27 July 2011

Does this fit into your theology of what the death of Christ did?

He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. -2 Corinthians 5:15

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. -1 Peter 2:24
Notice how seamlessly Paul and Peter tie the death of Christ into the life we live as believers.

It is of course blessedly true that Christ's death results in atonement. That is fundamental and non-negotiable. Paul and Peter say just that in the immediate context of these two texts. But that's not what they say in these verses. Here they say not that Christ's death results in (the 'that' in each text is the Greek word hina--'in order that,' 'so that') living in heaven when we die but living in a heavenly way here and now. Christ's death produces something not only for us but also in us.

Not sure quite what to do with this. But I know this demands reflection in my life and theology. Maybe yours too.


Brad said...

Hey Dane,

I am curious why this seems foreign to your theology? Isn't he just saying that we are new creations with the law written on our hearts and minds? It seems to me that the whole point of the new covenant is that we are now, most fundamentally at the core of our hearts, truly saints and truly holy. And we can't help but obey our Father because that is our nature.


Dane Ortlund said...

Hi Brad.

I'd certainly agree that what you say is true, broadly theologically speaking. But neither of these texts themselves says anything about new creation or the internalization of the law or the other things you mention. These two texts both explicitly and immediately connect Christ's death with our moral lives.

My default theological formulation is: Christ's death --> salvation --> moral living. These texts seem to omit the second of these 3 steps.