Friday, May 1, 2009

R.T. France: Part Two

I had mentioned in a previous post that R.T. France's commentary is special for many reasons. Some of those reasons were: 1. He does theological reflection; 2. He pastorally reflects on the text; 3. He incorporates other canonical writings to help in the interpretation of the text.

Note how he does all three in his comments on Matthew 7:21-23 (The "Lord Lord did we not" passage)
This is, then, a profoundly searching and disturbing pericope for all professing disciples. It raises sharply the issue of assurance of salvation, and taken alone it can be a cause of great distress to some more sensitive souls. But such a questioning is not a new phenomenon. It was apparently in the light of just such painful spiritual self-examination that the pastoral treatise we know as 1 John was written, with its recognition of the need for reassurance when "our hearts condemn us" (1 John 3:19-22) and its painstaking examination of the grounds of assurance: "by this we know..." (1 John 2:3, 5; 3:16, 19; 4:2, 6, 13; 5:2).

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