Death to Sin/Devil
SECOND COMING / DEATH / RESURRECTION
Death (Spiritual) to Sin / Devil
Athanasius (4th Century)
“But that devil who of old wickedly exulted in death, now that the pains of death are loosed, he alone it is who remains truly dead… Death has become like a tyrant who has been completely conquered by the legitimate monarch; bound hand and foot the passers-by sneer at him, hitting him and abusing him, no longer afraid of his cruelty and rage, because of the king who has conquered him. So has death been conquered and branded for what it is by the Savior on the cross. It is bound hand and foot, all who are in Christ trample it as they pass and as witnesses to Him deride it, scoffing and saying, “O Death, where is thy victory? O Grave, where is thy sting ? (Incarnation, Ch. 5)
“Now, however, that the devil, that tyrant against the whole world, is slain, we do not approach a temporal feast, my beloved, but an eternal and heavenly. Not in shadows do we shew it forth, but we come to it in truth. For they being filled with the flesh of a dumb lamb, accomplished the feast, and having anointed their door-posts with the blood, implored aid against the destroyer.” (Letter 256, Part 3)
‘ For no more does death reign; but instead of death henceforth is life, since our Lord said, ‘I am the life(14);’ so that everything is filled with joy and gladness; as it is written, ‘The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice.’ For when death reigned, ‘sitting down by the rivers of Babylon, we wept(15),’ and mourned, because we felt the bitterness of captivity; but now that death and the kingdom of the devil is abolished, everything is entirely filled with joy and gladness. And God is no longer known only in Judaea, but in all the earth, ‘their voice hath gone forth, and the knowledge of Him hath filled all the earth(16).’ (Letter 256, Part 3)
“For the death of Isaac did not procure freedom to the world, but that of our Saviour alone, by whose stripes we all are healed. For He raised up the falling, healed the sick, satisfied those who were hungry, and filled the poor, and, what is more wonderful raised us all from the dead; having abolished death, He has brought us from affliction and sighing to the rest and gladness of this feast, a joy which reacheth even to heaven. For not we alone are affected by this, but because of it, even the heavens rejoice with us, and the whole church of the firstborn, written in heaven, is made glad together, as the prophet proclaims, saying, ‘Rejoice, ye heavens, for the Lord hath had mercy upon Israel. Shout, ye foundations of the earth. Cry out with joy, ye mountains, ye high places, and all the trees which are in them, for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and Israel hath been glorified.’ And again; Rejoice, and be glad, ye heavens; let the hills melt into gladness, for the Lord hath had mercy on His people, and comforted the oppressed of the people.’ ” (Letter 6, Part 9-11)
“The body of the Word, then, being a real human body, in spite of its having been uniquely formed from a virgin, was of itself mortal and, like other bodies, liable to death. But the indwelling of the Word loosed it from this natural liability, so that corruption could not touch it. Thus it happened that two opposite marvels took place at once: the death of all was consummated in the Lord’s body; yet, because the Word was in it, death and corruption were in the same act utterly abolished. Death there had to be, and death for all, so that the due of all might be paid. Wherefore, the Word, as I said, being Himself incapable of death, assumed a mortal body, that He might offer it as His own in place of all, and suffering for the sake of all through His union with it, ” might bring to nought Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver them who all their lifetime were enslaved by the fear of death.”
“(21) Have no fears then. Now that the common Savior of all has died on our behalf, we who believe in Christ no longer die, as men died aforetime, in fulfillment of the threat of the law. That condemnation has come to an end; and now that, by the grace of the resurrection, corruption has been banished and done away..” (Incarnation, ch. 4)
(27) A very strong proof of this destruction of death and its conquest by the cross is supplied by a present fact, namely this. All the disciples of Christ despise death; they take the offensive against it and, instead of fearing it, by the sign of the cross and by faith in Christ trample on it as on something dead. Before the divine sojourn of the Savior, even the holiest of men were afraid of death, and mourned the dead as those who perish. But now that the Savior has raised His body, death is no longer terrible, but all those who believe in Christ tread it underfoot as nothing, and prefer to die rather than to deny their faith in Christ, knowing full well that when they die they do not perish, but live indeed, and become incorruptible through the resurrection. But that devil who of old wickedly exulted in death, now that the pains of death are loosed, he alone it is who remains truly dead.” (Incarnation, Ch. 5)
“For by His becoming Man, the Saviour was to accomplish both works of love; first, in putting away death from us and renewing us again; secondly, being unseen and invisible, in manifesting and making Himself known by His works to be the Word of the Father, and the Ruler and King of the Universe .” (Incarnation, Sec. 16.)
“You know how it is when some great king enters a large city and dwells in one of its houses; because of his dwelling in that single house, the whole city is honored, and enemies and robbers cease to molest it. Even so it is with the King of all; He has come into our country and dwelt in one body amidst the many, and in consequence the designs of the enemy against mankind have been foiled, and the corruption of death, which formerly held them in its power, has simply ceased to be. For the human race would have perished utterly had not the Lord and Saviour of all, the Son of God, come among us to put an end to death.” (St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation )
Augustine (4th Century)
“The devil was conquered by his own trophy of victory. The devil jumped for joy, when he seduced the first man and cast him down to death. By seducing the first man, he slew him; by slaying the last man, he lost the first from his snare. The victory of our Lord Jesus Christ came when he rose, and ascended into heaven; then was fulfilled what you have heard when the Apocalypse was being read, ‘The Lion of the tribe of Judah has won the day’ [Rev. 5:5]. . . . The devil jumped for joy when Christ died; and by the very death of Christ the devil was overcome: he took, as it were, the bait in the mousetrap. He rejoiced at the death, thinking himself death’s commander. But that which caused his joy dangled the bait before him. The Lord’s cross was the devil’s mousetrap: the bait which caught him was the death of the Lord.” (St. Augustine, Sermons, 261; trans. by Henry Bettenson, ed., The Later Christian Fathers: A Selection From the Writings of the Fathers from St. Cyril of Jerusalem to St. Leo the Great (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970, 1977), p. 222.)
Chrysostom (4th Century)
“O God of spirits and of all flesh, who hast trampled down death and overthrown the devil, and given life to thy world, do thou, the same Lord, give rest to the souls of thy servants, names, who have fallen asleep, in a place of light, in a place of verdure, in a place of repose, whence all sickness, sorrow and sighing are fled away. Pardon every sin committed by them in word or deed or thought, for thou art a good God and Lover of man, for there is no man that liveth and sinneth not, for thou only art without sin and thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy word is truth.”
 “Remembering this saving commandment and all those things which came to pass for us: the cross, the grave, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the sitting down at the right hand, the second and glorious coming again.”
 “Attend, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, from thy holy dwelling place and from the glorious throne of thy kingdom, and come to sanctify us, O thou that sittest with the Father above, and that are invisibly present here with us. And vouchsafe, by thy strong right hand to impart to us thine immaculate body and thy precious blood, and through us, to all thy people.”
“A Star shone forth in heaven above all that were before It, and Its light was inexpressible, while Its novelty struck men with astonishment. And all the rest of the stars, with the sun and moon, formed a chorus to this Star. It far exceeded them all in brightness, and agitation was felt as to whence this new Spectacle [proceeded]. Hence worldly wisdom became folly; conjuration was seen to be mere trifling; and magic became utterly ridiculous. Every law of wickedness vanished away; the darkness of ignorance was dispersed; and tyrannical authority was destroyed, God being manifested as a Man, and Man displaying power as God. …Now that received a beginning which was perfected by God. Henceforth all things were in a state of tumult, because He meditated the abolition of death.” (Longer version, Chapter 19)
“And here, at the manifestation of the Son, magic began to be destroyed, and all bonds were loosed; and the ancient kingdom and the error of evil was destroyed. Henceforward all things were moved together, and the destruction of death was devised, and there was the commencement of that which was perfected in God.” (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians, Chapter 19 (c. A.D. 100 – 115) ; Syriac version, Chapter 19)
“I thank Thee, O Lord God, that though with liberal hand Thou hast at all times showered thy blessing upon our human kind, yet in Jesus Christ Thou hast done greater Things for us than Thou ever didst before:
Making home sweeter and friends dearer:
Turning sorrow into gladness and pain into the soul’s victory:
Robbing death of its sting:
Robbing sin of its power
Making peace more peaceful and joy more joyful and faith and hope more secure.
Amen. (A Diary of Private Prayer)
“Wonder not then that all the true followers of Christ, the saints of every age, have so gloried in the cross of Christ, have imputed such great things to it, have desired nothing so much as to be partakers of it, to live in constant union with it. It is because His sufferings, His death and cross, were the fulness of His victory over all the works of the devil. Not an evil in flesh and blood, not a misery of life, not a chain of death, not a power of hell and darkness, but were all baffled, broken, and overcome by the process of a suffering and dying Christ. Well, therefore, may the cross of Christ be the glory of Christians!” (The Spirit of Love)
“A major disagreement I have with full preterists is over their view of the current status of evil. Full preterists see Satan and all other enemies of Jesus as being abolished (thrown into the lake of fire) at AD 70. Thus full preterists see Satan as totally off the scene today, although evil still lives on in the hearts of men. In their view evil may diminish as the Kingdom expands but it never really ceases to exist. I look for a more definitive abolishment of all evil at the end of the millennium (Rev. 20:7-10). My position sees Satan as being active today. He was defeated at the cross (Matthew 28:18) but that does not mean he doesn’t still produce destruction in the world today.” (Was All Prophecy Fulfilled in AD70?)
Dwight L. Moody
“The valley of the shadow of death holds no darkness for the child of God. There must be light, else there could be no shadow. Jesus is the light. He has overcome death.
“The immediate effect of the death of Christ is not the remission of sins, or the actual redemption of any.”
“A potential and conditionate reconciliation, not actual and absolute, is obtained by the death of Christ.”
G.E. Ladd (1974)
“The present ambiguity of the new life in Christ demands the return of Christ to complete the work of redemption already begun. The central theme of Pauline eschatology is the consummation of God’s saving purpose. Apart from the return of Christ and the inauguration of the Age to Come, God’s saving work remains unfinished.” (A Theology of the New Testament, p.552)
Richard Longnecker (1971)
“Though the historical achievement of Jesus is a finished work, its application is progressive and its climax will be reached only in the second coming of Christ… the full realization of his sonship and the consummation of God’s redemptive plan awaits the parousia. For this Paul expectantly waits, joining in the Christian prayer: ‘Our Lord, come!” (The Ministry and Message of Paul, p.104)
Dr. John Master (1994)
“Ever since Origen designated the first-century canonical writings the “New Testament” many Christians have commonly assumed [erroneously] a direct relationship between the church and the New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31-34.” (The New Covenant, Issues in Dispensationalism, Moody Press.)
John McArthur (1988)
“Real salvation is not only justification. It cannot be isolated from regeneration, sanctification and, ultimately, glorification. Salvation is an ongoing process as much as it is a past event. It is the work of God through which we are “conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29, cf. Romans 13:11). Genuine assurance comes from seeing the Holy Spirit’s transforming work in one’s life, not from clinging to the memory of some experience.” (The Gospel According to Jesus, p. 23).
THE COMPLETION (FULLNESS) OF REDEMPTION
St. Athanasius (A. D. 296-372)
“When therefore the servants of the Chief Priests and the Scribes saw these things, and heard from Jesus, “Whosoever is athirst, let him come to Me and drink” [John 7:371; they perceived that this was not a mere man like themselves, but that this was He Who gave water to the saints, and that it was He Who was announced by the prophet Isaiah. For He was truly the splendour of the light, and the Word of God. And thus as a river from the fountain He gave drink also of old to Paradise; but now to all men He gives the same gift of the Spirit, and says, “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink. Whosoever believeth on Me, as saith the Scripture, rivers of living water shall flow out of his belly” [John 7:37-381. This was not for man to say, but for the living God, Who truly vouchsafes life, and gives the Holy Spirit.” (Letters [xliv])
“We will begin, then, with the creation of the world and with God its Maker, for the first fact that you must grasp is this: the renewal of creation has been wrought by the Self-same Word Who made it in the beginning. There is thus no inconsistency between creation and salvation; for the One Father has employed the same Agent for both works, effecting the salvation of the world through the same Word Who made it at first.” (St. Athanasius, On the Incarnation )
“Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who took upon Him to die for all, stretched forth His hands, not somewhere on the earth beneath, but in the air itself, in order that the Salvation effected by the cross might be shown to all men everywhere: destroying the devil who was working in the air: and that He might consecrate our road up to Heaven, and make it free.” (St. Athanasius, Letters [xxii])
St. Gregory the Wonderworker
“And if any one believes not that death is abolished, that Hades is trodden under foot, that the chains thereof are broken, that the tyrant is bound, let him look on the martyrs deporting themselves in the presence of death, and taking up the jubilant strain of the victory of Christ. O the marvel! Since the hour when Christ despoiled Hades, men have danced in triumph over death. `O death, were is thy sting! O grave, where is thy victory?’ (Sermon the All the Saints.)
Kontakia of Romanos
“Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! Suddenly the bodies of the dead became animated; they were resurrected, and they trampled on Hades, Crying out, ‘O unjust one, where is thy victory and Death, where is thy sting?’ Suddenly all of the tombs were opened of themselves And all of the dead were released from them and formed a chorus;
And an angel coming down rolled the stone from the tomb of the Savior. ‘O Lord, Master, Thou hast opened the tombs At a command, not needing anyone. How is it then that Thou hast need of someone To roll away the stone from Thy tomb? Thou, The Life and Resurrection.'” (On the Resurrection IV)
St. Leo the Great
Let us, then, dearly-beloved, confess what the blessed teacher of the nations, the Apostle Paul, confessed, saying, `Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.’ For God’s mercy towards us is the more wonderful that Christ died not for the righteous nor for the holy, but for the unrighteous and wicked; and though the nature of the Godhead could not sustain the sting of death, yet at His birth He took from us that which He might offer for us. For of old He threatened our death with the power of His death, saying, by the mouth of Hosea the prophet, `O death, I will be thy death, and I will be thy destruction, O Hades.’ For by dying He underwent the laws of Hades, but by rising again He broke them, and so destroyed the continuity of death as to make it temporal instead of eternal. `For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ (Sermons of St. Leo the Great.)
|Dear Jesus! ’tis Thy Holy Face
Is here the star that guides my way;
Thy countenance, so full of grace,
Is heaven on earth, for me, to-day.
And love finds holy charms for me
In Thy sweet eyes with tear-drops wet;
Through mine own tears I smile at Thee,
And in Thy griefs my pains forget.
… Thérèse of Lisieux
|Welcome! all Wonders in one sight!
Eternity shut in a span.
Summer in winter, day in night,
Heaven in earth, and God in man.
Great little one! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts earth to heaven, stoops heav’n to earth!
… Richard Crashaw
|Let songs of praises fill the sky!
Christ, our ascended Lord,
Sends down his Spirit from on high,
According to his word.
The Spirit by his heavenly breath,
The things of Christ the Spirit takes,
Come, Holy Spirit, from above,