Resurrection | Synoptic Gospels

The following belongs to a series entitled “An Introductory Biblical Theology of Resurrection.” Read other posts belonging to this series here.

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Synoptic Gospels

By the time of the Gospels, the belief in the resurrection of the dead has become much more established.[1] During His ministry, Jesus recognizes and teaches about the resurrection (Mt 5:29; 8:11-12; 10:28; 22:23-32; 25:31-46; Mk 12:18-27; Lk 13:28-30; 14:14; 20:27-38) and even raises individuals from the dead (although presumably they would eventually die again; Mt 9:18-26; Mk 5:21-24, 35-43; Lk 7:11-14).

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Resurrection | Introduction and the Old Testament

The following belongs to a series entitled “An Introductory Biblical Theology of Resurrection.” Read other posts belonging to this series here.

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Introduction

The resurrection is at the heart of the Christian faith. Therefore, a Biblical and redemptive-historical understanding of the resurrection is invaluable. This series seeks to present a concise and introductory Biblical theology of resurrection by systematically tracing its theme throughout the canon, beginning with the Old Testament, moving to the Synoptics, continuing with John’s Gospel, looking at Acts, examining Paul’s theology, and concluding with a brief look at resurrection in Hebrews, 1 Peter, and Revelation.

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A Wholistic View of Salvation—“Already/Not Yet”

Introduction

In contemporary Christianity it is very common to hear that someone “got saved” or to have someone tell you that they were “saved” at such and such a time. But beyond that, the concept of “salvation” remains dormant. I believe this stems from a misunderstanding of salvation, that is, salvation in its entirety.

Now, it is true that many believers can point back to a specific moment of turning from sin towards initial trust in Christ for salvation. In theology we call this moment conversion and it is also the moment we are regenerated (given spiritual birth and life) and justified (counted as righteous before God). In this sense, then, we can rightly say that we were saved upon our conversion. But the idea of “salvation” is Biblically and theologically much more comprehensive than just that one precise moment.

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Is Predestination Based on Whom God Foreknows Will Believe?

The Bible explicitly speaks about predestination, and therefore, the doctrine is undeniable. However, many disagree on how to interpret its meaning. One view in particular believes that God predestines to salvation all He foreknows will believe on Him. This view is commonly called conditional election because it states God chooses (elects) individuals to be saved based upon (conditioned upon) their foreknown future belief. It makes election conditional on man’s will in essence. The main text used to support this view is Romans 8:29.

Romans 8:29 – For those whom He [speaking of God] foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

From simply reading this verse, it is very possible to make the assumption that God’s predestining is based on His foreknowledge of people’s future faith in Him. However, I feel that the very next verse (v. 30) is vital to a proper understanding of what verse 29 is truly saying. Verse 29 by itself is an unfinished thought in many senses.
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The Cross and Salvation by Bruce Demarest

In The Cross and Salvation Bruce Bruce Demarest takes the reader step by step through the doctrines of salvation in order of their logical and temporal occurrence. He groups the book into six sections: 1) the plan of salvation which includes an introduction, grace, and election/predestination, 2) the provision of salvation, being the atonement, 3) the application of salvation, including the subjective aspects such as divine calling, conversion, and regeneration, and 4) the objective aspects such as union with Christ and justification, 5) the progress of salvation which is sanctification as well as preservation and perseverance, and finally, 6) the perfecting of salvation, which is glorification.

Within each section Demarest starts off by presenting the doctrine at hand’s history and significant theological views of the doctrine such as the Pelagian/Liberal view, the Semi-Pelagian (Catholic) view, Lutheran view, Weslyian/Arminian view, Neo-Orthodox (Karl Barth) view, Liberation view, Pentecostal view, Nazarene view, Keswick view, High Calvinist view, Moderately Reformed (or Calvinistic or Reformed Evangelicals) view, as well as other views. (However, which systems he talks about differs from one doctrine to the next, because some systems apply to certain doctrines and not others). This section is remarkable for many reason. For one, it lays a historical context for the reader. And secondly, it gives the reader a broad perspective on the doctrine and the various viewpoints concerning it, making the reader aware of false interpretations that might go unnoticed otherwise and possibly introducing the reader to various beliefs besides his own, which has several obvious benefits.
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