"The Death of Death in the Death of Christ"

I picked up the Death of Death a few weeks back and began to comb through the introduction (written by Packer). I have have been greatly encouraged by his lucid argument for God’s supremacy in salvation. Here’s a selection from the introduction:

“And when we come to preach the gospel, our false preconceptions make us say just the opposite of what we intend. We want (rightly) to proclaim Christ as Saviour; yet we end up saying that Christ, having made salvation possible, has left us to become our own saviours. It comes about in this way. We want to magnify the saving grace of God and the saving power of Christ. So we declare that God’s redeeming love extends to every man, and that Christ has died to save every man, and we proclaim that the glory of divine mercy is to be measured by these facts. And then, in order to avoid universalism, we have to depreciate all that we were previously extolling, and to explain that, after all, nothing that God and Christ have done can save us unless we add something to it; the decisive factor which actually saves us is our own believing. What we say comes to this — that Christ saves us with our help; and what that means, when one thinks it out, is this — that we save ourselves with Christ’s help. This is a hollow anticlimax. But if we start by affirming that God has a saving love for all, and Christ died a saving death for all, and yet balk at becoming universalists, there is nothing else we can say. . . We have not exalted grace and the Cross; we have cheapened them. We have limited the atonement far more drastically than Calvinism does, for whereas Calvinism asserts that Christ’s death, as such, saves all whom it was meant to save, we have denied that Christ’s death, as such, is sufficient to save any of them. . . Christ’s death ensured the calling and keeping — the present and final salvation — of all whose sins He bore. That is what Calvary meant, and means. The Cross saved; the Cross saves. This is the heart of true Evangelical faith; . . . (pp. 14-15).”

Matt, don’t mean to hijack the blog with Packer and Owen but thought this was some good food for thought! Enjoying the hunt. . . Ben Eilers

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