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The descent of Jesus (part 3)

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This post continues a series exploring Raising Adam, Why Jesus Descended into Hell by Gerrit Dawson. For other posts in the series, click a number: 1, 2.

Last time, we looked at Jesus' descent on Holy Saturday to the realm of the dead (Hades in Greek, Sheol in Hebrew). We noted how the time Jesus spent in Sheol was part of the multi-step passage of descent and ascent that the incarnate Son of God undertook for our salvation. That passage began with the Incarnation, which Dawson calls "the great leap from heaven to womb." It continued through Jesus' life of faithful obedience and self-emptying love as he went about "undoing evil and reclaiming people from darkness." The journey came to a great crescendo when Jesus willingly "jumped up, so to speak, upon the cross," bearing our sin and yielding his life on our behalf. This was followed by Jesus' descent as he "tumbled down to the tomb." Then, from out of the realm of the dead, Jesus &qu…

The descent of Jesus (part 2)

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This post continues a series exploring Raising Adam, Why Jesus Descended into Hell by Gerrit Dawson. For other posts in the series, click a number: 1, 3.

Last time, we noted the declaration of the Apostle's Creed that Jesus "descended into Hell." We pointed out that "Hell" translates the Greek word "Hades" and its Hebrew equivalent "Sheol," and that a better English translation is "realm of the dead." We then noted that Jesus' descent to the realm (condition) of the dead occurred on Holy Saturday, the day after Jesus' crucifixion on Good Friday, and the day before his resurrection on Easter Sunday. But what happened to Jesus on Holy Saturday? And why is that important for our salvation? This post presents some of the answers that Dawson offers to these important questions.

The foundation of biblical testimony Dawson begins by laying a biblical foundation upon which to ground our understanding of what happened to Jesus (and th…

The descent of Jesus (part 1)

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This post begins a series exploring Raising Adam, Why Jesus Descended into Hell by Gerrit Dawson. For other posts in the series, click a number: 2, 3.

A few years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of reading Jesus Ascended, the Meaning of Christ's Continuing Incarnation in which pastor and Trinitarian theologian Gerrit Dawson unpacks the vital gospel truth that when Jesus the incarnate Son of God ascended to the Father after his resurrection, he did so bearing our humanity. Jesus, Gerrit reminds us, remains forever fully God and fully human (click here for key points in this powerful book).

Having been blessed by Jesus Ascended, I was pleased to learn of Gerrit's newest book, Raising Adam, Why Jesus Descended into Hell. It unpacks the profound implications for our salvation of Jesus' descent -- from heaven to earth via the incarnation, in his suffering throughout the course of his earthly life, and most particularly, his descent into death on our behalf on Holy Saturday, th…

Our Response to God (Doctrine of the Spirit, part 7)

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This post concludes a series presenting "The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit" by Dr. Gary Deddo, President of Grace Communion Seminary. For other posts in the series, click a number: 1234, 5, 6.

Last time we noted various aspects of the Spirit's ministry to us both corporately and individually. As we now bring this series to a close, let's look at a primary aspect of the Spirit's ongoing ministry which involves enabling us to make a full and proper response to the truth and reality of who God is, and what he has done, is doing and will yet do in our world, church and individual lives.
The nature of our response to God The Holy Spirit works actively in our lives, both individually and corporately, to unbind our wills, unscramble our minds, and refashion our affections so that we can more fully respond with all that we are to all that God is. The Spirit frees us to be receptive at every level of who we are. However, it sometimes seems that we think the Spir…

The Spirit's Person & Work (Doctrine of the Spirit, part 6)

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This post continues a series presenting "The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit" by Dr. Gary Deddo, President of Grace Communion Seminary. For other posts in the series, click a number: 12, 3, 4, 5, 7.

In thinking about the Holy Spirit and how he works in our lives, it's important to understand that he is a personal agent -- as personal as the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit works in sovereign grace according to his nature. Perhaps we're clear as to his grace, but what about his sovereignty?
Don't overlook the Spirit's sovereignty When we overlook the Spirit's sovereignty, it's easy to think of him as under our control, as though he is a vending machine, electricity, or genie in a bottle. Such misguided thinking places us in a position of sovereignty over an impersonal power, seeking to control it -- focused on what steps to take, what techniques to use, what conditions to fulfill in order to get the Holy Spirit to work as we want. When we begin…

The Spirit's Ministry (Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, part 5)

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This post continues a series presenting "The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit" by Dr. Gary Deddo, President of Grace Communion Seminary. For other posts in the series, click a number: 12, 3, 4, 67.

In this post, we'll explore the Holy Spirit's ministry viewed corporately (in the church) and personally (in individual lives). Let's start with a question: Why does any group or individual repent instead of hanging on to their self-justifying pride? The answer is that the Holy Spirit is at work in them, though that work is often unseen. Let me explain.

The Spirit's often unseen work We typically do not see the Holy Spirit working in a direct way -- most of his ministry among us is deep and internal, working directly with our human spirits (1 Cor. 2: 9-11). Thus, we don't see the Holy Spirit acting. However, we do see the results. When we're repenting, when we're hearing God speak his Word, when we're seeing the face of the Father in the face o…