Called to be Holy (Part 2)

called-to-be-holyIn an earlier post I hailed John N. Oswalt’s riveting Called to be Holy: A Biblical Perspective. Here are my takeaways from the final half of his book, which has forced me to rethink a number of theological issues:

God’s stamps his image on us; he doesn’t simply justify us (107)

Romans 6–8 is a progression of Paul’s experience (113)

The notion that Romans 7 is normative Christian experience is “a travesty” of Paul’s teaching (114)

The frustration highlighted in Romans 7 is the attempt to keep the law without the Holy Spirit, Paul’s pre-conversion dilemma (115–119)

Jesus died so that the law would be fulfilled is us (118)

Jesus taught more about living in the kingdom than in how to enter it (116)

God’s defeat of Satan is most seen in the lives of God’s holy people (131)

The Holy Spirit globalizes Jesus’ earthly ministry (132)

When God and the Bible call us to be holy, they call us to be all that can be expected of us (136)

When recent Bible translations refuse to translate Greek words that in earlier translations are (rightly) translated “perfect” with respect to expected Christian conduct, it is our modern expectations that have changed, not the Bible (141f.)

Colossians 1:22 — Jesus died to make us holy (144)

The Cross makes perfection normative (146)

Sanctification is not accomplished by “trying harder” but by getting more of the Spirit’s power by faith (153)

The idea that self-mastery leads to liberty is utterly false; self-mastery leads to slavery — surrender to the Spirit leads to liberty (156)

1 John 3:4–9 —You cannot separate being righteous from doing righteousness (167)

The Devil seeks to foment sins for which there is no atonement (171)

There can be no victory over sin apart from victory over our sinful dispositions (178)

“[W]e are made holy just as we are converted: by grace through faith” (193)


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