Tag Archives: Herman Ridderbos

“The Old Testament is the book of Christ” by Herman Ridderbos

“Paul proclaims Christ as the fulfillment of the promise of God to Abraham, as the seed in which all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Gal. 3:8, 16, 29), the eschatological bringer of salvation whose all-embracing significance must be understood in the light of prophecy (Rom. 15:9-12), the fulfillment of God’s redemptive counsel concerning the whole world and its future.

This redemptive-historical significance of Paul’s Christology also comes to light in the pronouncements, so characteristic of him, concerning Christ as the revelation of the mystery.

Here the past is not described only as a time of darkness and ignorance, but rather as the preparation of the work of God in the course of the centuries.

The grace that has now been revealed ‘was given in Christ Jesus long ages ago’ (2 Tim. 1:9), in the purpose and promise of God and in their initial realization; it was promised by God who cannot lie, before times eternal (Tit. 1:2).

Therefore the mystery that has been revealed with the advent of Christ must also be made known and understood ‘by means of the prophetic writings’ (Rom. 16:26).

The nature of that which has taken place in Christ becomes clear in the light of the fulfilling action of God how much the Old Testament is the book of Christ (2 Cor. 3:14; 1 Cor. 10:4; Gal. 3:16).

For this reason one of the leading motifs of Paul’s preaching is that his gospel is according to the Scriptures (Rom. 1:17; 3:28; cf. Rom. 4; Gal. 3:6ff; Gal. 4:21ff; 1 Cor. 1-10; Rom. 15:4; 1 Cor. 9:10; 2 Tim. 3:16).

However this use of the Old Testament by Paul is further to be judged in detail, a most basic conception of Christ’s advent and work lies at the root of this whole appeal and use, that of the divine drama being realized and fulfilled in His advent and work; this fulfillment was not only foretold by the prophets, but signifies the execution of the divine plan of salvation that He purposed to Himself with respect to the course of the ages and the end of the times (Eph. 1:9, 10; 3:11).

This is the fundamental redemptive-historical and all-embracing character of Paul’s preaching of Christ.”

–Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966/1975), 51.

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“An unbreakable unity” by Herman Ridderbos

“The resurrection of believers is set before the church time and time again in many different contexts as the great redemptive occurence of the future. It springs directly from and has its explanation in the reality of the resurrection of Christ, the center of the Pauline proclamation (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 6:14; 2 Cor. 4:14).

His own people were already included in Christ’s resurrection, and baptism is the sacramental incorporation into this redemptive event (Rom. 6:4ff.; Col. 2:12; 3:1). The actual renewal of their life is the likeness of Christ’s resurrection (Rom. 6:5); in it the resurrection of Christ is already working itself out (Rom. 6:8; 2 Cor. 4:10ff.), and will work itself out more and more (2 Cor. 3:18).

It is this having been raised with Christ, this being permitted to know oneself alive for God in Christ (Rom. 6:11), this having already put on the new man (of the resurrection) (Col. 3:10), which has its consummation in the resurrection from the dead at Christ’s parousia.

And in proportion as believers may be the more forcefully aware of having been included in this spiritual event of renewal, they will also be the more fervent for its full outworking in the resurrection of the dead (Phil. 3:11ff)…

Christ has robbed death of its power (2 Tim. 1:10), given His own victory over death (1 Cor. 15:57). His resurrection and that of His people form an unbreakable unity.”

–Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966/1975), 537-538.

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“By the strength of God” by Herman Ridderbos

“What the new man manifests in new life, what he works or exhibits in the fruit of the Spirit and good works, he works out of and by the strength of God, out of the power of the Spirit and by virtue of his belonging to Christ.”

–Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology, trans. John De Witt (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975), 255.

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