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Commentary on the Barmen Declaration: Second Article

Commentary on the Barmen Declaration: Second Article

After discussing the necessary proclamation of Jesus Christ as God's revelation, the Barmen Declaration moves to describe the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Does Christ reign in the world or just the church? Does He reign now as priest and king or just priest? In what arenas of life is the Christian called to respond to the ethical instruction of Jesus Christ and His revelation in the Holy Scriptures? This article addresses these questions.

2. “Jesus Christ has been made wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption for us by God.” 1 Cor. 1:30

The Scriptures

The Scripture reference for this section is pretty simple. In the early words of his letter to the Corinthians Paul points out the overarching salvific blessings of Jesus Christ. He has been made for us things that we are not. Wisdom (ethics), righteousness (justification), sanctification (faithful living) and redemption (eternal rectification before God).

The Affirmation

This affirmation speaks quite strongly against the corrupt concept of segregating our lives. As Jesus Christ has become forgiveness over our whole life, so also He has become Lord. In every place that Christ declares "you are forgiven," He announces His Lordship. 

As Jesus Christ is God’s comforting pronouncement of the forgiveness of all our sins, so, with equal seriousness, he is also God’s vigorous announcement of his claim upon our whole life. Through him there comes to us joyful liberation from the godless ties of this world for free, grateful service to his creatures.

Far from being the precursor to frightful demands this is a gracious calling to serve God in fear and trembling that is simultaneously grateful. But this can only be done in separation from the world. Instead of the segregation of the secular and sacred in our lives, the secular and sacred must be examined outside of ourselves. Joyfulness in submission to Christ only comes as we have removed ourselves from the love of the world and our submission to it. For as long as we submit ourselves to the world, submission to Christ will seem a burden and chore.

The Rejection

We reject the false doctrine that there could be areas of our life in which we would not belong to Jesus Christ but to other lords, areas in which we would not need justification and sanctification through him.

The rejection presents no new concepts. Just a further explication of the truth set forth by the declaration. For the early church said "What has not been assumed has not been healed" so also it should be said where Christ is not Lord there is no salvation. We as sinful creatures need the grace and power of the Lord Jesus Christ to justify and sanctify every portion of us. There is no sliver of our lives that we can sanctify ourselves nor keep from Jesus Christ.

A Biblical View of Society

Scientist or Philosopher?