Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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has brought about a total change

It is 12:59 PM Sunday afternoon. Earlier I wrote about the Resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead. After I wrote that entry I remember something I read the other night in a book titled, "Paul And The Faithfulness Of God: Book II Parts III And IV" by N. T. Wright. For the last couple of months off and on I have been reading this massive two volume work, "Paul And The Faithfulness Of God" by N. T. Wright. Anyway the other night I was looking through Book II and read this which ties into what I have been writing in my blogs lately on Christian ethics and eschatology.

"'Calculate yourselves. . . alive to God' (Romans 6.2-5, 8-11). There is no sense here, as one popular view has it, that Paul thinks the baptized have died to sin but that he is postponing their 'resurrection' to the future. Paul's argument would make no sense if that were the case. Clearly there is still a future resurrection, as in Romans 8.9-11. But if they are already 'in the Messiah', and if the Messiah has died and been raised, then they must 'calculate themselves' as being raised 'in him' or 'with him'. The future tenses of verses 5 and 8 are logical futures, not chronological: 'if X is the case, Y will also be the case'. Paul's point, in urging his readers to 'calculate' or 'reckon' that they are already raised with the Messiah, is precisely that their behavior must undergo a radical change. If they are not in some sense already 'alive from the dead', he is asking for the impossible: "So don't allow sin to rule in your mortal body. . . Rather, present yourselves to God, as people alive from the dead and your limbs and organs to God. . ." Rom.6:12f.

This is, then, substantially the same point that we find in Colossians 3. After explaining in chapter 2 that there is no help to be found in the spurious moralisms on offer elsewhere, Paul sets out a different way. The new status must be the basis for new behavior, which is to be achieved by implementing the death-and-life of the Messiah, and which can be spoken of in terms both of a new human nature and of 'putting on the Messiah' like a suit of clothes: Colossians 3:1-11.

The Messiah's resurrection, then, has brought about total change. Those who have died and been raised with him have a new identity; pattern of behavior which belongs with the old life must simply be killed off. . ." pg.1102,1103 N.T. Wright

I could quote pages from the the Book II, "Paul And The Faithfulness Of God" by N. T. Wright on the effects of the resurrection of Christ Jesus on believers. Well I might write more later on this subject. I recommend this book that I recently read, "Moral Formation according to Paul: The Context and Coherence of Pauline Ethics" by James W. Thompson.

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