Posts by Nick Batzig

 

The enormous privilege of being a pastoral intern with Phil Ryken at historic Tenth Presbyterian Church afforded me many other undeserved and exciting experiences. One of the most special of these experiences was the opportunity to help Linda Boice--Dr. Boice's widow--break down her husband's library that had continued to remain in the church office seven years after he went to be with the Lord.

 

When I was a new convert--having been brought from spiritual death to spiritual life--one of the things that I distinctly remember seeing with new eyes were trees. This was, in large part, because the Lord was enabling me to understand in all the Scriptures the redemptive-historical nature of trees from the Garden to the cross to the new creation. Little did I know then the depths of the theological significance of the two Adams (i.e. Adam and Christ) and the two trees (i.e. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Cross) in Scripture.

 

As we press on in seeking Christlikeness in our own lives, we are reminded that we are already positionally holy in Christ. We are already "seated with Him in the heavenly places" (Eph. 1:3; 2:6). The full realization of our consummate sanctification is assured to us, in the here and now, as we look in faith to the who who said "for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified..." (John 17:19).

 

When the Apostle Paul said of Christ that "the death that He died, He died to sin once for all" (Rom. 6:10) he was referring to something that happened to Jesus in His death, and which subsequently has had an impact on us by virtue of our faith-union with Him. While Jesus knew no personal sin, as our representative He subjected Himself to the guilt and power of sin. When He died, He died to the power of sin's dominion. This is how we are set free from the power of sin's dominion in our lives when we are united to Him by faith. Distinct from the blessing of justification--which deals with the guilt of sin--definitive sanctification deals with the power of sin.

 

Why does so much of the Old Testament seem so foreign and irrelevant to those living in the New Covenant era today? Why do we so often struggle to understand how the events in the Old Testament apply to us today? How can we make sense of what seems to be disconnected biographies of saints in the Old Testament? How do events like Israel’s exile into Babylon and promised restoration have a bearing on us today? What are we to make of all the judgment/deliverance accounts? There is, in fact, a very simple answer to these questions. The Bible is about death and resurrection. So often we fail to see that all the events of the Old Covenant revelation were moving forward to the death and resurrection of Christ. This is what Jesus said to the two on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24); and, it is what the Apostle Peter wrote about in 1 Peter 1:10-12. When we get this principle we are greatly helped as we read the Old Testament.