Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Christ, the firstfruits of the resurrection

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterwards those who are Christ's at his coming. >>jjjkkkjj>>(1 Corinthians 15: 22 & 23)

The word [firstfruits] is not simply an indication of temporal priority. Rather, it brings into view Christ's resurrection as the "firstfruits" of the resurrection-harvest, the initial portion of the whole. His resurrection is the representative beginning of the resurrection of believers. In other words, the term seems deliberately chosen to make evident the organic connection between the two resurrections. In the context, Paul's "thesis" over and against his opponents is that the resurrection of Jesus has the bodily resurrection of "those that sleep" as its necessary consequence. His resurrection is not simply a guarantee; it is a pledge in the sense that it is the actual beginning of the general event. In fact, on the basis of this verse it can be said that Paul views the two resurrections not so much as two events but as two episodes of the same event.
From Resurrection and Redemption: A Study in Paul's Soteriology by Richard B. Gaffin Jnr, (2nd Editon, 1987, P&R, p. 34 & 35)


Stephen said...

I found this book one of the most memorable that I have read over the last few years and this explanation of "firstfruits" extremely helpful. Gaffin is one of my favourite writers.

Exiled Preacher said...

I could kick myself that I only discovered this book after I finished my thesis on the resurrection!

Gary Brady said...

It really is a very good book. I hope to hear Dr Gaffin at the Affinity Conference at the end of the month. What else is he doing while in the UK?

Exiled Preacher said...

That Affinity Conference looks so interesting. Pity I won't be able to be there!

I'm afraid I don't know where else Dr G will be speaking while over here.

Will you be posting reports of the conf on your blog?

Gary Brady said...

I plan to report but it's not like usual conferences. My present priority is reading the papers!