With Tears of Anguish I Lament
Samuel Stennett (1727-1795)
With tears of anguish I lament
here at thy feet, my God
my passion, pride and discontent
and vile ingratitude
Sure there was ne’er a heart so base
so false as mine has been
so faithless to its promises
so prone to ev’ry sin
My reason tells me thy commands
are holy, just and true
tells me whate’er my God demands
is his most righteous due
Reason I hear, her counsels weigh
and all here words approve
but still I find it hard t’obey
and harder yet to love
How long, dear Savior, shall I feel
these strugglings in my breast?
When wilt thou bow my stubborn will,
and give my conscience rest?
Break, sov’reign grace, O break the charm
and set the captive free
reveal, Almighty god, thine arm
and haste to rescue me.
“ICBI, the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, is a coalition of individuals who represent many works and denominations but who are together taking a united stand on God’s inerrant Word.
What is ICBI’s Purpose?
Our purpose is to take a united stand in elucidating, vindicating and applying the truth of biblical inerrancy as an integral element of the authority of Scripture. This will be done in both academic theology and practical Christian instruction.
Why is ICBI Necessary?
The authority and accuracy of the Bible are foundations of the Christian faith. Yet we are witnessing the erosion of these foundations. As we have observed the preaching in many local churches, the teaching in some seminaries and much popular Christian literature, we sense that sizeable numbers of evangelical believers are being turned away from the Bible as their final authority in matters of Christian doctrine and Christian living.”
I was first introduced to the ICBI through the ministry of Dr. R. C. Sproul. This Council produced three statements containing Articles of Affirmation and Denial, (what evangelicals do and do not believe) concerning Biblical Inerrancy, Biblical Hermeneutics and Biblical Application. For some reason the link above does not contain the statement on Hermeneutics, so you may find that statement by checking out the Origins website.
Q. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?
A. When God had created man,
he entered into a covenant of life with him,
upon condition of perfect obedience (Galatians 3:12);
forbidding him to eat
of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,
upon pain of death (Genesis 2:17).
Such was your truth, and such your zeal,
such def’rence to your Father’s will,
such love, and meekness so divine,
I would transcribe and make them mine.
Cold mountains and the midnight air
witnessed the fervor of your prayer;
the desert your temptations knew,
your conflict and your vict’ry too.
Be now my pattern; make me bear
more of your gracious image here:
then God the Judge shall own my name
amongst the foll’wers of the Lamb.
How is the resurrection of Christ linked to the idea of justification in the New Testament? To answer this question, we must first explore the use and meaning of the term justification in the New Testament. Confusion about this has provoked some of the fiercest controversies in the history of the church. The Protestant Reformation itself was fought over the issue of justification. In all its complications, the unreconciled and unreconcilable difference in the debate came down to the question of whether our justification before God is grounded in the infusion of Christ’s righteousness into us, by which we become inherently righteous, or in the imputation, or reckoning, of Christ’s righteousness to us while we are still sinners. The difference between these views makes all the difference in our understanding of the Gospel and how we are saved.
Losing Something in the Translation
One of the problems that led to confusion was the meaning of the word justification. Our English word justification is derived from the Latin justificare. The literal meaning of the Latin is “to make righteous.” The Latin fathers of church history worked with the Latin text instead of the Greek text and were clearly influenced by it. By contrast, the Greek word for justification, dikaiosune, carries the meaning of “to count, reckon, or declare righteous.” The verb “to justify” and its noun form, “justification,” have shades of meaning in Greek. One of the meanings of the verb is “to vindicate” or “to demonstrate.”
The Justification of Jesus
The Resurrection involves justification in both senses of the Greek term. First, the Resurrection justifies Christ himself. Of course, he is not justified in the sense of having his sins remitted, because he had no sins, or in the sense of being “made righteous.” Rather, the Resurrection serves as the vindication or demonstration of the truth of his claims about himself.
In his encounter with the philosophers at Athens, Paul declared: “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because he has appointed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom he has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31).
Here Paul points to the Resurrection as an act by which the Father universally vindicates the authenticity of his Son. In this sense, Christ is justified before the whole world by his resurrection.
The Justification of Sinners
However, the New Testament also links Christ’s resurrection to our justification. Paul writes, “It shall be imputed to us who believe in him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Romans 4:24-25).
It is clear that in his atoning death Christ suffered on our behalf, or for us. Likewise, his resurrection is seen not only as a vindication of or surety of himself, but as a surety of our justification. Here justification does not refer to our vindication, but to the evidence that the atonement he made was accepted by the Father. By vindicating Christ in his resurrection, the Father declared his acceptance of Jesus’ work on our behalf. Our justification in this theological sense rests on the imputed righteousness of Christ, so the reality of that transaction is linked to Christ’s resurrection. Had Christ not been raised, we would have a mediator whose redeeming work in our behalf was not acceptable to God.
However, Christ is risen indeed!
Romans 4:25 bugged me for years and I used to ask everyone I knew whom I thought might know something, and the only answer I ever got was, “Because God’s Word says so.”
Thanks to Ligonier Ministries for this short article detailing the relationship between Christ’s resurrection and our justification. Be sure and click on the link above in the title, “Easter Theology” and patronize their ministry. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll learn about God, do so on your knees and allow the theology to become doxology (praise)!