His passion didn't save anyone, just his death?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Daniel David, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. Daniel David

    Daniel David
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    Romans 5:18
    18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

    I was thinking about this text the entire time I saw the passion movie.

    I would like discussion about the theological issue and not the movie itself, please.

    The movie showed the kind of scourging and punishment Christ took on the way to the cross, and the cross also.

    However, the emphasis on the N.T. is always on his DEATH, not his scourging. According to Paul, it was by ONE ACT that he formed the basis of our righteousness.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Roy

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    My thoughts on this issue will probably get blown out of the water by some of the more studious individuals on this forum, but I'll give it a shot.

    It could be that the entire life of Christ is considered a single act - an act of obedience to the Father.

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    In that scripture, we see that Christ was sent. If he had not gone, that would have been an act of disobedience. If he had erred in any way, nothing that he did would have been sufficient to save the lost world.

    Roy
     
  3. Daniel David

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    His one act is in comparison to Adam's one act of disobedience.

    Yes Christ had to obey the Father or he would have been disqualified. However, his scourging didn't contribute to his one act. In other words, he didn't need the scourging to accomplish the one act of obedience.
     
  4. russell55

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    I think you are right in that it was his death, not his scourging that atoned for us. His perfect obedience unto death, even to a death on the cross is important to us though--it shows us something about how far he would humble himself to be obedient. And of course, it is that perfect obedience that is counted as our obedience, and without that perfect obedience on our account we'd still be in trouble.
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    I think you bring up a very important point.

    The vicious brutality inflicted on Christ was a symptom of humankind's natural hostility toward God. We have a natural (sinful) urge to destroy those who expose our weakness and failures, and Christ upset the self-righteous religious crowd.

    But the New Testament emphasis is on Christ's death and resurrection. Our atonement and our new life in Christ is empowered by His death and new life (resurrection).

    Romans 5:10 "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"

    Through His life of obedience (His incarnation and submission to human frailty and cruelty) and His self-giving love for us, the Kingdom (Rule) of God has been established upon the earth in us.
     
  6. Rock

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    Roy, I think you make a good point. Christ lived and died and rose again. Those are three very basic affirmations of the Christian faith. We do not have to decide which one those affirmations gave us salvation, because we know he did all three and in it all he was obedient. If he had not lived among us what would his death have meant? If he had not died, what would his life have meant? If he had not risen on the third day, what would his death have meant?

    I think we are safer ground theologically to affirm Christ living, dying, rising as God's saving act on behalf of humanity.
     
  7. Daniel Dunivan

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    Interesting discussion!

    I agree that it was not the suffering of Jesus alone that saves us, but I don't think that we can quickly delineate at what moment in time that salvation was effected for us. To this end, the General Baptist Statements of Faith (the denomination to which I belong) says, "We believe that salvation (regeneration, sanctification, justification, and redemption) has been provided for
    all mankind through the redemptive work (life, death, resurrection, ascension, and intercession) of Jesus Christ, and that this salvation can be received only through repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."

    So the redemptive work is interpreted as broadly as possible. Theologically speaking, I think that one would be justified in speaking of all of God's actions within human history as contributing to the redemptive work.

    In this sense, redemption is much like revelation. God reveals God's Self as he acts within history, but it is the whole of history. Only in the Christ event does this entire revelation become present at once. (This is close to Wolfhart Pannenberg's christology). I think I just complicated what John makes simple--"This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." JN 17:3
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    It seems to me that Isaiah 53 prohibits us from making strict distinctions between the suffering and death. I think they are so closely intertwined as to be practically and theologically inseparable.

    It was undoubtedly his death that saved, but the rest cannot be separated from it.
     
  9. LadyEagle

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    Amen, PL!

    Isaiah 53:5: But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
     
  10. Baptist Believer

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    Excellent point!

    Too often in our theological discussions, we dissect the meaning of events and sometimes remove them from their specific context.
     
  11. vaspers

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    This is a highly interesting topic. While we gain little by splitting hairs over obscure considerations, it is good to examine minutely the sacrifice of Christ.

    Jesus' scourging = by His stripes ye are healed

    Jesus' death = died for our sins, in our place

    Jesus' resurrection = His triumph over the grave

    Jesus' ascension = He took us with Him to heaven

    Holy Spirit on Pentecost = New Birth spirit, Christ IN you, in all its glory, empowering us to witness to others and bring them to eternal life

    Jesus' intercession for us = working alongside us

    I believe all these elements make up our total salvation.
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    Absolutely!

    Yes.

    But He endured the scourging as part of the one act of obedience. He did not shrink back from it. But I think I see your point, He would have still been obedient even if He had not facing scourging.

    Yes… except that He did face it and did not shrink back from the agony.
     
  13. Daniel David

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    I am glad Pastor Larry brought up Isaiah 53. I had thought about it when I started the thread, but really wanted others to contribute.

    I had never really worked through this issue with anyone before.

    As far as Isaiah 53 goes, it does not HAVE to refer to the scourging he underwent. It could refer to the crucifiction process. Besides, the text does say that it pleased the LORD to bruise him.

    I honestly don't know if Isaiah 53 had the scourging in mind or not.

    The way I am kind of seeing it, is that the life of Christ (virgin birth, sinless life, perfect obedience, etc), had more to do with him proving that he is the only qualified substitute than it is about a contribution to his death.

    Does that make sense what I just said?
     
  14. Baptist Believer

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    I haven’t either. I’m glad you brought it up. [​IMG] This discussion has given me a something to meditate on during this Lenten season.

    I’m not sure I catch all the meaning that you packed into that sentence… I’d like to hear you expand on that thought.

    However, I completely agree that His life was a demonstration of His acceptability to the Father and His qualifications as a representative of humanity before the Father. Of course, He also revealed the Father to humankind through His life, death and resurrection.

    Yet, His manner of life brought about His death. Unredeemed humanity is naturally at war with God. When God made Himself vulnerable in Christ, we attacked and destroyed His body…

    But the Father raised Him from the dead! :D
     
  15. donnA

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    A lot of people forget that the romans beat and crucified many many people. Therefore it can not be His beating and and actual crucifixion(brutality and the pain) that saves us, but His death and resurection is where our victory is.
     
  16. BrianT

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    Indeed, the actual death (and resurrection) is entirely important, but his beating and crucifixion are also vitally important:

    Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

    No death or resurrection mentioned there, just beating, wounding and pain.

    Remember, the normal symbol of Christianity (as seen on jewelry, steeples, documents, at the front of sanctuaries, etc, etc, etc) is not an image of an open tomb, but of the cross.
     
  17. BrianT

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    What do you think of:

    1 Pet 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

    Healed in what sense? And what do "stripes" refer to, if not scourging?
     
  18. dianetavegia

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    It was the blood sacrifice of the spotless lamb that saves us! The 3 hours of darkness, when God had to turn His head because of the weight of our sins on His son.... None of the other thousands who died by crucifixion were sinless or God's son.

    His rising again signifies our new life as adopted sons of God! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

    Diane
     
  19. Daniel David

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    BrianT, I looked up the word in the NASB. It translates the word 'wounds'.

    Wound - a bruise, wale, wound that trickles with blood.

    Although the KJV uses the word 'stripes', the greek word and definition is the same (chalk up another one for the NASB).

    In the KJV for Isaiah 53:5, we find the following for the word 'stripe'.

    Stripe - bruise, stripe, wound, blow.

    In the NASB for Isaiah 53:5, we find the following for the word 'scourging'.

    Scourging - bruise, stripe, wound, blow.

    So really, it still comes down to whether or not one believes the pre-crucifiction events had to anything to do with his 'one act of obedience'.

    I think Isaiah 53 is about the crucifiction, not the scourging. However, Isaiah 53 does speak of what the Lord went through. It even includes that he was numbered with others and that he was buried like a king. So, Isaiah 53 seems to be talking about all that he went through.

    BB, my point on that other post of mine was simply this:

    Christ had to be certain things to be an acceptable sacrifice: virgin born (untainted by the sin nature), sinless life (spotless lamb), obedient to the Father (learned obedience to become the faithful high priest), etc.

    All of those things were what qualified him as our substitute.

    In the other verse in Romans 5 where it says we are saved by his life, I take that to mean his life NOW. In other words, once he rose from the grave having conquered both death and hell, he lives to God. I don't think it is about his life PRIOR to the cross.
     
  20. Baptist Believer

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    Absolutely.

    Yes, I agree.

    Yes, looking back at my post, I realize I wasn’t clear. I was thinking about your statement about the life of Christ being an act of obedience (in contrast to Adam’s) and I didn’t properly reference the second part of the verse that proclaimed the power of His resurrection.


    Your insight relates well to the various facets of the atonement:

    As an example: The Father sent the Son to demonstrate His love to humankind – His life of obedience unto death and His resurrection to life draws us to the Father.

    As a substitution: The righteous and obedient Son stood in the place of the unrighteous and disobedient children of Adam and took the penalty for our sin upon Himself.

    As a sign of the New Covenant: The righteous and obedient Son’s Self-sacrifice has inaugurated/ratified a new covenant with God so they we might share in His Kingdom life, today and forever. Through His learned obedience, we can also learn obedience and find personal and communal transformation and redemption.
     

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