Is There a Priority of the Forensic in Historia Salutis?

Richard B. Gaffin, Jr. discusses the relationship of the forensic to the other elements of the work of Christ in accomplishing redemption for his people. This is an excerpt from Christ the Center episode 57.

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Michael Lynch

9 years ago

I confess I was somewhat suprised by the answer. Although, it made sense to me. Great question Camden!

Luke Herche

8 years ago

I have just finished listening to this episode for the second time. I appreciated the whole thing a great deal.
I am open to correction here, but I’m not so sure about one thing. I do appreciate that there is some logical priority to the forensic in historia. I don’t, however, see that this logical priority is reflected in the temporal priority of the death to the resurrection. The death of Christ is as much about dying to the power of sin as it is a satisfaction of God’s just wrath, as Dr. Gaffin pointed out when discussing 1 Cor 15, the death He died He died to sin includes both the guilt and the power. The resurrection also is about both the guilt and the power of sin. Christ’s resurrection is the firstruits of the new creation and thus demonstrates that sin’s power has been broken, but it is also the open declaration of the righteousness of Christ whom death could not hold, as Romans says, He was raised for our justification. Along the same lines, isn’t the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost just as much the delcaration of our justification in Christ as it is about the Spirit’s renovative work in our lives?
And so the death and the resurrection are each about defeating both sin’s guilt and its power. Therefore the temporal priority of the death to the resurrection, cannot be seen to be a picture of the logical priorty of the forensic in historia, though that logical priority, in and of itself, I do not deny.

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