Archive for April, 2010

Redirected to the Cross

April 13, 2010

Beyond God’s universal goodness in creation and providence, if ever we were tempted to abstract God’s sovereignty, justice, wrath, or righteousness from God’s goodness, we are redirected to the cross, where we behold with unparalleeld clarity the triumph of God’s goodness in the face of Christ, who cries out, “It is finished.” If we are ever in doubt as to how far God will go with his goodness, in view of the hostility with which it is resisted, we read, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16). As Barth cautions, it is not a “general conception” of love that is definitive here, but the specific act of God in Jesus Christ.

Michael Horton, Lord and Servant (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 2005), 56-57.

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External to Ourselves

April 3, 2010

It is not in our life that God’s help and presence must still be proved, but rather God’s presence and help have been demonstrated for us in the life of Jesus Christ. It is in fact more important for us to know what God did to Israel, to His Son Jesus Christ, than to seek what God intends for us today. The fact that Jesus Christ died is more important than the fact that I shall die, and the fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead is the sole ground of my hope that I, too, shall be raised on the Last Day. Our salvation is “external to ourselves”. I find no salvation in my life history, but only in the history of Jesus Christ. Only he who allows himself to be found in Jesus Christ, in his incarnation, his Cross, and his resurrection, is with God and God with him.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, trans. John W. Doberstein (New York: Harper & Row, 1954), 54.

The Word That Comes From the Outside

April 2, 2010

The death and the life of a Christian is not determined by his own resources; rather he finds both only in the Word that comes to him from the outside, in God’s Word to him. The Reformers expressed it this way: Our righteousness is an “alien righteousness,” a righteousness that comes from outside of us (extra nos). They were saying that the Christian is dependent on the Word of God spoken to him. He is pointed outward, to the Word that comes to him. The Christian lives wholly by the truth of God’s Word in Jesus Christ. If somebody asks him, Where is your salvation, your righteousness? he can never point to himself. He points to the Word of God in Jesus Christ, which assures him of salvation and righteousness.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, trans. John W. Doberstein (New York: Harper & Row, 1954), 22.