Dont’ Be a Disembodied Christian

By becoming a Christian, I belong to God and I belong to my brothers and sisters. It is not that I belong to God and then make a decision to join a local church. My being in Christ means being in Christ with those others who are in Christ. This is my identity. This is our identity. If the church is the body of Christ, then we should not live as disembodied Christians.

Tim Chester and Steve Timmis, Total Church, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008), 41

HT: Of First Importance

Church: The New Community in Christ

The very purpose of [Christ's] self-giving on the cross was not just to save isolated individuals, and so perpetuate their loneliness, but to create a new community whose members would belong to him, love one another and eagerly serve the world.  This community of Christ would be nothing less than a renewed and reunited humanity, of which he as the second Adam would be head.  It would incorporate Jews and Gentiles on equal terms.  In fact, it would include representatives from every nation.  Christ died in abject aloneness, rejected by his own nation and deserted by his own disciples, but lifted up on the cross he would draw all people to himself.  And from the Day of Pentecost onward it has been clear that conversion to Christ means also conversion to the community of Christ, as people turn from themselves to him, and from “this corrupt generation” to the alternate society which he is gathering around himself.  These two transfers — of personal allegiance and social membership — cannot be separated.

John R. W. Stott, The Cross of Christ (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 249.

The Effects of the Crucifixion

By the death and resurrection of Christ the propitiation of God’s wrath and the forgiveness of our sins and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness became ours by faith alone. God’s anger is removed from him, our guilt is removed from us, Christ’s obedience is counted as ours — this is the effect of Christ being crucified in our place and raised from the dead.

John Piper, God Is the Gospel (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2005), 166.

The Most Horrible and the Most Beautiful Example of God’s Wrath

The Cross was at once the most horrible and the most beautiful example of God’s wrath. It was the most just and the most gracious act in history. God would have been more than unjust, He would have been diabolical to punish Jesus if Jesus had not first willingly taken on Himself the sins of the world.

Once Christ had done that, once He volunteered to be the Lamb of God, laden with our sin, then He became the most grotesque and vile thing on this planet. With the concentrated load of sin He carried, He became utterly repugnant to the Father. God poured out His wrath on this obscene thing. God made Christ accursed for the sin He bore. Herein was God’s holy justice perfectly manifest. Yet it was done for us. He took what justice demanded from us.

R. C. Sproul, The Holiness of God (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House, 1998), 121.

HT: Of First Importance