Reformation Theology Blog

Cross Bearing

by Abraham Kuyper

Regarding the cross, Abraham Kuyper has written one of the more memorable devotionals I have read: "Cross Bearing". Here is an excerpt:

"The cross consists not of those things which oppose you, but of those things which oppose your faith. Whatever threatens, weakens, or undermines your faith, or interferes with its activity, is your cross.....

The Eschewing of Idolatry

"God's love is exclusive which means his love for his covenant people demands the eschewing of all idolatry...when the covenant people begin to take on the idolatrous ideas and patterns of lawlessness, the church is progressively destroyed and the society goes with it. This is precisely why God declares in Exodus 20, "you shall have no other gods before me." Neither then is the church at liberty to make covenants with false religions. - there is no 'common word' or 'common brotherhood outside of Christ - there is only covenant faithfulness or idolatry.

An 'Establishment Orthodoxy' that Opposes Rival Orders is Inescapable.

Culture is the public manifestation of the religious faith commitment of a people (be it Islamic, Christian, humanistic etc....) so in fact there is no avoiding religious 'civilization' and 'culture' where any given worldview predominates.  That is to say, there is no such thing as neutral culture. 'Multiculturalism' is therefore just a contemporary term for polytheism (many gods). But no society can be governed by more than one ultimate authority without provoking civil conflict and social chaos.

Predestination Destroys Legalism

Predestination destroys legalism. If the whole of salvation, in all its parts, is understood to be by Christ alone, it leaves no room for boasting or trusting in ourselves, even partly. It strips us bare and forces us to abandon all hope in self-effort or rules to attain a right standing before God ... It shatters our self-complacency and causes us to renounce our self-righteousness. It makes us cover our lips and utter God is God and I am not (Rom 9:15, 16).

Penal Substitutionary Atonement

When you encounter professing Christians who attempt to deny penal substitutionary atonement, I would encourage you to make sure to point them to Luke 22:37 (among many other passages). Here Jesus is speaking just prior to Jesus' crucifixion, where He defines the importance and meaning of His going to the cross:

"For I tell you that this Scripture MUST be FULFULLED in ME: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its FULFILLMENT.” Luke 22:37 (emphasis mine)

Salvation is not Just Forensic

Salvation is not just forensic. As central to our faith as this is, we cannot reduce salvation simply to justification only.  Salvation is multifaceted. The work of our Lord includes, regeneration, justification, sanctification and ultimately, glorification, It includes imputation and impartation, not just forgiveness of sin, but a changed heart. We are saved in Christ from both the guilt and power of sin.