Tuesday, April 14, 2009

4/14- Taking Part in the Resurrection

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

“I want to know Christ- yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:10,11
“For if while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!For if, by the trespass of one man , death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:10, 17).

Calvin: But as it is not enough to know Christ as crucified and raised up from the dead, unless you experience, also, the fruit of this, he speaks expressly of efficacy .Christ therefore is rightly known, when we feel how powerful his death and resurrection are, and how efficacious they are in us. Now all things are there furnished to us—expiation and destruction of sin, freedom from condemnation, satisfaction, victory over death, the attainment of righteousness, and the hope of a blessed immortality… In the mean time, this consolation—that the end is everlasting blessedness. For the death of Christ is connected with the resurrection. Hence Paul says, that he is conformed to his death, that he may attain the glory of the resurrection. The phrase, if by any means, does not indicate
doubt, but expresses difficulty, with a view to stimulate our earnest endeavor for it is no light contest, inasmuch as we must struggle against so many and so serious hindrances. (Commentary on Phil. 3).
“Our faith receives from baptism the advantage of its sure testimony to us that we are not only engrafted into the death and life of Christ, but so united to Christ himself that we become sharers in all his blessings. (III.14.6).

For Calvin and for scripture, the death and resurrection of Jesus were not his alone. When Christ died, we were there. When he lived we were there (as I have said in a previous devotional). It is a bit like what the president does affects all of us because of who we are. If the president of the United States ever pushed the nuclear button, it would vastly affect all of us. This affects us whether we voted for him or not- whether we were loyal Americans or traitors. The fact that it would affect us does not change us magically into loyal Americans who voted for him. Jesus’ death and resurrection affects us because He was the god-man. It affects us whether we believe or not, but it does not change us into believers.
An important concept for Calvin (and should be for us) is that we are united with Christ. We are part of Christ’s body when we believe- he is the head. Baptism is not just a commanded sign for Calvin (contra Zwingli) but also a seal that unites us to Christ. We become sharers in his death and his resurrection through faith and through baptism. Christ’s resurrection brings us hope and life.

Prayer: We seek to follow you, Lord. We seek to be one with you in spirit and in heart and soul.

No comments:

Post a Comment