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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Governmental Atonement Illustrated: King Zalukas

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I think that's what you meant?

There are two types of justice. There is public justice and there is retributive justice. Public justice is promoting the well-being of everyone by maintaining the authority and influence of the law. Retributive justice is treating everyone as they deserve to be.

The purpose of penalty is to uphold the law. The authority and influence of the law is maintained through punishments. Punishing the disobedient discourages disobedience in others. This protects the rights of others and promotes the well-being of others, because it upholds the law and keeps it from falling into contempt.

The atonement of Jesus Christ is a substitute for the eternal punishment of hell fire for sinners. If the atonement is an adequate substitute, it must fulfill the purpose of our penalty, otherwise it could not substitute our penalty. And if our penalty is not substituted, it could not be remitted. And if our penalty is not remitted, it must be executed. And if our penalty must be executed, we are going to hell. Therefore either Jesus satisfied public justice (the purpose of penalty) or else we are going to hell.

The atonement was not a satisfaction of retributive justice because Jesus didn't deserve to die and we don't deserve to live. Retributive justice requires only the death of the guilty. Only the guilty deserve to die and therefore only the death of the guilty can satisfy retributive justice.

Also, God's wrath was not satisfied by the atonement since God still has wrath after the atonement. Forgiveness is when God turns from His wrath. The atonement saves us from the wrath that is to come by making it possible for God's wrath to pass over (passover) us instead of being poured out upon us, by making it possible for God to turn from His wrath (forgiveness) without endangering His universe by weakening His law. The purpose of God's wrath is public justice, therefore if public justice is satisfied or propitiated, God can set aside, withhold, or turn from His wrath.

Now that an atonement has been made, God can turn from His wrath if sinners turn from their sins. But if God's wrath was satisfied at Calvary, we are not really fleeing from God's wrath at conversion, neither are we under God's wrath while we are impenitent and unbelieving. If Jesus satisfied God's wrath at Calvary, we are saved from God's wrath before we repent and believe. But that is unbiblical.

And if Jesus satisfied God's wrath, there is no real mercy or forgiveness. God does not turn from His wrath, nor does His wrath "passover", if it was poured out upon Christ and satisfied. Therefore Christ didn't really die for the remission of sins, nor is He our passover Lamb, if He satisfied the wrath of God.

 2009/9/29 1:44


I recommend that every Calvinist read the writings of Jonathon Edwards Jr on the atonement:

He had a great grasp on this topic!

 2009/9/29 1:47

Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


Dear truefathsav,

I'm sorry but I just cannot see how fussing about the transactional steps and perceived intentions of God's gift can be edifying to any believer. We are better off rejoicing in and appreciating the gift rather than taking it apart to see how it ticks.

God gave us an intelligence and He wants us to use it!

This is true. Intelligence is a blessing from God, to be used for His divine purpose. It should be used to win others for Christ and to expand His kingdom, and not to complicate it. Dissecting, categorizing, and labeling God's methods or actions serves no heavenly purpose - it merely puffs up those who delight in philosophical pursuits.

Salvation is the renewing of your mind, not the removal of your mind!

Right again. Salvation comes when one is reborn or renewed so that one becomes concerned with "things above" (how to glorify God) and no longer with "things below" (how to glorify men).

The atonement is the greatest truth that we can ever think about!

I must disagree with this. God's love is the greatest truth we can ever think about. Knowing God's great and undeserved love for us is what sanctifies.

[i]Eph 3:17-19 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.[/i]

Having said my piece, I will refrain from further interrupting your enjoyment.

 2009/9/29 1:51Profile


I think that one of the problems is that so many of us have heard Christian cliche's regarding the atonement and we haven't really thought them through. "Jesus satisfied the wrath of God" or "We broke the law, Jesus paid our fine" or "He paid our debt" or "He took our punishment" or "He took our penalty". People have accepted these clitche's without really thoroughly and scripturally thinking about them.

We need more thinkers like Edwards, Finney, Beman, Burge, Miley, Cowles, Barnes, Stuart, etc.

The atonement is supposed to make sense! But these clitche's only make it confusing and cause more problems then they solve!

I've had hard times witnessing in the past because I accepted these clitches. I would tell a person, "You broke God's law. You have a debt to pay. But the good news is that Jesus Christ has paid your debt. But if you don't believe it, you will have to pay our own debt...." and this didn't make any sense at all! They don't need to worry about paying their debt (going to hell) if Jesus Christ has already paid their debt. So they don't need to believe! Their debt is paid even while they are unbelieving. If Jesus satisfied God's wrath for them, they are saved from God's wrath even if they don't believe in God, since not believing in God would not nullify the payment of their debt...

Thinking about the atonement, actually thinking about it, instead of just accepting popular clitches, has greatly blessed my life and understanding of God.

 2009/9/29 1:58

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


Therefore Christ didn't really die for the remission of sins, nor is He our passover Lamb, if He satisfied the wrath of God.

How does that square up with this-
"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV

And I would wonder if God has wrath for Christ now as we as Christians are placed in Christ, and united to Him by faith.

If the source of God's anger is our sin, then once that is dealt with, there is no more anger that is why Paul uses these words from David-
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” Romans 4:7-8 ESV

and it's good to note what Paul says before this-
"And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:" Romans 4:5-6 ESV

There are also the verses from Colossians that talk about our record being blotted out at the Cross, and that record was the very reason for God's wrath against us.

Everything changes once we believe in what Christ has done for us, and stop seeking to justify ourselves before God. We are sons and daughters that will never be kicked out of the family(and no I don't believe in OSAS as it is called but instead perseverance of the saints, and there is a difference).

patrick heaviside

 2009/9/29 2:02Profile


Jesus was made a sin offering for us. A sin offering is an offering that God accepts instead of our penalty, it takes the place of our punishment. When there is a sin offering there can be real forgiveness, our penalty can be remitted and our punishment withheld.

Jesus died for me. But I was not born saved.

Jesus died for me. But I was under God's wrath until I was converted.

Do you agree with that?

But if Jesus satisfied God's wrath for me before I was born, wouldn't I have been born saved? Wouldn't I have been saved from God's wrath before I was converted because it was satisfied before I was converted?

Nobody is saved from God's wrath until they repent and believe. God still has wrath after the atonement, even for those Christ died for. Those Christ died for are only saved from God's wrath when they are converted, when they repent and believe.

Doesn't Calvinism teach that we are saved from God's wrath when we have FAITH? But if Jesus satisfied God's wrath before we had faith, wouldn't we have been saved from God's wrath before we had faith? Therefore if Jesus satisfied God's wrath, we are not justified by faith!!

 2009/9/29 2:08

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


But if Jesus satisfied God's wrath before we had faith, wouldn't we have been saved from God's wrath before we had faith? Therefore if Jesus satisfied God's wrath, we are not justified by faith!!

In one sense, Jesus is the Lamb slain BEFORE the foundation of the Earth, and we(believers are chosen in Him before the foundation of the Earth), but in the working out of that truth, faith and repentance in the realm of time is needed as is the Cross.

But it all stems from something that was decided long ago.

Also, I found this quote from and Edwards sermon that shows some of his view on justification-

"A person is to be justified, when he is approved of God as free from the guilt of sin and its deserved punishment, and as having that righteousness belonging to him that entitles to the reward of life. That we should take the word in such a sense, and understand it as the judge’s accepting a person as having both a negative and positive righteousness belonging to him, and looking on him therefore as not only free from any obligation to punishment, but also as just and righteous and so entitled to a positive reward, is not only most agreeable to the etymology and natural import of the word, which signifies to pass one for righteous in judgment, but also manifestly agreeable to the force of the word as used in Scripture." Dated November, 1734

Just to let you know, in many ways, Edwards does not represent the Reformed view. He and Calvin would have had some interesting discussions to say the least, as would he and Luther.

To get the best idea of the Reformed ideology, it is always best to read the Reformers themselves, or read the Canons of Dordt and see what the debate was about, especially when it comes to the Calvinist/Arminian debate.

Maybe you have, I don't know. It just seems a lot of times people don't read it and if I am presuming please forgive me.

patrick heaviside

 2009/9/29 2:18Profile

Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


The law was added because of transgressions, it exists for the reason of making unlawful affections to be evidently unlawful. In other words, the law exists so that our unlawful affections would be evidently more wicked in contrast to the specific commands of the law.
The purpose of the law is to teach one of the character of the Lawgiver also to guide us and to guard us while directing us to mercy of the Lawgiver, (Romans 7:13, Galatians 3:19,24)

The law is not founded in mere randomness, but in the Personhood of God, it is a representation of who He is and a part of the foundation of reality

Punishment for a crime against the law is not for the purpose of rehabilitation, but to satisfy the law.
Punishment for transgression against God's law, or the act of satisfying the law is used as a deterrent for crimes by law enforcement.

In other words, the purpose of punishment is law enforcement; God enforced the law by punishing His Son so that all who put their faith in/on Him might be justified because they have reckoned themselves to be in Jesus' place as HE was in their place. We are to put ourselves in HIS position as to be united with him in the likeness of His death so that we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection (Roman 6:5)

The punishment is to communicate to the sinner that God is not somebody to profane or defile in any way.

Law needs to be satisfied so that the Law Maker is proven to be of value in His own character which the law reveals. It isn't the law that needs to be proven valuable, but who or what it serves and protects, which is God's character and His creation who is created in His likeness and in His image.

The satisfaction of the law is called justice. Justice is the vindication of the offended, vengeance to be given or taken, a just retribution, recompense...etc...

Justice is meant to teach that whoever it serves and protects has personal worth so if one offended by a crime, or commits a crime, he will be judged as someone who is worth equal to but not greater than the criminal, or the victim if being the criminal.
In other words, Justice is to keep the establishment of both, the victim and the criminal as being equal in worth and in value.

All mankind has a personal worth because we are made in the image of God; so also is everyone who sins, as in breaking the law.

It is a fact that we are not equal to God, but shown that we are of as much worth as He is; this is proven by God giving His only begotten SON who is GOD Himself. We are not equal but deem as such in value, what a revelation, praise HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[b]The working of sin:[/b]
A sin as to the degree of a slap on the face or steeling a shoe lace does not require the death penalty of the one who sinned, that would give the message of the sinner being as worthless as the shoe lace.
The punishment must fit the crime.

However, the theft of a shoe lace is still a breach of the same law which is against such heinous crimes as, rape, murder, or similar in degree which are a total tainting &/or maligning of personal worth and character of the Law Maker.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:8).
A slap on the face or steeling a shoe lace is only breaking one aspect of the whole law which includes the greater aspects such as the heinous crimes.

All mankind has brought damaged to Gods character or tainted His holy Name by braking His Law, disobeying His Commandments, rebelling against His Word & authority.
Sin insults God to a degree that His character is maligned and He is defamed and virtually dethroned by the offender.
We did not sin in away as to owe God a debt as in the form of a sum, but in the way of disbelief and unfaithfulness, which deems God to be a liar on our behalf and in doing so, we destroy His character; this is elevating ourselves over God and putting ourselves in His place. We owe God the repair or renewal of His character which we maligned.

There is a lot to say on the account of our righteousness that is imputed to us.
The Atonement incorporates the concepts of:
[b]1:[/b] propitiation (appeasement, satisfaction) Of God because of our offence to Him.
[b]2:[/b] forgiveness of the offender
[b]3:[/b] reconciliation between God and the offender

For man to be legally pronounced justified, is not impossible, however, there is but one ground of the justification of man, that is by strict obedience to the law from day one of accountability to the law. I repeat, there can be no justification in a legal sense apart from grace, but upon the ground of perfect, and uninterrupted obedience to law. Our sins have offended God because we are able to do what He commands, but we refuse to obey (Romans 9:31-32).

God sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. In other words, God sent Jesus to appease or satisfy Himself on account of our sins against Him by faith in His blood (Rom 3:25).
Jesus is the only Man that has performed the law perfectly as all mankind is able, which is what satisfies God.
Jesus was required perfect obedience to the law for Himself just as all mankind are, and since He perfectly obeyed, he did not need to suffer the penalty of braking the law or sin. He could therefore suffer the penalty of sin in our place as a proxy.
Atonement appeases God by satisfying His demands, which are shown in His law, and fulfilling the judgment that is due to us.
The judgment is spiritual death which is actually a severed relationship from God. All who sin have died spiritually, for that is the wage of death(Romans 6:23) Physical death is only the circumstance of the way to the Tree of Life being cut off from humanity.

Therefore, we must die to the Law through the body of Christ by faith. We will then also rise from the dead with Him through faith. (Ephesians 2:5-6). We can only die to the law by being baptized into His death (Romans 6:3, 1Peter 3:21)
This is why Jesus needed to die physically and raise from the dead with His glorified body, so that we might die through Him and be raised with Him by and through faith so that by Him and through Him we might take the penalty for our own sins; all this is through the spirit of the law.(2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Galatians 2:20, Hebrews 2:9,14,17-18)

In regards to man sinning against God, we are not sinning against any moral governmental judicial structure. There is no atonement for sinning against such. All sin is against God personally. His law is only to show us what and how we accomplished by breaking it.
Whenever anyone disobeys God in any way, they are virtually not trusting God calling Him a liar, stating by their actions that God can not be trusted and that He is no authority to make any boundaries. Proclaiming that God is not good in providing what is needed for staying within His boundaries. In doing this they sin.
Whenever anyone sins, they are transgressing what they know to be true (that there is a law which is being broken) which proclaims that they are autonomous, self governing and in no need of support from anyone &/or anything apart from them selves. They are basically saying, "I am that I am". Doing this they are opposing and exalting themselves above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that they deem themselves as God (2Thessalonians 2:4).

God says, in Romans 6:23, "for the wages of sin is [spiritual] death, but the gift of God is eternal (spiritual) life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
and, Deut.21:23, "His body shall not remain overnight on the tree (cross), but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who hangs on a tree is accursed of God."
Jesus was taken off the cross that same day He died so the curse of sin would stay on Him.
Lev.17:11, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul." Heb. 9:22, "for without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin"
When Jesus finished all that needed to done:
[b](1)[/b] Curse of the law to be taken away (2Corinth 5:21, Gal 3:13).
[b](a)[/b] For the setting free of the captive slave of the law(Luke 4:18, Galatians 5:1).
[b](2)[/b] Blood to be shed for the cleansing/purging from the guilt and the clearing of the conscience of the guilt of sin (Ephesians 1:7 & Colossians 1:14)
[b](a)[/b] purchasing/redeeming from the judgment of sin which is our forgiveness(Ephesians 1:7 & 1 Corinthians 6:20 & 7:23).

God accepted Jesus' sacrifice; He raised Jesus from the dead in verification of His acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice. The resurrection is the basis of our Faith (1 Corinthians 15:14)

When we acknowledge our place in His death we may also acknowledge our place in resurrection (Rom 6:3-6), only then can we be redeemed & cleansed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot (1Peter 1:19, Titus 2:14) and freed from being under the law (Romans 6:14 & 7:4) as being under grace instead (Romans 6:14): acknowledging that He is representing us on that cross and we die through Christ and rise in newness of life(Romans 6:4 &11).

We acknowledge this by baptism, which symbolizes our death and resurrection in Christ, not by the removing of outward filth of the flesh but by providing us with a good and clear conscience (inward cleanness and peace) before God through the [death and] resurrection of Jesus Christ 1Peter 3:21.

Therefore, only after death (Rom 7:4), one can be born again and live perfectly according to the [spirit of the] law, being brought out from under the law, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:4

All this is only through faith because of His grace (Ephesians 2:8).
I must repeat, all this is only through faith because it is impossible to please God without faith Hebrews 11:6.
Furthermore, it is only by this faith that righteousness is imputed to us. (Romans 4:3 Galatians 3:6 James 2:23)

 2009/9/29 9:57Profile

Joined: 2007/4/3
Posts: 293



This may not be a Scriptural position, but Jesus' agony in the Garden to the point of sweating of blood does not appear to be a concern to Him over His impending "vicarious substitution". If it is, then some of those martyrs of the faith who went to their deaths singing with joy are far superior examples of dying for the faith than our Savior's display. Roaring Lamb makes an excellent point that the atonement is far more than just a pleasing sacrifice of the Savior. The multi purposed and faceted sacrificial system of the Old Testament is proof enough of this. It respectfully appears that much of your argument is ethical rather than Scriptural.

 2009/9/29 11:47Profile


Other men, besides Jesus, have sweated blood. When men come under severe stress and preasure, sometimes the blood vessels in their face literally burst. Jesus must have been agonizing in his prayer in the Garden.

And Jesus going to the cross is very different from martyrs going to their crosses, because Jesus was dying for the sin of the whole world and therefore the devil and hell came against him in a way that the average martyr would not have experienced.

 2009/9/30 22:41

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