Category: Suffering of Christ

The Christian Experience of Suffering (3)

Some of the lessons are brought out even more clearly in the twelfth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews.  The passage is too long to quote in full, and we shall confine ourselves to the leading feature of its teaching.

We learn in the first place that we must not expect to derive blessing automatically from suffering.  Affliction by itself, no matter how great its intensity, does not sanctify.  

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The Christian Experience of Suffering (1)

Anyone who in these days accommodates his teaching to the assumption that the Christian life is arduous is faced with the preliminary objection that he is fundamentally out of tune with the believer’s experience.  Many contemporary Christians would insist that they live lives of unmixed blessedness, without conflict, failure or pain.

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Christ's Active and Passive Obedience

John Murray, with good reason, argues that obedience is the most inclusive concept available to us for describing the redeeming work of Christ (Redemption Accomplished and Applied, p.19).  Other categories such as sacrifice and satisfaction cover some of the data, but obedience is by far the most comprehensive.

It is also, of course, utterly biblical.  Christ came pre-eminently as the Servant, in fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy (especially Is. 52:13- 53:12). In accordance with this, he saw himself as one who had come not to do his own will, but the will of the Father who had sent him; and at the end of his life his claim was simply that he had finished the work given him to do (John 17:4).

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