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Atonement

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC, Dec 8, 2017.

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  1. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Christ is the "last Adam". He bore our sins in His flesh. He died and was placed in a tomb. God raised Him on the 3rd day so that He would be the firstborn of many brethren.

    Christ's death alone, apart from the Resurrection, does not change the situation.

    It is an abomination to condemn the righteous.
     
  2. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    So how does His resurrection change anything? I want to know the legal basis of justification
     
  3. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I believe we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ, a righteousness of God apart from the Law. What the Law did was to point out sin, but in terms of Christ it bore witness of Him.

    I know you want the legal basis, brother. Some have wanted the moral basis, others a basis founded on honor, some a governmental basis, and of course this legal basis. We will always be tempted to demand Scripture bow to our wants and demands. Yet it manages well on its own. When we force the atonement into our own contextual framework we alter it from Scripture. Perhaps if you would seek a biblical basis rather than a legal basis your eyes would be opened to the greater depth and sheer magnitude of God's work of reconciliation through Christ.
     
  4. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    Explaining where I think you go wrong is similar to explaining what's wrong with the teaching of Joel Osteen. It's not so much what you state but what you leave out.
     
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  5. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    That's fine, brother.

    Please provide the passage(s) you believe I have left out. It's probably an oversight as I can't think of anything (other than a few assumptions some impose on Scripture) that I've missed. But if I have missed something then I'd certainly appreciate the reference. If that thing you find missing is instead something other than Scripture, a presupposition brought into the text, then I appreciate the thought but am not interested as this doctrine is vital to the degree I find Scripture itself sufficient. Either way, let me know. Iron sharpening iron is always a good thing.

    Thanks.
     
  6. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Well let me put it Biblically again to you, JonC. How do the life, death and resurrection of Christ 'establish the law'? How do you square Romans 3:21 with Romans 3:31? How do they enable God to be 'just and the justifier of the one who believes in Jesus'? [I rather think I may have quoted this last Scripture to you several times :Rolleyes] If you would stop dodging the issue ands seek a biblical basis rather than an emotional response and understand that God is the 'righteous Judge' and not Santa Claus in the sky, we might get somewhere.
     
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  7. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I do. Justification is a forensic term (or don't you think it is?). Here, for the third time, are the opening paragraphs of my OP in the thread 'Penal Substitution:

    Penal Substitution is rooted in the character of God as He revealed Himself to Moses in Exodus 34:6-7. “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding with goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty.” Immediately the question arises, how can God be merciful and gracious, how can He forgive iniquity, transgression and sin without clearing the guilty? How can He clear the guilty if He abounds with truth—if He is a ‘just Judge’ (Psalm 7:11)? How can it be said that, ‘Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed’ unless God can simultaneously punish sin and forgive sinners? The answer is that ‘God……devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him’ (2 Samuel 14:14). Those means are Penal Substitution. “Learn ye, my friends, to look upon God as being as severe in His justice as if He were not loving, and yet as loving as if He were not severe. His love does not diminish His justice nor does His justice, in the least degree, make warfare upon His love. The two are sweetly linked together in the atonement of Christ” (C.H. Spurgeon).

    Right at the start of the Bible (Genesis 2:16-17) we have a direct command to Adam, Adam, the ‘first man’ (1 Corinthians 15:47): ‘And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree in the garden you may freely eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”’ The command is accompanied by a penal sanction-- death. Yet we know that in the Bible death is not restricted to simply the end of existence. ‘….It is appointed to men to die once, but after this the judgement’ (Hebrews 9:27).

    In Genesis 1:28, we see that God blessed His creation; marriage, child-bearing and work are specifically mentioned in that verse as part of this blessing. But at the Fall in Genesis 3, the blessings are turned to curses. Childbirth is marked by pain, the marriage bond is marred, and work becomes hardship and struggle, with death as the final inevitable result (Genesis 3:16-19). These are penal sanctions by God; they are His righteous response to sin. Sinful men and women are not going to live in a perfect environment; every aspect of it has been marred by sin. ‘For the whole creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope’ (Romans 8:20).

    So both our lives and our deaths are subject to the curse because of sin. We learn from Romans 5 that Adam was our federal head—what he did, we have done in him. Therefore just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because all sinned…..’ (v.12). God’s curse extends to mankind because we are every one of us sinners (eg. 2 Chronicles 6:36). We read in Psalm 7:11 that ‘God is a just Judge [therefore whomever God punishes for sin must be guilty of sin], and God is angry with sinners every day,’ and in Proverbs 17:15 we learn that ‘he who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to God.’

    So we come to the necessity of Atonement. We must be very careful in saying that God cannot do something, but the Scriptures tell us that God ‘cannot deny Himself’ (2 Timothy 2:13). In the light of Proverbs 17:15, God surely cannot become an abomination to Himself by justifying guilty sinners without a penalty for sin! Be it said that God is under no obligation to show mercy to sinful humans; the angels who sinned had no Redeemer but were ‘cast down to hell and delivered into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgement’ (2 Peter 2:4). But if God, ‘according to the good pleasure of His will’ (Ephesians 1:5), has decreed mercy and salvation for a vast crowd of sinful men and women, it surely cannot be at the expense of His justice. Someone must pay the price and satisfy God’s justice and His righteous anger against sin.
     
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  8. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I have already addressed this. Have you forgotten already? I disagreed that “just and justifier” pointed to retributive justice.

    In Romans 2-3, Paul has just explained that the Jew is condemned by the Law but that the whole world is also guilty and under the law of sin and death. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested. This is not saying that we are saved apart from the Law (although we are) but that God’s righteousness has been manifested apart from the Law.

    The Law and the prophets are witnesses of this righteousness (not the vehicles through which God’s righteousness has arrived). All have sinned and are guilty. But the righteousness of God manifested here is through faith, being justified as a gift by God’s grace through the redemption (the purchase, or ransom) which is in Christ.

    God had passed over sins previously committed so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Christ. You take this to mean that God was wrathful towards His Son, settling the debt. But the context is very different in the text (you are adding to the text what is not there). In the passage Paul is speaking of having passed over sins previously committed to demonstrate His righteousness in this present time. God is both just and justifier. Those who are saved are saved out of a state of condemnation under the law of sin and death through a righteousness manifested apart from the Law (they are saved through faith in Christ).

    If you keep reading you will see the results of this justification that is by faith and not the Law. While we were helpless Christ died for the ungodly. God demonstrates His love towards us that while we were sinners Christ died for us. We have been justified by Christ’s own blood, saved from the wrath through Him. It is through Christ that we have received reconciliation – not through the Law.

    If you cannot understand this, then it is impossible that you understand the basic foundation of the Christian faith. That is not to say you are not saved, only that you cannot fully comprehend your salvation as Paul is giving us the gospel itself in these verses.
     
  9. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I have already dealt with these passages. The topic of this thread is my view of the Atonement - not your version of Penal Substitution Theory (which I reject as unbiblical).

    You cannot say "God cannot allow sin to go unpunished" and then ignore that God cannot punish the righteous in place of the wicked. Scripture does not work that way (you can't cherry pick statements to twist into your theory). You are very well versed in your theory. Unfortunately you are less so in Scripture itself.
     
  10. thatbrian

    thatbrian Well-Known Member
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    You are conflating two things. There are two distinct things going on here. The death of Christ, on our behalf, which removes our guilt, and the life of Christ, on our behalf, which is our righteousness. Although many skip over it, he active obedience of Christ is essential in our salvation.
     
  11. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Scripture doesn't separate the two (Christ humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death). I think you may be breaking things down to support a preconceived theory.

    That said, give me the passage you are contemplating and we can look at it.
     
  12. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Praise the Lord, Scripture does work in exactly that way! :)
    How does the holy, righteous God justify the ungodly without reneging on His own justice?
    How does He subject to punishment the sinless spotless Christ in the light of Proverbs 17:15 (which I keep quoting and you keep ignoring)?
    These are the questions which are most certainly relevant to any understanding of the Atonement.
     
  13. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD

    Are you suggesting Jesus was not just (that God is unrighteous)?

    Now do you understand that I am not ignoring the passage? God is just and the justifier of sinners because this is a righteousness apart from the Law (not a nullification of the Law but the righteousness to which the Law pointed). We still suffer under the Law but are spared the wrath to come under a new covenant. The writ against us is nailed to the cross. We don't get to pick which part of the passage is true - God is both just and the Justifer of sinners without justifying the wicked and without condemning the just.
     
  14. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    ...to which the Jews committed both abominations:

    14 But ye denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted unto you,
    15 and killed the Prince of life; whom God raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. Acts 3

    23 who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 1 Pet 2

    God showed Christ to be just by His righteous judgement. He raised Him from the dead.
     
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  15. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Exactly. And the Jews acted in ignorance, which under the Law is forgivable (Acts 3). The Jews, not God, treated Christ as unrighteous and unjust. Jesus suffered but did not retaliate against the men. Instead He committed Himself to God, who judges righteously.
     
  16. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    They weren't ALL ignorant (Matthew 21:38), and to receive forgiveness they had to repent ( Acts 3:19 ), and if they didn't hearken the wrath to the uttermost would soon descend upon them ( Acts 3:23 ).
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    When Peter said they were ignorant I think he was referring to being ignorant to Him being the Messiah (they rejected Him) rather than of their actions alone. And yes, they would have to repent and believe. Many did and many didn't. Sometimes I think we forget that the earliest church was distinctly Jewish.

    My point here is that by God's predetermined plan Christ died at the hands of godless men. Nowhere in Scripture are we told that God the Father committed the sin of condemning the righteous.
     
  18. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    It was the serpent's seed (John 8:44), that by the hand of lawless men (the Romans) did crucify and slay, who condemned the Righteous One. God didn't condemn Him, He judged Him to be righteous by raising Him from the dead.
     
  19. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    You are not now ignoring the passage. Thank you. Better late than never.
    Exactly so. But Jesus' body had top be broken and His blood shed (1 Corinthians 11:24-25) to bring in that covenant. God's justice and His wrath against sin had to be propitiated. Now if you had read OP in the 'Penal Substitution' thread, you wouldn't have to ask about this. Here it is AGAIN :Rolleyes

    So we come to the necessity of Atonement. We must be very careful in saying that God cannot do something, but the Scriptures tell us that God ‘cannot deny Himself’ (2 Timothy 2:13). In the light of Proverbs 17:15, God surely cannot become an abomination to Himself by justifying guilty sinners without a penalty for sin! Be it said that God is under no obligation to show mercy to sinful humans; the angels who sinned had no Redeemer but were ‘cast down to hell and delivered into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgement’ (2 Peter 2:4). But if God, ‘according to the good pleasure of His will’ (Ephesians 1:5), has decreed mercy and salvation for a vast crowd of sinful men and women, it surely cannot be at the expense of His justice. Someone must pay the price and satisfy God’s justice and His righteous anger against sin.

    In the Scriptures we have the concept of the mediator, one who might fill up the gap between the outraged holiness of God and rebellious man (Isaiah 59:2). Job complained, “For He is not a man, as I am, that I should answer Him, and that we should go to court together. Nor is there any mediator between us who may lay his hand on us both.” But mediation requires a satisfaction to be made to the offended party. We see this is the book of Philemon. Here we have an offended party, Philemon, whose servant has run away from him, perhaps stealing some goods as he went; an offending party, Onesimus, and Paul who is attempting to mediate between them. Onesimus needs to return to his master, but fears the sanctions that may be imposed upon him if he does so. Paul takes these sanctions upon himself: ‘But if he has wronged you or owes anything, put that on my account. I, Paul, am writing with my own hand. I will repay…..’ (Philemon 18-19). Whatever is wanting to propitiate Philemon’s anger against his servant and to effect reconciliation, Paul the mediator willingly provides. In the same way, the Lord Jesus has become a Mediator between men and God (1 Timothy 2:5).

    In 2 Corinthians 5:19, we learn that God does not impute trespasses against His people; in Christ; He has reconciled the world [believing Jew and Gentile alike] to Himself. How has He done this? Through the Mediator Jesus Christ. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us….’ (v.21). The Lord Jesus has taken our sins upon Himself and made satisfaction to God for them. Therefore the message of reconciliation can be preached to all.

    A similar concept is that of a surety. This is someone who guarantees the debts of a friend and must pay them in full if the friend defaults. There are several warnings in the Book of Proverbs against becoming a surety (Proverbs 6:1-5; 11:15; 17:18), since one is making the debts of one’s friend effectively one’s own, yet we read in Hebrews 7:22, ‘By so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.’
    Indeed it is, and He is, but only because God executed judgement on Christ 'made sin for us.' Christ was made the very epitome of sin, all the sin's of God's people being imputed to Him (Isalah 53:6). He took our guilt and shame and God punished Him, the guilty One by imputation, for them, so that we, the truly guilty, might be considered wholly righteous. 'The chastisement for our peace was upon Him.'.

    Psalm 69 is a messianic psalm, quoted with reference to Christ in the N.T. (vs 9 & 20-21; cf. also vs. 8 & 22). There He declares, "My sins are not hidden from You' (v.5). He made our sins His own and bore them, and the shame and punishment of them, on our behalf.
     
  20. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    That is true, but of course that was only after He had borne our punishment.
     
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