Friday, April 16, 2010

A two word summary of the Gospel?

What would yours be?
I heard a great talk this week by Keith Birchley at the UniBible Talks on campus.
The talk was on Romans 3:21-26 which begins:
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law
Martin Luther said this passage is "the very centre and kernel of the Epistle and of all of Scripture." Martin Lloyd-Jones said the two words, "But now" are the two most important words in the Bible!
Jesus death and resurrection are a turning point (a nuclear explosion!) in the spiritual history of the universe. It is no longer religion (man trying to justify himself) as usual.

On the "But now", Karl Barth says:
We stand here before and irresistible and all-embracing dissolution of the world of time and things and men, before a penetrating and ultimate KRISIS, before the supremacy of a negation by which all existence is rolled up.....
But now directs our attention to time which is beyond time, to space which has no locality, to the impossible possibility, to the gospel of transformation, to the imminent Coming of the Kingdom of God, to affirmation in negation, to salvation in the world, to acquittal in condemnation, to eternity in time, to life in death - I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth are passed away. This is the Word of God.
Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Romans, 6th Edition, p.91-92.

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