Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We died with Christ - the reality

Every once in a while, I'm given a critical piece to the puzzle that helps me to really understand certain aspects of my faith that I've puzzled over. One of those things was Paul's statement that 'we died with Christ'. I've never really been given a good explaination of what he meant when he said that; it was one of those theological truths that had no real impact on life -- that is until today.

Today I read Baxter Krugers blog on 'Why I Left Calvinism', and when I read the paragaph I've quoted below, I was blown away.

While the Son incarnate is certainly a real man, an individual person, he is much more. His humanity is, as J. B. Torrance insisted, “vicarious humanity.” What becomes of him is not small-print, back-page news, which may or may not be relevant to us. He is the one in whom all things came into being and are continually upheld, thus what becomes of him has immediate implications for the whole creation. This fact should lead us to see with Paul that when Christ died, we died. When he rose, we rose. When he ascended, we were lifted up in him to the Father’s arms (see Ephesians 2:4-6; 2Corinthians 5:14ff). But this is a subject for another day. For now, the point is that it was Jesus’ relationship with the entire cosmos and with the whole human race that called a halt to any notion of limited atonement that I had running though my brain. The life, death, resurrection and ascension of the incarnate Son/Creator was as wide and deep and large as creation itself. To deny this was simply to deny that Jesus was the incarnate Son of God and the Creator in and through and by and for whom all things were created and are sustained.

This may be old news to you, but for me there are so many things that fit together better in my mind with this little revelation. One Baxter mentions himself in his post, Divine Assurance -- We can know for sure that the Father loves us. There is no wondering if you are one of the loved or not. The is no need to ignore 1 John 2:2 (Christ died for the sins of the whole world), it gives a much deeper meaning to the ordinace of Baptism, and helps to solidify my personal view of the Cross as cure just to name a few. I may post more detailed thoughts about this in the future, but wanted to put something up now while I was thinking about it. Be sure to read Baxter's full post, it's worth it.


Sue said...

Hey, Rick. Thank you for this. Wonderful stuff. I have been veering towards this kind of view of Christ as changing the entire human race for quite a while, but the journey of faith is never totally linear so even though I believe that, I still have these little blips on the radar every now and then.

Yesterday I was wondering about those verses in Jeremiah which talk about the heart being deceitful above all things. Just wondering what your thoughts are on those verses in the light of the cross for humanity.

Rick Gibson said...

I'm going to be honest and say I don't understand the implications myself. I know that God also promises to give us new hearts later in the story so that we can trust our hearts again. But saying that, I know that there are still great evils committed in the world. I know that personally, when I wrong someone, my heart cries out to make it right. Sometimes I do, and sometimes my fears keep me from doing it. But I don't know that this is the case for every person. Paul seems to indicate that God's law (or you could say love) is written on every mans heart, and that seems to me that somewhere deep within every person they know when they haven't acted in love -- at least the fist million times or so, but he also says that our conscience can become seared; maybe a modern understanding of that would to be something like putting up a wall around your heart, so you don't hear what your heart tells you any longer. Well, definitely something to think about huh?

Sue said...

Plenty to think about :) I have linked to you and Baxter today bcause I really love what you are both talking about :)

Kent said...

I love Baxter