Karl Barth Dogmatics

Community

“The liberation of the Christian takes place as he is drawn out of solitariness into fellowship. The glories and miseries of isolation, of self-dependence, of loneliness, are now over for the Christian. As a witness of Jesus Christ he has nothing more to seek or find in this dark cavern. With every step which he takes as such he moves further out of it, leaving it behind and moving over and into fellowship, into fellowship with Jesus Christ, which at once opens up in two dimensions as fellowship with God, who also sends him out as His servant in and with Christ, and as fellowship with men, to whom He is sent in and with Christ as His servant. When he is addressed and claimed by Jesus Christ for His service, both his relationship with God and his relationship with his neighbor are personally assigned to him with superior power and force. He has ceased to be lonely. He is in any case brought into conjunction with God as his Father and his neighbor as his brother.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4/3/2, p. 664).

“Christians who regard themselves as big and strong and rich and even dear and good children of God, Christians who refuse to sit with their Master at the table of publicans and sinners, are not Christians at all…”

(Karl Barth, The Christian Life, p. 80).

“For all the relapses into his old, private being, it is once and for all established that that cavern is behind him and the open country of fellowship before him. In its conjunction with the history of Jesus Christ his life-history moves in this and not the opposite direction. He may not be very comfortable in the established order. He may wrongly and senselessly trangress it. But he must always have beside him the God who sends him and the fellow-man to whom he is sent. He cannot, therefore, live alone. He must always reflect and express the relationship of his existence to the covenant which he has to attest.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4/3/2, p. 664).

Covenant between God and Man

“The inner basis of the covenant is simply the free love of God, or more precisely, the eternal covenant which God has decreed in Himself as the covenant of the Father with His Son as the Lord and Bearer of human nature, and to that extent the Representative of all creation.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 3/1, p. 97).

“Creation is the external–and only the external–basis of the covenant. It can be said that it makes it technically possible; that it prepares and establishes the sphere in which the institution and history of the covenant take place; that it makes possible the subject which is to be God’s partner in this history, in short the nature which the grace of God is to adopt and to which it is to turn in this history. As the love of God could not be satisfied with the eternal covenant as such; as it willed to execute it and give it form outside the divine sphere, it made itself this external ground of the covenant, i.e., it made necessary the existence and being of the creature and therefore of creation.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 3/1, p. 97).

“In fact, the wonderful thing about the biblical creation narratives is that they stand in strict connection with the history of Israel and so with the story of God’s action in the covenant with man.”

(Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, p. 51).

“God willed, we saw, from eternity to become man in Jesus Christ and to have in Him and through Him fellowship with sinful man. To achieve this end, there was needed, first, a place where this history could be enacted and, secondly, a covenant between God and man in the framework of which God’s fellowship with man and man’s fellowship with God could be actualized in accordance with God’s will for man and therefore in conformity with a definite order ordained by God. Consequently, creation sets the stage for the execution of the history of God’s covenant of grace with man, which has its eternal beginning in God’s eternal decree before time. In other words, creation functions as the external basis of the covenant. The fulfillment of the covenant, on the other hand, is the eternal positive will of God, and the creation of the universe and of man has no other purpose than to serve this end. Hence, the fulfillment of God’s covenant of grace with man is the eternal purpose of creation, that is to say, this covenant, its history, its fulfillment, is the internal basis of creation.”

(Herbert Hartwell, The Theology of Karl Barth: An Introduction, p. 115).

“…it was the eternally fore-ordained divine mission of Jesus Christ to fulfill the covenant in His own person and work and thereby, as very God, to carry into effect God’s promise, ‘I will be your God’, and, as very man, to obey the command, ‘Ye shall be my people’. That, in so doing, He also restored the covenant broken by man’s sin, is in Barth’s view of secondary importance because the realization of the original purpose of the covenant, God’s fellowship with man and man’s fellowship with God, is for him, so to speak, Jesus Christ’s primary task in His work of Reconciliation.”

(Herbert Hartwell, The Theology of Karl Barth: An Introduction, p. 135) (cf. CD IV/1:3ff; 22ff).

Creation, arises from freedom and love of God

“Creation is freely willed and executed positing a reality distinct from God. The question thus arises: What was and is the will of God in doing this? We may reply that He does not will to be alone in His glory; that He desires something else beside Him… If, then, this positing is not an accident, if it corresponds to no divine necessity and does not in any sense signify a limitation of His own glory, there remains only the recollection that God is the One who is free in His love. In this case we can understand the positing of this reality–which otherwise is incomprehensible–only as the work of His love. He wills and posits the creature neither out of caprice nor necessity, but because He has loved it from eternity, because He wills to demonstrate His love for it, and because He wills, not to limit His glory by its existence and being, but to reveal and manifest it in His own co-existence with it.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 3/1, p. 95)

“Creation is grace: a statement at which we should like best to pause in reverence, fear and gratitude.” (Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, p.54)”We exist and heaven and earth exist in their complete, supposed infinity, because God gives them existence.” (Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, p.54).”If we make even a slight effort to look on God, to conceive Him as He reveals Himself to us, as God in mystery, God in the highest, God the Triune and Almighty, we must be astonished at the fact that there are ourselves and the world alongside and outside Him. God has not need of us, He has no need of the world and heaven and earth at all. He is rich in Himself. He has fullness of life; all glory, all beauty, all goodness and holiness reside in Him. He is sufficient unto Himself, He is God, blessed in Himself. To what end, then, the world? Here in fact there is everything, here in the living God. How can there be something alongside God, of which He has no need? This is the riddle of creation. And the doctrine of creation answers that God, who does not need us, created heaven and earth and myself, of ‘sheer fatherly kindness and compassion, apart from any merit or worthiness of mine; for all of which I am bound to thank and praise Him, to serve Him and to be obedient, which is assuredly true’. Do you feel in these words Luther’s amazement in face of creation, of the goodness of God, in which God does not will to be alone, but to have a reality beside Himself?”

(Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, pp. 53-54).

“This, then, is the first aspect of creation which Scripture directs us to consider. It is the presupposition of the realisation of the divine purpose of love in relation to the creature. Creation is the indispensable presupposition because it is a question of the realisation of the divine intention of love. The case is different where it is a question of mutual love in the creaturely sphere. Here the one who is loved has its existence and being independent of the one who loves. Here the one comes upon the other and loves it for the sake of its being and nature. But divine love is perfect love, the inaccessible prototype and true basis of all creaturely love, because it does not rest on a presupposition of this kind, but creates the presupposition. God loves the being which could not exist without Him, but only does so by Him.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 3/1, p. 96).

“The first biblical creation story (Gen. 1:1-2:4a) develops this particular aspect for us in contrast to the second. It describes creation as it were externally as the work of powerful but thoroughly planned and thought-out and perfectly supervised preparation, comparable to the building of a temple, the arrangement and construction of which is determined both in detail and as a whole by the liturgy which it is to serve.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 3/1, p. 98).

Creation, not self-existent

“The creature is not self-existent. It has not assumed its nature and existence of itself or given it to itself. It did not come into being by itself. It does not consist by itself. It cannot sustain itself. It has to thank its creation and therefore its Creator for the fact that it came into being and is and will be. Nor does the creature exist for itself.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 3/1, p. 94)

Creation, Principle of Sabbath

“It is not man who brings the history of creation to an end, nor is it he who ushers in the subsequent history. It is God’s rest which is the conclusion of the one and the beginning of the other, i.e., God’s free, solemn, and joyful satisfaction with that which has taken place and has been completed as creation, and His invitation to man to rest with Him, i.e., with Him to be satisfied with that which has taken place through Him. The goal of creation, and at the same time the beginning of all that follows, is the event of God’s Sabbath freedom, Sabbath rest and Sabbath joy, in which man, too, has been summoned to participate.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 3/1, p. 98).

Creation, Sustained by Christ

“The world came into being, it was created and sustained by the little child that was born in Bethlehem, by the Man who died on the Cross of Golgotha, and the third day rose again. That is the Word of creation, by which all things were brought into being. That is where the meaning of creation comes from…”

(Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, p.58).

“Creaturely reality means reality on the basis of a creatio ex nihilio, a creation out of nothing…. Everything outside God is held constant by God over nothingness.”

(Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, p.55).

“The creature is threatened by the possibility of nothingness and of destruction, which is excluded by God– and only by God. If a creature exists, it is only maintained in its mode of existence if God so wills. If He did not so will, nothingness would inevitably break in from all sides.”

(Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, p.56).

“Only when we keep before us what the triune God has done for us men in Jesus Christ can we realize what is involved in God the Creator and His work.”

(Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, p.52).

“Because God has become man, the existence of creation can no longer be doubted.”

(Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline, p.53).

“through Him that God could carry out and has carried out His eternal plan with man, His eternal election of Himself to fellowship with man and of man to fellowship with Himself, and it is for this reason that Jesus Christ is the original and primary object of God’s election, God’s first and eternal thought and will in His election.”

(Herbert Hartwell, The Theology of Karl Barth: An Introduction, pp. 107-108).

Finished Work of Christ

“As the one thing which has to be done it is already wholly and utterly accomplished in Him. As that which has taken place in God–in which we are indeed participators on the strength of the nature of the person and work of Jesus Christ–it is in itself and from the very outset something which has taken place to and in us.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, II/1:158).

“Again, the act of God accomplished and expressed in Jesus Christ is the justification and sanctification of man. It is thus the act in which man, whether he realizes it or not, is objectively alienated, separated and torn away from this resisting element in him, because he is already set in the liberty of the children of God.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV/3:269).

“The event of redemption took place then and there in Him, and therefore ‘for us’…. It calls us to discipleship, but not in such a way that it becomes an event of redemption only through our obedience to this call…. It has happened fully and exclusively in Him, excluding any need for completion.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV/1:229f).

“Their saving death took place, not now and here, but in supreme actuality then and there, when they, too, were baptized in and with Jesus’ baptism of death…”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV/4:17).

“We ask where and when there has taken place, takes place and will take place, as an actual event, this movement of man in the totality and with the radical dispute in which the old man dies and the new arises, this liberation by God’s free grace. And the answer is simply that in the strict sense it is an actual event only in Him, in His life, in His obedience as the true Son of God and true Son of Man.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV/2:582).

“In His death there took place the regeneration and conversion of man.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV/2:291).

“The majesty, holiness and power of this cause, its superiority to all other powers and in face of all contradiction or resistance, its victory already won in Jesus Christ and to be definitively and universally demonstrated in His final revelation, fortunately do no depend on your or my personal Christianity. The love of God does not await my response to love or to become eternal and omnipotently saving love. Nor is it the case that the truth is conditioned by the fact or manner of its expression in your or my existence. It would be the truth even if it had no witnesses. It is the truth even though all its human witnesses fail. It does not live by Christians, but Christians by it. On the other hand, it is also not the case that God wills to tread without us, as He might so well have done, the path which He has entered in prosecution of His cause in the world. Jesus Christ, who is both the reality of this cause and its truth, its Prophet and Revealer, does not will as such to be alone, to be without His own, His disciples, Christians as His witnesses. Even in His final manifestation he will not appear alone but with all His saints (1Thess. 3:13). And so even here and now He wills to rely on, to make common cause and to compromise Himself with these curious saints called Christians by calling them as the Lord to His service.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4/3/2, p. 656).

Human Witness to Christ

“The point is, in general terms, that only on the lips of a man who is himself affected, seized and committed, controlled and nourished, unsettled and settled, comforted and alarmed by it, can the intrinsically true witness of the act and revelation of God in Jesus Christ have the reign and authority of truth which applies to other men.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4/3/2, p. 657).

“He must accept the fact that the success of his witness is not in his own hands but in the hands of the One whom he has to serve in it. Yet the fact remains that it can be accepted or even understood only to the extent that he himself has accepted as well as understood what he attests, that he can attest it in his own faith, knowledge and experience as one who has himself been overcome, subdued and determined by it, so that it has taken and continually takes form in his inner and outer life. He cannot, then, be satisfied merely to confess that act and revelation of God as objective truth, and to declare them as such in his speech and conduct. He should naturally do this. But he must show that they are objective truth by attesting them as one in whose subjectivity they prove their superiority and in whose humanity they find a reflection and impress.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4/3/2, p. 657).

“He has to attest to the world that the light of the act and revelation of God in Jesus Christ is not a dream, nor an illusion, nor a subject or mere theory, but a fact, and indeed a fact which is relevant and significant for each and every man, which applies directly to every man, so that he has not merely to reckon and wrestle with it as a given factor, but to give it place and freedom to work as such in his life.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4/3/2, p. 658).

“Whoever, whatever or however the Christian man be, he must be himself a man for who the act and revelation of God are neither dream nor illusion nor the subject of mere theory, but a reality believed, known and experienced either in power or in weakness.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4/3/2, p. 658).

“It is the action of the Christian which is serviceable in this ministry, but he himself in his action. Nor is it he himself in a measure of Christian rectitude or excellence, but as a man whose heart has found his Master and Lord in Jesus Christ and whose life has acquired in Him a new centre. If he himself were lacking, or if his heart did not have this lordship and his life this center, his whole action might seem to be Christian but it would not be so. It would not be a phenomenon pointing the world to the act and revelation of God in Jesus Christ. It would not be a witness. To be this phenomenon or witness, his action must also have in its own way and within its limits the character of a self-witness. It must be the word of a man who speaks, who represents in what he does and refrains from doing, that which he believes, knows and experiences, that which determines his own existence… He must encounter the world as one in whose life the factuality and relevance of the great liberation has its analogy and counterpart in the factuality and relevance of his little but very personal liberation.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4/3/2, p. 659).

“The little boy of an African parable, who had played for long enough with a prettily and faithfully carved wooden lion–it might have been an excellent dogmatics!–was dreadfully frightened one day when he saw a real living and roaring lion approaching. If we have never seen the Gospel approaching as a real and living lion, we must not even imagine that we can ever point others to, or prepare them for, that astounding light, that two-edged sword, the decision which is forced on them or the unequivocal way in which it must be made. How can they be expected to take seriously what we ourselves have not taken seriously, or have done so only in the form of a lion which, however savagely it speaks and acts, is only carved out of wood? And if we have not taken it seriously, how can we be usable in the service of Jesus Christ?”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4/3/2, p. 660).

Incarnation, assumption of our flesh

He was man as we are. His condition was no different from ours. He took our flesh, the nature of man as he comes from the fall…His sinlessness was not therefore His condition. It was the act of His being in which He defeated temptation in His condition which is ours, in the flesh…He emptied Himself…placing Himself in the series of men who rebelled against God in their delusion…In so doing, in His own person, He reversed the fall in their place and for their sake.

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV:1 (Edinburgh: T.&T. Clark), 1956, p. 259.)

Love, of God

“It would be a strange love that was satisfied with the mere existence and nature of the other, then withdrawing, leaving it to its own devices.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 3/1, p. 95)

Objective Work of Christ

“‘Old things are passed away’ (2Cor 5:17). How? ‘Ye are dead’ (Col 3:3), for ‘if one died for all, then were all dead’ (2Cor 5:14. ‘I am crucified with Christ, I live no more’ (Gal 2:20). ‘We are’ (Rom 6:8), ‘ye are (Col 2:20) dead with Christ.’ … ‘Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin (our person as the victim of sin) might be destroyed (Rom 6:8). ‘In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ’ (Col 2:11). By the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ ‘the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world’ (Gal 6:14). That is what took place unequivocally and definitively when ‘God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly’ (Rom 5:8). It took place once and for all on Golgotha. We were there, for there took place there dying of the Son of God for us. It was, therefore, His dying for our sins (1Cor 15:3). In His death the wages of our sins were paid in our place (Rom 6:23). In Him we are dead to sin (Rom 6:2). For there and then, in the person of Christ taking our place, we were present, being crucified and dying with Him. We died. This has to be understood quite concretely and literally. In His dying, the dying which awaits us in the near or distant future was already comprehended and completed, so that we can no longer die to ourselves (Rom, 14:2ff), in our own strength and at our own risk, but only in Him, enclosed in His death. We died: the totality of all sinful men, those living, those long dead, and those still to be born, Christians who necessarily know and proclaim it, but also Jews and heathen, whether they hear and receive the news of whether they tried and still try to escape it. His death was the death of all; quite independently of their attitude or response to this event, not only when the proclamation of it comes to them and is received and accepted by them, not only in virtue of the effect of certain ecclesiastical institutions and activities, not only in the dark process of their taking up the cross, certainly not only in certain sacrament or mystical or even existential repetitions or reflections or applications of the event of the cross, not only by the various channels through whose mediation it does finally become actual and significant for them.

Not, then, as though on Golgotha it was simply a matter of the creation of a possibility, the setting up of a model and example, an extraordinary offer of dying, or quite simply the institution of a law: ‘Die and become,’ the reality of which will come only when it is followed. That is how Angelus Silesius viewed the matter, with many others, in the verses quoted above. But the New Testament views it quite differently. Certainly there are exhortations and imperatives which stand in very clear connexion to the happening at Golgotha: to ‘mortify the deeds of the body’ (Rom 8:13); to ‘put off the old man’ (Col 3:9); to ‘crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts’ (Gal 5:24). These are consequences of the dying of man which has already taken place. They are commands to attest this event which can be characterised only indicatively, in the form of a narrative, because it can be grasped only as we look back to Golgotha. These attestations of the affirmation and acknowledgement of what took place there are still lacking; they must be filled up, as we are told in the much quoted text, Col 1:24, which does not really say anything about a perfection or completeness or efficacy lacking in the event itself. Similarly, in the demand for the ‘reasonable service’ (Rom 12:1) which must be offered with the self-offering of the Christian there can be no question of any repetition or representation of that event, or even of an actualisation which has still to be effected. It needs no completion or re-presentation. It would encroach on its perfection and glory if we were to place alongside it events which complete or represent or actualise it. The confession of Christian, their suffering, their repentance, their prayer, their humility, their works, baptism, too, and the Lord’s Supper can and should attest this event but only attest it. The event itself, the event of the death of man, is that of the death of Jesus Christ on Golgotha: not other event, no earlier and no later, no event which simply prepares the way for it, no event which has to give it the character of an actual event…. In His own person, in His giving up to death, He actually took away sinful man, causing him to disappear.”

(Karl Barth,, IV/1, p. 296-297). Church Dogmatics

[Interpreting Barth:] “When God comes to humanity in the history of Jesus Christ, humanity at the same time is brought to God in that history objectively. It is not faith which incorporates humanity into Jesus Christ. Faith is rather the acknowledgement of a mysterious incorporation already objectively accomplished on humanity’s behalf.

‘One had died for all; therefore all have died’ (2 Cor 5:14). That all have died in Christ (and been raised with him) is the hidden truth of humanity as revealed to faith. Our true humanity is to be found not in re-presentation. It would encroach on its perfection and glory if we were to place alongside it events which complete or represent or actualise it. The confession of Christian, their suffering, their repentance, their prayer, their humility, their works, baptism, too, and the Lord’s Supper can and should attest this event but only attest it.

The event itself, the event of the death of man, is that of the death of Jesus Christ on Golgotha: not other event, no earlier and no later, no event which simply prepares the way for it, no event which has to give it the character of an actual event…. In His own person, in His giving up to death, He actually took away sinful man, causing him to disappear.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV/1, p. 296-297).

[Interpreting Barth:] “When God comes to humanity in the history of Jesus Christ, humanity at the same time is brought to God in that history objectively. It is not faith which incorporates humanity into Jesus Christ. Faith is rather the acknowledgement of a mysterious incorporation already objectively accomplished on humanity’s behalf.

‘One had died for all; therefore all have died’ (2 Cor 5:14). That all have died in Christ (and been raised with him) is the hidden truth of humanity as revealed to faith. Our true humanity is to be found not in re-presentation. It would encroach on its perfection and glory if we were to place alongside it events which complete or represent or actualise it. The confession of Christian, their suffering, their repentance, their prayer, their humility, their works, baptism, too, and the Lord’s Supper can and should attest this event but only attest it. The event itself, the event of the death of man, is that of the death of Jesus Christ on Golgotha: not other event, no earlier and no later, no event which simply prepares the way for it, no event which has to give it the character of an actual event…. In His own person, in His giving up to death, He actually took away sinful man, causing him to disappear.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV/1, p. 296-297).

“We might imagine the conversation to which it gives rise and some of the forms which it necessarily takes. The man to whom it is said thinks and says that he is not this new, peaceful, joyful man living in fellowship. He asks leave honestly to admit that he does not know this man, or at least himself as this man.

The Word of grace replies: ‘All honour to your honesty, but my truth transcends it. Allow yourself, therefore, to be told in all truth and on the most solid grounds what you do not know, namely, that you are this man in spite of what you think.’

Man: ‘ You think that I can and should become this man in the course of time? But I do not have sufficient confidence in myself to believe this. Knowing myself, I shall never become this man.’

The Word of grace: ‘You do well not to have confidence in yourself. But the point is not that you can and should become this man. What I am telling you is that, as I know you, you already are.’

Man: ‘I understand that you means this eschatologically. You are referring to the man I perhaps will be one day in some not very clearly known transfiguration in a distant eternity. If only I had attained to this! And if only I could be certain that even then I should be this new man!’

The Word of grace: ‘You need to understand both yourself and me better than you do. I am not inviting you to speculate about your being in eternity, but to receive and ponder the news that here and now you begin to be the new man, and are already that which you will be eternally.’

Man: ‘How can I accept this news? On what guarantee can I make bold to take is seriously?’

The Word of grace: ‘I, Jesus Christ, am the One who speaks to you. You are what you are in Me, as I will to be in you. Hold fast to Me. I am your guarantee. My boldness is yours. With this boldness dare to be what you are?’

Man: ‘I certainly hear the message, but…’ In this perplexed and startled ‘but’ we see the attack, and who it is that is attacked.” (Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, V/2, p. 250).

In Jesus Christ God Himself has acted in place of the human race…In Him God not only demands but gives what He demands.

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV:1 (Edinburgh: T.&T. Clark), 1956, p. 280.)

Satan

“In this world Satan can have only the power which is given and allowed him as he is powerfully upheld by the left hand of God.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV:1, p. 267)

[In a question-answer forum, Karl Barth was asked, “Do sin and evil have real being?” Here are portions of his answer.]
“Sin and evil have an ontological being, an ontological being of its very peculiar own kind; a kind of being which can only be described in purely negative terms. As, for example, I should say, ‘Sin and evil, and the devil himself, are impossible possibilities.’ Or, if you prefer, unreal realities. It can’t be helped; that’s their nature, because sin means living a lie…

“I don’t like the sayings of this [early-20th century American revivalist] Billy Sunday, because his saying begins with the words, ‘I believe in the objectivity of the devil’…I believe in the objectivity of the devil?! Can, and dare we believe in such a thing, since the devil is certainly (following scripture) ‘a liar from the beginning,’ and since Christ saw him falling from heaven? Believe in him? No. The devil, whose possibility and reality I do not deny…the devil can only be dealt with horror, with contempt, with resistance, and even with humor.”

[When a listener interjected, “And with the sign of the cross,” Barth immediately responded with these words:] “It is too good for him! God certainly laughs at him. Is that enough?”

(Karl Barth, at the University of Chicago, April 25-26, 1962, from the live recordings of his lectures, Introduction to Evangelical Theology, Word Records, Waco, TX)

Sin, conquered in Christ

“He has made an end of us as sinners and therefore of sin itself by going to death as the One who took our places as sinners. In His person He has delivered up us sinners and sin itself to destruction. He has removed us sinners and sin, negated us, cancelled us out: ourselves, our sin, and the accusation, condemnation and perdition which has overtaken us…. The man of sin, the first Adam, the cosmos alienated from God, the ‘present evil age’ (GAL 1:4), was taken and killed and buried in and with Him on the cross.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, V/I, pp. 253-254).

Sin, conquered in Christ

[Man’s] legal status as a sinner is rejected in every form. Man is no longer seriously regarded by God as a sinner. Whatever he may be, whatever there is to be said of him, whatever he has to reproach himself with, God no longer takes him seriously as a sinner. He has died to sin; there on the Cross of Golgotha…We are no longer addressed and regarded by God as sinners…We are acquitted gratis, sola gratia, by God’s own entering in for us.
-Karl Barth, Dogmatics in Outline

(New York: Philosophical Library), 1949, p. 121; 120.

When He took our place as man, the man of sin, the first Adam, the cosmos alienated from God, the “present evil world” (Gal. 4), was taken and killed and buried in and with Him on the cross…Jesus Christ, who willed to make Himself the bearer and representative of sin, caused sin to be taken and killed on the cross in His own person (as that great sinner). And in that way, not by suffering our punishment as such, but in the deliverance of sinful man and sin itself to destruction,…He has on the other side blocked the source of our destruction.

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV:1 (Edinburgh: T.&T. Clark), 1956, p. 254.)

Union with Christ

“What the Christian as a man called by Christ may believe, and in faith recognise, acknowledge, experience, understand and grasp, is finally and decisively this union of Christ with him and himself with Christ.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4/3/2, p. 651).

“But this union, preceding and superior to his faith, knowledge and experience, by which it is not bound but of which it is the basis, is the being of Christ with and in him and his own being with and in Christ.”

(Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, 4/3/2, p. 651).