by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 4 Study # 3 Lincolnton, NC January 17, 2006
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
1901 ASV Translation:
24 but for our sake also, unto whom it shall be reckoned, who believe on him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
25 who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.
I. Faith in Him Who Raised Jesus our Lord From the Dead...
A. Has a "history"...
1. Jesus was "Dead" for a reason.
a. Paul says He was "delivered up" because God "had a goal" (dia plus the accusative) in respect to our "trespasses".
b. The "reason" was not inus.
1) The reasons God does things is, invariably, in Him.
a) The overall driving force behind all of the works of God is His "love". The "love" of God is ultimately the "structured priorities by which God determines what is of sufficient importance to establish in "Life", and what does not have sufficient importance to warrant His efforts (i.e., what can be released to Death)."
b) When "trespass" entered the Kingdom of Light it brought a challenge to the "love" of God with it. The challenge was whether it would be allowed to remain in that Kingdom, or be rejected from it. It was within the "love" of God to permit its temporary presence in the "Kingdom of Light" so that it might be effective in bringing about a decisive identity to that Kingdom of "light". It was determined that all that had been created would be "subjected to" the workings of "trespass" so that the creation could be brought to the state of final loyalty to the "love of God". But, it was also within the "love" of God to ultimately relegate "trespass" to the Kingdom of Darkness once the workings had achieved the issues of final loyalty.
2) The "reason" was God's intent to establish certain creatures in a state of final loyalty to His "love".
a) The "methodology" of His intention fundamentally involved bringing reconciliation to at least a portion of the creation which had been brought into the dominion of "trespass".
b) This "reconciliation" had two fundamental elements within its realm: one of those elements had to do with separating the "trespass-er" from the demands of the Justice of God for "excommunication from the Life of Light"; and the other had to do with the establishment of the "trespass-er" in the kind of love that would prevent conflict from irrupting at some later time.
i. The "separation" from the demands of excommunication meant that the guilty had to be separated from the guilt -- i.e., "determined to be free of guilt". This became the foundation of "justification" wherein a guilty creature was decreed by God to be "guiltless". This was "reconciliation" on the God-side of the issue of trespass in the Kingdom of Light.
ii. The "establishment" in the kind of love that would prevent an irruption at some later time meant an inclusive development of the "Love of Life" so that there was no further existence of the "Love of Death". This became the foundation of "faith" wherein a creature came to "believe" in the superiority of "Life" over "Death". This was "reconciliation" on the man-side of the issue of trespass in the Kingdom of Light.
c. The "reason" was that the death of Jesus would specifically address the God-side of the entire program of "reconciliation": it was to lay down the foundations for a decree of guiltlessness.
2. Jesus was also "Raised" for a reason.
a. Paul says He was "raised" because God "had a goal" (dia plus the accusative) in respect to our "justification".
b. The "reason" was that, though the "death" would address the "problem" of an unresolved "Justice" issue, the "death" would not address the "problem" of the dominion of "Death" (Jesus eternally relegated to the regions of "Death" does not bring "reconciliation unto Life" into play; it merely brings "satisfaction of Justice" into play).
1) Unless Jesus was released from the dominion of Death, there was no Life-point to "justification" (the only "aim of God" accomplished was that of being satisfied with Justice resolved).
a) Why could not Jesus have remained under the dominion of Death? Would His subjection to Death not have provided for a complete satisfaction of the "Justice" issue so that the Father was eternally free to treat the creation as "justified"?
i. The short answer is: the eternal dominion of Death over the Son of God would, indeed, have permitted the creation to be free from any necessity that was rooted in Justice, but it would have only freed the creation to function under the dominion of a "God" Who was permanently "subject" to the inevitabilities of the presence of "Death" in His own nature. In other words, creation would live under the dominion of a conflicted Living/Dead deity and such dominion would have inevitably meant the experience of the Living-Dead.
ii. The eternal subjection of Life to Death would have meant the triumph of Death.
b) The "Justice-resolved" issue was not an end in itself; it was a means to a greater end.
i. Resolving the problem of Justice and trespasses is a crucial step in the program, but it was not the end of the process.
ii. Establishment of the creation in Life was the greater end, and that required the triumph of Life over Death.
2) The release of Jesus from the dominion of Death brought Life into dominion.
3) Thus, it was the resurrection that actually accomplished the "end" to which God was "love-committed".
a) It was resurrection that re-established the presence of Life.
i. It re-established it as a legitimate object of "faith" so that Life would flow within the "believer".
ii. It re-established it as a real aspect of reality in that there was no more "death" within the God-head as an "attribute-essential" issue (harmony between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the "attribute-essential" reality) but only as a "memory-resident" reality. This means that God is Life and the only lingering "Death" reality is His subjection of the rebels to the Death of their on-going rebellion. For the dead, God is "Death"; for the living, God is "Life". "T"heologically, before "Sin" became a real player in a real universe, the "Death" aspects of the nature of God were, for all relational-impact realities, non-existent. The irruption of "Sin" into the creation brought about an irreversible interplay of the Death aspects of God's essential nature so that Death can never be eliminated from creation.
b) It was resurrection that brought about the "application" of the resolution of Justice to the believer (it is not the death of Jesus that makes us "free", but the application of that death to us specifically by the "decree" of God that actually sets us free from condemnation -- Jesus died for all, but not all are justified). Justification is a subsequent decree of God regarding the believer on the basis of the triumph of Life over Death, not the actual satisfaction of the Justice/trespass issue. It is the "belief" in that triumph that is the root of the "decree". Resurrection is the crucial "object of faith" that actually sets the believer free in that it is that "faith" in the God of Life that gives God the freedom to call an end to the conflict. As long as men are "hung up" on the notion that God is not "of Life" (a notion introduced in the Garden), there is no freedom even if all of their sins have an objective atonement. It is the resurrection that provides men with a foundation for believing in God as "about Life". The enormous danger is that men will give "lip service" to the claims of resurrection without ever coming to grips with whether they really believe that God is "about Life". It is not lip service that saves.