Sep 13, 2010

Paul, Christology, and Soteriology

"Since the Christian message is one of salvation, it is not surprising that Saint Paul's christology begins as a soteriology. Here we have a great intervention of God in the world of men, a drama of which God is the author and in which Christ is the central figure. The action begins with Christ's death, and continues through his resurrection, the preaching of his gospel, the concerted resistance of powers inimical to Christ, and the persecution of the gospel preachers. It comes to a climax in Christ's final victory and second coming. It would be wrong to suppose that the whole drama was played out on the cross, once and for all, and thereafter reproduced as a mystery, or shared in by the faith of believers participating in the fruits of Christ's victory. The power of God is the same throughout the whole action of Christ's death and resurrection, and in the preaching of the gospel and the salvation of believers (Rom. 1:16). At the parousia, this same power will receive its full manifestation. God is always at work, saving men through Christ, from Good Friday until the last day."

Lucien Cerfaux, Christ in the Theology of Paul (New York: Herder & Herder, 1959), 11.

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