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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Excerpt from “Christ and the Powers” by H. Berkhof

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Jeremy221
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Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1353


 Excerpt from “Christ and the Powers” by H. Berkhof

From this discernment there springs forth a basically different way of dealing with creaturely reality. The Holy Spirit “shrinks”the Powers before the eye of faith. They may well have inflated themselves into omnipotent total value systems, but the believer sees them in their true proportions, as nothing more than one segment of creation, existing because of the Creator, and limited by other creatures. The Nazis spoke of “nationhood,” where the confessing church said “the nation” or preferably “the nations.” In our Christian circles we would rather say “the authorities” than “the state.” This is not so much because the two terms are not quite logically equivalent, as because of a wholesome intuition, seeing in “state” an autonomous power, whereas with “authorities” we think of ordinary men in higher positions. Where the Spirit of Christ rules, Mammon shrivels down to “finances,” conventional morality to a set of rules of thumb, subject to criticism and limited in scope and authority. Changing customs, slogans, and isms of the moment are seen as ideas which are merely “in the air,” worth no more and no less than the older slogans they replaced. Where the victorious kingship of Christ is confessed, there prevails a consistent unbelief in the utility of military power, and national or international armament is at the most grudgingly accepted as a bitter duty of responsible citizenship. Anxiety before the fearsome future gives way to a simple carefulness, since we know that the future as well is in God’s hands.

p. 48-49, Christ and the Powers, Henkrik Berkhof

 2018/1/28 2:34Profile
Jeremy221
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Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1353


 Re: Excerpt from “Christ and the Powers” by H. Berkhof

All of this certainly does not mean that Christ’s church stands as a solitary island amidst an unbroken sea of hostility. Just by being simply the church, she is the instrument whereby Christ brings to crisis the rule of the Powers even far outside her borders. The exalted Lord does not reveal His lordship only by founding the church. Outside her borders He is just as active, making manifest His victory. This victory is for Paul not only in the future; it is already effective in this dispensation. Thus we can go one step beyond speaking only if “limitation” (as in Chapter 4). Christ’s incarnation and self-sacrifice on the cross already involve restoring the heavenly Powers to their proper position. Colossians 1:20. This is already now God’s purpose,

Quote:
… in preparation for the fullness of time, to unite under one head, that is, Christ, everything in heaven and earth.



H. Berkhof, p. 53, Christ and the Powers

 2018/2/10 6:22Profile





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