PCUSA uncomfortable with phrase "Till on that cross as Jesus died / the wrath of God was satisfied."

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Mark_Smith's picture

The purpose of my questions and my analogy is to understand what you are thinking. While you say you stand only on Scripture, at some point you have to interpret what the words of Scripture say...you seem to want to avoid that at all cost, except to say that the love of God is paramount. With love you are willing to take a leap!

Mark_Smith's picture

I am simply unable to understand at this point the subtleties of expiate versus propitiate. Neither word is a normal word that is used in daily life...I am operating under the assumption that expiate means something like "cover" while propitiate means something like "appease by payment".

Don Sailer's picture

To all my Calvin friends out there who claim that "curse" must mean punishment. Calvin claimed that "curse" must mean expiatory sacrifice.

Calvin:

On this account Paul also calls him a "curse" or "execration:" "Christ hath redeemed us from the execration of the law, having been made an execration for us." (Gal 3:13) He likewise calls him "Sin;" "For him who knew no sin hath he made to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Cor 5:21) And in another passage, "For what was impossible for the law, inasmuch as it was weak on account of the flesh, God did, by sending his own Son in the likeness of flesh liable to sin, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us." (Rom 8:3,4) What Paul meant by the words "curse" and "sin" in these passages is the same as what the Prophet meant by the word (asham.) In short, (asham) is equivalent to the Latin word piaculum, an expiatory sacrifice.

So Jesus became a curse for me must mean that Jesus became an expiatory sacrifice for me.

As I wrote above, Jesus died for me so that I could be justified.

Thanks for the assist, John! Smile

 

Don Sailer's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

The purpose of my questions and my analogy is to understand what you are thinking. While you say you stand only on Scripture, at some point you have to interpret what the words of Scripture say...you seem to want to avoid that at all cost, except to say that the love of God is paramount. With love you are willing to take a leap!

If the analogy was used in Scripture, I would interact with it. What I'm trying to do is emphasize the need for all of us to ground our assertions, beliefs, doctrines, and theology in Scripture. The idea that Jesus "paid" the penalty for sin and that he was the recipient of God's wrath is so engrained in some of us that we can't handle the thought that the Bible doesn't actually state these things.

So please forgive me for not dealing with the analogy. But my personal goal in life, and hopefully yours, is to focus on what the Scriptures actually state!

With all sincerity, I am willing to take a leap on the basis of God's love. It's all that I have.

1 John 4:9-10 states, "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (NIV).

I hope this helps. The atoning sacrifice is "for our sins." Why? Because the atoning sacrifice takes our sins away and enables us to live through Christ. And all of this is true because God is love (1 John 4:8). So you see, love is all that I have!

Blessings.

Mark_Smith's picture

you avoid the analogy because it highlights a deficiency in your argument?

Don Sailer's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Did God physically and personally take the scourge and scourge Jesus? Did God physically and personally beat Jesus? Did God physically and personally nail him to the cross? Nobody is arguing that, Don. Nobody means that when they say God poured out his wrath on Jesus. Nobody means that when they say that God punished Jesus. You are arguing against something nobody says.

Did God cause the events involved in the death of Christ so that it can be said that he "was pleased...to bruise Him"? Yes. But why? That's what the commentary I quoted answers. To satisfy the punishment for sin and to appease his justice/wrath.

I think you have a confused understanding of God's wrath.

 

Greg, it was you who stated that Isaiah 53 was all about how Jesus was stricken by God. I've been arguing against that claim. We have since arrived at a closer consensus in that we both agree that the sacrifice of Jesus pleased God because of the effects or results of his death.

I believe that the expiatory sacrifice of Jesus' death that takes away my sin does turn God's wrath away from me. I believe that Christ's sacrifice of atonement does satisfy the justice of God. I've been stating this throughout.

What I'm not stating is that God poured out his wrath on Jesus or that Jesus was the object of God's wrath. I don't believe the Scriptures teach this concept. I have given passage after passage that state the opposite. Do you agree with me that God did not pour out his wrath on Jesus? Do you agree with me that Jesus is not the object of God's wrath? Do you agree with me that on the cross Jesus was in full and complete communion with his Father and that his relationship was not broken with God?

 

Don Sailer's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

you avoid the analogy because it highlights a deficiency in your argument?

Mark,

I hope I have been kind and considerate to you. I avoid the analogy because I can't find it in Scripture.

I do find the analogy of the OT sacrificial system of the sin offering. I also find an analogy of ransom.

Does this help?

Blessings.

Greg Long's picture

OK, I will go ahead and quote Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology, p. 574ff.

Yet more difficult than these three previous aspects of Jesus' pain was the pain of bearing the wrath of God upon himself. As Jesus bore the guilt of our sins alone, God the Father, the mighty Creator, the Lord of the universe, poured out on Jesus the fury of his wrath: Jesus became the object of the intense hatred of sin and vengeance against sin which God had patiently stored up since the beginning of the world.

Romans 3:25 tells us that God put forward Christ as a "propitiation," a word that means "a sacrifice that bears God's wrath to the end and in so doing changes God's wrath toward us into favor." Paul tells us that "This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sin;s it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus" (Rom. 3:25-26). God had not simply forgiven sin and forgotten about the punishment in generations past. He had forgiven sins and stored up his righteous anger against those sins. But at the cross the fury of all that stored-up wrath against sin was unleashed against God's own Son.

Many theologians outside the evangelical world have strongly objected to the idea that Jesus bore the wrath of God against sin. Their basic assumption is that since God is a God of love, it would be inconsistent with his character to show wrath against the human beings he has created and for whom he is a loving Father. But evangelical scholars have convincingly argued that the idea of the wrath of God is solidly rooted in both the Old and New Testaments: "The whole of the argument of the opening part of Romans is that all men, Gentiles and Jews alike, are sinners, and that they come under the wrath and the condemnation of God."

Three other crucial passages in the New Testament refer to Jesus' death as a "propitiation": Heb. 2:17; 1 John 2:2; and 4:10. The Greek terms used in these passages have the sense of "a sacrifice that turns away the wrath of God--and thereby makes God propitious (or favorable) toward us." This is the consistent meaning of these words outside the Bible where they were well understood in reference to pagan Greek religions. These verses simply mean that Jesus bore the wrath of God against sin.

It is important to insist on this fact, because it is at the heart of the doctrine of atonement. It means that there is an eternal, unchangeable requirement in the holiness and justice of God that sin be paid for. Furthermore, before the atonement ever could have an effect on our subjective consciousness, it first had an effect on God and his relation to the sinners he planned to redeem. Apart from this central truth, the death of Christ really cannot be adequately understood.

Although we must be cautious in suggesting any analogies to the experience Christ went through (for his experience was and always will be without precedent or comparison), nonetheless, all our understanding of Jesus' suffering comes in some sense by way of analogous experiences in our life--for that is how God teaches us in Scripture. Once again our human experience provides a very faint analogy that helps us understand what it means to bear the wrath of God. Perhaps as children we have faced the wrath of a human father when we have done wrong, or perhaps as adults we have known the anger of an employer because of a mistake we have made. We are inwardly shaken, disturbed by the crashing of another personality, filled with displeasure, into our very selves, and we tremble. We can hardly imagine the personal disintegration that would threaten if the outpouring of wrath came not from some finite human being but from Almighty God. If even the presence of God when he does not manifest wrath arouses fear and trembling in people, how terrible it must be to face the presence of a wrathful God (Heb. 10:31).

With this in mind, we are now better able to understand Jesus' cry of desolation, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46b). The question does not mean, "Why have you left me forever?" for Jesus knew that he was leaving the world, that he was going to the Father (John 14:28; 16:10, 17). Jesus knew that he would rise again (John 2:19; Luke 18:33; Mark 9:31; et al.). It was "for the joy that was set before him" that Jesus "endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2). Jesus knew that he could still call God "my God." This cry of desolation is not a cry of total despair. Furthermore, "Why have you forsaken me?" does not imply that Jesus wondered why he was dying. He had said, "The Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). Jesus knew that he was dying for our sins.

Jesus' cry is a quotation from Psalm 22:1, a psalm in which the psalmist asks why God is so far from helping him, why God delays in rescuing him. Yet the psalmist was eventually rescued by God, and his cry of desolation turned into a hymn of praise (vv. 22-31). Jesus, who knew the words of Scripture as his own, knew well the context of Psalm 22. In quoting the psalm, he is quoting a cry of desolation that also has implicit in its context an unremitting faith in the God who will ultimately deliver him. Nevertheless, it remains a very real cry of anguish because the suffering has gone on so long and no release is in sight.

With this context for the quotation it is better to understand the question "Why have you forsaken me?" as meaning, "Why have you left me for so long?" This is the sense it has in Psalm 22. Jesus, in his human nature, knew he would have to bear our sins, to suffer and die. But, in his human consciousness, he probably did not know how long this suffering would take. Yet to bear the guilt of millions of sins ever for a moment would cause the greatest anguish of soul. To fact the deep and furious wrath of an infinite God even for an instant would cause the most profound fear. But Jesus' suffering was not over in a minute--or two--or ten. When would it end? Could there be yet more weight of sin? Yet more wrath of God? Hour after hour it went on--the dark weight of sin and the deep wrath of God poured over Jesus in wave after wave. Jesus at last cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Why must this suffering go on so long? Oh God, my God, will you ever bring it to an end?

Then at last Jesus knew his suffering was nearing completion. He knew he had consciously borne all the wrath of the Father against our sins, for God's anger had abated and the awful heaviness of sin was being removed. He knew that all that remained was to yield up his spirit to his heavenly Father and die. With a shout of victory Jesus cried out, "It is finished!" (John 19:30). Then with a loud voice he once more cried out, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" (Luke 23:46). And then he voluntarily gave up the life that no one could take from him (John 10:17-18), and he died. As Isaiah had predicted, "he poured out his soul to death" and "bore the sin of many" (Isa. 53:12). God the Father saw "the fruit of the travail of his soul" and was "satisfied" (Isa. 53:11).

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Don Sailer's picture

Greg Long wrote:

OK, I will go ahead and quote Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology, p. 574ff.

Yet more difficult than these three previous aspects of Jesus' pain was the pain of bearing the wrath of God upon himself. As Jesus bore the guilt of our sins alone, God the Father, the mighty Creator, the Lord of the universe, poured out on Jesus the fury of his wrath: Jesus became the object of the intense hatred of sin and vengeance against sin which God had patiently stored up since the beginning of the world.

Romans 3:25 tells us that God put forward Christ as a "propitiation," a word that means "a sacrifice that bears God's wrath to the end and in so doing changes God's wrath toward us into favor." Paul tells us that "This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sin;s it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus" (Rom. 3:25-26). God had not simply forgiven sin and forgotten about the punishment in generations past. He had forgiven sins and stored up his righteous anger against those sins. But at the cross the fury of all that stored-up wrath against sin was unleashed against God's own Son.

Many theologians outside the evangelical world have strongly objected to the idea that Jesus bore the wrath of God against sin. Their basic assumption is that since God is a God of love, it would be inconsistent with his character to show wrath against the human beings he has created and for whom he is a loving Father. But evangelical scholars have convincingly argued that the idea of the wrath of God is solidly rooted in both the Old and New Testaments: "The whole of the argument of the opening part of Romans is that all men, Gentiles and Jews alike, are sinners, and that they come under the wrath and the condemnation of God."

Three other crucial passages in the New Testament refer to Jesus' death as a "propitiation": Heb. 2:17; 1 John 2:2; and 4:10. The Greek terms used in these passages have the sense of "a sacrifice that turns away the wrath of God--and thereby makes God propitious (or favorable) toward us." This is the consistent meaning of these words outside the Bible where they were well understood in reference to pagan Greek religions. These verses simply mean that Jesus bore the wrath of God against sin.

It is important to insist on this fact, because it is at the heart of the doctrine of atonement. It means that there is an eternal, unchangeable requirement in the holiness and justice of God that sin be paid for. Furthermore, before the atonement ever could have an effect on our subjective consciousness, it first had an effect on God and his relation to the sinners he planned to redeem. Apart from this central truth, the death of Christ really cannot be adequately understood.

Although we must be cautious in suggesting any analogies to the experience Christ went through (for his experience was and always will be without precedent or comparison), nonetheless, all our understanding of Jesus' suffering comes in some sense by way of analogous experiences in our life--for that is how God teaches us in Scripture. Once again our human experience provides a very faint analogy that helps us understand what it means to bear the wrath of God. Perhaps as children we have faced the wrath of a human father when we have done wrong, or perhaps as adults we have known the anger of an employer because of a mistake we have made. We are inwardly shaken, disturbed by the crashing of another personality, filled with displeasure, into our very selves, and we tremble. We can hardly imagine the personal disintegration that would threaten if the outpouring of wrath came not from some finite human being but from Almighty God. If even the presence of God when he does not manifest wrath arouses fear and trembling in people, how terrible it must be to face the presence of a wrathful God (Heb. 10:31).

With this in mind, we are now better able to understand Jesus' cry of desolation, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46b). The question does not mean, "Why have you left me forever?" for Jesus knew that he was leaving the world, that he was going to the Father (John 14:28; 16:10, 17). Jesus knew that he would rise again (John 2:19; Luke 18:33; Mark 9:31; et al.). It was "for the joy that was set before him" that Jesus "endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2). Jesus knew that he could still call God "my God." This cry of desolation is not a cry of total despair. Furthermore, "Why have you forsaken me?" does not imply that Jesus wondered why he was dying. He had said, "The Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45). Jesus knew that he was dying for our sins.

Jesus' cry is a quotation from Psalm 22:1, a psalm in which the psalmist asks why God is so far from helping him, why God delays in rescuing him. Yet the psalmist was eventually rescued by God, and his cry of desolation turned into a hymn of praise (vv. 22-31). Jesus, who knew the words of Scripture as his own, knew well the context of Psalm 22. In quoting the psalm, he is quoting a cry of desolation that also has implicit in its context an unremitting faith in the God who will ultimately deliver him. Nevertheless, it remains a very real cry of anguish because the suffering has gone on so long and no release is in sight.

With this context for the quotation it is better to understand the question "Why have you forsaken me?" as meaning, "Why have you left me for so long?" This is the sense it has in Psalm 22. Jesus, in his human nature, knew he would have to bear our sins, to suffer and die. But, in his human consciousness, he probably did not know how long this suffering would take. Yet to bear the guilt of millions of sins ever for a moment would cause the greatest anguish of soul. To fact the deep and furious wrath of an infinite God even for an instant would cause the most profound fear. But Jesus' suffering was not over in a minute--or two--or ten. When would it end? Could there be yet more weight of sin? Yet more wrath of God? Hour after hour it went on--the dark weight of sin and the deep wrath of God poured over Jesus in wave after wave. Jesus at last cried out, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Why must this suffering go on so long? Oh God, my God, will you ever bring it to an end?

Then at last Jesus knew his suffering was nearing completion. He knew he had consciously borne all the wrath of the Father against our sins, for God's anger had abated and the awful heaviness of sin was being removed. He knew that all that remained was to yield up his spirit to his heavenly Father and die. With a shout of victory Jesus cried out, "It is finished!" (John 19:30). Then with a loud voice he once more cried out, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" (Luke 23:46). And then he voluntarily gave up the life that no one could take from him (John 10:17-18), and he died. As Isaiah had predicted, "he poured out his soul to death" and "bore the sin of many" (Isa. 53:12). God the Father saw "the fruit of the travail of his soul" and was "satisfied" (Isa. 53:11).

I studied under my dear friend, Wayne. The first paragraph of your post in bold font is one of the most disappointing statements Grudem has ever made. You see, there isn't one verse that supports his contention. The rest of Grudem's comments are his effort to make his first paragraph so. The eisegesis in this section of his Systematic Theology is mind numbing.

Greg, I can quote scripture and then make comments about the scriptures that aren't found in the text. It doesn't make my comments true. Unfortunately, this is what Grudem did here.

I believe that God's wrath will be poured out on unbelievers - those who reject Christ and refuse to believe in him.

I don't believe that God poured out his wrath on Jesus, as Grudem claims, because it can be found nowhere in Scripture.

I've already dealt with all of the other issues raised in this post in my previous comments.

Blessings.

Greg Long's picture

Don, you're reading your view of expiation into Calvin. That by "expiation" he means "a propitiatory substitutionary atonement" is clear from the following section in Institutes (II. xvi. 2.):

2. But before we proceed farther, we must see in passing, how can it be said that God, who prevents us with his mercy, was our enemy until he was reconciled to us by Christ. For how could he have given us in his only-begotten Son a singular pledge of his love, if he had not previously embraced us with free favour? As there thus arises some appearance of contradiction, I will explain the difficulty. The mode in which the Spirit usually speaks in Scripture is, that God was the enemy of men until they were restored to favour by the death of Christ (Rom 5:10); that they were cursed until their iniquity was expiated by the sacrifice of Christ (Gal 3:10,13); that they were separated from God, until by means of Christ's body they were received into union (Col 1:21,22). Such modes of expression are accommodated to our capacity, that we may the better understand how miserable and calamitous our condition is without Christ. For were it not said in clear terms, that Divine wrath, and vengeance, and eternal death, lay upon us, we should be less sensible of our wretchedness without the mercy of God, and less disposed to value the blessing of deliverance. For example, let a person be told, Had God at the time you were a sinner hated you, and cast you off as you deserved, horrible destruction must have been your doom; but spontaneously and of free indulgence he retained you in his favour, not suffering you to be estranged from him, and in this way rescued you from danger, — the person will indeed be affected, and made sensible in some degree how much he owes to the mercy of God. But again, let him be told, as Scripture teaches, that he was estranged from God by sin, an heir of wrath, exposed to the curse of eternal death, excluded from all hope of salvation, a complete alien from the blessing of God, the slave of Satan, captive under the yoke of sin; in fine, doomed to horrible destruction, and already involved in it; that then Christ interposed, took the punishment upon himself and bore what by the just judgment of God was impending over sinners; with his own blood expiated the sins which rendered them hateful to God, by this expiation satisfied and duly propitiated God the Father, by this intercession appeased his anger, on this basis founded peace between God and men, and by this tie secured the Divine benevolence toward them; will not these considerations move him the more deeply, the more strikingly they represent the greatness of the calamity from which he was delivered? In short, since our mind cannot lay hold of life through the mercy of God with sufficient eagerness, or receive it with becoming gratitude, unless previously impressed with fear of the Divine anger, and dismayed at the thought of eternal death, we are so instructed by divine truth, as to perceive that without Christ God is in a manner hostile to us, and has his arm raised for our destruction. Thus taught, we look to Christ alone for divine favour and paternal love.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Greg Long's picture

Don, I can keep quoting scholar after scholar, as I referenced above. Doesn't it bother you that, as your dear friend Wayne put it, you are outside evangelical scholarship on this issue and are actually in the liberal camp?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Greg Long's picture

Calvin again:

6. The very form of the death embodies a striking truth. The cross was cursed not only in the opinion of men, but by the enactment of the Divine Law. Hence Christ, while suspended on it, subjects himself to the curse. And thus it behoved to be done, in order that the whole curse, which on account of our iniquities awaited us, or rather lay upon us, might be taken from us by being transferred to him. This was also shadowed in the Law, since the word by which sin itself is properly designated, was applied to the sacrifices and expiations offered for sin. By this application of the term, the Spirit intended to intimate, that they were a kind of (purifications), bearing, by substitutions the curse due to sin. But that which was represented figuratively in the Mosaic sacrifices is exhibited in Christ the archetype. Wherefore, in order to accomplish a full expiation, he made his soul to [Hebrew word], i.e., a propitiatory victim for sin (as the prophet says, Isa 53:5,10), on which the guilt and penalty being in a manner laid, ceases to be imputed to us. The Apostle declares this more plainly when he says, that "he made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him," (2 Cor 5:21). For the Son of God, though spotlessly pure, took upon him the disgrace and ignominy of our iniquities, and in return clothed us with his purity. To the same thing he seems to refer, when he says, that he "condemned sin in the flesh," (Rom 8:3), the Father having destroyed the power of sin when it was transferred to the flesh of Christ. This term, therefore, indicates that Christ, in his death, was offered to the Father as a propitiatory victim; that, expiation being made by his sacrifice, we might cease to tremble at the divine wrath. It is now clear what the prophet means when he says, that "the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all," (Isa 53:6); namely, that as he was to wash away the pollution of sins, they were transferred to him by imputation. Of this the cross to which he was nailed was a symbol, as the Apostle declares, "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ," (Gal 3:13,14). In the same way Peter says, that he "bare our sins in his own body on the tree," (1 Peter 2:24), inasmuch as from the very symbol of the curse, we perceive more clearly that the burden with which we were oppressed was laid upon him. Nor are we to understand that by the curse which he endured he was himself overwhelmed, but rather that by enduring it he repressed broke, annihilated all its force. Accordingly, faith apprehends acquittal in the condemnation of Christ, and blessing in his curse. Hence it is not without cause that Paul magnificently celebrates the triumph which Christ obtained upon the cross, as if the cross, the symbol of ignominy, had been converted into a triumphal chariot. For he says, that he blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross: that "having spoiled principalities and powers he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it," (Col 2:14,15). Nor is this to be wondered at; for, as another Apostle declares, Christ, "through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God," (Heb 9:14), and hence that transformation of the cross which were otherwise against its nature. But that these things may take deep root and have their seat in our inmost hearts, we must never lose sight of sacrifice and ablution. For, were not Christ a victim, we could have no sure conviction of his being our substitute-ransom and propitiation. And hence mention is always made of blood whenever scripture explains the mode of redemption: although the shedding of Christ's blood was available not only for propitiation, but also acted as a laver to purge our defilements.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Don Sailer's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Don, you're reading your view of expiation into Calvin. That by "expiation" he means "a propitiatory substitutionary atonement" is clear from the following section in Institutes (II. xvi. 2.):

2. But before we proceed farther, we must see in passing, how can it be said that God, who prevents us with his mercy, was our enemy until he was reconciled to us by Christ. For how could he have given us in his only-begotten Son a singular pledge of his love, if he had not previously embraced us with free favour? As there thus arises some appearance of contradiction, I will explain the difficulty. The mode in which the Spirit usually speaks in Scripture is, that God was the enemy of men until they were restored to favour by the death of Christ (Rom 5:10); that they were cursed until their iniquity was expiated by the sacrifice of Christ (Gal 3:10,13); that they were separated from God, until by means of Christ's body they were received into union (Col 1:21,22). Such modes of expression are accommodated to our capacity, that we may the better understand how miserable and calamitous our condition is without Christ. For were it not said in clear terms, that Divine wrath, and vengeance, and eternal death, lay upon us, we should be less sensible of our wretchedness without the mercy of God, and less disposed to value the blessing of deliverance. For example, let a person be told, Had God at the time you were a sinner hated you, and cast you off as you deserved, horrible destruction must have been your doom; but spontaneously and of free indulgence he retained you in his favour, not suffering you to be estranged from him, and in this way rescued you from danger, — the person will indeed be affected, and made sensible in some degree how much he owes to the mercy of God. But again, let him be told, as Scripture teaches, that he was estranged from God by sin, an heir of wrath, exposed to the curse of eternal death, excluded from all hope of salvation, a complete alien from the blessing of God, the slave of Satan, captive under the yoke of sin; in fine, doomed to horrible destruction, and already involved in it; that then Christ interposed, took the punishment upon himself and bore what by the just judgment of God was impending over sinners; with his own blood expiated the sins which rendered them hateful to God, by this expiation satisfied and duly propitiated God the Father, by this intercession appeased his anger, on this basis founded peace between God and men, and by this tie secured the Divine benevolence toward them; will not these considerations move him the more deeply, the more strikingly they represent the greatness of the calamity from which he was delivered? In short, since our mind cannot lay hold of life through the mercy of God with sufficient eagerness, or receive it with becoming gratitude, unless previously impressed with fear of the Divine anger, and dismayed at the thought of eternal death, we are so instructed by divine truth, as to perceive that without Christ God is in a manner hostile to us, and has his arm raised for our destruction. Thus taught, we look to Christ alone for divine favour and paternal love.

 

Calvin, Grudem, etc.

Greg, what does the Bible state about these things? Without reading into the text of Scripture, what does the Bible state about the atoning sacrifice of Christ?

Do you believe that God poured out his wrath on Jesus in wave upon wave, as Grudem claimed?

Greg Long's picture

Pretty much every one of us on this thread has quoted numerous Bible verses, including the scholars I quoted.

Yes.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Brandon Crawford's picture

Mark,

In answer to your question, the word "propitiation" refers to the satisfaction of God's justice, and the word "expiation" refers to the removal of guilt. These words do not oppose one another, but are complimentary.

Here is how the two words go together in relation to Christ: Christ has propitiated the wrath of God by becoming an expiation for our sins.

Stated more fully: At the cross Christ fully satisfied the demands of God's justice against our sin, enabling God's wrath against us to be turned into divine favor. This he accomplished by taking our guilt upon himself, paying its full penalty in our stead, and giving us his own righteousness in its place.

 

 

Don Sailer's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Pretty much every one of us on this thread has quoted numerous Bible verses, including the scholars I quoted.

Yes.

 

Good, Greg.

Then you won't have any problem quoting a verse from the Bible that states that God poured our his wrath on Jesus.

Why didn't Grudem cite that verse?

Why won't you answer my question? I've stated what I believe.

Do you believe that God poured out his wrath on Jesus in wave upon wave? Grudem believes this. Do you?

Greg Long's picture

I and others have done that in post after post in this thread, Don.

I will cite a specific verse that specifically says God poured out his wrath on Jesus if you will cite a specific verse that specifically says God is one being in three persons.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Don Sailer's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Don, I can keep quoting scholar after scholar, as I referenced above. Doesn't it bother you that, as your dear friend Wayne put it, you are outside evangelical scholarship on this issue and are actually in the liberal camp?

There it is.

I was going to bring it up because I believe your fear of being called a "liberal" dictates what you believe instead of what the Scriptures state.

I'm not a liberal and Wayne wouldn't think so either. Because liberals get the wrath thing wrong with regard to unbelievers, we reject everything they state. We go so far as to do what they do, reading into the text what isn't there.

Greg, how can you in all seriousness believe that I am outside evangelical scholarship on this issue after reading what I wrote. Because I challenged you to demonstrate where the Bible states that God poured our his wrath on Jesus, that makes me a liberal?

I'm still waiting for you to cite the chapter and verse in the Bible that teaches that God punished Jesus with wave upon wave of wrath. Where is it?

It is amazing that you elevate a "theory" of the atonement over the Scriptures and refuse to admit that your theory isn't based on specific verses but rather man's theory.

 

Don Sailer's picture

Greg Long wrote:

I and others have done that in post after post in this thread, Don.

I will cite a specific verse that specifically says God poured out his wrath on Jesus if you will cite a specific verse that specifically says God is one being in three persons.

Already addressed this. The concept of the trinity is in the Bible. I don't need the word "trinity" to describe God. I can demonstrate that God is one. I can demonstrate that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. I can point to the "name" of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The actual concept is spelled out in Scripture.

The concept that God poured out his wrath on Jesus is not in the Bible. Find the verses that use the words. Can't do it.

Greg, you can do better than this.

Andrew K.'s picture

Don Sailer wrote:

Bob Hayton wrote:

Good discussion and important! Don is tenacious and is catching some people off guard. I think there is a great propensity toward error and a slippery slope here if followed too far though. See this article by Greg Albrecht which shows how far this idea can take someone.

This article by Scott McKnight illustrated the fact that there has been a division in evangelical theology over the meaning of the word translated propitiation - the same word can be understood as expiation. I think propitiation is best in line with the OT and am not swayed by the reasoning in McKnight's article. This article by Colin Hansen illustrates some of the perspectives that are more in line with orthodox Protestant understanding of the term.

Ultimately biblical theology helps us here in understanding the meaning of the "cup" concept in Gesthemane. Ironically, N.T. Wright helps us see that Jesus really does bear the wrath of God. See this summary of Wright's views and the section on "the Cup of God's Wrath" particularly.

“The Old Testament prophets speak darkly about the ‘cup of YHWH’s wrath.’ These passages talk of what happens when the one God, grieving over the awful wickedness of the world, steps in at last to give the violent and bloodthirsty, the arrogant and oppressors, the reward for their ways and deeds. It’s as though God’s holy anger against such people is turned into wine: dark, sour wine which will make them drunk and helpless. They will be forced to “drink the cup,” to drain to the dregs the wrath of the God who loves and vindicates the weak and helpless. The shock of this passage… is that Jesus speaks of drinking this cup himself.”

I don't see how Jesus' death is something that can be rejoiced in and exulted in so much as it is in the NT unless there was something forensic happening with regard to sin. I don't understand payment of wrath as the only atonement idea that explains things. I think there is Christus Victor going on - there is a conquering of Satan and his hordes, there are multiple things happening through the work on the Cross. But one of them is the propitiating of God's wrath against sin. Isaiah 53, the propitiatory texts in the NT and the ransom/redeem language as well, makes that clear. Additionally, the concept of our union with Christ and solidarity with him in his death so that our body of death is destroyed and we are raised to walk in new life enters into this as well. his death is our death - we can't be joined with him in death as a pleasing sacrifice to God - that isn't the aspect of his death we join with. Our death is united with his in the fact that his death took our punishment for our sins, absorbed God's wrath for us.

The article I first linked to above that shows how far this can go belittles not just the idea of God having wrath on Christ - but God having wrath on us - at all. The idea that God needs to have wrath appeased is equated with pagan religion at best. It is that sentiment which leads to a misrepresentation and slanderous view of the satisfaction theory of the atonement which we are defending here. John Piper responded to that error here.

This isn't about defending Anselm or Luther, it isn't about Protestantism per se, it is about the Bible and being true to the full picture presented about Christ's atonement and our need. Historic orthodox theology for hundreds of years in and out of the Catholic church even, has agreed on the satisfaction view of atonement as being Biblical and important. We shouldn't push that aside lightly.

 

It is interesting to see that my thoughts are tracking with Moule's as explained by McKnight.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2012/06/22/the-wrath-of-god-sati...

 

As to the cup, before we run back to the OT and claim that the "cup" is the cup of God's wrath, maybe we should go back 22 verses in Luke 22 and let the Gospel text identify what the cup is. See Luke 22:42 and Luke 22:20. The cup is the cup of the New Covenant in my blood. It is not the cup of God's wrath.

Thank you for your thoughts, Bob. I appreciate them.

 

 

What about the cup mentioned in Mark 10:38?

Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”

This is a different context from the Lucan passage.

神是爱

blee25's picture

1. The curse in Galatians 3:10-13 is death, which is God's righteous judgment, His punishment on our sin. (Romans 6:23)

2. Galatians 3:13 tells us Christ has redeemed us from the curse. We are freed from God's righteous judgment, His punishment.

3. It also tells us we are redeemed because Christ has become a curse for us.  He died in our place.

4. We are free from God's punishment because Christ took the punishment in our place.

 

If this verse does not mean that Christ took our punishment then what does it mean?

Greg Long's picture

Don Sailer wrote:

Greg Long wrote:

I and others have done that in post after post in this thread, Don.

I will cite a specific verse that specifically says God poured out his wrath on Jesus if you will cite a specific verse that specifically says God is one being in three persons.

Already addressed this. The concept of the trinity is in the Bible. I don't need the word "trinity" to describe God. I can demonstrate that God is one. I can demonstrate that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. I can point to the "name" of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The actual concept is spelled out in Scripture.

The concept that God poured out his wrath on Jesus is not in the Bible. Find the verses that use the words. Can't do it.

Greg, you can do better than this.


Why do I have to find verses that use the words when you dont have to find verses that use the word Trinity? Which is it, Don...do you have to find verses that use the specific word in question, or not?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Don Sailer's picture

Andrew K. wrote:

Don Sailer wrote:

Bob Hayton wrote:

Good discussion and important! Don is tenacious and is catching some people off guard. I think there is a great propensity toward error and a slippery slope here if followed too far though. See this article by Greg Albrecht which shows how far this idea can take someone.

This article by Scott McKnight illustrated the fact that there has been a division in evangelical theology over the meaning of the word translated propitiation - the same word can be understood as expiation. I think propitiation is best in line with the OT and am not swayed by the reasoning in McKnight's article. This article by Colin Hansen illustrates some of the perspectives that are more in line with orthodox Protestant understanding of the term.

Ultimately biblical theology helps us here in understanding the meaning of the "cup" concept in Gesthemane. Ironically, N.T. Wright helps us see that Jesus really does bear the wrath of God. See this summary of Wright's views and the section on "the Cup of God's Wrath" particularly.

“The Old Testament prophets speak darkly about the ‘cup of YHWH’s wrath.’ These passages talk of what happens when the one God, grieving over the awful wickedness of the world, steps in at last to give the violent and bloodthirsty, the arrogant and oppressors, the reward for their ways and deeds. It’s as though God’s holy anger against such people is turned into wine: dark, sour wine which will make them drunk and helpless. They will be forced to “drink the cup,” to drain to the dregs the wrath of the God who loves and vindicates the weak and helpless. The shock of this passage… is that Jesus speaks of drinking this cup himself.”

I don't see how Jesus' death is something that can be rejoiced in and exulted in so much as it is in the NT unless there was something forensic happening with regard to sin. I don't understand payment of wrath as the only atonement idea that explains things. I think there is Christus Victor going on - there is a conquering of Satan and his hordes, there are multiple things happening through the work on the Cross. But one of them is the propitiating of God's wrath against sin. Isaiah 53, the propitiatory texts in the NT and the ransom/redeem language as well, makes that clear. Additionally, the concept of our union with Christ and solidarity with him in his death so that our body of death is destroyed and we are raised to walk in new life enters into this as well. his death is our death - we can't be joined with him in death as a pleasing sacrifice to God - that isn't the aspect of his death we join with. Our death is united with his in the fact that his death took our punishment for our sins, absorbed God's wrath for us.

The article I first linked to above that shows how far this can go belittles not just the idea of God having wrath on Christ - but God having wrath on us - at all. The idea that God needs to have wrath appeased is equated with pagan religion at best. It is that sentiment which leads to a misrepresentation and slanderous view of the satisfaction theory of the atonement which we are defending here. John Piper responded to that error here.

This isn't about defending Anselm or Luther, it isn't about Protestantism per se, it is about the Bible and being true to the full picture presented about Christ's atonement and our need. Historic orthodox theology for hundreds of years in and out of the Catholic church even, has agreed on the satisfaction view of atonement as being Biblical and important. We shouldn't push that aside lightly.

 

It is interesting to see that my thoughts are tracking with Moule's as explained by McKnight.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2012/06/22/the-wrath-of-god-sati...

 

As to the cup, before we run back to the OT and claim that the "cup" is the cup of God's wrath, maybe we should go back 22 verses in Luke 22 and let the Gospel text identify what the cup is. See Luke 22:42 and Luke 22:20. The cup is the cup of the New Covenant in my blood. It is not the cup of God's wrath.

Thank you for your thoughts, Bob. I appreciate them.

 

 

What about the cup mentioned in Mark 10:38?

Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”

This is a different context from the Lucan passage.

And what was the disciples' answer? They said, "We can" (Mark 10:39).

And what did Jesus state?

"You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with."

If the cup is God's wrath, and if Jesus is the recipient of this cup of wrath so that we don't have to be, none of the above makes sense!

The cup is the cup of the New Covenant in his blood. Everyone must drink from this cup if they are to enter into the New Covenant and be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

 

christian cerna's picture

Don Sailer wrote:

Greg Long wrote:

I and others have done that in post after post in this thread, Don.

I will cite a specific verse that specifically says God poured out his wrath on Jesus if you will cite a specific verse that specifically says God is one being in three persons.

Already addressed this. The concept of the trinity is in the Bible. I don't need the word "trinity" to describe God. I can demonstrate that God is one. I can demonstrate that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. I can point to the "name" of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The actual concept is spelled out in Scripture.

The concept that God poured out his wrath on Jesus is not in the Bible. Find the verses that use the words. Can't do it.

Greg, you can do better than this.

 

Don, one of the definitions of the word wrath is "retributory punishment for an offense or a crime : divine chastisement".

I think this is what they mean when they say that the wrath of God fell on Jesus. That Jesus received the punishment for the offense or crime that we committed.

MShep2's picture

Don, I have read through this thread and it seems you conflate three different terms/concepts:

  1. Was the wrath of God "poured out" on Christ on the cross?
  2. Did Christ's death satisfy God's wrath?
  3. If there must be a penalty for sin (Rom. 6:23), did Christ pay that penalty on the cross?

Of these three, only the terminology of the first can be questioned since the Bible doesn't seem to use that language. However, in order for the answers to 2 and 3 to be "no" you must ignore much of what Scripture says about sin and its penalty. If Isaiah 53:5 does not refer to this, I don't have any idea what it means:

But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. (NASB)

To say this has nothing to do with Christ suffering the penalty for our sins stretches the meaning to the breaking point.

Also, your argument is to constantly say, "show me a verse" but you disqualify any verses using the Gk. word hilasmos by defining it differently than the rest of those posting here. 

Ok, if it will make you feel better, for now let's lose the "poured out" language. However you still must answer the following questions:

Why did Christ had to die on the cross if He did not shed His blood to provide remission of sin (Heb. 9:22)? And how did Christ provide remission (aphesis - "remission of a penalty") if the penalty was not paid?

Why he say teleo on the cross if there was no requirement to pay/fulfill?

If all he did was show His love and obedience by dying on the cross, then why did it have to be the perfect Lamb of God to take away (airo) the sin of the world (Jn. 1:29). Couldn't someone else have died and showed God's love? (And, since during the time of the Romans thousands suffered beating and crucifixion, why does the Bible present the suffering of Christ as something extraordinary and unique?) 

MS
--------------------------------
Luke 17:10

James K's picture

To all, I find it almost humorous the number of you who overlook what Don is actually asking for and instead post excerpts out of systematic theologies.  Good grief.  Consider that you are only reinforcing his contention.  It would be like asking for a verse that saying that the rapture is pretrib.  No verse exists.  Some of you would run to Ryrie or Pentecost.  Enough already.  Check yourselves.

To Don's original point, there is no verse that explicitly states that the cross satisfied the wrath of God.  That doesn't at all mean it isn't true though.  We know the same is true for the Trinity.  There is no verse that explicitly states that God exists in three persons yet is one.

To prove the case, one would have to demonstrate that the Bible explicitly teaches:

1. That God's righteous response to sin is wrath

2. That sin will be judged in 2 ways:

a. The death of Jesus as substitute for man

b. eternal torment to the unbeliever

We know that according to Romans 1, God's wrath is revealed against the sinfulness of man (Rom 1:18, 2:5-8).  The unbeliever is storing up for himself wrath for the day of God's wrath.  The gospel is presented as the deliverance (salvation) from God's wrath (Rom 1:16).

So going back to the cup matter, I present the following:

So this would address 2b.

Jer 25:15-26 - the text explicitly mentions the cup of God's wrath against the nations.  Rev 14:10 is the NT counterpart to Jeremiah's prediction.  It is the wrath of God mixed in the cup of His anger.  

So this would address 2a.

The cup that Jesus prayed with great intensity to avoid was this same cup.  It was NOT the cup of the New Covenant.  The NC was going to be a time of great joy and blessing.  The language through the OT and NT presents it as glorious and marvelous in its scope.  It isn't a time of judgment and wrath at all.

During the Lord's supper, the cup of the NC was the 3rd of 4.  Jesus did not drink the final cup and wouldn't until He returned in His kingdom.  This is just ignorance of what Jesus did in the upper room really.

Jesus didn't experience blessing and joy on the cross.  He had to endure the bitterness of God's wrath.

So Don, while I admire your tenacity to be truthful, a little more study would help out quite a bit.  I wish you well in your future studies that you too will see the greatness of Jesus' suffering for us.

 

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Brent Marshall's picture

James K wrote:
To all, I find it almost humorous the number of you who overlook what Don is actually asking for and instead post excerpts out of systematic theologies.  Good grief.  Consider that you are only reinforcing his contention.  It would be like asking for a verse that saying that the rapture is pretrib.  No verse exists.  Some of you would run to Ryrie or Pentecost.  Enough already.  Check yourselves.

To Don's original point, there is no verse that explicitly states that the cross satisfied the wrath of God.  That doesn't at all mean it isn't true though.  We know the same is true for the Trinity.  There is no verse that explicitly states that God exists in three persons yet is one.

Though it is not as if no one raised Scriptures on point. Multiple posters quoted multiple Scriptures that "demonstrate" the "actual concept" that Don denies. Don dismissed them because they do not state the point in exact words. No matter that is unsound hermeneutically. So it seems to me that the quotation of systematic theologies is an effort to say, in essence, if you do not believe me as to the interpretation of these passages, maybe you will believe these writers.

Does that reinforce Don's point? Well, maybe. But Don's point is pointless, as his response to the Trinity argument shows. He does not hold himself to the same "use the words" standard that he is demanding of those disagreeing with him. No matter that is inconsistent.

So round and round this goes.

Things That Matter

As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of this is that it is no longer acceptable to say so.--RScruton

Greg Long's picture

C'mon, James, you can't have posted that if you read the entire thread. Most of us, including myself (who is the one posting the excerpts from commentaries) have made numerous references to Bible verses and have basically said what you have said. It was only after numerous Bible verses had been posted and Don continued to dismiss them out of hand that I referenced systematic theologies and commentaries just to show that Don was outside of the mainstream of evangelical scholarship on this issue.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Ron Bean's picture

Greg was very gracious when he said:

Don was outside of the mainstream of evangelical scholarship on this issue.

I would simply say that Don is wrong. The PCUSA and other theologically liberal groups have long denied the wrath of God. Don seems to agree with their position.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

DavidO's picture

Don did affirm God's wrath toward guilty humans.  He may have affirmed His wrath toward sin itself--I'm not rereading the thread at this point.  But if he so affirms, is it so hard to see, if he agrees Jesus bore our sins on the cross, and God's wrath is directed toward sin, that Jesus suffered under God's wrath?

Edit: not sure why I'm talking about him like he's not here.  Smile

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