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Wesleyan Theology I - Lesson 18

Offices of Christ (Part 1)

As a prophet, Jesus proclaimed the coming kingdom of God. Messiah in Hebrew has the same meaning as Christ in Greek. It means, “the anointed one.” The baptism of Jesus was the beginning of his public ministry.  When Satan tempted Jesus, the temptation was real because of the humanity of Jesus. It was necessary for Jesus to experience temptation. Jesus as a preacher, went from place to place, proclaiming the kingdom of God. As a teacher, Jesus taught in the synagogues and the listeners described him as teaching with authority. Christ as a lawgiver is seeking to communicate wisdom to humanity. This moral law is connected to God’s character. Jesus performed miracles to heal the sick, bring people back from the dead and demonstrate his power over nature. Christ as priest, became the mediator to bridge the gap between God and humanity. At the cross, what the holiness of God required, the love of God provided. Theories of the atonement are the best attempts of thinking about how to express the atoning work of Jesus. 

Kenneth J. Collins
Wesleyan Theology I
Lesson 18
Watching Now
Offices of Christ (Part 1)

I. PROPHET

A. Baptism of Jesus

B. Temptation of Jesus

C. Preacher

D. Teacher

E. Lawgiver

F. Miracles

II. PRIEST

A. Role of mediator is unique because of the person and nature of Jesus

B. Crucifixion

C. The "direction" in the work of the atonement

D. Theories of the atonement

1. Ransom

2. Satisfaction

III. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS


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  • For the first 5 centuries after Christ, the theology of the Christian Church was ecumenical. Since then, you have differences in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox theology, and then the Reformation with different Protestant traditions. The Church has a history of promoting and preserving knowledge in all fields of study. Ideological secularization is characterizing theological ideas as irrelevant and not academic. Structural secularization is the process of marginalizing the subject of theology in the academy. Both revelation and reason are both important elements in the discussion of philosophical and theological subjects. God is transcendant, which means that he is distinct from everything that has been made. God is immanent, which means that the Spirit of God can be communicated in time and space through media, but is not the media itself. 

  • God can only be fully know by revelation. However, we can know some things about God by observation and reason. Thomas Aquinas gave 5 reasons that supports the idea of the existence of God. We can perceive motion and there must be something that caused the motion. Nothing can come from nothing, so something must exist at all times, which is God. Humans are contingent beings, but God’s essence is to exist. There are different degrees of goodness and complexity in organisms, so there must be a being of a highest form of good. Design and purpose must be at work because it’s not reasonable that the universe resulted from chance. Dembski also estimates that the mathematical odds for everything happening from a single cell at less than 1 in 10 to the 150th power. 

  • Humans are both material and spiritual and have the capacity to experience transcendence. Without God, you are describing a diminished view of humanity. John Calvin says that wisdom is the knowledge of God and the knowledge of ourselves. Revelation of God comes from Scripture (the most important), tradition, reason and experience. Theology should be participatory and result in transformation. …Wesley’s theology describe in two words would be, “holiness” and “grace.” Wesley’s theology is conjunctive. Holy love is a tension. Holiness results in separation and love results in community. Wesley’s view of grace includes both cooperant grace and free grace. 

  • Two sources for knowledge are revelation and reason. Empiricism teaches  that you get knowledge from your senses. Rationalism teaches that you get knowledge from the operation of your mind. Kant said that the mind makes a formal contribution to knowledge by organizing it.  All knowledge begins with experience but it does not all arise out of experience. Reason can only take us so far. Humans are the only species that worship God.

  • Scripture is unique, the word of God and inspired by God. Scripture is the source of truth and provides a norm for truth. Wesley gives four arguments for inspiration. They are miracles, prophecy, goodness of the doctrine and the moral character of the penmen. Characteristics of Scripture include the sufficiency, clarity and wholeness of Scripture. 

  • Univocal refers to a one-to-one correspondence between the language we use and the reality of God. Equivocal refers to the idea that human language does not correspond directly to describing God, so it acknowledges ambiguity and more than one interpretation. Analogical refers to language used to describe God using  analogy. “Via Negativa” is describing characteristics that God is “not.” “Via Positiva” is describing a characteristic that is true of God, using analogy. Aseity means that God’s essence  is to exist. Eternity means that God transcends the limitations of time-space. There is not a space where God is not. Omniscience of God means that God knows all things. Omnipotence of God means that God is all powerful. Once God creates, there is an order in creation, and God works within the framework he created.  Immutability means that God’s essence does not change. Leslie Weatherhead describes three aspects of the will of God as the intentional will of God, circumstantial will of God and the ultimate will of God. Wesley describes God’s holiness as purity and simplicity. The wrath of God can be described as God’s unending determined opposition to evil.

  • Triunity describe God’s nature. The concept of the Trinity was foreshadowed in the Old Testament and taught explicitly in the New Testament. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all active in creation, baptism of Jesus and resurrection of Jesus. The Trinity is three distinct persons with the same essence. The distinctiveness has to do, not with their nature or essence, but with the relations. Person is different than an individual. According to Wesley, the Trinity is an invitation to participate in the deeper life of God. The gospel is the universal love of God, manifested in the person of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Holiness apart from love can result in legalism. Love apart from holiness can result in sentimentality and wishful thinking. 

  • God created humans in his image so we have both a physical and spiritual nature. Sometimes biologists make statements about evolution that are outside of what can be examined and verified by science. According to young earth creationism, creation took place in 6, 24 hour days and the earth is about 6,000 years old. According to theistic evolution, once the process of evolution began, no special supernatural intervention was required for it to continue. The opposite of a naturalistic explanation for life is not supernatural, but intelligent causes. Intelligent design makes information theory and mathematical probability integral to its overall approach. Irreducible complexity argues against gradualism in the evolutionary process. 

  • God freely created the world and chooses to govern within the framework of the created order. The moral law is consistent with the character of God. God uses the moral law to convict the world of sin, bring us to Christ and keep us alive. Natural law is a body of moral principles that can be discerned by reason. Natural law is the will of God expressed in a created order. Deep conscience refers to the interior witness to the foundational principles of the moral law. Four characteristics of our moral design that are evident at the level of the species are interdependence, complementarity, spontaneous order and subsidiarity. 

  • Adam and Eve were created, not just as physical beings, but also spiritual beings. The image of God includes relationality as well as the capacity for rational thought. Wesley describes it as a natural image, political image and moral image. Wesley says that the natural image of God means that we have physical bodies and also a spiritual nature. Humanity is the conduit for God’s blessing of the rest of creation. 

  • The characteristics that give a human personhood belong to another order of explanation than that explored by biology. Sartre, who is an existentialist, says that existence precedes essence. In other words, each person determines their own nature by the choices they make. Others would say that your choices determine your character but that’s separate from your nature. Postmodernism teaches that the self is only a social and linguistic construct. Some scientists have argued that humans do not have a soul, but that cannot be proved or disproved by the scientific method. If God is dead, humanity is dead. Human beings are more than the social groups in which they participate. Humans are animals, but not merely animals.

  • Lucifer brought sin into the world with his sin of pride. The sin of Adam and Eve was unbelief. Wesley describes  unbelief as the perversion of the relationship between God and humanity, a lack of faith in God, resulting in alienation. He distinguishes three types of death as physical death, spiritual death and eternal death. Satan was self-tempted when he sinned. Adam and Eve were tempted by something external to them, Satan.  Wesley sees Adam as a representative of all humans, so all humans inherit Adam’s sin nature. 

  • There are orders of creation and preservation, like family and marriage, that can mediate the grace of God. God sustains creation, and also relates to people as persons. The three-fold circle of divine providence is the outer ring of the whole race of humans, the second smaller circle is all that are called believers and those who profess to be believers, the innermost circle only the true disciples of Jesus who worship God in Spirit and in truth. Wesley doesn’t deny that bad things happen to good people, both from other people and from events in nature. If God eliminated all evil, it would require eliminating freedom, which would also eliminate love. 

  • Wesley describes total depravity as "a want of original righteousness," and also in terms of a "natural propensity to sin.” Luther, Calvin and George Croft Cell agree. Eastern Orthodox teaches that Adam and Eve were not so fallen as to be unable to respond to any subsequent proffered grace. Wesley teaches the total depravity of humans and the sovereign act of God in salvation. He uses prevenient grace in two distinct ways. The “narrow” sense refers to all those degrees of grace that come before justifying and sanctifying grace. The “broad” use views all grace as prevenient and emphasizes the prior activity of God because he is always ahead of us and takes the initiative. Prevenient grace can be understood as both cooperant and free grace. 

  • God acts preveniently to give humans revelation by communicating his divine attributes. God places in humans a moral law that is expressive of the image of God. The Holy Spirit restored to all humans a certain measure of free-will. Original sin makes it impossible for people to respond to God on their own without God restoring their personhood, which they need to be able to respond to God’s grace. God doesn’t do it in a way that overruns a person’s personality.

  • The incarnation is a foundational teaching of the Christian faith. Since Jesus claimed to be God, it’s not an option that he could be just a good person. Paul teaches that Jesus has the same nature as God and that Jesus created all things. Ebionites rejected the divinity and virgin birth of Jesus. Adoptionism taught that Christ was a good man that was penetrated by God’s nature at his baptism and becomes divine, which treats divinity as an acquired attribute. Arias taught that Christ was not coeternal with the Father. He was more than mere man but he was created so he wasn’t equal with God. The first ecumenical council of Nicea in 325 affirms the divinity of Christ in response to the teaching of Arias. Wesley affirmed that Jesus existed as one person with both a human and divine nature. To affirm the essential equality of Christ with God the Father, Wesley often used the terms, “the only-begotten Son of God,” and “the Word of God.” The Son of God is the creator and sustainer of all things and the redeemer of humanity. The difference in the Godhead is relations, not nature. 

  • 1 John 4:2 describes the incarnation as Jesus coming to earth in the flesh. Jesus is also referred to as the Son of David in the Gospels. Jesus was able to become the mediator between God and humanity because his divinity meant that he was not a part of the problem of sin and his humanity meant that he could fully identify with humans. This is a unique and distinct role that can only be accomplished by Jesus, the God-human. Jesus suffered physically and emotionally and then died and was resurrected to new life. This qualifies him to be priest, a mediator between man and God. The title, Son of Man also emphasizes the humanity of Jesus. Apolliniarism taught that Jesus had a human body and soul, but a divine mind rather than a human mind. Docetism taught that Christ is pure spirit and only seemed to have a body. Gnostics view the body as lowly and the mind is considered higher. Monophysitism taught that the divine and human nature of Jesus was mixed into one nature. Nestorianism teaches that the divine and human natures of Jesus were sharply separated. Wesley viewed Jesus as the expression of the God of holy love, maintaining divinity while becoming human.

  • As a prophet, Jesus proclaimed the coming kingdom of God. Messiah in Hebrew has the same meaning as Christ in Greek. It means, “the anointed one.” The baptism of Jesus was the beginning of his public ministry.  When Satan tempted Jesus, the temptation was real because of the humanity of Jesus. It was necessary for Jesus to experience temptation. Jesus as a preacher, went from place to place, proclaiming the kingdom of God. As a teacher, Jesus taught in the synagogues and the listeners described him as teaching with authority. Christ as a lawgiver is seeking to communicate wisdom to humanity. This moral law is connected to God’s character. Jesus performed miracles to heal the sick, bring people back from the dead and demonstrate his power over nature. Christ as priest, became the mediator to bridge the gap between God and humanity. At the cross, what the holiness of God required, the love of God provided. Theories of the atonement are the best attempts of thinking about how to express the atoning work of Jesus. 

  • Penal substitution asserts that atonement primarily involves Jesus’ taking the sinner’s place (‘substitution’) in bearing the penalty (hence ‘penal’) for his or her sin. That penalty was no less than God’s wrath and the sinner’s death. God’s wrath is his unswerving opposition to evil. The moral influence theory teaches that without the fall, that amazing instance of the love of God to humanity would have never existed. Penal substitution and moral influence theory complement each other. In the governmental view, the death of Christ illustrates the punishment which sin may attract and therefore serves good government by acting as a deterrent. Jesus raised from the dead into an immortal body. Only life can give meaning to human existence. Death destroys all meaning. The first time Christ came as a redeemer. As king, Christ is coming again to rule . Three roles of king are giving laws, restoring people to the image of God and reigning in all believing hearts.

  • The personhood of the Holy Spirit is revealed by the roles of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told the disciples that he would send an advocate. The Holy Spirit is an advocate, teacher, proclaims truth, provides direction and assists in prayer. Four characteristics of the Holy Spirit that indicate his deity are eternity, omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience. The Filioque controversy is a difference between how the Eastern Orthodox and Western Traditions describe the nature of the Holy Spirit.

  • At the beginning of creation, the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible and brings understanding as people read it. The Holy Spirit makes effective the completed work of Christ and gives us the power to live out the Christian life. The Holy Spirit is personal, not an impersonal force. The believers received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost after Christ ascended to heaven. The gifts of the Spirit are for the common good of building up the body of Christ. We should be cooperating with the work of the Holy Spirit in our individual lives and his influence should be evident in how we interact corporately.

 John Wesley's beliefs understood from an historical and theological perspective

Dr. Ken Collins

Wesleyan Theology I

th510-18

Offices of Christ (Part 1)

Lesson Transcript

 

Okay. As was indicated today, we are exploring the work of Christ. And the best way to do that, one of the best ways to do that, a path often taken by theologians, is to consider the offices of Christ. The three main offices of Christ as prophet, priest and king. And so we will begin with Jesus Christ as Prophet one who proclaims the coming Kingdom of God. Now, Scripture refers to Jesus as the anointed one, as the Messiah. That's very clear in the New Testament materials. And so in his commentary on Matthew chapter one, verse 16, John Wesley points out that the word Christ in Greek and Messiah in Hebrew mean the same thing. And so they are inscriptions that the church has applied to Jesus in light of his life and ministry. And so when we think of Jesus, when we think of Jesus of Nazareth, we think of the Anointed one, the anointed one, and that anointing implying a prophetic. And then later we'll see priestly and royal role. Now, Martin Mansour notes in his own work, quote, Anointing was seen as a sign of being chosen by God for a specific task of leadership and responsibility. And so the Old Testament looked ahead to the final coming coming of such a figure to usher in a new era in the history of the people of God. And so we often refer to Jesus not as Jesus of Nazareth, but as Jesus Christ. That's the Greek way of saying Jesus the Messiah. And so in his very name, in his very designation, we encounter this issue of being anointed and prepared for a prophetic ministry. Now, in that context, we can consider the baptism of Jesus. And here we look at the materials from Luke Chapter three versus 21 through 23.

 

Quote When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized, too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove. And a voice came from heaven. You are my son, whom I love with you. I am well pleased. And again, Luke points out this marks the beginning of the Public Ministry of Jesus. Indeed, in a real sense, this is the beginning of the Messianic age. And note that this event is very well attested. It is also found in Matthew Matthew chapter three, verses 13 through 17. And also mark chapter one verses nine and 11. But it also gives us a window, interestingly enough, that the Triune God is present here at the baptism of Jesus, Father, Son and Spirit testifying to the unique Sonship of Jesus Christ. And so Jesus is being set apart from every other human being or any other religious leader. He is qualitatively distinct, qualitatively distinct from them. And that has to do, of course, with his nature. Now we can consider also the temptation of Jesus. And this is found in Mark chapter one verses 12 through 13. At once, the Spirit sent him into the wilderness and he was in the wilderness 40 days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals and angels attended him. Now we can. Express the temptation of Jesus. In other words, what's what's going on here? We can look at this in three ways, especially as we look at Luke's Gospel. First of all, the devil says to Christ, if you are the son of God. You know, using their the if language, subjunctive language, raising the issues of doubt. If you are the son of God, tell this stone to become bread.

 

And of course, we know the reply of Jesus to that temptation. It is written man shall not live by bread alone. Okay, then the devil in a second way takes him up to a high place and shows him all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to Christ, I will give you all their authority and splendor. It has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours. And Jesus answered, It is written. Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only. Okay. And then a third temptation is posed by the devil. The devil led Jesus to Jerusalem, had him stand on the highest point of the temple. If you are the son of God, you see, there's that subjunctive language again. If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here. For it is written, He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully, and they will lift you up. Jesus answered, Do not put the Lord your God to the test. Do not put the Lord your God to the test. And so some theologians, in light of this material, have written about the temptation of Christ in terms of a kind of necessity that Christ had to be tempted, tried in this way. Charles Carter, for example, points out a quote, If it was imperative that Christ be baptized to fulfill the law, it was equally necessary that he be subject to temptation. And sometimes, you know, it's interesting when we when Wesleyan talk about the doctrine of entire sanctification. In other words, heart purity, the cleansing of inbred sin. When that is realized in a life, sometimes students will raise the question How could someone pure in heart ever be tempted? How could they be tempted if their heart were pure? And so the immediate response to that kind of question, of course, is, well, was not Jesus Christ pure in heart? Was he without sin? And yet Jesus Christ was tempted, really tempted.

 

You know, this is not some kind of false or asat ersatz temptation. It's a real temptation. It's a real temptation corresponding very much to Jesus Christ as a true human being. A true human being. What do you need for temptation to occur? What do you need for a temptation to occur? Well, you need a moral agent. A moral agent who has liberty, the freedom to do. Otherwise, you would need knowledge of the will of God, knowledge of the will of God often expressed in terms of the moral law. You would need that. But once you have a moral age and a context of liberty, and then knowledge of the expressed will of God, let's say in the form of the moral law, you have all the elements that are necessary for temptation, all the elements that are necessary for a temptation. And so, yes, Jesus Christ was truly, truly tempted. He was like us in all things except without sin. And so as we are tempted, as real human beings, and when we think about temptation, we think especially about the deception that can occur between what is offered as a real good, although it's only an apparent good. And so humans can be deceived in the context of temptation because they aim at and desire and want an apparent good thinking. It's a real good. And they will realize when they have broken faith that the good that they was they were aiming at was not good at all. It simply appeared to be so. But it's actually evil and human beings can be deceived in that way. And that complicates, of course, the context of temptation. Now, Charles Carter again writes, In terms of this whole issue, before he, meaning Christ, could make atonement for the sins of humanity on the cross.

 

It was necessary that he confront the challenges of Satan and defeat him. Thus, Christ came as the Son of God in the express image of God, but in the form of man, the unique God human to win back humanity that had been lost in Eden. Okay. And so there's there's actually quite a bit here in terms of the context of the temptation of Jesus Christ, underscoring that he is a true human being. Now, there are there are some other roles under this larger prophetic role that we're considering right now. And when we look at the work of Christ in the Gospels, we see very clearly that he was a preacher, he was a preacher, an itinerant preacher, even he talked about he had nowhere to lay his head. And he's going from place to place, declaring the coming of the kingdom of God, proclaiming the kingdom of God. And so the reign of God in which righteousness will draw will dwell the kingdom that is desired in the Lord's Prayer. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is what Christ is ushering in, and this is what Christ is announcing. And so if we take a look at Luke chapter four, verses 42 through 44 at daybreak, Jesus went to a solitary place. The people were looking for him. And when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, I must proclaim. I must proclaim. Want the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also. So here we have Jesus. He is proclaiming good news. And it's good news indeed. The good news of the Kingdom of God. And so we see here that Christ is a preacher.

 

That is an exercise of his prophetic role to proclaim the coming of the kingdom. He's also and this is closely connected with being a prophet. He's also a teacher. We see this very clearly when we look at Matthew, the materials in Matthew, Matthew chapter four, verse 23. Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness among the people. And so beyond proclamation, there is also at a deeper level, one would imagine teaching about the kingdom, teaching about the kingdom. And, you know, one could look at, for example, the Sermon on the Mount to see, you know, what this kingdom looks like. And there's a kind of trance valuation that's going on. You know, in the Sermon on the Mount, because in the Beatitudes, for example, Jesus is talking about those who are persecuted, that they are blessed. Blessed are you when you are persecuted. You know, when people say all manner of evil against you, you know, rejoice for great is your reward in heaven. You know, you see that kind of trance valuation that's happening and that's an expression of a kingdom ethic, this coming kingdom ethic. And so Jesus is a teacher again in Matthew. If we take a look at Matthew 728 through 29, when Jesus had finished saying that these things, the crowds were amazed. At his teaching because he taught as one who had authority and not as the teachers of the law, not as the teachers of the law. And so there's a difference here between how Christ taught with authority and then how the teachings of the law taught. Again, Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit and news about Him spread throughout the whole countryside.

 

He was teaching in their synagogues. And this is what Jesus did often. He was in the synagogue teaching. You know, we hear the word rabbi. Rabbi essentially is a title teacher. And so Jesus, in a sense, was a kind of rabbi exercising his prophetic role and and teaching. And when he taught, people were amazed. They were amazed at what they heard. We see something that of that amazement in the Gospel of John Chapter seven, verses 14 through 15, quote, Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach the Jews. There were amazed and asked, How did this man get such learning without having been taught? And so the response of many of the people to the teaching of Jesus was one of surprise, one of amazement. They couldn't quite figure it out, you know? How did he get such knowledge? Such knowledge? Now, closely connected with being a preacher was being a teacher is also. And Wesley John Wesley himself points this out very clearly. Being a law giver. A law giver. Remember earlier I talked about the moral law as having two basic expectations. First, it's Old Testament context in terms of the Ten Commandments. And then in the New Testament context, in terms of the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Mount, in a real sense is a kind of the new law. The new law. And so we see here that in the exercise of his prophetic role, Jesus is also a law giver. He's also a law giver. And so in terms of this first role that of Prophet John, Wesley repeatedly stressed that the word became incarnate in Christ In order to enlighten our minds, to enlighten our minds and reveal the whole will of God as as such, Christ is the great law giver.

 

He is the great law giver and has not introduced a new religion into the world, but the same which was from the beginning. Wesley writes When the morning stars sign for the glory of God. And what he's thinking of there, of course, is the moral law, which is eternal. And Christ is is declaring that moral law, which Paul called holy just and good in Romans, for example. And so this affirmation of Christ as a law giver likely came as a surprise to some of the Protestants of Wesley's own age, simply because several of them had grown accustomed to a law and gospel dialectic in which the seriousness and the prescriptive power of the law was often muted. It was often muted in the name of grace or what some people were calling gospel liberty. And Wesley always found such judgments to be ill informed and confused and mistaken, because what such judgments entailed was putting aside the express will of God, because that's what the moral law is. It is the Express will of God. And to put that aside either in the name of Grace or in the name of gospel liberty. And so here, once again, as Wesley is considering the prophetic role of Jesus Christ, that Christ is a lawgiver, we're going to find some similarity between the Western tradition on the one hand and the reformed tradition on the other. Because when I read Calvin's Institutes, I see very clearly that. Calvin underscores a prescriptive or a third use of the law that it is for illumination, it is for guidance, it is for light upon the way. And that's precisely what Wesley's referring to here. Christ is a law giver because he loves humanity and is seeking to communicate wisdom, wisdom to humanity so that they may walk upon a path that will lead to the goodness of a God of holy love.

 

Now, in a real sense, Christ as the Messiah of Israel is the nexus, the continuity between the covenants, in particular the moral law of the Old Testament on the one hand, and that of the new. On the other. Again, for Wesley, the Son of God is the great author of the law, as well as, quote, Giver of the Decalogue to Moses. Wesley writes So in his New Testament notes, for example, on Acts chapter seven, verse 35, Wesley elaborates, quote, It was therefore the son of God who delivered the law to Moses under the character of Jehovah, and who is here spoken of as the Angel of the Covenant. In respect of his media torrio office and in fact so strongly does Wesley associate the moral law with Christ that the same Christological predicates that mark the relation of the Son to the Father are, interestingly enough, applied to the moral law as well. So for example, if we take a look at Wesley's sermon, the original nature of property and uses of the law, this is what he observes. Quote, It is the heart of God disclosed to man. He's thinking about the law. It is the heart of God disclosed to man. Yeah. In some sense, we may apply to this law. Meaning the moral law. What the Apostle says of his son. It is the streaming forth or our beaming of his glory, the express image of his person. And elsewhere. In this same sermon, Wesley describes the moral law as, quote, the fairest offspring of the everlasting father, the brightest efflux of his essential wisdom, the visible beauty of the most high. What I want you to see here is that as Wesley is considering this role of Christ as lawgiver, this law that Christ is proclaiming, this moral law is of of the very same nature of Christ.

 

It is intimately connected to the divine being. And sometimes those get divorced, especially among Protestants. And Wesley wants to affirm that the moral law is a copy of the Divine Mind. It is the the face of God being unveiled to us in the form of law. He uses all this kind of of language. Now, the role of Christ as a prophet then, is not only, of course, to declare this moral law as the explicit will of the creator, especially in terms of the fitness of relations that have been established in the created order, but also to illuminate that same law in its various relations as an equal expression of the will of the Governor, who has ordered things where thinking of the order of creation so that through faith and obedience, believers will be led to the highest ends. That is the eternal good will, namely the love and holiness of God. And so Christ as prophet, Christ as proclaimed of the law, Christ as teacher of both law and gospel. A conjunction that not only describes so much of Western Protestant theology, but in Wesley's case also represents a wonderful particular zation of his even larger conjunction of holiness and love. Okay. And so we see to what extent. And Westley filled out the prophetic role in this particular area. Now under the prophetic role. There are some other things to be considered as well activities of Jesus Christ that would describe his ministry. And we see in the Gospels that he performed many miracles. And so he hailed the sick, he cured the blind, the lame, the deaf lepers, those with paralysis, those who had bleeding. And so we see several healing miracles that Christ had done. We also see nature miracles in terms of showing command over the forces of nature, feeding the 5000 and then feeding the 4000, quieting the storm, walking on water, the huge catch of fish.

 

We see these miracles demonstrating Christ's power over nature. And then finally, perhaps even ultimately, we see the several life giving miracles of Jesus Christ in terms of raising the dead, in terms of Jairus, his daughter, which would be in Mark chapter five, verse 22 through 24, The Widow's Son at Nain, that expressed in Luke chapter seven verses 11 through 15. And then, of course, the raising of Lazarus from the dead found in John the Gospel of John, Chapter 11, verses one through 44. So we see then that Jesus of Nazareth was also a miracle worker. A miracle worker, and we understand the working of miracles under this larger prophetic role. Okay. Now, Christ was also a priest. Christ was also a priest, one who made atonement for the sins of humanity. And precisely because John Wesley took sin so seriously. And we've seen that in earlier lectures, he taught that unbelief and alienation from a God of holy love is the root radical sin, if you will. And then in a way similar to Luther and Calvin, as we have demonstrated. And then out of that morass, if you will, that morass of unbelief and alienation comes pride, comes sinful, self curbing pride that left in the wake of sin could not be overcome by any human effort. In other words, the problem with humanity is so severe and it's so basic, profound and fundamental that it cannot be resolved by human beings themselves. They cannot heal the problem caused by said they cannot cross the chasm that this great separation between God and humanity due to said because they are very much a part of this problem. Okay. And so this means that for Wesley, as he is considering human sin and as he is going to consider the work and the role of the redeemer, the priest who will make atonement, he is going to underscore that apart from the work of Christ, human beings will not have direct access to God.

 

In other words, if there will be fellowship between God and humanity, it will be a mediated one. It will be a mediated one. And so due to the effects of sin and its perverting, deceiving and stupefying powers, a proper relationship to the most high can only be reestablished by the mediator, the God human, to be sure. So vital is the work of the one who bridges the chasm between God and humanity, the relationship between God and humanity that Wesley claimed. Quote, They who have not him through the one mediator, have no God. And, you know, that's a strong statement that Wesley's making there. They who have. Have not him through the one mediator have no God. But when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. And, you know, when I work in a context of interreligious discussion, the first question that has to be addressed if you're going to talk about substantive issues, is how does your religion deal with the sin problem? Because sin bars the way humans sin and alienation and separation from God bars the way. How does your religion deal with that? How does it treat that? And does it does it recognize human sin and evil forthrightly for what it is to its extent, to its breadth and depth and that sort of thing? And so I think Wesley's statement here is not an exaggeration, because if we think about the condition of humanity alienated from a God of holy love and how that could be made right, how there could be fellowship between God and humanity once more, what would be necessary, what would be required to bring that about? And so Wesley continues along this theme and writes again, We could not rejoice that there is a God.

 

Wesley, Observe. Were there not a mediator, also one who stands between God and men to reconcile man to God and to transact the one transact the who? The whole affair of our salvation. Excuse me. And so there Wesley is underscoring the same point you may have noticed, because this is this is typical to how I pray. I have prayed a certain way, have I not? I, first of all, address God, the father, but I do so through the Son. I always approach God through the media toil work of Jesus Christ. And that's how I pray, because I'm a Trinitarian Christian. And I realize, you know, the way has been made open. And we'll be talking about that a moment, especially as we we talk about Christ making atonement for our since the way has been made open, the temple curtain has been torn into and we do have access to the father today. But that access has come to us through Jesus Christ. So, you know, I think when I pray and as I have continually prayed in this course, I have always name the name of Jesus Christ as I approach the father. And I do that, of course, in the power of the Holy Spirit. And so my very prayers are are reflective of not only Wesley's theology, but my own theology, which is, of course, in many respects. Wesley And to be sure. So the priestly role of Christ that mediates the divine human relationship is unique. It is unique since it is a reflection of his distinct person and nature. No being, in other words, who falls short of the divine essence can accomplish this priestly work. This excludes all other mediators. Yes, I'm emphatic when I say this. This excludes all other mediators as saints or angels.

 

Wesley exclaimed. Whom? That whom? And Wesley here. He's being a little critical of Roman Catholicism. I'm going to drop back and read the whole quote again. So you see it clearly. These are Wesley's words. They're not mine. I would phrase it a little bit differently today, but this is what Wesley writes in underscoring the immediate area role of Christ. This excludes all other mediators as saints and angels. Wesley exclaimed, whom the papers set up and I Dallas i i dollar trust slave worship as such, just as the heathens of old set up many mediators. Well, end of quote. That's. That's kind of harsh language. We would we would not use that language today. And I think if Wesley were alive today, given all that it's taken place since the 18th century, he changed his language to think. But the basic point remains and it's an important point and it's a serious point because to be a mediator, mediator, we're thinking about mediator between God and humanity. You need to be not a part of the problem. Okay? In other words, not a sinner, because. If you're a sinner, guess what? You're a part of the problem. And you cannot be a priest in the sense in the way that is necessary and is precisely in the way that Christ is a priest. And then it is. That is why precisely the logos must be made flesh. God must come because if God does not come, there will be no mediation, there will be no reckons reconciliation between God and humanity. So it is only the God human who is able to redeem humanity. Because. Because all others are a part of the problem. And so, you know, in my own work and I've written the book celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with my colleague Gerry Walsh, Dr.

 

Gerry was Roman, but not Catholic. What remains at stake 500 years after the Reformation? And there I make a distinction between a mediator role, one who is a mediator and then an intercessor and inter a role of intercessory, you know, an intercessory role making intercession. And, of course, the saints in heaven who are, you know, in the presence of Christ now they can intercede for us. And that's a wonderful thing. They can pray for the church militant on the earth. And so the church triumphant in heaven, they can pray for us as we struggle on Earth, as we struggle to be faithful witnesses to Jesus Christ. And that's a wonderful thing. But I think we have to distinguish between a media toyour role, which requires divinity. And then that intercessory role, which does not require divinity. We can intercede for one another and pray and offer supplications to God for one another. And that's a wonderful thing and that's a good thing. So I think it's helpful to make that that kind of distinction. That kind of distinction. Okay. Now, in terms of Christ priestly role, in terms of making atonement, that naturally leads, of course, to a discussion of the crucifixion, the crucifixion of Christ. And crucifixion, as I'm sure you realize was a painful, cruel and belabored form of dying that often, by the way, took a couple of days. It took a couple of days and which entailed the victim being roped or nailed to a wooden cross for public display. Now, when Jesus was crucified, you know, there was this issue of breaking the legs of the others who were being crucified with him, though Jesus's legs were not broken because he was already dead by that time. But the reason you would break the legs is that you would quicken the dying process because with the legs broken, you could not support yourself sufficiently to breathe properly.

 

And eventually you will succumb in exhaustion and basically died from suffocation. Lack of getting air in your lungs because you can't do it. You can't position the diaphragm of your body properly to breathe. And so it's actually a horrible way to die. And many victims often succumb to asphyxiation or perish through sheer exhaustion, especially if they were left up several days. And this form of execution was practiced by the Romans, a public humiliation beyond being a physical spectacle. It was practiced by the Romans as a warning against political rebellion, and especially against all those who challenged the authority of Rome. And I'm sure that you, perhaps many of you have seen the movie The Passion of Christ that came out in the year 2004, I believe, if I have that correct. I have seen that film. I saw it once. I never want to watch it again. It was difficult to watch, difficult to go through. But crucifixion was something that the Romans used. They inflicted it especially upon slaves and the worst kind of criminals. And crucifixion was considered a shameful and disgraceful way to die. And. Roman citizens were usually exempt from dying that way. Now we see in terms of crucifixion and the larger atonement of which it will speak, that the cross is going to hold together holiness on the one hand and love on the other. We've been talking about these in other contexts. Now we're going to see them held in tension and wonderfully displayed at this very dark place. At this very dark place, this place at Calvary. Tom Odin of the late Tom Odin, who died just a few years ago, a Wesleyan Methodist scholar, he argued that, quote, Christ suffered in our place to satisfy the requirement of the holiness of God so as to remove the obstacle to the pardon and reconciliation of the guilty and what the holiness of God required, the love of God provided at the cross.

 

And so here is Odin looking at the cross, looking at the priestly work of Christ, the atoning work of Christ. And he's saying the holiness and love of God together, together being manifested in this one event. Again, Tom, Odin wrote, quote, God is holy. God's holiness constrains orders and conditions. God's love, God's love, infuses, empowers, constrains and complements God's holiness. God would not be as holy as God is without being incomparably loving, and God would not be as loving as God is without being incomparably holy. And so you can you see the tight relation that he is suggesting here. God's holiness, without God's love, Odin wrote, would be unbearable. God's love without God's holiness would be unjust. It would be unjust. Okay. And then finally, Odin points out God's holiness made a penalty for sin necessary. God's love endured that penalty for the transgressor and made payment for the penalty viable. Okay. And so we see how Odin develops this, understands the atoning work of Christ at at Calvary. Now, I want to lift up something else from Tom Odin, because I think many of you will find this very helpful in your own reflections about the atoning work of Christ. And I want you to notice the direction, the direction entailed in the cross. It is not that we make an offering to God so much, although I think we can find. Well, let me back up. It's not that we. And by William referring to simply us. I'm not thinking of Christ at this point. I'll back it up then. It is not that we make an offering to God the usual practice of human made religion and sacrifice, but that God offers himself in sacrifice as a gift to be received. And so, in other words, notice there direction human may religion, even in terms of some Old Testament understandings.

 

We are offering a sacrifice to God. It's from us to God. Now, there is some of that priestly language in the Book of Hebrews that has to be carefully understood. But there's this other direction of God, God, the Father giving the gift of the Son. In other words, God is the principal actor here. God is giving the gift of the Son, and we respond to the sacrifice of the son in Eucharist in Thanksgiving. So the one is from humanity to God. The other is from God to humanity. And in his classic Christianity, Odin actually sets up, you know, a little parallel between human. Driven religion, human invested religion, and then God invested religion. And we see the difference of direction. For example, he sees in the left hand column this human driven part. Humanity approaches God. And then what's the reversal? God approaches humanity. Again. Humans suffer for God. What do we see now? God suffers for humanity again, human driven religion. God receives human gifts. The offerings. The gifts that humans make. The reversal. God gives the gift of God's own self. Okay. And then lastly, Odin lifts up another parallel here. Sinners. Sinners attempt conciliation. What's the reversal here? We see in the Gospels God reconciles sinners. And so the death of Christ, the death of Christ is the means by which God provides the only sound basis for reconciliation with sinners. Listen to what Paul has to write in Second Corinthians. Second Corinthians Chapter five versus 18 through 19. All this is from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the Ministry of Reconciliation that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

 

Okay. So there we see, you know, different different directions here. I think it's rather interesting. I'll make this one comment before I go on. If you consider the Last Supper, if you consider the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, which was a Passover meal, although I must admit immediately, Passover meal with a difference, especially as I've read Lightfoot on that. Nevertheless, notice the actions of Jesus in the supper when he takes the bread, when he takes the wine, he says, This bread which is broken for you, for you, it's all a horizontal direction. He is taking the bread and it's for you, and he's giving it to his disciples who are there, you know, from the father to the son, and then to the disciples, if you will. Same thing with the wine. Jesus talks about the wine as being the blood of the New Covenant. For you. For you, this is what God has done for us. And so the for you, nature, the for you, nature of the atonement and of reconciliation, the gift that God gives us. The principal actor here is God, not us. The priestly role is God, not us. You see, this is different. This is different. And that's why I've said, you know, it was a Passover with a difference because Jesus brings new meanings that could not be contained, you know, in the older historic understanding of Passover. Okay. All right. So this then raises for us. Well, let me put it this way, that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is so significant. It is so significant. It is so multi-layered with meaning that we need many theories of the atonement to fall, you know, to to really grapple with it, to grapple with it in a serious way.

 

Now, let me say at the outset that theories of the atonement, what our theories of the atonement, well, they're the best attempts of theologians to think about the atoning work of Christ and to express, you know, what is happening here in terms of God and humanity. And so in a sense, you know, every theory of the atonement is a human construct in the sense, in a sense that it's working with revelation, with biblical materials. But theologians are trying to do that in the best way possible to communicate the meaning of this death. So with that in place, I'm going to explore a number of theories of the atonement, a number of theories of the atonement. And, you know, I'm not suggesting that, you know, there is a correct answer here. You know, that one theory of the atonement to the exclusion of others. I know in my own reflections, I like to resonate with many theories of the atonement. In other words, I would affirm the truth of many of these theories of the atonement, because I think they get at important truths that other theories might miss. Sometimes students come to this and they say, Well, what's the right answer? You know, what's the right one? What's the right theory of the atonement? I want to I want that one. And, you know, you can forget the rest. Well, that that's not the lay of the land here. The lay of the land. And this is an important point. That event, Jesus Christ at the cross dying. Making Reconciliation is so rich with meaning. It is so rich with meaning that we we cannot express it simply in one theory. We're going to have to be multivalent here. We're going to have to work it out, to be multilingual Here.

 

To use a kind of analogy, we're going to have to be multilingual and work with several theories of the atonement. Okay. Having said that, let's look at one and this is known as the ransom theory of the Atonement. We see this ransom theory of the atonement in some of the early church fathers. We see this very clearly. It's one of the first theories of the atonement that emerged in the early church. We see it, for example, in the writings of origin, third century, third century leader, really the first theologian of the church who writes a theology. The idea was that Adam and Eve were held captive by Satan and a ransom had to be paid for their release. And so that's the basic image that's being suggested here. Now, though, this is also found in other fathers beyond origin. Later, theologians balked at this theory because once you talk about once you write about a ransom theory of the atonement, you're going to raise the question naturally, to whom is the ransom paid? To whom is the ransom paid? And subsequent theologians would argue, Well, it cannot be paid to the devil because the devil is owed nothing, owed nothing. And so some subsequent theologians have found some, you know, internal problems right away with this particular model, this particular paradigm, to express the truth of atonement. And so later on in the time in the Middle Ages, in the time of Anselm Anselm, put forth a much different view of the atonement, which has been referred to as the satisfaction theory. And we'll be talking about that in a moment. Now, though, John Wesley did not take matters as far as origin, he nevertheless clearly taught that Christ offered a ransom by his death.

 

And so developing the biblical teaching of the term Wesley focused not on the issue to whom was the ransom paid. Rather, he underscored the universality of this distinct work, as evident in his comments on First Timothy chapter two, verse six, in which he once again noted the sufficiency of Christ's death. And this is what Wesley writes quote, Even for as many souls as needed, such a ransom. And so here, Wesley, picking up this ransom language from the early church, he's using it to express what he sees as the atoning work of Christ. And Wesley actually also contended with George Whitfield early on in his in his career. And he declared in his sermon Wesley's sermon, Free Grace, that was written in 1739 that Christ gave himself as a ransom for all he tasted death for every man. Once again, you know, in this sermon, Free Grace that Wesley writes is mixing it up a bit with George Whitfield. He's using this ransom language because Christ gave himself a ransom for all. Beyond this, Wesley appealed to Old Testament materials to articulate, in his view, the imagery of Abraham. He lifts up this imagery of Abraham about to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and thereby affirms that God took the initiative and provided the great sacrifice of atonement. Quote When none in heaven or earth could have found a lamb for that burnt offering. And so I find this very interesting. And in line of what we were saying earlier, because when Wesley goes back to this Old Testament, this all these Old Testament materials, this imagery of of Abraham about to sacrifice his son Isaac notice. The stress is on God who provides the sacrifice. And so there's that direction again, from God to us, not from us to God.

 

You say that there at least in this context, this is what is being stressed now. There is also the satisfaction theory of the atonement. This is the atonement articulated by by Anselm. And this is a theory of the atonement that illuminates many of John Wesley's reflections on the work of Christ, perhaps even more, I think, more than the ransom view. And it basically focuses on the notion of satisfaction whereby the ideas not only of compensation, but also of rendering some form of recompense specifically to the justice of God are developed. They are developed very strongly in this theory, appealing to some of the doctrinal formulations of his own church, especially the Book of Common Prayer. Wesley writes in his sermon, God's love to Fallen Man quote, But we could not have loved him as bearing our sins in his own body on the tree. And by that one, oblation of himself once offered, making notice to this language, now making a full oblation, sacrifice and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. Now that last phrase follow oblation, sacrifice and satisfaction that's directly out of the Anglican materials. Wesley is bringing it forward to describe a theory of the atonement with which he strongly resonates. And then we see this language brought into Wesley's Sunday service. What is Wesley's Sunday service? Well, when the American situation changed. In other words, that the British lost the war and the United States became an independent nation. That obviously had a consequence for Methodism in the New world. And so because their relation with the Church of England was was basically disrupted. And so Wesley provided liturgical materials for the American church. And so you can think of the Sunday, the Sunday service, as a kind of book of common prayer for American Methodists.

 

I think that would be a good way to express it. And in the Sunday service, notice once again how Wesley is referring to the atoning work of Christ. And let me quote it Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, who of thy tender mercy gifts, give thy only son, Jesus Christ, to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption? Who made their by his oblation of himself, once offered a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. And so here Wesley brings this language, which originally is in the Book of Common Prayer. He brings this over into the Sunday service. And you can see here this language resonates with what we are calling the satisfaction theory of of the atonement. And so it should be evident by now that Wesley's thought in this context, as he cites these Anglican materials, is reminiscent also of the work of Anselm earlier in the 11th century classic Coeur de whose homo, that's the Latin. Anselm's important work is simply called the Latin Cur dias homo, which translated is Why did God become human? Why did God become man? And so Wesley's thought is going to resonate not only with Anglican materials. We would expect that good Anglican that he was, but it also resonates with traditional thought in this case with the 11th Century classic, which I've read. It's a marvelous book. By the way, Coeur de is homo. Why God become human? Why God became human. And I want to give you a sense of the argumentation that Anselm has in this work, and he reasons this way. Here's how he reasons. Humanity ought to make satisfaction for sin. But cannot say we ought to make satisfactory for him. But we can't.

 

Why can't we? Because we're sinners. So we can't. I mean, think about it for a moment that even even if we said, Oh, we will be obedient from this point, henceforth, this point forward, you know, that still would not take into account the past transgressions, the past sins committed against a God of holy love. And so here what Anselm is saying in this first premise that humanity ought to make satisfaction first sin, but cannot. Humanity is impotent, powerless to make satisfaction. So this is a huge problem. This is a huge problem because here we have humanity alienated from God, who is love, who is the source of every good thing. How do we get back? Well, we can't do it by ourselves because we cannot make satisfaction. First sin. Then the second major premise that Anselm considers God can make satisfaction for a sin, but ought not. Why ought not God make satisfaction for sin? Because God is not a sinner. And so God can make satisfaction for sin, but ought not. And so what Anselm is going to argue in this treatise in light of the first premise Humanity ought to make satisfaction for sin, but cannot. And then God can make satisfaction for sin, but ought not. He's going to sort of add those together and come up with the third premise or the conclusion, if you will, only the God human both can and ought to make satisfaction for sin. And so the first premise was explored by Wesley, as you might imagine, in considerable detail. Indeed, he affirmed in a way similar to Anselm, that human beings are powerless to to atone for the least of sense. They are utterly incapable of, of appeasing the wrath of God, of satisfying the wrath of God.

 

And Wesley explained in his writings, quote, Why even perfect obedience henceforth, if that were even a possibility, would not undo or make satisfaction for any past sins in the least. And so, Wesley, then reasons as follows quote, How shall he pay him what he owes? We're here from this moment to perform the most perfect of obedience to every command of God. That would not make amends for a single sin for any one act of past disobedience. Seeing he owes God all the service he is able to perform from this moment to all eternity. And so Wesley, in his own reflections on the atoning work of Christ, this priestly role resonates very strongly with the thought of Anselm. And so Wesley continued in this and Southwark vein in a letter to William Law in 1756, in which he queried, quote, is not man here represented as having contracted a debt with God which he cannot pay and God as having nevertheless a right to insist upon payment of it. This and other kinds of language have led lindström to the conclusion that, quote, Orthodox satisfaction would seem to be the dominant conception in Wesley's view of the atonement, the legal order and the judicial system emerge as the governing principle. And so satisfaction is emphasized when Wesley is thinking about the atonement. Okay, let's stop there and take some questions or comments that you might have. I have a question on the satisfaction theory. I just want to make sure this only. Yeah. So I heard that he said I am powerless to make satisfaction a sense because I'm a center right. God can make satisfaction but shouldn't, because he is not a center right. And then God human both can and ought to make satisfaction for sin.

 

But in this theory, how can this even work if God was not a sinner? Christ is not a sinner because is equal with God. Right. Yeah. I makes sense what someone would ask that. But it is it, you know, Christ is is truly and fully human and therefore can be our representative, if you will. And so in answer to your question, what is stressed in response by theologians is the true humanity of Christ. And see, sin is not necessary to the nature of humanity. It is not. It represents a perversion of the true nature of humanity. And so Christ, as the God human, can make satisfaction for a sin, because as divine, He is not a part of the problem and as human, he as a true human being. He can represent humanity. And the force of the response to you would be that sin is not necessary to the human nature. Okay. And therefore, Christ can ably represent humanity and make atonement for sins in that He is truly and fully human, yet without without sin. So then he is returning us to the point in the garden of even before sin. Is that. In other words, what, what, what the atoning work of Christ is doing. In other words, thinking of how the atoning work will be manifested in the forgiveness of sins and the transformation of being in terms of believers, is that which is more in the in line of you saying that it's not necessary to humanity. Sin is not necessary, but a perversion of humanity. Right. Meaning that sin is not integral to describing what a human being is in terms of their essential nature. In other words, you don't need sin to describe what a human being is in their essential nature.

 

Now we know that all humans have sinned and fallen, but that is a corruption of their nature. In other words, sin is not essential to the being of humanity, meaning that you could not have a human being without it. Oh no. You can have human beings without sin because it is a corruption of their nature. And Adam and Eve, at one point, you know, they were created in innocence. They were created in innocence. And they were created in holiness and love. They were, you know, genuine human beings. They had natures. And the point is that sin is not necessary, nor is it integral to what we mean by a human being. Okay. And so I these questions are very good. I again, appreciate this because this gets us at the heart of the issue. But Christ is is a genuine mediator because he is both divine and human, truly human. You know, we've talked about that earlier as we were exploring other aspects of Christology and that that's all that would be necessary to do. The mediator will work. Sin is not participation and sin is not necessary to do that. Mediator work, as a matter of fact. It would exclude one from doing it because once again, one would be a part of the problem. You know, that sort of thing. And so there is not, when you think it through and theologians have thought this through, there is not the possibility of redemption. Unless God comes, unless the word is made flesh, unless the divine becomes human. And as Christ said, you know, I will draw all, you know, all men, all humans up to myself. And he will, you know, those who are redeemed, that he goes forward in his military world and reconciles us with God, the father.

 

And now we have access. We have access, we have fellowship with God. And we are going to talk about that. The fruit of the atoning work of Christ that will be manifested in very practical and concrete ways in the life of of of of a forgiving life where one sends are forgiven. And then in the empowering presence, these very strong graces, very strong graces of regeneration that are predicated upon the atoning work of Christ that will flow into the redeemed the redeemed life. Yeah. I thought it was a good reminder when you're talking about the work of Christ and the his experience with. Temptation, and also with the Beatitudes of the idea of trance valuation and of living your life by faith. Because not only did Christ teach that we live our lives by faith, but he demonstrated it in the things that he did. And that's in some ways counterintuitive and countercultural, to live your life by faith and to think that the highest value is to serve where our natural instincts are to be served. To think of in terms of sacrifice for our natural inclination is to be comfortable. And so to think about that in terms of how we live our lives each day and the example that Christ showed us and what he taught. Yes, I'm glad you're lifting that up, because I think this is very important. You know, this is the newness of the New Covenant, the newness of what Christ is saying. You have heard of old it was said. But I say unto you, and I think you're right in recognizing that what Christ is teaching in terms of a kingdom ethic is very much countercultural. It's very much countercultural. It's going to be a clash between a life lived whereby the self is at the center of that own life and then a life in which it is dependent upon faith in Jesus Christ, oriented towards God, the Father in the power of the Spirit, that sort of thing.

 

And so, yes, we're going to see lots of differences here. And it is going to be by faith, because we may not be affirmed by peoples and cultures around us as we're living out the Christian life. But, you know, Jesus encouraged us in terms of the Beatitudes when we're persecuted, nevertheless, rejoice because, you know, great will be your reward in heaven. The last shall be first, the first shall be last. The meek, not the proud or self-serving are going to inherit the kingdom. So, yes, that's a real stretch for us. And it can only be entered into by faith, by trust, because the world's values are going to be constantly out there pushing up against us and we have to live our lives in a new ethic, in a kingdom ethic where humility and loneliness and meekness are greatly valued and see. So when I was lecturing, lecturing earlier and talked about rethinking, you know, the greatness of God, I think we have to do that in light of the revelation that we have in Jesus Christ. Because what often happens is people take their own sinful shot filled with pride, attributes and values. They then ascribe them to God and then magnify them and think that they have understood the greatest that the highest, most exalted lord, when actually those characteristics and traits are descriptive of human sin, and that the ethics suggested by Jesus that is being manifested in service to the poor in meekness and loneliness that finds its greatest expression at the depth of surrender at Golgotha. That is a countercultural ethic, to be sure, and we won't be able to enter into that given our surrounding environment. But by faith and by grace. By grace, yes. So thank you. That's.