How Many?

Richard Gaffin, WTJ 38.3 (1975), 299:

How many believers today understand themselves with the apostle as those “upon whom the ends of the ages have come” (1 Cor 10:11)?

How many experience that they are members of God’s eschatological kingdom not only at hand but already present?

How many grasp with some perception of its vast implications that in the interim between the resurrection and return of Christ the existence of the church in the world is determined by the overlapping tension between this age and the age to come?

Richard Gaffin, JETS 41.4 (1998), 585:

How many believers today recognize that the present work of the Spirit within the Church and in their lives is of one piece with God’s great work of restoring the entire creation, begun in sending his Son “in the fullness of time” (Gal 4:4) and to be consummated at his return?

How many Christians grasp that in union with Christ, the life-giving Spirit, the Christian life in its entirety is essentially and necessarily resurrection life?

How many comprehend that in terms of Paul’s fundamental anthropological distinction between “the inner” and “outer man” (2 Cor 4:16), between “heart” and “body,” believers at the core of their being will never be any more resurrected than they already are?

Richard Gaffin, By Faith, Not by Sight (2006), 75:

How many Christians understand that the Holy Spirit presently at work in them is nothing less than resurrection power, that the Spirit, through whom God “will give life to your mortal bodies,” is “his Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11)?

How many believers grasp that the Holy Spirit indwelling them is an eschatological power, that, in terms of the metaphors Paul uses, he in his activity in the church is an actual “down payment” on our eschatological inheritance (2 Cor. 1:22, 5:5; Eph. 1:14), the “firstfruits” of the full “harvest” of his eschatological working (Rom. 8:23)?

How many appreciate that Christ himself, as “life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45), is present and at work in our lives in his resurrection power?

2 thoughts on “How Many?

  1. Probably not many since I don’t think many pastors preach or even grasp these teachings of Scripture. Gaffin is right in his interpretations and comments, but he, and other Reformed thinkers like him, actually get it.

  2. There is a great deal of depth to what Mr. Gaffin has written. Are any of the resources that you quoted available online or in an affordable format?


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