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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The Atonement

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Nasher
Member



Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK

 Re:

Thanks Philologos, I keep forgetting that Christ didn't pay for sins, he was the payment for sins, thanks for reminding me/us.

I should have known better, I've listened to your sermon 'Propitiation' less than a week ago!

Mark.


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Mark Nash

 2003/10/16 4:55Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

If some of the terms in this thread have left you cold see the book recommendation at
http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=586&forum=41&0


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Ron Bailey

 2003/10/19 13:34Profile
aphill777
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 24
Wisconsin

 Re:

How is it that you say that Jesus suffered eternal punishment in the process of the atonement. Where did Paul teach this? Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice for sin, not as some sort of divine equivalence. If Jesus literally paid or otherwise satisfied the wrath of a vengefull God, where does forgiveness come in. We do NOT need to be forgiven if our debt was literally satisfied.
In other words, if you owe me $100 and someone comes pays the debt for you, you do NOT owe me anything. It is pointless to say that you must then ask to be forgiven.

Jesus did not suffer the penalty of the law, which is eternal punishment, neither finite nor infinte, rather His death was a substitute FOR the penalty. Whereby those, who by repentance and faith and in following the Lord by death to self can be treated as if we had not sinned.

Thinking outloud!


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Tony Phillips

 2003/10/25 21:46Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

Hi aphill
Strictly speaking ‘sinners’ are forgiven, ‘sins’ are remitted. The KJV does not distinguish between these two concepts but the distinction is important. There is a similar need to distinguish between ‘expiation’ and ‘propitiation’. The RSV offended many conservative bible students by substituting the word ‘expiation’ for the KJV word ‘propitiation’. (Romans 3:25, Hebrews 2:17, 1 John 2:2, 4:10) The difference is that ‘sins’ are expiated but the offended party is ‘propitiated’. The liberal theology behind the RSV was uncomfortable with an ‘angry God’; they thought it was a pagan concept and out of sync with the ‘God is love’ of the NT.

The biblical facts are that the OT teaching of atonement is that someone is angry and needs to be ‘appeased’. See Gen 32:20 “I will appease (lit cover/atone) him with the present… peradventure he will accept my face”) In such passages God taught Israel that angry offended parties could be ‘propitiated’. This is what the word means; the price paid to remove the offence. It is the basis of all heathen sacrifice; mankind knows that offended deity may be propitiated. However, only biblical revelation makes it clear that the cost of propitiating God is beyond human resources. This is why Paul writes that God has put His Son in place as a propitiation (not expiation!). God’s wrath is spent on His Son. Spurgeon said ‘it was as though God unsheathed the sword of His righteous anger against sin and sheathed it once and forever in the body of His Son’ (candy cotton? Jason? ;-))

This truth was captured prophetically in such places as Isaiah 12 ‘in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou was angry with me, thine anger in turned away, and thou comfortedst me’. According to Isaiah this is the day when the LORD becomes ‘my salvation’.
'Turning away God's anger' is the goal of Christ's death as a propitiation.

There is another aspect to this which should be examined, namely the forensic nature of Paul’s theology in Romans. Courts of law have no interest in ‘forgiveness’, only in guilt, exonoration, and sentence. This is why Paul never mentions ‘forgiveness’ in Romans. (Rom 4:7 should read ‘remitted’.)More on this later..


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Ron Bailey

 2003/10/27 6:31Profile
aphill777
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 24
Wisconsin

 Re:

I agree that God is angy with the wicked. That His wrath has been kindled, however, the death of Jesus was carried out by the hands of men. The "chastisement that brought us peace" was inflicted by us. Granted this was within the plan of God, He no doubt allowed it to happen. Therefore it was the Father's hand.

But why did He cause Jesus to suffer? What do we call a person that requires a price to be paid in order for you to be safe...uh a mobster, bully, tryant! It was OUR sins that nail Jesus to the cross. Again, if all of God's wrath is spent on the Lord Jesus, why do sinner's still go to hell (bacause of their sin I add).
Of course, Calvin solved this dilema with his theory of a limited atonement. Nonetheless, most people see the the bible teaches Jesus's death was for everyone.

By the way sinners need forgiveness because they have sinned. Once forgiven their sins are remembered no more.

I submit to you that if sin was a debt, Jesus is our payment, if sin is a sickness, Jesus is our healer.

As for propitiation, God as a loving Father has no problem forgiving sin. God as a moral governor must regard the whole of the moral creation in providing pardon for sin. The death of Jesus meets the demands of the law in relation to the sinner, whereby through repentance and faith and strict obedience to the life and teaching of the Lord, peace is sucured and God is "propritiated".
Look at Daniel when he was sent to the lions den, Kind Darius "laboured till the setting of the sun how he might deliver Daniel" but found no way. Darius knew that Daniel had violated the law, punishable by the lion's den, but did not want to send him there. However, if he did not everyone would think he was a fickle King. So in order that the law would be upheld and the public order maintained, Daniel was sent to the lion's den.
The same is true of the atonement. God the Father needed no blood! We did! Do you think those little lambs that were slaughtered in the temple brought pleasure to God or appeasement? No, those little lambs showed us how that sin, our sin, causes innocence to suffer. None more innocent the Lamb of God!

Thinking outloud


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Tony Phillips

 2003/10/27 9:17Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

Your quote: “But why did He cause Jesus to suffer? What do we call a person that requires a price to be paid in order for you to be safe...uh a mobster, bully, tryant! It was OUR sins that nail Jesus to the cross.”

1. In the death of Christ man’s culpability is absolute, however that is not the whole story. While in the upper room, and immediately prior to the events of Gethsemene, the Lord quoted Zechariah 13 “I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” The OT version has “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.” Who is speaking when he says “I will smite the Shepherd”? The words of Jesus and the full quotation from Zechariah make it clear that it is Jehovah. The horror that broke upon the Lord in Gethesemene was not only that the time had come to be Sin-Bearer but that His Father was wielding the sword. “I will smite”. It was God who ‘placed him as a propitiation’. This was prophesied earlier in Isaiah 53:4-5. “we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgression, he was bruised for our iniquities… Jehovah hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” He is not the Lamb of the world but the Lamb of God. God provided him; God will provide himself a lamb. (Gen 22:8) On the cross Christ was God-smitten.
2. To return to your theme of God’s gracious forgiveness making punishment unnecessary. We need to keep in mind the different backgrounds used in scripture to convey truth. From the slave-market we get redemption, freedom, purchased possessions etc. From the temple background we get lambs and sacrifices for sin and atonement etc. From the law-court we get accusation, justification, condemnation, From relationships we get propitiation, reconciliation etc. The background to Romans is forensic i.e. law. Paul’s case is not only to accuse man but to exonerate God. That is why he culminates one section of his argument by saying that God had done what He had and part of the declaration was so that God could be ‘just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus’. Why should Paul, in the Spirit’s inspiration, feel the need to exonerate God if God could simply magnanimously forgive, and why limit it to those who believe in Jesus? Why not forgive everybody? Your answer, I quess, will be the governmental ‘cosmic morality’ theory. This is sheer speculation with not a verse to commend it, as far as I know. You have complained of ‘philosophy’ but this is just that.
3. Let me tell you a short story. I have 7 children. When they were younger we took them to an exhibition which had a turnstile which the attendant operated when the entrance fee was paid. I stood in the queue in the middle of my family and the attendant allowed 4 of my children access without them paying a single coin. Why? Because they saw ME coming with the price in my hand! Paul is asking how God could be just in not pursuing past sins. God has always dealt graciously on the basis the price that would be paid at Calvary. His answer is propitiation; propitiation always has a person as it goal.


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Ron Bailey

 2003/10/27 12:31Profile
aphill777
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 24
Wisconsin

 Re:

I don't disagree that the crucifixion was part of the plan of God for the redemption of His people.

Consider this parable,

Mathew 23:23-35
23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses


This sums up my position on the atonement!


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Tony Phillips

 2003/10/27 13:09Profile
philologos
Member



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

 Re:

hi aphill

your quote "This sums up my position on the atonement!"

It sums up one of my positions on the atonement too, but there are many facets of this truth. However, in the parable of the 'wicked servant' we can ask ourselves 'who ended up with the debt'? The 'gracious lord' (a better name for this parable) was left holding the debt. He 'suffered' the consequences of the debt.

The other thing to note about this parable is that it is not in a forensic context. There are many symbols of Christ, e.g. Priest, King, Door, Bread, Vine, Propitiation (the price paid). As Isaac Watts said in his hymn you can join all these 'names' together and they are still inadequate to describe Him. I do not deny that the penalty inflicted on Christ may be instrumental in securing the moral fabric of divine government. But this is a subordinate purpose and not the main purpose.

The foundational purpose of Christ's atonement is penal substitution. In Christ His wrath was turned away. He was made Sin, He became the curse. Divine justice was 'satisfied', not because God is a 'mobster' but because His love is Holy love. You ask 'why it isn't immediately effective in all men?' Simply, because all men are not 'in Christ'. The whole world is either in Adam or Christ; In Adam all die, In Christ shall all be made alive. I am not a believer in particular redemption so I believe the offer is open to all, but is effective only for those who are ‘in Christ’.


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Ron Bailey

 2003/10/28 4:00Profile





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