Sin the curse and the atonement

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by webdog, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. webdog

    webdog
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    Many believe in limited atonement, the fact Christ only died for His elect and no one or anything else. I believe Christ appeased wrath against sin (all) and not just the sins of the elect. I don't believe man can ever repay God for the sins committed against Him, even being sentenced to eternity apart from Him. This thread is not focused on this aspect of the atonement, though.

    If the curse (death) is in effect due to sin...and Christ died only for the elect...how will the curse be lifted off of the universe? How can all creation groan in anticipation of the curse being lifted if Christ didn't atone for sin (plural) but only the sins of the elect?

    Clearly Christ appeased God wrath against all sin, hence sin, the curse and death being lifted one day and all creation being restored. Supporting Scripture...

    Isaiah 25:7-8 On this mountain he will destroy
    the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
    the sheet that covers all nations;
    he will swallow up death forever.
    The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears
    from all faces;

    Galatians 3:3 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

    Romans 8: 19-21 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

    Revelation 22:3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.

    If Christ did not take care of all sin at the cross, how do you reconcile that to the curse and death being lifted from the entire universe?
     
    #1 webdog, Jan 29, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2011
  2. Tom Butler

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    Actually, web, this is a really good question, even if you couldn't resist a jab at Limited Atonement.

    I don't know that the scriptures provide a clue as to how God will do it, but if the curse is lifted, God will have to do it. Maybe the reference in II Peter 3 about burning up the elements with fervent heat is a clue. The John's vision in the Revelation of a New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven could be another clue.

    I have just reached the end of my pay grade, and yield the floor to everybody else. (I am a master at mixed metaphors, but that's about all I'm good for.)

    Web, you have any thoughts?
     
  3. webdog

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    Well, in my first post I stated that I believe that Christ died to appease God's wrath against sin (plural). The jab at LA was intentional. I don't believe it can allow for death and the curse to ever be lifted if Christ only died for sins (singular) of the elect. IMO, the only way death and the curse on all creation could be lifted is through Christ's death to appease God's wrath against sin (not particular sinners) which caused all death and the curse. With one sin all of creation was cursed. With one death, all of the curse was lifted, not just those of the elect.

    Thank you for an honest reply. I hope other LA'er can shed some light on how this fits into their understanding.
     
  4. BobinKy

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    :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:

    ...Bob
     
  5. Aaron

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    A child could rebut this.

    The Scriptures do not say that the creation groans waiting for the curse to be lifted. They say it groans waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.

    The creation will not be changed. It will not be made new. It will be burned up and a new heavens and a new earth will be made.
     
  6. Luke2427

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    Kudos! This is a good argument.

    The answer is this.

    God eradicates evil by judgment. It is judged and destroyed.

    All evil will either be judged on Calvary where Christ bore the evil of his people or it will be judged upon the heads of those who have personally born it.

    The earth, creation, which now groans, will be burned up in a fervent heat- utterly obliterated- I believe on an atomic level. Then God will rebuild a new earth without sin's curse.

    Very good argument, though, Webdog!
     
  7. Luke2427

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    Yea, but this is a fresh, new argument that makes sense and is perfectly within the bounds of orthodoxy, even if it is wrong.

    I have come to appreciate these in light of the Pelagian mess we have had to deal with lately.
     
  8. mets65

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    You pretty much can't argue against that.
     
  9. Skandelon

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    :thumbsup:

    Galatians 3 is the most complete and simple explanation of the curse and it most certainly supports your argument here.

    If God's wrath was only appeased for the sin of a relatively few number of people, then it would make little sense for Paul to say, "The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." 9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. 10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." 11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

    So what is the curse? It is our falling short of the demands of the law. It is disobeying the command (i.e. "do not eat the fruit of this tree") It is SIN.

    So, what does Calvary provide? It provides a righteousness that comes through faith. Paul goes on to explain:

    Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

    Now, one might argue that some become believers BECAUSE they are first born again or regenerated, but that is contradictory to the next verse which reads:

    26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus

    Notice its doesn't say that you who become sons of God will have faith. It shows that sonship comes through faith, not the other way around. The curse is lifted for whosoever believes. Sonship is offered to all men through faith.
     
    #9 Skandelon, Jan 30, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2011
  10. Skandelon

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    One more thing to add to support this argument. Men are not condemned because of their sin in not keeping the law (which is what the curse is defined as in Gal 3). They are condemned for not believing in Christ.

    Mark 16:16:
    Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

    John 3:18
    Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

    John 8:24
    I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins."

    Jude 1:5
    Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.

    Heb. 3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

    And the most convincing of all:

    2 Thess. 2:10: They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

    So, people don't perish because of the "curse," they perish because they refuse the truth. They are unable to enter heaven because of their UNBELIEF, period.
     
  11. David Lamb

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    But is not unbelief a sin?
     
  12. webdog

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    This is the modern understanding Dr. Randy Alcorn refers to as Christoplatonism. This earth will be resurrected along with our bodies, not destroyed completely and a brand new earth created, so your rebuttal fails. To deny the resurrection of God's creation is to deny our bodily resurrection.
     
  13. webdog

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    Thanks. To be sure I understand what you are saying, the judgment has already occurred at the cross?

    Many believers hold to your understanding that God will wipe His hands with this creation and start over. I disagree as this would give sin the ultimate victory that God was not powerful enough to remove the veil that surrounds the universe, but instead had to take His original creation, throw it in the trash and start over. God's creation was perfect, and even though it is affected by the curse, He will remove the curse from His plan, not rethink and renew the plan.
     
  14. webdog

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    Actually, you can to a degree. Death is evil. Sin is evil. The universe in itself is not, it is affected by sin. It is an admission of defeat for God to take what was perfect and have to start over. He very well could have given believers a new body apart from the resurrection...why didn't He if He will with everything else?
     
  15. Skandelon

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    Unbelief is the reason men sin when faced with temptation. Continual rejection of the Holy Spirit's message of redemption brought to the world is arguably the "unforgivable sin" mentioned in scripture. Because God has made faith the one condition for salvation it makes that one sin unforgivable. As scripture says, "They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved."
     
  16. Luke2427

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    No. I am saying that evil is eradicated by the cross or by fire.

    The cross did not do away with the evil of Satan, for example. Satan's evil will be eradicated in the Lake of Fire.


    Look, this is not a bad argument, imo, but I think it is wrong.

    It's not that God did not have the power it is that he did not will to eradicate evil and the curse all at the cross.

    He willed for Satan to bear his own curse.

    He willed, thank God, for Christ to bear mine.
     
  17. Luke2427

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    It is not an admission of defeat. He builds and he destroys. That is what He does. None can stay his hand. He does with his whatever he pleases.
     
  18. webdog

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    Bump. I didn't really receive satisfactory answers, IMO. God can do whatever He wants and eradication of the curse and death through fire do not cut it as plausible answers to the veil of the curse that covers the universe. I would hope more who hold to limited atonement can participate how Christ's death only for the elect take care of sin, death and the curse for them...but do nothing for animals, planets...creation as a whole.
     
  19. Osage Bluestem

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    The atonemnet is either limited in some way or everyone will be saved.

    We know that the atonement is received by faith:

    Romans 3:25-26
    25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

    And because of that we are justified.

    We know that those who do not receive the atonement by faith have the wrath of God abiding on them.

    John 3:36
    36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.

    We also see that there will be people that spend eternity in hell.

    Revelation 20:11-15
    11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

    Mark 9:42-28
    42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,[1] it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell,[2] to the unquenchable fire.[3] 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

    So, we know that some (those who have faith) are atoned for. And some (those who do not have faith) have the wrath of God abiding one them, so they are unatoned for. That means atonement is limited in application to only those who believe, the elect.

    Matthew 24:31
    31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.


    I believe that the purpose of the atonement is to cleanse people of the guilt of sin. It is obvious that resurrection will occur in a dying world as Christ rose in a dying world. The resurrection will occur in a dying world. This world will be destroyed and God will create a new one. That process in no way compromises the resurrection.
     
  20. Aaron

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    You sure that's not Randy Acorn? That's just nuts.
     

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