Jesus Vindicated (Or, One of My Favorite Tim Keller Sermons)

This last April I had the privilege of finally hearing Tim Keller preach live at the 2013 Gospel Coalition National Conference. I was slightly worried that after all of these years of listening to hundreds of his sermons, it might not be all that great in comparison. I’ll just say it, Keller owned it. Preaching on the Christ’s vindication and resurrection in Luke 24, Keller does in one sermon what most of us do in 4, without it feeling forced. My point in sharing this with you though, isn’t to glorify Keller, but to point you to the Christ he glorifies through the preaching of the Word. So, without any further commentary, here it is:

Jesus Vindicated – Tim Keller (TGC13) from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

Soli Deo Gloria

P.S. If you’d like to see more, the rest of the Gospel Coalition Conference talks are feature HERE at TGC’s website.

Letham on Union with Christ and Salvation

unionRobert Letham briefly summarizes the connection between union with Christ and our justification, sanctification, and resurrection:

Union and Justification

According to Paul in Romans 5:12-21, just as Adam plunged the whole race into sin and death because of their relationship of solidarity with him, so the second Adam brings life and righteousness to all who sustain a relationship of solidarity with him

If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of gracee and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:17 ESV)

Here Paul reflects on his previous statement of the one way of salvation from sin by the propitiatory death of Christ, which avails for all who believe (Rom. 3:21ff). Justification is received only by faith and is grounded in what Christ did once for all in his death and resurrection (4:25).  Paul’s point is that we are not addressed merely as discrete individuals; instead, we are a team of which we all were members. His sin plunged the whole team into sin, ruin, death, and condemnation. What Christ did for us was also done as the head of a team of which we are a part. He did it on our behalf, for us–and God reckons it to our account as a result of our being united, through faith, with him as the head of the team. Our justification is therefore grounded on union with Christ.

Union and Sanctification

In Romans 6:1ff, in answer to charges that his gospel encourages moral indifference, Paul insists that believers, the justified, live to Christ and do not give themselves over to sin.  This is because they died with Christ to sin and rose again to new life in his resurrection. Not only did Christ die and rise again for them, but they died and rose with him. Union with Christ is the foundational basis for sanctification and the dynamic force that empowers it. As Paul says, “Do you not know that as many were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death; we were buried with him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father so we too should live in newness of life” (6:3-4).

Union and Resurrection

Paul argues in 1 Corinthians 15 that the resurrection of Christ and the future resurrection of his church is one reality (vv. 12-19). Paul argues back and forth from one to the other. If Christ is not raised, there can be no resurrection of believers. If there is no general resurrection, Christ cannot have been raised himself. The two stand together. In fact, Christ has been raised–and so, therefore, will we be. Christ is the firstfruits of the resurrection of believers at his return (vv. 19-23). Not only is his resurrection first in time, but as firstfruits, it is of the same kind as the full harvest. Hence, it is the guarantee not only that the full harvest will be gathered but that both his resurrection and ours are identical. From this it is clear that the resurrection of believers at the parousia is a resurrection in Christ. The resurrections are effectively the same…Christ resurrection and the resurrection of the righteous, separated by indefinite time, are identical because the later occurs in union with the former.

Union with Christ: In Scripture, History, and Theology, pg. 5-7

Each of those points could be expanded upon at length, but this brief summary gives us a glimpse into the way the biblical record places our union with Christ at the blazing center of our salvation through Christ. There is no Gospel without union.

Soli Delo Gloria

“So Why Does God Care About My Sex Life?” (CaPC)

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a little piece for Christ and Pop Culture about a Q&A session with Tim Keller at The Gospel Coalition conference. I asked about revival, and among other things, Keller said something about sex and the complex nature of doubt. Given that what he said was fairly conservative, had to do with sex and doubt, and, in all fairness, could have been reported more clearly by me, the unsurprising result was a lot of pushback—some legitimate and some not so much. Feel free to read the article and peruse the comment section for yourself.

Why Does He Care?

Among the various criticisms lodged against the article, there was one thread in some (not all) of the responses that caught my attention: The allegedly unreasonable concern of Evangelicals or Christians in general about sex. One commenter in particular summed up:

Isn’t it possible that for many people it’s both doubt AND sex in a winning combination I like to file under, “Does the God of the Cosmos really give a **** about who I’m sleeping with and in what position?”

You can read the rest of his complaint and my response HERE at the Christ and Pop Culture site.

Soli Deo Gloria

Enjoy a Gloriously Epic Metal Easter

Becoming the Archetype’s “Self-Existent” off of their album Dichotomy is probably my favorite Easter song. I have been moved to tears on multiple Easters as I listen to this and think about the glorious resurrection of my Redeemer. Also, it is amazingly metal.

Some might wonder if the medium fits the message. “Is metal an appropriate means to convey the beautiful truth of Easter?”

I can only answer that question, with another question: “What is more epically-metal than Jesus killing Death?” I rest my case.

Into the darkened tomb
I walked but only found it empty

My mind is tormented
My soul is shaken

As a flame is tormented by the wind and rain
As the earth is shaken by an earthquake

My heart has accepted
What my eyes could never have believed:
I watched Him die
I watched Him die

In the silence death is defeated
In my spirit the battle rages on

And then I stepped into the light
I heard His voice, I saw His face
And then He stood there before me
A man buried but never dead*

My heart has accepted
What my eyes could never have believed
I saw Him rise
I saw Him rise

HE IS ALIVE! and reigns forever
HE IS ALIVE! He’ll reign forever

Soli Deo Gloria

*Some might quibble with this line. Yes, Jesus truly suffered death on the Cross. Then again, these guys are metal-heads and it sounds awesome.