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Featured 5 Biblical Corrections to Penal Substitution

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Arthur King, Jun 19, 2023.

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  1. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    LOL. The very reference is to the sin sacrifice which was carried out of the camp and burned "with his dung". And yes, the offering was a substitute for the offerer.

    Expiation is active, not passive. Sin isn't expiated by the mere virtue of Christ's death. He took our sins upon Himself, and He died a sinner's death, as Paul said, quoting the law, "Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree."

    That cross was righteous judgment...judgment upon our sins in the body of Christ.
     
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  2. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    The second reference in my post is about willful sins agains one's neighbor. There is a sacrifice for that, but there was no sacrifice for a willful profanation of the holy things of the Tabernacle. The Apostle referred to that in Hebrews 10:26 -31, applying it to one's willful profanation of Christ and His Work, because that's what the Tabernacle was.

    It was a picture of the Son and the work he would accomplish. All the offerings are descriptions of Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, and in the Trespass Offering, we see Him paying the sin debt.
     
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  3. Arthur King

    Arthur King Active Member

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    Jesus suffers the curse unjustly, so that the curse would be reversed by his resurrection. The curse is cursed and so reversed.

    Jesus does not suffer the curse in Israel or humanity's place as their substitute. Jesus is suffering the curse along with Israel. The curse (specifically referring to the exile) is something that Israel has been under, in the past and in the present. It is not a future, impending judgment hanging over Israel’s head that they can avoid. They are already under it. As Daniel 9:11 says, “Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him.” In Isaiah 51:17, the prophet says to Jerusalem, “Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk from the LORD’S hand the cup of His anger; The chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs.” Jerusalem had drained the cup of God’s wrath down to the dregs.Jesus suffers the curse along with Israel, not in their place. Only Jesus suffers the curse unjustly, whereas Israel suffers it justly.
     
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  4. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    ". . . Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 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. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. . . ."
     
  5. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    .
    The unsaved who perish.
     
  6. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I am not sure what you think that verse proves, but reading the passage it certainly supports @Arthur King 's post.

    And coincidentally (probably not so much coincidental) Psalm 22 as the Servant endures an unjust punishment but remains faithful to God's righteousness judgment for His deliverance. Not only that, but in the Psalm the Servant looks back to God's judgment and deliverance to the forefathers of Israel when suffering under evil and oppression (appealing to Go D's righteous nature).

    What amazes me is that these truths that formed Christian faith for so long has somehow been lost in our contemporary Baptist setting. What @Arthur King has posted are very basic Christian truths that were held as foundational truths for a millennia and a half. But when mentioned on this board they appear to be foreign to most participating members.
     
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  7. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    That is not what the verse says.

    The verse says that the soul that sinneth must die.

    You are changing that to "the unsaved soul that sinneth must die" (which not only is a corruption of that verse but also does not make much sense as the unsaved by definition are not only die but will experience condemnation at the Judgment).

    Why reject the verse as it is written in God's Word?
     
  8. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    Revelation 21:8 also says all liars.
     
  9. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    I can read these posts but I can't do quotes and such right now but I'm wondering - do you guys who don't like penal substitution think that there is or is not a gulf or separation between us and God because of our sin? And I mean as individuals. And does wrath have a place in describing God's reaction to our sin? What exactly did Jesus do when he was crucified? If penal substitution is wrong then is it absolutely necessary that Jesus die on the cross in order that you be saved?
     
  10. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Good Grief, when we are transferred into Christ, we undergo the washing of REGENERATION, resulting in our new spiritual birth, born of God.
     
  11. Arthur King

    Arthur King Active Member

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    "do you guys who don't like penal substitution think that there is or is not a gulf or separation between us and God because of our sin? And I mean as individuals."

    Yes. "But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God." Isaiah 59:2

    "And does wrath have a place in describing God's reaction to our sin?"

    Yes. But even if God never lifted a finger to punish sin, sin itself would still destroy sinners. Sin is a far greater problem than the wrath that it incurs.

    "What exactly did Jesus do when he was crucified?"

    Jesus suffered all of our sin's destruction as an injustice, so that justice would enact the reversal of all sin's destruction by his resurrection. The resurrection is the divine reversal of the unjust human verdict.

    "If penal substitution is wrong then is it absolutely necessary that Jesus die on the cross in order that you be saved?""

    Yes. We were dead, and Jesus needed to die in order to bring about the reversal of death. Ephesians 2:1-10
     
    #71 Arthur King, Jun 20, 2023
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2023
  12. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Comments on the OP:
    1) " Problem: deserving wrath / Solution: avoiding wrath "
    Here the idea is that the consequence imposed by God for failure to think and act according to God's will is (a) separation from God - thus "dead in sin" and (b) obtaining a "sin burden" - what God holds against the individual thus incurring divine punishment.

    But I do agree with the "corrected view" of "Problem: dead in sin / Solution: resurrection in Christ.
    Here the idea is that when God transfers an individual from the domain of darkness (in Adam) into the Kingdom of His Beloved Son (in Christ) the individual is made alive (no longer dead in sin) together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5) and having undergone the "washing of regeneration" which makes the person alive and removes the "sin burden" resulting in those born anew being holy blameless and forgiven.

    2) Jesus death was unjust and this was corrected by His resurrection. I disagree. Jesus was treated unjustly, but His sacrifice, the just for the unjust, was according to God's plan just plan as God is never unjust.

    3) The problem with Penal Substitution is that it limits Christ's provision of the means of salvation to preselected individuals, rather than providing the means of salvation for all of humanity, the whole world. 1 John 2:2

    4) Jesus bought everyone, those to be saved and those never to be saved (2 Peter 2:1) such that He became the means of salvation for everyone, but only those God transfers into Him spiritually receive the reconciliation He provides.

    5) Christ's substitutionary death provided justification to life for all humanity, Romans 5:18. Or justification for life from death to all humanity, thus providing the opportunity for all, and the actuality for those who receive the reconciliation
     
  13. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    You can go to the store WITH OR FOR your wife, but if you are going with her, you are not going FOR her. Moreover, when Paul declares, 'I have been crucified with Christ' we know that he wasn't actually there on Calvary as one of the two thieves. He is speaking of his union with Christ. That union is vital for the doctrine of P.S. because it is on that basis that our guilt can be justly imputed to Christ and His perfect righteousness imputed to us.
     
  14. Arthur King

    Arthur King Active Member

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    No, that is not true. I can go to the store WITH her, and FOR her. She has a dish she is making for a party she is going to, and she asks me to go to the store with her to help carry the groceries. I am going WITH her, as I am at the grocery store alongside her, and FOR her, as I am not making the dish, nor am I going to the party. FOR does not necessarily mean INSTEAD OF.

    Paul died with Christ through confession (death) and repentance (resurrection). He also seeks to live a cruciform life. Dying and rising WITH CHRIST is absolutely central to Paul's theology. See below. And yes, this includes physically dying and rising again. We must die to be freed from sin (Romans 6:7), to be freed from "the body of this death" (Romans 7:24). Paul talks about Christians who physically die and rise again as dying with Christ and in Christ. If Jesus truly died in our place as our substitute, then we should not ever have to physically die, especially considering that physical death is a punishment for sin (Genesis 3).

    2 Corinthians 1:5

    For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.


    2 Corinthians 4:10
    We are always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.


    Romans 6:3-7

    Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin.


    Philippians 3

    that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
     
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  15. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Yes. You are quite right; I should have written, "Christ receives sin's wages on our behalf." Sorry!
    I don't think I mentioned any such thing as a "debt of punishment." But there are several references to punishment for debt and of sin as debt (Matthew 5:24-26; 6:12; 18:21ff come to mind instantly)
    There are several reasons why I don't think hamartia should be translated as 'sin offering in 2 Cor. 5:21. Firstly, I don't think it at all likely that the Holy Spirit would use the same word with different meanings in the same sentence, and 'He made Him who knew no sin offering to be a sin offering for us' makes no sense.
    Secondly, hamartia cannot be shown to have the meaning 'sin offering' anywhere in the NT, though it does sometimes elsewhere. In Hebrews 10:18, 'sin offering' or 'offering for sin' translates prosphera peri hamartias. When the writer is quoting from the LXX in Hebrews 10:6, he writes a sort of shorthand - peri hamartias, but not hamartian as in 2 Cor. 5:21.
     
  16. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I think your example is a bit forced, but I did not say it did. But sometimes it can only mean 'instead of' John 11:49-50. Caiaphas predicts that our Lord should die on behalf of the nation, but also very clearly, instead of the nation..
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I can't answer for the others, but I'll tackle the questions for myself.

    First, I want to clarify that it is not a matter of liking Penal Substitution. It is a matter of Scripture. Were it not for the Bible I'd much prefer Penal Substitution as it makes no demands of eternal significance towards the believer.


    Is there or is there not a gulf or separation between us and God because of our sin?

    Yes. Sin separates man from God. On a large scale sin separates mankind from God and on an individual basis sin separates the person from God.

    Does wrath have a place in describing God's reaction to our sin?

    No. God's wrath towards sin speaks to God's wrath towards the sinner. All men suffer the wages of sin (death). This is why Christ had to be one one of us, had to share in our infirmity.

    But after we experience the wages of sin there is the Judgment. All men will be judged (this is technically an execution of judgment).

    If one is in Christ then they are without condemnation. They have been "re-created" (made new creations in Christ). But if one is not in Christ then they will suffer the execution of judgment (they are already condemned).

    "In Christ" speaks of a union, or solidarity, with Him in such a way that we are partakers of His covenant and are given life.

    What exactly did Jesus do when he was crucified?

    Jesus died by the hands of the wicked. Jesus, although He knew no sin, was made sin for us and experienced the wages of sin (death). He shared in our death so that we would share in His life.

    If penal substitution is wrong then is it absolutely necessary that Jesus die on the cross in order that you be saved?

    Not only is Jesus' death absolutely essential for our salvation, it is also important that He die on a Roman cross given over by Israel to the secular rulers.

    In order for Jesus to redeem mankind it was necessary that He share in our fate, die under the powers of this world. And it was necessary that His death be unjust (that He be esteemed as stricken by God, a sinner, and unjustly condemned as such.



    Let me ask you one - holding to Penal Substitution, why do you believe Christ needed to die (physically) at all? Why not have Jesus experience just the part of our punishment that we will not? Why was the cross even necessary?
     
  18. DaveXR650

    DaveXR650 Well-Known Member

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    I believe that God being just, our sin has caused his wrath to be upon us. We are unholy and sinful and would die by looking God in the face. If we offer unauthorized worship or touch the Ark of the covenant we would die. God has somehow come up with a remedy and it is indeed a mystery but propitiation is part of it and it involves Christ taking our sin upon himself. If you don't see that in scripture I don't know any way to argue you into it but those things that happened in the OT were clues about God's view of our state.

    God's wrath is just and righteous and not like ours but it's the concept scripture uses so we can understand. God came up with the plan out of love for us. He can have wrath toward sinners and still save them if you can believe scripture.

    The other aspects of Jesus's work are true and beautiful. But this penal substitution is essential. It's not for me to judge but I don't know what it means if someone denies it. I don't think these other aspects of the atonement fully set forth the horrible nature of sin as it looks to God, even though I greatly respect those aspects.
     
  19. Arthur King

    Arthur King Active Member

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    1) Sin is definitely a debt. The important question is "what is sin a debt of?" Surely, the answer is that sin is a lack of obedience, a lack of love, ultimately to God. It follows therefore that the payment of the debt can only be an act of obedience and love to God. And this is exactly what Paul makes clear in Romans 5:19: “For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.” Jesus’ obedience pays the debt of Adam’s disobedience.

    2) My argument does not depend on "became sin" as "became a sin offering" although there is lots of support for that view, even from penal substitution advocates. See Tom McCall in his book "Forsaken" p.23 and 111. And Nathan Busenitz at John Macarthur’s Master’s Seminary, who supports penal substitution himself, says:

    ““Did Jesus become the literal embodiment of sin, or take on a sin nature, or become a sinner when He died at Calvary?” My answer to that question is a resounding no.”

    Busenitz also says that Jesus became a sin offering.

    This view explains Paul’s use of the Greek word hamartia (“sin”) which was often used in the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament) to mean “sin offering.” For example, in Leviticus 4–6, the Septuagint uses the word hamartia more than 20 times to translate the Hebrew concept of sin offering. Paul’s frequent use of the Septuagint means he would have been familiar with using hamartia in that way.

    Busenitz then quotes the church father Abrosiaster:

    Ambrosiaster: “It was only because all flesh was subject to sin that He was made sin for us. In view of the fact that He was made an offering for sins, it is not wrong for Him to be said to have been made ‘sin,’ because in the law the sacrifice which was offered for sins used to be called a ‘sin.‘ (Commentary on Paul’s Epistles, cf. Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, 7:252)

    Did Jesus Become a Sinner on the Cross? - The Cripplegate

    I think it most important to see "became sin" as Jesus becoming a demonstration of all our sin. We cannot understand human sin in its fullness until we look at how we treated Jesus. All of our sin was poured out on him there. All of our sins are contributions to his crucifixion. The same way we might say that "Whipped Peter," depicted in the famous photograph, became America's sin with regard to slavery. The symmetry of the verse is that "God demonstrated the fullness of our sin through the sinless one, and He demonstrated the fullness of His covenant faithfulness through those who had been faithless (the church)."
     
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  20. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I agree that Christ is the Propitiation for our sins and in Him we escape the wrath to come. I also agree that God's wrath is just. His wrath is against the wicked.

    But Penal Substitution does not actually address God's wrath against sinners. Instead it treats sin as extraordinary superficial, even to the point that sins can be transferred and punished when placed on the Righteous in order to forgive the soul that actually sins.

    What you see as addressed in Penal Substitution is actually addressed in a much more substantial way in the actual text of Scripture.

    That is why I argue so strongly against Penal Substitution. It overshadows and replaced actual Biblical Atonement, and Biblical Atonement is much more beautiful (but also much more demanding) than the counterfeit of Penal Substitution. You simply miss out on so much of God's own revelation.

    Can you be saved and believe Penal Substitution? I really do not see how, but I know you can because I was saved while holding that view.

    Looking back I do not understand exactly how I missed what is so obvious (and was so obvious to Christians prior to the arrival of Penal Substitution). But I can guarantee that if you find yourself able to read the Bible without using the lens of Penal Substitution Theory then you will not hesitate to dive deeper into God's Word. There are just so many spiritual truths that Penal Substitution Theory replaces.


    I want to challenge you to at least try to understand Scripture from a more literal position. Try to read your Bible and pretend that Penal Substitution is wrong. Take notes. And then compare the differences.

    That way at least you will understand what is at stake and be able to make a choice between views.
     
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