April 6, 2012 Leave a comment
Check out John Piper’s free e-book 50 Reasons Jesus came to die
We are redeemed from under the death sentence of the law and now free from its just punishment, we can live for God, bearing fruit and living as he Jesus lived when he walked the earth. Christ died that he might ‘bring us to God’ – to bring us to magnify His person – not that He needs our praise and our spiritual fruit to feed off, as though ‘we might help him’ [page 83] but so that we could live as we ought to live and can enjoy the fullness of who we were created to enjoy and live for.
“The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” [Galatians 2:20] … again the purpose of Christ’s death is to bring about the opposite – life. We have seen that this life bears fruit, but at its crux this life is lived, by Him and through Him so that it can be lived for Him. It is ‘Christ in me the hope of glory’ who enables such fruit bearing and God-infused life.
The value and magnitude of His death is played out in our every day life, so that we might see ever more into the ‘mystery’ that was/is marriage. You see; ‘Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her’ [Ephesians 5:25] brings about this great picture for us to apprehend with our senses day by day the union of Christ and His bride through His cross. This is so that as He gave himself up in his cross, the husband ought to lay down his own life metaphorically and [if it must be] in actuality for his wife! Indeed, he came to ‘give marriage its deepest meaning’. *
‘Christ suffered and died so that good works would be the effect, not the cause, of our acceptance’ [Page 90]. Indeed because we ‘live by faith in the Son of God’, we can now with this God-infused life offer true fruit and good works up to God, not as obeisance to satisfy His wrath, for that has already been done in the cross (!) but now we do it, as the effect of His life in us is worked out day by day!
His death, his love, provides us with a model to imitate, that we might share in Him to the fullest!
‘When Christ went to the cross, his aim was to call a great band of believers after Him.’ [Page 95] It is true in Him all die, that all may live. We live by Him, but first He bids us come and die – that we may live. To take up your cross and follow Him – to die to your old life and to live anew!
“He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Romans 8:11). We are the freest of all people.” [Page 92] For freedom Christ has indeed made us free. Free from the sting, fear and power of death! And when this mortal shell passes on we shall go straight to Him and there be forever!
This is the cross of Christ!
* The title of chapter 35