23 May 2010

Bible Summaries

Is Titus 3:4-7 the best summary statement of the soteriology of the New Testament? I would say 'the theology of the NT' but it doesn't mention Gentile-inclusion. Yet if we're talking strictly soteriology, this seems to pretty much cover it all--

4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

And, stepping even further back, is there a better summary statement of what the whole Bible is about than Ephesians 1:7-10, particularly v. 10?

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite [anakephalaiosasthai - to sum up, recapitulate, gather together, organically synthesize, bring under a single head/kephalos; see Rom 13:9!] all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.


Jack Parrish said...

Dane, the Titus scripture is womderful. How would you compare it with Col. 1:15-20? Jack

Dane Ortlund said...

Thanks for the comment Jack, good to hear from you.

Col 1:15-20 is certainly a pillar NT text. Along with Phil 2:6-11 and Heb 1:1-4 it is especially crucial for christology. I wouldn't say it's crucial for soteriology (except derivatively). I.e. it is a magnificent statement about Christ but doesn't directly address salvation.

We might do well to remember that on the one hand, of course, every jot and tittle of the Bible is God breathed. The greetings at the end of Paul's letters are inspired Scripture, to be reverently received and pored over. Still, some texts, like Col 1 or Titus 3, are explosions of concentrated orthodoxology. You're right to draw attention to Col 1.

Jack Parrish said...

It seems that Eph.2:14-17 is a follow on clarification of 1:7-10. It is absolutely marvelous that Christ, preaching peace to those far away (gentiles)and those near (Jews)proceeds to make of the two one mew man, in Christ; a NEW MAN who is neither Jew nor gentile and is not far away or near but IN CHRIST,thus making peace and thus reconciling both to God thru the cross.