“Virtually every element of Christ’s work that is of interest to Paul is connected in some way to union with Christ. Salvation, redemption, reconciliation, creation, election, predestination, adoption, sanctification, headship, provision, His death, resurrection, ascension, glorification, self-giving, the gifts of grace, peace, eternal life, the Spirit, spiritual riches and blessings, freedom, and the fulfillment of God’s promises are all related to union with Christ.”
–Constantine Campbell, Paul and Union with Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 331-332.
“The resurrection of believers is set before the church time and time again in many different contexts as the great redemptive occurence of the future. It springs directly from and has its explanation in the reality of the resurrection of Christ, the center of the Pauline proclamation (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 6:14; 2 Cor. 4:14).
His own people were already included in Christ’s resurrection, and baptism is the sacramental incorporation into this redemptive event (Rom. 6:4ff.; Col. 2:12; 3:1). The actual renewal of their life is the likeness of Christ’s resurrection (Rom. 6:5); in it the resurrection of Christ is already working itself out (Rom. 6:8; 2 Cor. 4:10ff.), and will work itself out more and more (2 Cor. 3:18).
It is this having been raised with Christ, this being permitted to know oneself alive for God in Christ (Rom. 6:11), this having already put on the new man (of the resurrection) (Col. 3:10), which has its consummation in the resurrection from the dead at Christ’s parousia.
And in proportion as believers may be the more forcefully aware of having been included in this spiritual event of renewal, they will also be the more fervent for its full outworking in the resurrection of the dead (Phil. 3:11ff)…
Christ has robbed death of its power (2 Tim. 1:10), given His own victory over death (1 Cor. 15:57). His resurrection and that of His people form an unbreakable unity.”
–Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966/1975), 537-538.
“What the new man manifests in new life, what he works or exhibits in the fruit of the Spirit and good works, he works out of and by the strength of God, out of the power of the Spirit and by virtue of his belonging to Christ.”
–Herman Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology, trans. John De Witt (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975), 255.
“Anyone who reads even a smattering of Paul’s writings recognizes early on that his devotion to Christ was the foremost reality and passion of his life. What he said in one of his later letters serves as a kind of motto for his entire Christian life: ‘For me to live is Christ; to die is [to] gain [Christ]’ (Phil 1:21). Christ is the beginning and goal of everything for Paul and thus is the single great reality along the way.”
–Gordon D. Fee, Pauline Christology: An Exegetical-Theological Study (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2007), 1.
“Put the whole world on one side of the scale and you will see that the soul of Paul outweighs it.”
–John Chrysostom, as quoted in Paul Barnett, Paul: Missionary of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), 198.
“The chief point on which it turns is to confirm Timothy, both in the faith of the gospel, and in the pure and constant preaching of it. But yet these exhortations derive no small weight from the consideration of the time when he wrote them. Paul had before his eyes the death which he was prepared to endure for the testimony of the gospel.
All that we read here, therefore, concerning the kingdom of Christ, the hope of eternal life, the Christian warfare, confidence in confessing Christ, and the certainty of doctrine, ought to be viewed by us as written not with ink but with Paul’s own blood; for nothing is asserted by him for which he does not offer the pledge of his death; and therefore this Epistle may be regarded as a solemn subscription and ratification of Paul’s doctrine.”
–John Calvin, Commentaries on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, trans. William Pringle (repr. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979), 179.
“During his decade-long burst of energy he walked thousand of kilometers (almost thirty per day) across forbidding mountain ranges and through arid wastelands proclaiming the message of the crucified but risen Messiah. For preaching a message that was offensive to both Jews and Gentiles he was repeatedly and severely flogged, and on one occasion stoned. Virtually penniless, he labored throughout the night to earn money to preach by day.
This ex-Pharisee brought the message about Jesus the Christ to the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, and wanted to repeat this achievement in the western province, Spain. Apart from Paul’s Herculean efforts, it is difficult to imagine how the gospel of Christ would have taken root so comprehensively in the Greco-Roman world.
Paul’s intrepid and energetic travels and tireless work, however, do not in themselves explain his achievements. Here we must understand that for Paul his relationship with Chris and his work for him were inseparable. He regarded all that he did as ‘the work of the Lord’ (1 Corinthians 15:58) that the risen Christ was doing ‘through’ his servant, Paul (Romans 15:18).”
–Paul Barnett, Paul: Missionary of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008), 5-6.