As we begin the new year, let’s start out by focusing on Jesus. After all, there is no Christianity without him. Theology–what we believe about God–matters. Why? Because it shapes our life.
If we as Christians want to have the courage to stand in our post-Christian culture we need to become more theological–not less.
Now is not the time for a failure of nerve on our part. Now is the time for courage. To know what we believe and why. And then train others to do the same (2 Tim.2:2). In that spirit, let’s reflect on the Great love of God in which we now stand (see Romans 5:1-11).
The Great Love of God Our Father in Jesus
God, being great in mercy and love, did not abandon us in our helpless state. The Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to become our legal substitute. Jesus, who became like us in every respect but without sin, lived the perfect life we could not live and died the death that was ours to die, so that we might be reconciled to God. Jesus as fully human identified with our offense against God, and Jesus as fully God could satisfy the Father’s wrath (a human being should have died for sin, but only God could have).
Christ’s Work at the Cross
As a result of Christ’s work at the cross, the wrath of God has been satisfied (i.e., propitiation). Moreover, Jesus Christ made atonement (i.e., cover- ing) for the sins of the whole world so that whoever places their trust in Him can be redeemed, forgiven, declared righteous (i.e., justified), and adopted into the family of God forever.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
The resurrection of Christ and His subsequent ascension into heaven is God the Father’s vindication (or amen) that Jesus accomplished salvation once and for all. It is finished.
Passages to Explore:
John 1:1–14, 29; 3:16; Romans 4:24–25; 5:1–11; 1 Corinthians 15; 2 Corinthians 5:17–21; Philippians 2:5–11; 1 Timothy 2:3–6; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2.
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