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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : The Misunderstood Cross - Paul Washer

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1. Christ suffered and died for our sins (Isa. 53:5; 1 Peter 3:18). Punishment implies sin and guilt. Sacrifice implies the sin and guilt of another. Jesus Christ was sacrificed for our sins.

2. The law demanded the eternal death of the guilty (Eze. 18:20; Prov. 17:15, 26; 2 Thes. 1:9) and therefore the atonement could not have satisfied the demands of the law. The atonement rather satisfied the purpose of penalty, it honored the law as equally as the penalty would have.

3. The penalty for our sins is eternal hell (2 Thes. 1:9)

4. Jesus did not suffer eternal hell, He suffered six hours on a cross.

5. Therefore Jesus suffered a substitute for our penalty, not the penalty itself.

6. Jesus said that the disciples would drink the same cup that he drank (Mark 10:38-39), therefore Jesus did not drink the cup of God’s wrath. The cup of God’s wrath is still full after the atonement (Rev. 16:19).

7. God still has wrath after the atonement (Acts 12:23; Rom. 1:18; Rom. 2:5; Rom. 2:8-9; Col. 3:6; Rev. 6:17; Rev. 14:10, Rev. 14:19, Rev. 15:7; Rev. 16:1) and therefore the atonement did not satisfy God’s wrath.

8. Nobody is saved from God’s wrath until they forsake their sins (Isaiah 55:7; Jer. 26:13; Prov. 28:13; Acts 3:19; Acts 8:22).

9. The atonement is a substitute for our penalty (Heb. 9:22), so that God could remit our penalty (Matt. 26:28; Rom. 3:25) without dishonoring or weakening His law.

10. Forgiveness is the remission of penalty (Matt. 26:28; Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:22). Forgiveness is when God turns away from His wrath (Ps. 85:2-3; Micah 7:18). But if Jesus took our penalty and satisfied God’s wrath, there could be no real forgiveness. The atonement makes it possible for our penalty to be remitted, it makes it possible for God to turn away from His wrath when sinners repent.

 2009/10/19 16:25

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC


Is this just going to become a spam fest?

Jimmy H

 2009/10/19 16:53Profile

Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991



KingJimmy wrote:
Is this just going to become a spam feast?

the cross is foolishness to them that perish.....


1. Folly; want of understanding.

2. Foolish practice; want of wisdom or good judgment.

3. In a scriptural sense, absurdity; folly.


 2009/10/19 17:01Profile

Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


[i]2Ti 2:14-16 Keep reminding them of these things. [b]Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen[/b]. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. [b]Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly[/b].[/i]

Semantics and nitpicking is to be avoided. When people start explaining God as if they understood Him totally, when they begin defining what He can and cannot do based on their own limited understanding, using mere philosophical terms and words, employing selected Scripture and not the entire Word to justify their empty ideas, I turn away.

 2009/10/19 17:14Profile


Sorry guys. I thought doctrine mattered. I guess some preachers are above the test of sound doctrine. It is a scary thing when people don't want their precious doctrines, which they inherited from the traditions of men, to be compared with the Word of God. Let's just blindly believe whatever a popular preacher says, so long as he says it with passion. Even passionate popular preachers can be mistaken. Paul Washer is not above the test of Scripture.

 2009/10/19 17:26

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


It is a scary thing when people don't want their precious doctrines, which they inherited from the traditions of men, to be compared with the Word of God.


Folks on both sides toss the old, "which they inherited from the traditions of men" phrase out there.

Both sides claim they have compared their beliefs to the scriptures.

Both sides have fasted and prayed for God to reveal His truth in these matters.

The fact is, folks just disagree. Many on this site hold degrees in theology. Many have graduated from Bible College. Many Pastor and teach at churches. Many have simply read the Bible faithfully for 10, 20, 30, 40 ... years or more. And many of them disagree.

Paul Washer claims his doctrines are from the Holy Bible alone and historically accurate to boot.

So does Finney.

Many people on this site are simply tired of the scripture volley that inevitably takes place in posts like this. Search the SI archives. It has been done before.

Does doctrine matter? Sure, but I doubt posting every single scripture that has historically been leveled against your view of the atonement will change your mind.


 2009/10/19 18:24Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC



1. The atonement changes sinners, not God. The atonement does not change God.

Atonement changes the relationship between the two parties. Prior to sins being atoned for, God seeks retribution against the sinner. When man in his sins are dealt with through the applied blood of Christ, God no longer seeks retribution.


6. Our punishment or penalty was not a cross but was eternal hell. The atonement was not our punishment or our penalty, but it was a substitute for our penalty so that our penalty could be remitted. The atonement accomplishes what the punishment of our sins would have accomplished, therefore our sins can be forgiven.

Isaiah 53:8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That [u]He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?[/u]

He received the stroke (punishment/penalty) that was due to us.


7. Retributive justice requires the death of the soul that sinned, Jesus never sinned, therefore His death could not satisfy "retributive" justice. (But the death of the innocent can satisfy public justice).

Isaiah 53:11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be [u]satisfied;[/u] By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities.

God sees the death of Jesus Christ as the thing that satisfies.

Jimmy H

 2009/10/19 21:07Profile


Prior to sins being atoned for, God seeks retribution against the sinner.

If God was seeking retribution before the atonement, He never would have made the atonement, He never would have sent His Son.

God was seeking mercy before the atonement, that is why He made the atonement, that is why He sent His Son.

God prefers mercy over retribution. If God sought retribution, He would have simply punished sinners and provided no way for sinners to escape punishment. But since God provided a way for sinners to escape punishment, God must prefer mercy over retribution.

God was just as loving and merciful before the atonement as He was after the atonement, but the atonement made a way for God to express His love and mercy to the sinner without dishonoring or weakening His law.

The atonement did not change God. God is the same yesterday today and forever. God was merciful before the atonement and God is merciful after the atonement. God has wrath before the atonement and God has wrath after the atonement. The atonement is a means, through which, God can express His mercy and set aside His wrath.

 2009/10/20 0:15


I really like this:


The problems that need to be overcome are governmental, not personal. Just as the situation of the king and Daniel (Dan. 6:7-16), God does not have any vindictiveness or sadistic desire that needs to be gratified or satisfied (Eze. 18:32; 33:1; Lam. 3:32-33; Heb. 12:10). God is already wanting to forgive (Ps. 86:5), He is already willing to pardon (Neh. 9:17), whenever it is safe for all for Him to do so (2 Pet. 3:9). God personally prefers mercy over judgment (Isa. 28:21; Micah 7:18; Jn. 8:10-11; Jas. 2:13). He is reluctant to execute judgment (Eze. 18:32; 33:1; Lam. 3:32-33; 2 Pet. 3:9).

The problems of forgiveness arise from the government of God and not the person of God, from God as a Ruler and not as an offended individual. The person of God did not need a bloody sacrifice (1 Sam. 15:22; Ps. 51:16-17; Prov. 21:3; Hos. 6:6; Matt. 9:13; 12:7). The reason the atonement was given in the first place was because God already had a disposition of love and mercy (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8). It is not that Calvary gave us love and mercy, but that love and mercy gave us Calvary. The atonement allows God, who holds the Office of Universal Ruler or King, to set aside His governmental wrath and extend gracious pardon to offenders, without compromising His government or abrogated His laws.


The atonement changes man, not God (Isa. 53:5; Matt. 1:21; Jn. 1:29; Acts 3:26; Rom. 2:4 (with Rom. 5:8); 2 Cor. 5:15; Eph. 5:25-27; Col 1:21-23; Titus 2:11-12, 14; Heb. 9:26; 10:10; 1 Pet. 2:24; 1 Jn. 1:7; 3:5; 3:8; 4:19). The atonement does not change God from being stern, severe, and angry, to being mild, forgiving, and kind. God was merciful, loving, and forgiving before the atonement was made (Ps. 86:5; Neh. 9:17; Jonah 4:2; Joel 2:13) which is why He gave us the atonement in the first place (Jn. 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 1 Jn 4:10). God did not have to be reconciled unto man, but man had to be reconciled unto God (Rom. 5:10-11; 11:15; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; Eph. 2:16; Col. 1:20-22), man needed to change, not God. So the atonement changes man, not God.

God is the same after the atonement as He was before the atonement (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8; Jas 1:17). It was not that the Father wanted to punish men, seeking personal vengeance, so the Son stepped in to shed His own blood to satisfy the Fathers personal vindictive wrath, so that now the vindictiveness of God is satisfied and therefore He doesn’t want to punish men anymore. Rather, the Father wanted to reconcile men and bring men back into a relationship with Him, He wanted to set aside their punishment through forgiveness. Therefore He sent His Son to die for their sin, to change them and bring them to repentance, to make a way for His wrath to be set aside while also protecting the highest well-being of all, so that their punishment would not be a governmental necessity anymore. The Lord wanted to set aside the penalty of the law while upholding the authority, influence, and dignity of the law at the same time. So the Son changes men on behalf of the Father, as opposed to the Son changing the Father on behalf of man. Men are reconciled unto God, instead of God reconciled unto men.

 2009/10/20 0:20

Joined: 2006/6/15
Posts: 343


If God prefers mercy over retribution, why wasn't the Father merciful to the Son?

I'm sure that if mercy is superior to retribution, it should have been expressed to the Father's son, instead of destroying him with the wrath of a million hells.

Regardless, I believe we are treading on dangerous ground if we believe that we can make absolute pronouncements about how God 'works'; as if He was some sort of machine...


 2009/10/20 0:23Profile

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