Summary of Lewis Chafer’s Systematic Theology Volume V Chapters VIII-IX

The chapters summarized here contain one of the most important subjects in all of Christology. Believers who are serious about their relationship with Christ should read these chapters with upmost attention. Chapter VIII deals primarily with the miracles of Christ incarnate while chapter IX deals with the sufferings and death of Christ incarnate.
Concerning the miracles of Christ incarnate Chafer explains that the miracles of the Bible can be divided into three basic areas: 1. Miracles which belong to the Old Testament order 2. Miracles wrought by Christ and by His disciples who wrought miracles by His authority 3. Miracles wrought by various men of the early church. This subject of miracles is one that must not be ignored as it has direct affect upon the life of a born-again believer. As Chafer points out, the believer is indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God and through that indwelling we are empowered by God, therefore, supernatural experiences should be a common feature in the life of the regenerate man. One must be careful; however, that he or she does not take the miraculous to the extreme as to contradict the Word of God. Now that we have the complete written Word of God, it must be understood that no miracle is needed in order for the unsaved to come to Christ. Chafer states that the unsaved person is saved by believing the Word not the works. The miracles of Christ show us His power and His great care. Healing of the sick shows that He has the power to cleanse from sin, feeding the multitudes shows that He has the power to provide, raising the dead shows that He has power over the price of sin and will one day rise up all those who believe in Him. Miracles are supernatural displays of the glory and power of God and they in no way produce salvation.
In chapter IX Chafer deals with the sufferings and death of Christ incarnate. Chafer gives his arguments within seven basic divisions: 1. the death of Christ typified 2. The death of Christ prophesied 3. The death Christ historically declared in the Synoptics 4. The death of Christ according to John 5. The death of Christ according to Paul 6. The death of Christ according to Peter 7. The death of Christ according to the letter to the Hebrews. Chafer points out concerning the prophecies of the Christ death that it is without any doubt that the sacrifice that He was to make on the cross was planned long before the world began. There are highlights of Chafer’s writing on this subject that must be shared. First, even thought the death of Christ means a lot to mankind, it means more to God. Secondly, man cannot ever fully understand and grasp the whole of the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross. Third, there was no choice but the cross. Only the death of Christ on the cross could save the world from sin. Fourth, man cannot add to the sacrifice that Christ made. We are saved solely by the sacrificial gift of His life and not by any merit of our own. Fifth, the death of Christ is the perfect plan of salvation. Sixth, there is now a perfect redemption, reconciliation, and propitiation. Finally, no obligation is made on those who accept the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross.
Both in the miracles of Christ and the sacrifice of Christ we see the power and glory of God. In both fields we find something that is beyond human possibility and comprehension, thus, all the glory and honor is given to God and God alone.

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