Will I Make It Until the End? The Perseverance of the Saints

As regular readers will already know, this week I am swiftly working through the glorious doctrines of grace—the so-called "TULIP." Today we reach the end of our short series with the doctrine of the persevernace of the saints, which teaches that God will insure that genuine believers in Christ remain faithful to the end. I give the last words to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: ". . . the eternal God knows us and is interested in us and has a plan for us. If that is not enough for you, then I despair! T … [Read more...]

The Atonement and the Resurrection – It's All About Jesus

Sometimes we get so caught up in our doctrine of the cross that we forget the ULTIMATE PURPOSE FOR WHICH CHRIST DIED AND WAS RISEN. It was, in fact, not first and foremost for us, rather it was for Him. It was—like everything God does—for the sake of His own name and His own glory. He died and rose again so that one day everyone would acknowledge His supremacy and His right to rule over the entire universe. The following Scriptures will help us to lift our gaze from the mundane … [Read more...]

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...]