Friday, September 25, 2009

Stand for the Rule of Faith, Part 7

Today I want to explore an aspect of the saving work of Christ that doesn't get enough attention in Western Christian theology. The Western Church has tended to focus on the cross and resurrection as the central event in salvation, as if all God could do in Christ he did there at Golgatha and the empty tomb.

No less important however, is the reality that "he ascended into heaven; and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty." Christ's saving work is an ongoing saving work. On the one hand his ascension speaks of victory, but on the other it is from this vantage point of sitting on the Father's right hand that he pleads the cause of the redeemed, ensuring our complete salvation. That is a source of comfort, joy, and assurance. That he ascended is affirmed in Acts 1: 9. But from his position of ascended Lord he intercedes for us on an ongoing basis (Heb 4: 14; 10: 12--14; 1 John 2: 1). He also lifts us up to the heavenlies with him (Eph. 1: 20--22; 2: 6).

From his favored position at the right hand of the Father he wields all power and authority (Matt 28: 18) as the King of kings and Lord of lords. "I have set my King on Zion" (Ps 2: 6) anticipates the heavenly session of Jesus.

How can Evangelical believers stand for the ascension of Christ? What are the implications of this teaching for our lives? First, standing for the ascension means standing in confidence of the victory that Christ has won for you over sin, death, and condemnation. You are forgiven and secure in his power. You need not live under the bondage of sin any longer (Rom 6: 22). You have been set free by the power of God. Secondly, standing for the ascension of Christ means going out in confidence of his power in the power of the Gospel to save others like yourself (Matt 28: 19). Be bold in witnessing to others, telling them (1) what God has done for you and (2) the Gospel message from Scripture. Thirdly, standing for the ascension means waiting in confident anticipation of his imminent return at the end of the age (Acts 1: 11). We say we believe he is coming again, but I wonder as I look at how we live, do we really believe it? John says, "Everyone who thus hopes in him (in his return) purifies himself as he is pure" (1John 3: 3 ESV). If purifying ourselves from the filth of the world is a mark of our confidence in his return, then how confident are we, really, given the overall worldliness of professing believers today? So lastly, take a stand in your life for purity, for holiness, as a testimony to your confidence in his ascension and second coming.


  1. Its great to have a lawyer in Heaven

  2. His ascension makes me think of my position. That the God of the universe loves me is unfathomable.