Tuesday, February 7, 2012

107. - The Perfect Savior

107.0 Two Distinct Roles: The writer of the Book of Hebrews calls Jesus the "Author and Finisher" of our faith. To fully understand the redemptive intrigue, we must grasp the full scope of the role that Christ plays, or perhaps better said, the dual role that He plays. So, let's look at the "Alpha and Omega," the "Beginning and the End," of our faith. As these titles indicate, we are really looking at one Christ in two distinct roles.

107.1 The Christ Of The Cross: First, consider the Dying Christ. He is the Christ that we celebrate first. He is the Christ of that magnificent Cross. It is His purpose and work in this role to satisfy God's justice by dying for our sins in our place. In doing so, He secures our forgiveness and enables relationship to be initiated with the Father. In short, His role is to bring about reconciliation with the Father.
He is the Jesus that we know first. He is our forgiveness. He is our first teacher, to show us God's love and the opportunity that His love offers. This is the Christ that loved us first, and whom we first loved.

107.2 The Christ Of The Resurrection: But now, let's consider the Living Christ. Because God's redemptive design not only requires the means of forgiveness and reconciliation for His creature, but also the means of real renewal, the Living Christ becomes indispensable. This is true because it is the Living Christ who brings that renewal and a real elevation to the believer.

And, He accomplishes this transformation of the believer in a very unique way. It is achieved through a divinely arranged merger. Literally, this divine merger brings together the frail human nature of the believer with the renewing divine nature of the Resurrected, Living Christ.

Within the Church, we have come to generally refer to this merger as our spiritual baptism into Christ. So, because of this unique merger, the apostle would write in the book of Romans, chapter 5, "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."

107.3 Perfect Redemption: So, the employment of the Savior in these two redemptive roles is perfectly suited to the Father's every redemptive intent and to humanity's every need. We are not left forgiven, but still broken. Rather, God's graceful plan adds to our forgiveness a beautiful restoration, a Christ empowered newness. Such is the magnificent result of the Dying Christ and the Living Christ working in concert in the believer's behalf.

Thus, it works like this. Christ is our Guide along the redemptive path. He conducts us as both the Dying Christ and the Living Christ. In His frail form on the Cross, He became our reconciliation. And, as the resurrected and powerful Living Christ, He becomes our empowerment for newness as we are literally merged with Him through the Pentecostal mechanism, the Baptism of the Spirit.