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We finish this series on Tom Wright, in Justification: God’s Plan & Paul’s Vision. We will look into his treatment of Romans 6 and then offer his summary of what is being said:
“Paul does not, ‘I am in Christ; Christ has obeyed the Torah; therefore God regards me as though I had obeyed the Torah.’ He says: ‘I am in Christ; Christ has died and been raised; therefore God regards me — and I must learn to regard myself — as someone who has died to sin and been raised to newness of life.”
And: “To know that one has died and been raised is far, far more pastorally significant than than to know that one has, vicariously, fulfilled the Torah” (233).
Wright goes on about Romans 5–8 and then 9–11, and you can fill in those lines of thinking by reading his book — but his major ideas are already on the table and have been emphasized often. With one exception: Wright’s theology of Paul is robustly filled with the Spirit, and this is not always done in those who focus on justification. Wright gives plenty of space to the Spirit at work in us now.
The Story of the Bible is the Story of Jesus Christ. This Story goes through Abraham and into Jesus Christ and through the Spirit and for the whole of creation. The creator God called Abraham to bless the whole world and to do this by forgiving its sins and the curse of death and find blessing and the promise of life. The metaphor at work here is the law court and God has brought forward his judgment into history in Christ — those in Christ are in the right. The sign here is faith.