This semester at Calvary Chapel Bible College York I started teaching a new class called Christ and the Cross, examining Biblical titles of Christ and metaphors of His work of salvation. Here’s a little info.
A few years ago I read Death by Love, which opened my eyes to Biblical descriptions for salvation such as redemption, reconciliation and propitiation. It was then that I realised I had incorrectly always read these words as being identical to each other, being nothing more than synonyms for ‘salvation’. I discovered that while they all describe Christ’s work in our salvation they don’t all carry the exact same meaning. In fact, each term carries over rich theological meaning drawn from the Old Testament. This was really a life changing discovery for me to see this depth in the Scriptures.
I then began my journey of digging deeper into these terms. I devoured classics that touched on these terms like Stott’s The Cross of Christ, Murray’s Redemption Accomplished and Applied, and Morris’ The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross. Somewhere along the journey I picked up Fee’s Pauline Christology and the same feel the same sense of discovery, only this time with the titles of Christ Himself, such as Lord, Son of God, and Second Adam. How often do we flatten out the meaning of these titles and just gloss over them in our reading?
I have been a Christian for my entire life and even attended Bible College and yet had never appreciated the depths found in these terms and titles. Not only were they big concepts that I had missed until now, but they were hugely practical. To add to my surprise, I couldn’t find any Bible College or seminary classes that devoted to explaining these terms. Even good books can be hard to find. Virtually all books that address these topics are academic and unapproachable for the layman.
Christ and the Cross
Since I saw this gap and wanted to share what I had learned, I talked to our director and he graciously approved this being a class, which came to be called Christ and the Cross. The desire behind it is simple: each week we would examine one or more of the titles of Christ or terms of salvation, getting into the Old Testament background, and thereby become better readers of the Scripture and better know and love Christ!
Here’s our semester plan. The first half is devoted to Christ’s titles and the rest are descriptions of salvation.
- Seed of the Woman
- Prophet, Priest and King
- Son of God
- Son of Man
- Logos & I Am
- True Temple
- Exalted Lord
- Legal Substitute
- New Covenant Sacrifice
- Second Adam
Semester is well on its way, having just finished our sixth week of class, and while you’ll have to ask the students if they like it, the class has sure been a tremendous blessing for me!
I plan to post some insights from the Christ and the Cross class here as I study and maybe some short book reviews on the topics. Expect more soon!