Atonement: Appeasing the Wrath of God

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    Does Christ's atonement appease the wrath of God for all sin or just for some sin? The bible seems to indicate all sin has been atoned for by Christ, but Calvinists argue that it would be blood wasted if Christ atoned for men's sin who were not forgiven.

    Is that a biblical arguement or just human logic?

    Couldn't it be that Christ did atone for all sin so that God has the freedom to justly judge men by their response to his gift of atonement presented to them in his word?

    Because of Christ ALL men don't have to be condemned by a just God any longer because his wrath has been appeased, once and for all. BUT He places one condition upon their benefiting from that atonement and that is that they must believe in it and repent of their wrong doing.

    Just like a judge might pay the fine for a criminal and then that would give the judge the freedom to let him go or sentence him based upon his response to the gift he gave.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. pinoybaptist

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    Skandelon:

    Here is an excellent article on that question:

    The Atonement

    John Owen
    from: The Monergist Website

    THE ATONEMENT (A Rebuttal of Thomas More's The Universality of God's Free Grace)

    Here's an excerpt:
    I wish there were a ubb code for letter-spacing. :(

     
  3. Tumbleweed

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    I appreciate your sincerity in trying to view the Lord's atonement in a way harmonious with your understanding of freewill. However, there are two great obstacles:

    The first is logical: If, as in your illustration, "a judge might pay the fine for a criminal," then logically and morally, that most certainly would NOT "give the judge the freedom to let him go or sentence him based upon his response to the gift he gave," because the criminal's debt is in fact discharged. The Judge's only moral course is to set the criminal free, unless of course he lied about having paid the debt.

    I think we have a good example of how God's word confirms this in I Jn.1:9 - "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Why "faithful and just"? Because the debt for what we have done was really and truly paid at Calvary. Any other course would render God UNfaithful and UNjust.

    Now, we both agree that the benefits of Christ's atoning work are applied to each believer in time, as each of us comes to repentance and faith. However, it is possibly this chronological application of redemption that tempts people to the idea that the atonement 2000yrs ago was only potential not real and complete. However, we only have to contemplate our Master's agonies for a moment to know that this was no phantom atonement, but a blood-price He paid (Rom.6:23) that was actual, and sealed with His own words, "It is Finished!"

    Secondly, and most importantly, when taken together, those scriptures that speak directly of Christ's atonement do not give any encouragement to the idea that Christ's atoning work at Calvary was only provisional or potential.
    On the contrary, they present us with a Substitution, a Ransom, an Accomplishment (I Pet.3:18, II Cor.5:21, Gal.3:13, Matt.20:28, Matt.1:21, etc.)

    If Christ's atonement was an actual vicarious atoning for sin, then that atonement MUST in due course be be applied to those for whom it was made. Any compromise at this point leads to form of Socinianism in which Christ's actual satisfaction for sins is denied.

    Yours in Him,
    - Paul
     
  4. Monergist

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    Question: Does not this judge-- or someone-- or something, need to give life to this guy before he can do all that stuff??

    "Jesus paid it ALL, ALL to Him I owe..." If what you state is true (which it obviously isn't, but if it were) God would require double payment of those who go to hell.
     
  5. gabe

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    "Couldn't it be that Christ did atone for all sin so that God has the freedom to justly judge men by their response to his gift of atonement presented to them in his word?"

    Seems strange to me. That's all the cross accomplishes? The mere ability for our rejection or acceptance of the offer of salvation? We already had those choice of going God's way, and we have all fallen short. That's why Christ died, to save us from ourselves.
     
  6. Monergist

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    Was God somehow bound, so that He was not able to judge justly? Could He not have thrown the whole lot of mankind into hell and have been just in doing so? Does sinful man give freedom to God someway? Has the creature bound up the creator?
     
  7. gabe

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    "Was God somehow bound, so that He was not able to judge justly? Could He not have thrown the whole lot of mankind into hell and have been just in doing so?"

    No, He could not be just in doing so, for such would be in violation of His own Nature.

    "Does sinful man give freedom to God someway? Has the creature bound up the creator?"

    Seems like an interesting question you have there, but I'm not sure I understand. Could you expound?
     
  8. Skandelon

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    My point was simply to ask some what ifs, so bare with me a bit longer...

    What if God wanted to have mercy and save those who would have faith in him and who at least honestly try to live in obedience such as Abraham and Job. He couldn't just dismiss their sin and remain just, so it had to be atoned. Then, because His wrath was appeased He would then be free to forgive those who in faith repent of their sin and He would still be free to do whatever He wanted with those who didn't. Who is to say that the wrath of God wasn't fully appeased on the cross? Hell was a place created for punishment of Satan and his angels, its not a place of atonement or propitation, as if those going there are atoning for their own sin with their eternal damnation. It is a place of punishment. For what? What are men being judged by? According to John 12 they are judged by their respond to the word, therefore one could conclude the one goes to hell as a punishment for ignoring God's revelation and not necessarily because God couldn't have forgiven him based upon Christ's atoning work despite his rebellion to the word.

    Again, I am just seeking some better understanding on this, so I appreciate all the comments. Thanks.
     
  9. Tumbleweed

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    You can only begin to answer the sort of question you are pondering if you have the courage to first face up to a prior question, which is this: What did Christ actually DO at Calvary? This is what I was trying to get at in an earlier post on this thread. Was His atonement for sin vicarious and actual, or was it only provisional and theoretical? The Biblical evidence leaves no doubt that it was a real, final, finished, substitutionary payment for sin.

    This being so, it is inaccurate to speak of God therefore being "free to forgive those who in faith repent of their sin ." On the contrary, once the price had been paid, He was OBLIGED to forgive those who repent (I Jn.1:9), otherwise He would be in conflict with faithfulness and justice.

    - Paul
     
  10. BobRyan

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    As I have mentioned earlier - the term in 1John 2:2 and in Romans 3 - is from a Bible based Hebrew perspective (i.e. that of the Bible writers in this case) "Atoning Sacrifice".

    Both Atonement and Atoning Sacrifice find their first detailed illustration given by God in Lev 16 as HE speaks of "The Day of Atonement".

    The Atoning sacrifice is "paid for all" according to John in 1John 2 -- NOT ONLY "our sins but the sins of the whole world".

    However the entire process of atonement and the entire work of atonement (as God describes it in Lev 16) goes far beyond the moment of the "Atoning Sacrifice" - it includes the work of the High Priest IN the Most Holy Place.

    Israel then and today understands this as the great day of judgment for the world.

    This means that the Daniel 7 and 2Cor 5 principle that "WE MUST ALL stand before the judgment seat of Christ" is applicable.

    This means that the description in Hebrews 8-10 of Christ beginning His High priestly ministry IN HEAVEN after the cross - IS applicable.

    Instead of thinking that the cross is "the last significant thing that Christ ever did" - the NT text tells us HE IS STILL working in our behalf in God's great Gospel plan of salvation.

    It is precisely BECAUSE this work of Christ is ignored in its connection to God's own Lev 16 illustration that there is so much confusion on the subject of atonement and lack of attention to the fact of "Atoning Sacrifice" Plus "High Priestly ministry of Christ" as God describes it BOTH in the OT and the NT.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  11. Monergist

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    :confused: So then He is violating His own nature by condemning all the non-elect angels? The problem with this kind of thinking is that it creates an idol; it starts by defining his "nature" by whatever you perceive it should be, then trying to cram him into the mold. I see that you claim to be a universalist. That is just the logical end of consistent "universal atonement" rational.

    RO 3:5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)

    RO 3:6 May it never be! For otherwise how will God judge the world?


    Has God become bound by sinful man so that God cannot do what he desires to do {save sinners) unless sinful man gives him the permission to do so?

    While there may be a grain of truth in that, more importantly, Christ died to save us from the wrath of God. I wonder, after reading your posts, if you really understand the gravity of sin.
     
  12. Monergist

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  13. UMP

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    Yes,
    But look at the PRICE which was paid. The perfect one, GOD in the flesh died for HIS people! Let me put it to you this way. If you paid the price for 20 cars and only got 3 in return, would your "purchase" have been successful ? I submit Christ died for X number (whatever that number may be) of people of which He WILL get ALL whom He paid for.

    John 6:37 "All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out."
     
  14. John Gilmore

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    Human logic. Scripture plains says the Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world. To deny unlimited atonement would be to deny that, in the communication of the attributes, Christ is fully God and fully man. One drop of Christ's blood, true God and true man, is sufficient to atone for an infinite number of sins.


    No. Just as man can not atone for his own sins, man can not respond to the gift of atonement presented in the Word. We plead the merit of Christ not the merit of our response. God alone saves man.

    [ August 05, 2004, 11:58 AM: Message edited by: John Gilmore ]
     
  15. Skandelon

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    But man is judged by his response to the word as seen in John 12:

    47 And if anyone hears My words and does not *believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

    Are you saying that men can't repond to the word by which they will be judged? Can you support that with scripture please. Thanks.
     
  16. Skandelon

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    Well, it could be argued that paying for the sins of the world is just a real, final, finished and substitutiionary so I don't see that being a valid point.

    Not if he place a condition on the application of the atonement. The condition being faith had to be met by the man in order for the atonement to be applied, just in the OT days when the priest would offer the sacrifice the people had to confess. Christ's death being timeless in nature and having finished the atonement process the only thing that must be met is the men's response, men's faith and repentance. That is all that is required, it no longer by works of the law as many believed.
     
  17. Skandelon

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    I asked: What if God wanted to have mercy and save those who would have faith in him and who at least honestly try to live in obedience such as Abraham and Job.

    You quoted:
    RO 3:10 as it is written, "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; RO 3:11 THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;

    RO 3:19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may become accountable to God;RO 3:20 because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

    RO 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    RO 9:16 So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy


    I agree with all of these passages, but I didn't say Abraham and Job were justified because they were good or righteous. They were justified for their faith. All are sinner and own there own they would have been hopeless, but God didn't leave them on their own. Your prove texts show men's plight without Christ's work and the gospel message, it does not show his ability or lack there of to respond to Christ's message of hope.
     
  18. Skandelon

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    Yes, and it could be argued that he knew who would believe and died only for their sins. Or it could be argued that the work of atonement was sufficient to appease all God's wrath against the sin of man and that hell is not there to appease God's wrath but its there to punish rebellious wills.
     
  19. Monergist

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    "Circular reasoning" is a method of false logic, by which "this is used to prove that, and that is used to prove this." It is also called "reasoning in a circle."
     
  20. John Gilmore

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    But man is judged by his response to the word as seen in John 12:

    47 And if anyone hears My words and does not *believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

    Are you saying that men can't repond to the word by which they will be judged? Can you support that with scripture please. Thanks.
    </font>[/QUOTE]The natural man does not respond (1 Cor. 2:14). He is dead in trepasses and sin (Eph. 2:1). If the elect were judged by their response to the gospel, they would all be condemned (Rom. 3:10). Faith looks to Jesus Christ alone not to any human merit of the response to the Word.
     

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