Posts by Nick Batzig

 

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.

 

Many of us see the New Year as an opportunity to do better. We long for a fresh start. Often, this results in wishful or sentimental “New Year’s resolutions.” At the core of our being, we do not need New Year’sresolutions—we need a “New Year’s Theology;” we need a theology of new creation. We need to know that we have been made new creatures if we are to live in newness of life for Christ. More than anything else in this year ahead, we continually need to hear the voice of the One who cried out, “Behold, I make all things new.” May God grant us the grace to live as those who have been made new creatures and have had our calendars redeemed by the One who lived and died and rose again for us.