The Christian Hope of the Resurrection (4)

But the glorious news is that, although during the present life we struggle with sin, and may or may not make small and slight progress towards genuine holiness, our remaining propensity to sin is finished, cut off, done with all at once, in physical death. ‘The body is dead because of sin,’ declares Paul, ‘but the spirit is life because of righteousness’ (Romans 8:10). John and Paul combine together to state the massive, central and vital doctrine which is at the heart of the Christian good news: those who believe in Jesus, though they die, yet shall they live; and those who live and believe in him will never die (John 11:25-6). Or, to put It the way Paul does: if we have died with Christ, we shall live with him, knowing that Christ being raised from the dead will not die again; and you, in him, must regard and reckon yourselves. as dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6.81 1). ‘Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God’ (Romans 5:2).

‘Ah, but’, someone will say, ‘that sounds very arrogant. It sounds cocksure, almost triumphalist.’ Well, there is a note of triumph there, and if you try to take that away you will pull the heart of the gospel out with it. But actually it is the least arrogant, least cocksure thing of all. When the prodigal son put the ring on his finger and the shoes on his feet, was he being arrogant when he allowed his father’s lavish generosity to take its course? Would it not have been far more arrogant, far more clinging to one’s own inverted dignity as a ‘very humble’ penitent, to insist that he should be allowed to wear sackcloth and ashes for a week or two until he’d had time to adjust to the father’s house? No: the complaint about the prodigal’s arrogance, I fear, comes not from the father, but from the older brother. We should beware lest that syndrome destroy our delight in the gospel of the free grace of God. We mustn’t let the upside-down arrogance of those who are too proud to receive free grace prevent us from hearing and receiving the best news in the world.

—N.T. Wright, For All the Saints

Here, Bishop Wright rightly reminds us not to give up our Christian hope or to let others browbeat us into giving up our Hope. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest this. In our Christian hope is the strength for the living of our days in joy and expectation, even in the face of all that can go wrong in life.