This section of the book deals with the cross, the why, what and how of God’s accomplishment for sinful man through Christ death and resurrection. In chapter 6 Wright deals with why Christ died for the sinners and what God accomplished because of Christ finished work of the cross. To summarize the why of God’s love for fallen man Wright states the following:
We will never understand why God has chosen to love us, other than the revealed truth that God is love. It is simply and essentially God’s character and nature to love. That states the truth, but it doesn’t explain it. Or rather, it does not explain it in relation to anything that we can state about ourselves, other than that we are the creation of this God whose being is defined by love. The love of God is generated and motived withing God’s own being, just as the light and warmth of the sun that we fill on planet earth is generated within the sun itself and owes nothing to anything the earth or its inhabitants can do – other than to be orbiting within reach.
I love this truth! There is nothing I can do to merit God’s love. He doesn’t love me because I am lovable. I am a sinner deserving of wrath. He loves me because he is love.
In this same section is found my favorite quote from the book so far:
Whatever life brings, nothing can top the unbelievable love of God and his constanct mery, goodness, and eternal saving grace. Such gratitude is a richly cleansing, calming, refreshing emotion. Indeed it is more than an emotion. It is a whole worldvier, a whole philosophy of live, the universe and everything, for it is the only proper response to the very being of God, that he is love, amazing love.
Next, Wright elaborate what God has accomplished through his finish work on the cross. Our benefits through Christ death in our place are as follows:
- Nearness to God (Ephesians 2:11-13,19)
- Mercy (Ephesians 2:3-7)
- Redemption (Mark 10:45 and Ephesians 1:7)
- Forgiveness (Acts 2:23-24, 38 3:15-19)
- Reconciliation with God (Romans 5:10-11 and 2 Corinthians 5:18-21)
- Reconciliation with others (Ephesians 2:13-18)
- Justification (Isaiah 53:6, 1 Peter 2:24 and 2 Corinthians 5:21)
- Cleansing (1 John 1:7-2:2)
- New Life (Ephesians 2:4-5)
How is this all possible? Only by Christ dieing for us.
God in Christ substituted himself in order to bear in himself what we would otherwise suffer because of our sin, and to gain for us what we would otherwise eternally lose…Substitution is not metaphor for what God did; it is what he actually did. God actually did choose to put himself in a place where we should be, to do for us what we could not for do ourselves.