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G.K. Beale – The Reality of Our Resurrection With Christ

11 Jun
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Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary.

Paul’s affirmation of believers’ possession of “eternal life” (Romans 6:22–23) is likely an already—not yet reality. Hence, saints are not merely like resurrected beings; rather, they actually have begun to experience the end-time resurrection that Christ experienced because they are identified with him by faith. Although Paul can use the language of being in “the likeness of His resurrection” (supplying the ellipsis in 6:5b), he does not mean this in some purely metaphorical way, contrary to what some scholars contend. That he intends to refer to literal resurrection is apparent from observing that he parallels it with being in “the likeness of his death” in 6:5a, which refers to real identification with his death, such that “our old man was crucified with Him” (6:6) and believers have really “died” (6:7–8). Paul does not refer to identification with Christ’s death in a metaphorical manner. So likewise believers are in the “likeness” of Christ’s resurrection because they actually have begun to be identified with it and participate in it. Of course, they are not fully identified with Christ’s resurrection, since he has experienced full physical resurrection life and those identified with him have experienced only inaugurated resurrection life on the spiritual level. Nevertheless, this inauguration is the beginning of true resurrection existence and is not metaphorical only because it is spiritual (as I explained in chap. 5 with respect to John 5:25–29). If saints are only like Christ’s resurrection, then Paul’s exhortation to them to live as resurrected beings is emptied of its force: if Christians have begun to be end-time resurrected creatures, then they have resurrection power not to “let sin reign in [their mortal bodies] … but present [themselves] to God as those alive from the dead” (6:12–13).


~G.K. Beale~


A New Testament Biblical Theology: The Unfolding of the Old Testament in the New (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic; 2011) p. 250-51.

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John Piper – Battling Unbelief With the Superior Promises of God

23 Apr

“Battling unbelief,” is another way of saying, “Living by faith in future grace.” The “unbelief” that I have in mind is the failure to trust the promises of God that sustain our radical obedience in the future. These promises refer to what God plans to do for us in the future, and that is what I mean by future grace. It is grace, because it is good for us and totally undeserved. And it is future in that it hasn’t happened to us yet but may in the next five seconds or the next five thousand years.

For the Christian the promises of God are spectacular. They relate to our immediate future, before this minute is over, and our eternal future…

The ultimate gift at the end of them all is God himself… The final, best, highest, most satisfying gift of future grace is seeing and savoring God himself.

~John Piper~




Battling Unbelief: Defeating Sin With Superior Pleasure (Colorado Springs, CO; Multnomah Books; 2007) p. 14-15.

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John Piper – Past Grace as the Foundation of Future Grace

10 Apr

The uniqueness of the past grace of the gospel events.. have a unique role in showing us the love of God in our present experience. All past grace reminds us of the love of God (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31). But the death of Christ is in a class by itself in showing the love of God to our souls. We see this in Romans 5:8, “God shows [present tense] his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died [past tense] for us.” God goes on showing his love for us now in the ever-present instant of experience by directing our minds to the past fact that “Christ died for us.” In this way, God’s loving willingness to fulfill all his promises for us is made present and powerful, so that our faith in future grace is continually founded on the unique work of past grace in the gospel events.

~John Piper~




Future Grace (Colorado Springs, CO; Multnomah Books; 2011) p. 13.

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Thomas Schreiner – The Resurrection of Jesus and the Overlap of the Ages

30 Mar

schreiner

The proclamation of Jesus’ resurrection in Acts–one of its most prominent themes–means nothing less than the arrival of the coming age of salvation. For Jews, resurrection could mean only one thing: the old age has passed away and the new has come. God’s promise to vindicate his people and restore Israel was no longer a word about the future; the threshold had been crossed with the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Incidentally, this suggests that Jesus is the true Israel (a theme that we will examine in due course). Still, the arrival of the resurrection and the new age contained a surprise inasmuch as the present evil age continued to exist and did not vanish immediately. The new and old ages coexist simultaneously now that Jesus has been raised form the dead. The new has come, but the old persists. The new certainly will triumph, but not without an interval in which death remains. Luke concentrates on the resurrection of Jesus in Acts because it is the emblem of the new age, the signature of God’s promises.

~Thomas Schreiner~


New Testament Theology – Magnifying God in Christ (Grand Rapids, MI; Baker Academic; 2008) p. 105

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Jerry Bridges – Every Day In Fact!

12 Feb

The New Testament letters are filled with imperatives — that is, exhortations and challenges to pursue holiness, put on Christlike character, and present our bodies as living sacrifices. But these imperatives are always based on the objective truth of what Jesus did for us in His sinless life and sin-bearing death.

As a young Christian, I did not understand this. I went directly to the imperatives to learn what I was to do. And in my early years of Bible teaching, I taught from the same dutiful perspective. I would contrast the “ought tos” of Scripture with the sinful desires of the flesh. I taught that we should fill our minds with the “ought tos” of Scripture in order to fortify ourselves against the desires of the flesh. But the reality is that in the internal conflict between ought and desire, desire too often wins out. And even when ought wins, it is often a dutiful response rather than one of love and gratitude.

But then in the midst of what I thought would be a fruitful and rewarding ministry, the Holy Spirit began to peel back the layers of my heart to reveal something of the corruption and depravity still there. There were no “big” sins, just an ugly nest of what I call “respectable” sins.

I was driven to the gospel. Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned — every one — to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all,” became my lifeline. I began to sing some of the old gospel hymns I had learned as a child. Such words as “Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me” and “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to thy cross I cling” took on new meaning. I learned experientially that as a believer engaged in ministry, I still needed the gospel — every day in fact!

~Jerry Bridges~




The Transforming Power of the Gospel (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2012) Ch. 6: The Motivation of the Gospel

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John Piper – Feast on God!

4 Feb

This is the great business of life—to “put our mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.” I know of no other way to triumph over sin long-term than to gain a distaste for it because of a superior satisfaction in God. One of the reasons this book is still “working” after seven- teen years is that this truth simply does not and will not change. God remains gloriously all-satisfying. The human heart remains a ceaseless factory of desires. Sin remains powerfully and suicidally appealing. The battle remains: Where will we drink? Where will we feast? Therefore, Desiring God is still a compelling and urgent message: Feast on God.

~John Piper~




Desiring God (Colorado Springs, CO; Multnomah Books; 2003) p. 12.

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Jerry Bridges – Transformation and the Holy Spirit

28 Jan

The transformation process the Bible describes is much more than a change of conduct or improved human morality; it is actually a work of the Holy Spirit in the very core of our being. In the only two instances in Scripture where the word transformed is used, it occurs both times in the passive voice. We are being transformed (see 2 Corinthians 3:18), and we are to be transformed (see Romans 12:2). In both instances, we are the object, not the agent, of the transformation process; the agent is the Holy Spirit.

~Jerry Bridges~




The Transforming Power of the Gospel (Colorado Springs, CO; Navpress; 2012) Ch. 8: The Transforming Work of the Holy Spirit

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