Summary of Lewis Chafer’s Systematic Theology Volume V Chapters X-XI

In these chapters of theological study we find the subjects pertaining to the resurrection of Christ incarnate and the ascension and session of Christ incarnate. Chafer begins by pointing out the simple importance of the resurrection of Christ. It is stated that if there were no resurrection there would be no savior and all that we believe would be in vain. Concerning the subject of the resurrection, Chafer explains the doctrine of the resurrection as seen in the Old Testament and the doctrine of the resurrection as seen in the New Testament. In the doctrine of the Old Testament we find several types of the resurrection of Christ. Those types are as follows: the priesthood of Melchizedek as seen in Genesis 14:18 , the two birds as seen in Leviticus 14:4-7, the first fruits as seen in Leviticus 23:10-11, and Aaron’s rod that budded as seen in Numbers 17:8. Each of these historical accounts is types or pictures of the resurrection of Christ. Another element of the doctrine of the resurrection of Christ as seen in the Old Testament is that of the many prophecies concerning His resurrection. Chafer points out that there are many references to the resurrection of the human body within the Old Testament text. However, there are but three specific predictions in the Old Testament of the resurrection of Christ. All three of those prophetic writings are found in the Psalms, namely: Ps. 16:9-10; Ps. 22:22-31; Ps. 118:22-24. In the Psalm 16 passage we see Christ portrayed as one who now has immortality. In Psalms 22 several things but of notable concern is the fact Christ is seen in the midst of the congregation. This would be impossible apart from the resurrection. In Psalm 118 we see Christ mentioned as the stone which has become the cornerstone. This passage shows, as Chafer mentions, that the resurrection of Christ belongs to the church in its doctrinal importance. Chafer also shows the resurrection of Christ as seen in the New Testament doctrine. This section is divided in seven parts as follows: Christ’s predictions, His resurrection as subject to valid proof, His actual resurrection, His resurrection as resulting in a new order of beings, seven reasons for His resurrection, His resurrection as the present standard of divine power, and the Lord’s Day as a commemoration of His resurrection. Chafer concludes his thoughts on the resurrection of Christ incarnate by mentioning the fact that no matter how much doctrinal study is involved concerning the resurrection of Christ it still proves to be inadequate. It is difficult for the human mind to fully understand all that is involved in His resurrection but once one does fully grasp its meaning it becomes of very glorious discovery.
Chafer also considers the ascension and session of Christ incarnate in chapter XI. On the ascension we see a couple of considerations: the ascension on the resurrection morn and the final ascension of Christ in the clouds of glory. It must be noted and understood that Christ did indeed ascend into heaven first at the resurrection in order to fulfill His duty as high priest and then the second and final ascension in the clouds of glory with the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit and His soon return. Chafer also explains the present ministry of Christ in heaven known as the session. On this subject we find the following: the exercise of universal authority, head over all things to the church, the bestower of gifts, the intercessor, the advocate, the builder, and Christ expecting. All of these things we see Christ doing in heaven at this present time.
These vital truths that Chafer points out are worthy of our consideration. It is recommended that these chapters are read with great care due to the importance of its doctrinal content.


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