Tag Archives: Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation

Geerhardus Vos – Jesus as the Center of God’s Work in the World

28 Mar

Most clearly of all the theological genius of Paul can be seen at work in the manner in which he subsumes the entire saving work of God under his conception of the person of Christ. It would be inaccurate to say that Paul’s theology is Christocentric, in as much as the work of Christ remains subordinate to the glory of the Father (1 Cor. 15:28). But it would be quite proper to say that Paul’s soteriological teaching amounts to a Christologizing of the gospel on the grandest of scales. From the beginning to the end man’s salvation appears to Paul not merely associated with Christ, but capable of description in terms of Christ. We are chosen in Him in the premundane eternity and shall share His glory in the eternity of the world to come. And in all that lies between the figure of Christ accompanies that of the believer through every stage of its progress in the grace of God. The determination with which the apostle has carried through this principle appears from the fact that even such subjective experiences as conversion and regeneration are described by him in Christological terms, viz., as a dying and rising with Christ, as steps in the reproduction of the life of Christ in us. And within the limits of the life of Christ in which all grace is thus concentrated, a still greater concentration is effected by Paul’s viewing everything from the standpoint of the living, glorified Christ, who sums up and carries in Himself all the saving energies and gifts acquired during His life in the flesh, so that the whole work of salvation has an eternally fixed personal center of unity in the exalted Lord. In this soteriological reduction of everything to terms of Christ, as well as in the reduction of everything to terms of God in the broader theological sense, we feel how perfectly the head and heart of Paul interacted and responded to each other. The recognition of the supremacy of both in his thought was but the highest form of homage and devotion which his love prompted him to lay at the feet of his Savior and his God.

~Geerhardus Vos~

Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation – The Theology of Paul (Phillipsburg, NJ; P&R Publishing, 1980), 360.

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