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 Atonement Views

Probably the most popular view of the atonement through all of Church history has been the "punishment" view.

The "punishment" view in essense says that Christ recieved our punishment, so that we wouldn't have to recieve our punishment. That Christ recieved exactly the same amount of punishment that the ungodly and sinners would have recieved.

An accurate illustration would be that of a Father angry with His children for doing wrong. The Father is about to beat the children, as punishment, but the older brother steps in and says, "No Father. Beat me, not them." And so the older brother recieves the beating rather then the children.

Understanding the "punishment" view of the atonement, I see that there are three possible views within this over all view.

1. If Christ recieved the punishment of the entire world, but some do not make it to Heaven when they die, but will be punished in hell, then God in effect issues double punishment for one sin.

We could call this the double punishment view.

2. If Christ recieved the punishment of the entire world, but God is too just to give double punishment for one sin, then all sin has been punished, so the world will will make it into Heaven.

We call this Universalism.

3. Christ recieved the punishment of sinners on the cross, but it was not the punishment of all sinners. God would not give double punishment, but God did not die for the whole world, so only those for whom Christ died will escape punishment, but those for whom Christ was not punished, will recieve their own punishment.

This is called Limited Atonement.

Those are the only possible perspectives within the "punishment" perspective of the cross, within the perspective that Christ was punished on our behalf.

I personally hold to the perspective that Christ was not punished on the cross at all.

Since our punishment is eternal hell, and eternal hell is the punishment of each individual sinner, then there would need to be a single Christ, for each single sinner, who is eternally burning in hell. But we know that Christ is not burning in hell, which very simply concludes Christ did not recieve our punishment.

What then was the cross? Aren't we "bought at a price"? Wasn't he "bruised for our iniquities" wasn't He "wounded for our transgressions"? Yes! To the glory of God He was!

But he wasn't "bruised because of our iniquities" or "wounded because of our transgressions" but for them! We were "bought at a price" but that price was the death of Christ, not the eternal burning of Christ!

In essense, the cross was an alternative to the punishment, but not the actual punishment itself. The cross was a means, that made it possible, for God to issue a legal pardon to every single sinner that met the conditions of repentance and faith.

This is called the "Moral Government" perspective of the cross. It was actually the perspective of the atonement that Jonathon Edwards, a great man of God, and a very serious Calvinist, held to. And it is also the view that Charles Finney held to, who was Americas greatests Revivalists.

I see that the "Moral Government" perspective of the cross as the only possible alternative. To believe in the punishment perspective you must believe that either 1. God gives double punishment for the same sin. 2. Everyone will make it into Heaven. Or 3. God did not love the whole world.

 2006/12/20 18:12
tjservant
Member



Joined: 2006/8/25
Posts: 1658
Indiana USA

 Re: Atonement Views

Isaiah 53:10

10 But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

Whatever he endured caused him to sweat blood just thinking of it.


_________________
TJ

 2006/12/20 18:59Profile
roaringlamb
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California

 Re: Atonement Views

Quote:
3. Christ recieved the punishment of sinners on the cross, but it was not the punishment of all sinners. God would not give double punishment, but God did not die for the whole world, so only those for whom Christ died will escape punishment, but those for whom Christ was not punished, will recieve their own punishment.



But Christ was the "penal" substitute for the sinner, and I think it is safe to say that the atonement is limited. It is limited to those who repent and put faith in Christ. To anyone else the atonement makes no sense whatsoever.
I believe you have left out a big point here and that is that Christ did die for the whole world "He tasted death for every man" but the atonement is only good for those who repent and place faith in Christ. Which would mean having faith in the work of the cross.
We are justified by faith in His blood are we not? Therefore we must understand that Jesus took my place on the cross, He bore my crimes and transgressions. Then we must put believe that the penalty has been paid, and then it makes more sense that if He died as me, then I died, and now He lives(Galatian 2:20)
Maybe it's the same idea just a different name.


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patrick heaviside

 2006/12/20 19:21Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: Atonement Views

Quote:
This is called the "Moral Government" perspective of the cross. It was actually the perspective of the atonement that Jonathon Edwards, a great man of God, and a very serious Calvinist, held to. And it is also the view that Charles Finney held to, who was Americas greatests Revivalists.


It is also the view decisively rejected by traditional evangelical opinion.


Quote:
I see that the "Moral Government" perspective of the cross as the only possible alternative. To believe in the punishment perspective you must believe that either 1. God gives double punishment for the same sin. 2. Everyone will make it into Heaven. Or 3. God did not love the whole world.


This is a comment on your particular form of logic rather than on the view of those who believe in substitutionary atonement.


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Ron Bailey

 2006/12/21 3:53Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
But Christ was the "penal" substitute for the sinner, and I think it is safe to say that the atonement is limited. It is limited to those who repent and put faith in Christ.



I am with you on your general presentation here but the statement 'atonement is limited' is a technical term for something quite different to what you are saying here. TULIP Calvinisits believe that 'limited atonement' or 'particular redemption' was only ever intended for the 'unconditionally elect'. You, and others, may believe this but you can believe in 'Redemption; Accomplished and Applied' without being a 5 star Calvinist.


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2006/12/21 3:57Profile









 Re: Atonement Views

Let me just first say, without substitutionary atonement, we have no Gospel...without it we have no "Good News".

The idea of substitution shows up all the way back in Genesis with Abraham and Isaac. (Gen 22:13 ...Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in stead of his son.)

A careful reading of Romans or Galatians shows us that not only was Christ's death in place of ours, but so was His Life, and His Resurrection.

Jesus did not just make a way for us; HE IS THE WAY!

I am seated in heavenly places because He is seated by the right hand of the Father.

I am Holy because He is Holy.

I am righteous because He is Righteous.

I have access to the Father because He is my Anchor that has already entered beyond the veil into the Holy of Holies.

His perfect obedience to the moral law is my perfect obedience to the moral law.

His death on the cross is my death on the cross (...Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized (identified) into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death...Knowing this that our old man was crucified...)

His resurrection from the dead is my resurrection from the dead. I am delivered from the fear of death because He defeated death.

This is why the scripture says..."Looking unto Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our Faith..."

------------

The only thing that could satisfy the wrath of God is the sacrifice of a Spotless Lamb. (Isaiah 53:11 - He shall see the travail of His soul and SHALL BE SATISFIED...) He is the only one worthy!

Hell is not a payment for sin; it is a destination for lost and rebellious men. Man could never pay for their sin, and that is why Hell is an eternal punishment.

--------

The wages of sin is death; but the GIFT OF GOD IS ERTERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.

....he who has the Son HAS LIFE...

This is the Gospel of which Paul said he was not ashamed. This is the "GOOD NEWS" that saves men and women and translates them into the Kingdom of His dear Son.

This is the "TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY" that the angel brought to the weary shepherds in the fields.

This is the Gospel...the Power of God unto Salvation for all that will believe it!

If we are not preaching this, then what are we preaching?

 2006/12/21 9:01
JaySaved
Member



Joined: 2005/7/11
Posts: 1131
Kentucky

 Re: Atonement Views

Quote:

Understanding the "punishment" view of the atonement, I see that there are three possible views within this over all view.
1. If Christ received the punishment of the entire world, but some do not make it to Heaven when they die, but will be punished in hell, then God in effect issues double punishment for one sin.
We could call this the double punishment view.
2. If Christ received the punishment of the entire world, but God is too just to give double punishment for one sin, then all sin has been punished, so the world will will make it into Heaven.
We call this Universalism.
3. Christ received the punishment of sinners on the cross, but it was not the punishment of all sinners. God would not give double punishment, but God did not die for the whole world, so only those for whom Christ died will escape punishment, but those for whom Christ was not punished, will receive their own punishment.
This is called Limited Atonement.



For those who do not hold to the 'Moral Government' view of atonement, what are your comments regarding his understanding of the punishment view?

 2006/12/21 10:14Profile









 Re:

Quote:
An accurate illustration would be that of a Father angry with His children for doing wrong. The Father is about to beat the children, as punishment, but the older brother steps in and says, "No Father. Beat me, not them." And so the older brother receives the beating rather then the children.



This illustration is an "illustration" of what many people think happened on the Cross. The Atonement through Christ suffering on the Cross was not an afterthought. It was not God's plan B.
Jesus did not lean over the bar of Heaven, gaze upon dying humanity, and tell the Father, " I'll go. I’ll go take the punishment for them.

That may sound like a good story, but it is just not biblical.

Jesus coming to Earth to be our propitiation was the Father's idea. It was God's idea from eternity. The works were finished from the foundation of the world (Hebrews 4:3)

We see the atonement in Genesis 3:15 - And I will put enmity between thee and the woman and between thy seed and her seed it and shall bruise the head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

This was a covenant cut between the Father and the Son, completely apart from us.

Look at Genesis 15:

God gave Abraham several promises ( a seed, the land, etc.) and Abraham asked God, "How will I know that I shall inherit it?" How can I have assurance that what you say will come to pass?

He asked Abraham to get a sacrifice, and cut it up. And then God put Abraham to sleep.

"And then it came to pass that when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces."

When two men made a covenant, in order to seal the agreement and make sure that each party would do what they say, they would cut up a sacrifice and walk between the pieces. Thus, declaring "So let my fate be, if I do not keep up my end of the deal."

Amazingly, when God wanted to prove to Abraham that what He promised He would do. He completely took Abraham out of the equation.

God was determined to show Abraham that He meant business. He could swear by no greater, so He swore by Himself. (Hebrews 6:13 - 20)
The burning lamp was pre-incarnate Christ coming down and walking among the sacrifice.

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability (unchangeability) of His counsel, confirmed it with an oath.

That by two immutable (unchangeable) things (His Word, and the Sacrifice)in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us!


GO BACK, READ THE BOOK OF HEBREWS. You will see that the High Priest he is describing in there is not pleading to the Father to forgive the sins of man.

No, HE IS PLEADING WITH MAN TO BELIEVE THE FATHER!

Jesus did not have to plead to the Father to not punish the "children." The whole thing was God's (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) idea. We enter into what God did the same way Abraham did.

By faith! (For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus...And if ye be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise!)

 2006/12/21 11:48
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
For those who do not hold to the 'Moral Government' view of atonement, what are your comments regarding his understanding of the punishment view?


Well we have to ask the question if it was NOT substitutionary atonement where one suffered the penalty of the many, then what was happening on the cross.

Why did the Father inflict this upon the Son, (with the Son's permission of course)?


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2006/12/21 14:16Profile
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

Here is a link to a very good article discussing Finney's view of the atonement in light of the "orthodox" view.

[url=http://www.gospeljohn.com/mgatonement.htm]http://www.gospeljohn.com/mgatonement.htm[/url]


_________________
Josh Parsley

 2006/12/21 16:44Profile





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