Friday, April 20, 2012

Christ's faith (pistis christou) and Christ's death

Yung Suk Kim

Christ's death is the result of his faith.

Christ showed his faithfulness to God of love and justice.
Christ lived for the gospel of God.
God's gospel is God's good news for the people.
God's good news was proclaimed through prophets in scriptures.
God's good news is God's rule of love, justice, freedom, and peace.
Simply it is God's reign (basileia theou).
That is what Jesus preached.
That is what Jesus says: "Repent, and believe in the gospel" (of God) (Mark 1:14).

Because of that preaching of Jesus, ironically, he was hated by the powerful people, religious and political, because Jesus' preaching of God's reign could divest them of their prerogatives. Otherwise, if his preaching of the gospel of God had been welcomed and accepted by people in his time, he would not have been executed on a cross.

Therefore, his death is the result of his preaching; put differently, his death is the result of his faith and life.

Paul continues with the same understanding of the gospel with early Christians.

Paul articulates his gospel with threefold aspects of God, Christ, and the believer (followers of Jesus). That is, threefold theology of Paul involves God's righteousness, Christ's faithfulness, and the believer's life of Christ or the believer's participation in Christ's death. All are subjective participants toward God's reign in this world.

"God's righteousness through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ (not faith in Christ) for all who have faith" (Rom 3:22).

"God's righteousness is being disclosed through Christ's faithfulness (not faith in Christ) ..." (Rom 3:21).

"God's righteousness is disclosed through faith for faith" (Rom 1:16).

The believer's participation in Christ is shown well in "You are Christ-like body" (1 Cor 12:27).

Die to sin and live to God in Christ.

Put to death the deeds of the flesh.

Live according to the Spirit. That is new life in Christ.

Who are the children of God? Those who are led by the Spirit, which means those who do not live according to the flesh. God's people are those who set their mind in the Spirit (God).

Those who live by faith are the righteous ones (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17).

So what?

What Christian means?

Decide for yourself.

[Reference: Threefold Theology of Paul]

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