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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Did Jesus really Die as a Substitute for our Sins?- by Michael Brown

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Sidewalk
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Joined: 2011/11/11
Posts: 706
San Diego

 Re: Finney and some legacy

Charles Finney preached Public Justice atonement, with astounding effect. Trained early on as a lawyer, he understood how universal morality could not work without the security of law, and that law was tyrannical without the balance of grace.

Any view of the atonement that casts shadows over the bright love of God will damage the hearer and hinder the spread of the gospel. Likewise, any gospel that dismisses the immutable law of God will prevent those hearers from ackowledging their guilt so that they might repent.

I must go back to the beginning of what I said about the atonement, that God gave us His Son in a death that may be counted as our death to meet the demands of law that God Himself has no authority to suspend. Jesus Christ is His only provision to save us from our sins, He has no other alternative.

Justice and mercy pull at one another, the atonement of Christ allows God to safely extend the mercy without damaging the law.

On a personal level, I believed as I was taught in my Presbyterian upbringing that I was trapped in sin from birth and that Christ forgave all my sins past present and future. Other than a few wimpers of conscience, there wasn't much to restrain my appetite for sin. I plunged right in. It wasn't until I met someone who introduced me to Finney and the scriptures he used that I realized that I had been foolish and deceived. When I took responsibility for my sin, I was at last both cleansed and forgiven. Suddenly the law and the mercy of God made sense, and I have never been the same. Theologically I hold with the doctrine of Public Justice atonement, because through the atonement I came to a deep love for my Savior.

Before this I respected God, but truth be told I didn't like Him at all. My condition was His fault, and I could not create in my mind or heart any love for Him.

We each have to make our own peace with all of this. But I believe good theology will remove the veils and barriers to the intimacy God wants with His children. "As the deer panteth after the waterbrooks so my soul longs after Thee!" This is how it should be for all the children of God.


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Tom Cameron

 2014/11/3 11:34Profile









 Re: Finnel's view

"Public Justice atonement"

I had to google that as, I wasn't familiar with those terms. The governmental theory, I've heard of.

Anywho, I stand corrected with regards to Finney, he held a governmental theory of atonement. Some of the stuff I read and heard sounded like Christus Victor. But...looking at a few other commentaries, he was of the governmental (or public justice) view.

Neat, learned something new. I was misinformed.

Talk to yall later.

 2014/11/3 12:26
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5413
NC, USA

 Re:

Quote: "Before this I respected God, but truth be told I didn't like him at all. My condition was His fault, and I could not create in my mind or heart any love for Him."

This statement has depth and is worthy of much consideration.

Some doctrines, or points of doctrine, when taken to their logical conclusion, lead to a God that is not very likeable. Why is this?


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Todd

 2014/11/3 15:30Profile
dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

Whatever description you might give it, the Scriptures say this:

"He" Christ
"Was" In fact, it happened
"Wounded" Made to experience bodily suffering via lacerations, etc.
"For our" As a consequence of or in the place of, i.e., substitute (as in, "I'm Mrs. McGillicutty and I'm teaching for Ms. Jones today.")
"Transgressions" Sins, violation of law. All transgression is sin.
"He" Christ
"Was" In fact, it happened
"Bruised" Made to experience contusions to His body via severe blows
"For our" As a consequence of or in the place of, i.e., substitute
"Iniquities" Faults, sins
"Upon him" Christ endured, bore
"Was" In fact, it happened
"Chastisement" Reproof, Correction, Discipline, Rebuke
"That brought us peace" That, for us, in our place, for our benefit, brings us to a place of wellness and peace with God.
"With" Also, or by
"His stripes" Or, wounds, see above.
"We" You and me
"Are healed" Mended, cured, repaired, made whole

Isaiah 53:5 teaches that Jesus endured for me and for you -- in our place, in our stead -- piercing, wounding, bruising, chastisement so that by them in Him, we could be reconciled --- or, brought to peace/healing/mending --- with God. The piercing, wounding, bruising, chastisement was ours to bear, but God chose --- indeed, preferred! (Isa. 53:10) --- to pour it out upon His only Son.

It can be called by any name or phrase, but it cannot rightly be called other than what the Scripture calls it. The best descriptor for it that I've ever read is "penal substitutionary atonement."


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Tim

 2014/11/3 17:17Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5413
NC, USA

 Re:

Agreed, Dolfan.

But LMH seems to be raising a couple of points(although I am not 100% sure he has stated this thusly- I havent gone back and read everything again):

If penal substitution theory is true (and I am not saying it is not), then at least two items must be dealt with:

1) God tortured an innocent person and let the guilty (us) get off scott-free. It's awfully nice (at least for us), but is this just?

2) If God put all of our debt and punishment on Jesus, then there is nothing to forgive us for- in fact God has **no reason** to forgive us because Jesus has paid our debt in full. But scripture seems to suggest that God forgives us.

Once again- I am not arguing against the penal substitutionary view. What I am saying is that it raises at least these two points that are worthy of consideration, and appear to be the two primary points raised against this view.

Since this is a discussion forum I would hope we can discuss this without accusing other brothers of being unsaved, heretics, etc.


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Todd

 2014/11/3 17:54Profile
dolfan
Member



Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

1) God tortured an innocent person and let the guilty (us) get off scott-free. It's awfully nice (at least for us), but is this just?

These questions are excellent ways to explain the uniqueness of the Gospel. For example, Islam is wholly without justice. There is sin, but there is no punishment. Instead, God subjectively holds His hand close to the vest about whether your good works please Him enough to let you slide. In Buddhism, there is no sin, per se but endless chances to climb toward "god" by reincarnation and living "better".

The question, as put, blames God for Jesus' death. God did not toture or kill Jesus. Jesus yielded Himself to the only possible means of redemption of God's creation. It was wholly voluntary. Truly, that God condescended to become flesh at all is so far beyond "justice" that we have nothing left to argue against Jesus' own submission of His flesh to the cross. That God the Son emptied Himself of glory to become human is not just, if we insist on using human ideas of justice, which is what we do when we posit that Jesus' death was somehow unjust or too much. It is just because God justifies us by it, not because it meets our notions of fairness. We are not "scott-free". We still die. There is a price for our freedom and redemption, too.

2) If God put all of our debt and punishment on Jesus, then there is nothing to forgive us for- in fact God has **no reason** to forgive us because Jesus has paid our debt in full. But scripture seems to suggest that God forgives us.

Our punishment is upon Him, but this does not relieve us of culpability. In fact, our culpability is made more visible and knowable in contrast to His innocence. Until I believe and repent and obey the Gospel, my sin is not really upon Him. I have chosen not to accept the pardon of my sin. As to me, in such a case, God has every reason to lay upon me the punishment for my culpability. Only when, by His own act, He removes my guilt and justifies me by His grace, am I made clear of my culpable actions (sins).


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Tim

 2014/11/3 18:32Profile
tbsounde2
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Joined: 2009/2/11
Posts: 179
Los Angeles, CA

 Re:

Brother Oracio and Dolfan, I just want to start by saying that I am tremendously blessed by you guys and your heart for the Lord. I have been encouraged many times from your posts and the time you take to write out such well thought out responses. I have definitely been troubled by the things I have been reading on this thread and it reminds me of the importance of continuing to look onto Jesus and staying true to His Word and gospel that He has entrusted to us. We know that this world is going to get darker and darker and things get more and more confusing and the enemies lies more and more subtle as we approach the coming day of our Lord. But I just wanted to encourage you guys to keep fighting the good fight of faith and just let you know how much I appreciate you guys.

Brother TMK, I just thought I'd try taking a shot at the two questions/issues you raised, which I think are definitely legitimate questions that arise as one tries to earnestly and diligently apply logic and reasoning to their beliefs and convictions.

1) This is where the Trinity comes so marvelously into play and it's importance highlighted. Just as you mentioned, for God to torture an innocent person and let the guilty go scott-free would make Him unjust, but if the Triune God (the Law Giver) decides to take the punishment upon Himself, He is fully just in doing so because He is the Law Giver. I've heard it put this way once: there was a king who instituted a certain law as the authority of the land and decreed that anyone who breaks said law was to be whipped with 40 lashes. Some time later, it was brought to the kings attention that someone had broken that law. Much to the kings sorrow, that individual happened to be his own mother. The king now had a serious dilemma on his hands. By pardoning his mother without punishment would make him an unjust king, but on the other hand how could he watch his own mother be whipped with 40 lashes which would probably kill her. So after thinking it through, the king came up with a solution. With all the people of the kingdom assembled wondering what the king would, he called for the prisoner, his mother, to be brought out. He began to recite the law and the punishment that was to be given as a result of breaking it. He then identified the prisoner before all, confirming her guilt and then called the guards to tie her to a pole and prepare their whips. And just as they were about to commence, the king stopped them, took off his kingly robes, came between his mother and the guards, embraced her, then told them to commence with their whipping. The king, as the law giver, justly took the punishment his mother deserved so that she could justly be forgiven of her trespass.

2) This would be true if forgiveness was not contingent upon anything, but we know from scripture that it is contingent upon faith. An example would be as follows: a prisoner is pardoned for his wrong doing and allowed to go free, but it is ultimately up to the prisoner to walk out of the prison. Or another one is this: a person is dying of an illness, a cure has been purchased for him, but it is up to him to take it.

Also, I am surprised that Romans 3:25-26 hasn't been brought up yet in this discussion regarding penal substitution (unless I missed it). I personally thought it is one of the clearest verses in support:

25 [Jesus] whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.


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Will

 2014/11/3 18:55Profile
brothagary
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Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 1863


 Re:

Im back ,standing up

dolfan raised most of the points from scripture ,hard to denie those points

tmk your first point you take god and the Gospel out of biblical context ,by simplifying and seeing it like that ...


First of all one needs to remember Jesus is called the everlasting father who the eternal father used to create all things seen and unseen . So the creating of man and the fall and curse upon fallen man was accomplished by Jesus him self ,it was always planed by the father and the son that the creator son would merge into creation and condemn sin in the flesh take upon him self the curse that he him self delivered to Adam and his seed ,satisfy justice only the son could achieve this and that was always the plan,so this had nothing to do with the out would tourcher that we saw the romans achieve by there own free choice ,there was somthing much deeper going behind the seens ,and dare i say Christ was taking and absorbing in hell what was also meant for us only the everlasting son could take the everlasting punishment that was waiting for us , the foundations of the earth the heavens and eternal hell were layed by the eternal son and only the son was the one who could break the burning chains and and nullify the hungry mouth of hell ,and remove the summons that was to consume the elect ,,,

If it was a righteous and just thing for god to punish sin according to his own wrath on earth and in hell ,then it could only be god him self who must come in the flesh take upon him self the righteousness punishment by taking upon him self the sin of his people justifying them by his own blood and regenerating them by his own holy spirit and sanctifying through is own life ,there was no other way to save a doomed race ,and yet uphold his holy righteous law , to be the just and the justifier was the only way

God could show his hatred for sin, his love for his law which comes form his own nature ,and at the same time show his love ,and his Gracefilled mercy to a race who deserve nothing but hell .

The cross was the pinnacle of gods own holy nature being expressed in its purest form with out contradiction ,or injustice ,his Holiness his love and Justus remain consist and fully active through this redemptive atonement.


Tod the cross is where forgiveness is it is how he forgives one just needs to remain at the cross ,this is why we obey Jesus and eat the bread and drink the wine in remembrance of him till he comes back ,and remember what Jesus went through to obtain perfect holy justifying forgiveness , for us .

 2014/11/3 19:12Profile
dolfan
Member



Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

Bro Tbesounds, one of my delights in SI is the healthy, constructive discussion. I admire that in so many here, and also in my brother TMK. These are questions that demand answers. If we hope for men to believe the gospel, we must be ready to at least explain it in basic terms. These question are some that most/many today will avoid for fear of being shown ignorant. Let's engage them, learn our weakness of thought, submit what we think are "good answers" to the brethren for our own testing. I love this kind of sharpening and hope that none of this seems combative.


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Tim

 2014/11/3 19:16Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5413
NC, USA

 Re:

Like I said guys-- at least for me you are "preaching to the choir" because I agree with you-- but your answers are excellent and help to clarify the issues.

Tbsounde- I am not sure if bringing the Trinity into a discussion ever simplifies it, but I get your meaning.


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Todd

 2014/11/3 21:09Profile





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