“In Christ”

“In Christ” July 10, 2004

Brendan Byrne has this to say about Paul’s description of baptism as baptism into the death of Jesus: “behind the expression here lies the characteristically Pauline idea of the risen Lord as personally constituting a sphere of influence or milieu of salvation’into’ which believers are drawn through faith and baptism, henceforth to live ‘in Christ’ . . . Christ does not lose his individual personal identity, but, nonetheless, as risen Lord and ‘life-giving Spirit’ (1 Cor. 15:45), he somehow ‘contains’ within his person, in a comunal sense, the messianic community destined for salvation. The present allusion to this truth goes beyond earlier presentations . . . in its suggestion that baptism involves not simply a being joined to Christ in a static ‘spatial’ sense but also a dynamic insertion into what might be called his overal ‘career’ ?Edeath, burial, and risen life. It is this conformity to the ‘career’ of Christ that lies at the heart of Paul’s insistence, negatively, upon Christians’ ‘death’ to sin, and, positively, their orientation towards a new, righteous life.”

That is very well put.

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