar way to that John Piper … [Read more...]