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Christ made Sin?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Martin Marprelate, Feb 7, 2019.

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  1. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Though I feel "Made Sin" in our passage more specifically refers to the sense of Christ being "Made Flesh" it is agreed that "imputed sin" is a legitimate view on my part anyway.
     
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  2. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    So if, as I have argued, hamartian does not mean a sin offering, what does it mean? How can the Christ, before whom the angels veil their eyes and cry, “Holy, holy, holy!” possibly be made sin? There is so much that is paradoxical about the cross. How can the One called ‘Saviour’ be chided with the words, “Himself He cannot save” (Matthew 27:42)? How can the ‘Mighty God’ Isaiah 9:6) die in apparent helplessness and weakness? No wonder that the cross is ‘to the Jews a stumbling-block and to the Greeks, foolishness’ (1 Corinthians 1:23-25). To devout people like the Jews, the idea of the Messiah suffering and being made sin is blasphemous – pious Moslems react with horror at the very idea of a prophet of God being executed in such a barbaric way -- and to secular folk like the Greeks the whole idea is barmy! ‘But to those who are being saved, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God; because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.’

    So what does it mean that Christ is ‘made sin’? Well, first of all, it means that all the sins of all the elect were laid upon His sinless shoulders. ‘And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all’ (Isaiah 53:6). Not that He was made a sinner – God forbid! There are more than enough Bible verses to show that He was never that – but that our sins were charged upon Him. “Christ was ‘made sin for us’ by the reckoning of our guilt to His account, not in mere semblance, but in dread reality. Because of this, Divine Justice took satisfaction from Him; because of this He died ‘the Just for the unjust’” (A.W. Pink).

    But not only our sins were laid upon the sinless Christ, but also the curse of God upon those who commit them. ‘For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them”……Yet……Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us’ (Galatians 3:10, 13, quoting Deuteronomy 27:26).

    So in what way were our sins laid upon Christ? Well, in what way do we become ‘the righteousness of God in Him’? By imputation. ‘….God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them…..’ ‘Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity’ (2 Cor. 5:19; Psalms 32:2). Our sins are not imputed to us because they have been imputed to Christ. His perfect righteousness and obedience is, in turn, imputed to us. He is made sin so that we might become the righteousness of God.’ Two quotations from long ago may be helpful:

    “He was made sin, we are made ‘righteousness.’ The only sense in which we are made the righteousness of God is that we are in Christ regarded and treated as righteous, and therefore the only sense in which He was made sin, is that He was regarded and treated as a sinner. His being made sin is consistent with His being in Himself free from sin; and our being made righteous is consistent with our being in ourselves ungodly. In other words, our sins were imputed to Christ, and His righteousness is imputed to us” [Charles Hodge: A Commentary on 1 & 2 Corinthians]

    “Him who was such that He knew no sin, sin never entered for one moment the region of His personal experience, Him – on our behalf – He made sin, so charged Him, loaded Him, implicated Him, in an inscrutable reality, with man’s sin that it was, for the purpose of Redemption, as if He were it; in order that on the amazing other side, that we might become, might ipso facto be, on coming to Him, God’s righteousness in Him; that we sinners, implicated and joined to the Lord, might in a wonderful correspondence be dealt with as if we were the embodied righteousness of God, the thing which wholly corresponds to His law, and so wholly receives the smile and welcome of the Judge” [Bishop Handley Moule: The Second Epistle to the Corinthians. Emphases in the original]

    We are not made a ‘righteousness offering,’ if there were such a thing. We are made, according to the verse, righteousness itself, and the righteousness of God at that. When God, as Judge, looks at us He sees not sinners struggling and often failing to keep His just commandments; no! He sees the perfect righteousness and obedience of Christ. So on the cross, the Father, as Judge, did not see the perfect spotless righteousness of Christ, but all the sins of the elect –all the lies, lust, pride, rage and spite – piled upon the Son and laid to His account. ‘He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree.’ The apostle’s use of the word ‘tree’ (Gk. xulon) instead of ‘cross’ (Gk. stauron), is there to remind us that Christ bore not only the weight of our sins, but the curse of God that rested upon them (Galatians 3:13).

    I think it is very natural for people to shy away from the idea that Christ bore the curse of God against sin and sinners, but it is what the Bible explicitly teaches. When faced with the word of God we have to set aside squeamishness and presuppositions, and follow the Bible, wherever it takes us. Otherwise in toning down the 'offense of the cross' we may be in danger of making it 'of none effect.'
     
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  3. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    If I understand you correctly you are implying that the word hamartian could be interpreted as the "imputation of sin" (rather than the literal rendering "became sin" or "was made sin". If so, then I agree that is one legitimate translation of the Greek word.

    2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASB) He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    The word is "sin" (not the imputation of sin, but "sin"). As noted, it can mean "sin", "a sin-offering", the "imputation of sin", and "expiatory victim". While I agree with @HankD that the word "sin" in this passage is referring to "Christ being made flesh" or coming in the likeness of sinful flesh (a sin-offering). I suggest that what is driving your choice of words (as you are not presenting Christ as literally "being made sin", but rather God laying sin upon Christ) is the argument you have assumed rather than the actual passage itself. But, like @HankD , I agree that "the imputation of sin" is one legitimate use of the word "sin".

    And I can see how your theory would lead you to view Satan as a type of Christ. I suggest that Scripture trurns to the sin offering and the slain lamb rather than to Satan in explaining the cross. The point of the brazen snake was healing for the afflicted who looked upon it rather than Satan as a type of Christ.
     
  4. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    BTW, @Martin Marprelate , can you provide another place where hamartian means the "imputation of sin" rather than "sin"?
     
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  5. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    No. hamartia means 'sin.' what I was doing is exploring how and in what respect Christ became sin. I believe it is in the same way that we become righteousness. May I suggest you read the Charles Hodge quotation again?
     
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  6. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Actually, you are wrong about the word itself. It means ἁμαρτία. The task is to choose which English rendering is appropriate in the passage itself.

    "Sin" does not work because it had just been used to describe immorality (it also does not fit that one could become immorality itself). Your interpretation that this is "sin" in the sense sin was imputed to Christ is an alternative, as is "sin offering".

    May I suggest you read Bill Mounce again. Not that you adopt his interpretation but that you more fully grasp the range of the word when making an argument for your own interpretation.

    Sence it has been brought up, what exactly is the extent of your formal training in ancient Greek?
     
  7. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    On the BB? NO! Surely not! :D
     
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  8. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    Yea... and all this time we thought that just happened on the Presbyterian sites :Laugh
     
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  9. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    We are told that Christ 'knew no sin.' ἁμαρτία here need not be restricted to immorality. Christ knew no pride, no falsehood, no selfishness, 'no sin.' But the sin that He did not know is what He was made. 'Christ made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us.' It's the same word in the same case (accusative). Deal with that, please. Also, since you say that one could not become 'sin,' please explain how one becomes 'righteousness.' Thank you.

    Now it is my contention that nowhere in the N.T. or in the Septuagint O.T. is ἁμαρτία used in the accusative (or nominative) case to mean 'sin offering.' It is my further understanding that invariably the genitive case is used together with the prepositions peri or huper. Therefore, even if you insist that the second ἁμαρτία means something quite different from the first, which I think is most unlikely, I do not see how ἁμαρτία in the accusative case can be shown with any credibility to mean 'sin offering.' If you have information that proves me wrong, I am quite prepared to consider it, but you haven't provided any yet, only a couple of names.
    I haven't read Mounce for the first time. Have you taken the time to print out the relevant part of his argument for me as I have done for you? If you have, I must have missed it. Perhaps you will give me the post number?
    It hasn't been brought up by me. If you believe that my Greek is faulty, you are at liberty to point it out. I have surely quoted you enough authorities to show you that I am not unsupported in my view?
     
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  10. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    As I said above, I do not believe that hamartian means the "imputation of sin" but if you want to see the "imputation of sin" try Romans 4:8 (quoting Psalms 32:1-2) and Romans 5:13.
     
  11. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I am not going to take the time to do the research for you. If you believe that the only legitimate meanings of the word is "sin imputed" and "sin" then it is up to you to either remain in ignorance or study for yourself. I don't mean to be rude, but I would not even spoon feed people I like. I gave you a reference. I'm sure you are capable of finding what Mounce stated regarding the translation of that passage. I'm sure you can find what John Gill wrote as well.

    The fact that you do not see how ἁμαρτία can be used as "sin offering" is not surprising to me. As I stated before, this is why I do not agree with the emphasis some place on word studies. I studied one year at the undergraduate level and one year at the graduate level and I am by far not an expert (and I definitely would not want anyone....even you....to take my word for it because I wouldn't take my word for it). That is why we read other people who do know languages (like Fee and Mounce).
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    The reason I say this is that you say it means "sin" literally, but in practice you slip in the meaning "imputed sin". Even you (to your credit) don't try to interpret the verse as Christ literally being made sin. To your discredit I don't think you've realized that yet.
     
  13. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    Well you should do, partly because it is common politeness, and partly because if you are going to discuss you should quote your sources as I have done. You can quote you experts at me and I can quote them back at you.

    I have a pile of stuff to do, and I don't have time to root about on the internet to find something that you are too lazy to cut and paste.
     
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  14. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    I'm waiting for you to explain how we are made righteousness :)
     
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  15. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    There are people to whom I will extend a degree of politeness, and there are people I prefer to simply tell it like it is and move on. You are in between, so I will offer one reference from Mounce's site:

    "2 Corinthians 5:21 He made him who knew no sin (hamartian | ἁμαρτίαν | acc sg fem) to be a sin-offering (hamartian | ἁμαρτίαν | acc sg fem) for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

    That does not explain the why's for you, I know. It only demonstrates that there are scholars well versed in the Greek who disagree with your opinion that the word cannot mean anything other than either "sin" or "imputed sin" and your conclusion. You are capable of taking it from there on your own, I trust?
     
  16. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    I believe that we are "clothed" in Christ's righteousness as we die to sin and are made alive in Him so that Christ Himself is the Firstborn among many brethern. In my view this is a rebirth and we are purchased (not our sins).

    I know that goes against Satan as a type of Christ as Jesus does not literally become "sin" or really even imputed with our individual sins. So I know we disagree.
     
  17. percho

    percho Well-Known Member
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    Methinks, Jesus literally became our sin.

    For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: Rom 8:3
    For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 1 Peter 3:18
    For in that he died, he died unto sin ( witch he had been made ) once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Rom 6:10
    All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
    We have left God’s paths to follow our own.
    Yet the LORD laid on him
    the sins of us all. Isa 53:6 NLT
     
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  18. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    No. Link please. Merely to state the man's opinion is useless; I need to know why he believes that. I have my own experts. There are literally dozens of commentators who believe that hamartian means 'sin.' I have given you Charles Hodge, Bishop Moule, A.W. Pink and Peter Naylor. I can also give you Simon Kistemaker if you like and James White (in The God who Justifies). Of all the commentaries I own, only Matthew Henry suggests 'sin offering.' But I would like you to to address two particular points which I have already raised.

    Firstly:

    'It has sometimes been suggested that the 'sin' which Jesus was made is the antitype to the O.T. sin offering. That this was so is true, but it is not what is meant here. The interpretation is to be rejected for several reasons. First, in the Septuagint the Greek word for sin, hamartia,when used for 'sin offering' is always in the genitive, 'for sin' or 'of sin.' This is not the case in 5:21. Second, the word 'sin' occurs twice in the verse and consistency demands that it should have the same connotation in both instances........Third, the apostle states that our Lord was made 'sin' so that sinners might be constituted the 'righteousness of God' in Him. The only way in which they can become the 'righteousness of God' is that they are regarded as perfectly righteous even though, in themselves, they are not. It follows that our Lord was made sin in that He was regarded and treated as a sinner although He was not inherently evil. [2 Corinthians Vol.1, by Dr Peter Naylor, Evangelical Press, 2002] The part emboldened has been added by me since I last pasted the comments

    Now you go and do some work and find somewhere in the Septuagint where hamartia is not in the genitive case when it means 'sin offering.' Such study as I have done suggests that 'sin offering' in the Septuagint is actually the genitive preceded by peri or huper, but maybe you can find out more than I can.

    Secondly:

    “He was made sin, we are made ‘righteousness.’ The only sense in which we are made the righteousness of God is that we are in Christ regarded and treated as righteous, and therefore the only sense in which He was made sin, is that He was regarded and treated as a sinner. His being made sin is consistent with His being in Himself free from sin; and our being made righteous is consistent with our being in ourselves ungodly. In other words, our sins were imputed to Christ, and His righteousness is imputed to us” [Charles Hodge: A Commentary on 1 & 2 Corinthians]

    If it is not possible for Christ to be made 'sin,' how is it possible for us to be made 'righteousness'?

    You might also like to address @The Archangel's excellent Post#62. :)
     
    #98 Martin Marprelate, Feb 11, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  19. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate Well-Known Member
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    There is obviously a sense in which we are indeed clothed in Christ's righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). However, I don't think that is the meaning of 2 Cor 5:21. We 'become' the righteousness of God. In Romans 5:19, 'many will be made righteous' just as Christ was 'made sin.' Unless one believes in Wesleyan sinless perfection, these things can only come about by imputation. See Romans 4:6 etc.
     
  20. JonC

    JonC Lifelong Disciple
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    One issue is the quality of some references you have provided. I was not listing Gill as an authority in ancient Greek. For that I provided Mounce and Fee. @The Archangel is not the authority in Greek that either Mounce or Fee is. Why would I entertain his dismissal of their conclusions?

    I already told you that I only have 2 years in Greek (4 in German but that doesnt count) and am no expert in the language.

    How many that you listed are theologians and how many scholars of the ancient Greek language? Do you know?
     
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