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

25473 reads

There are 197 Comments

Greg Long's picture

"Punishment" in Is. 53:5 corrective punishment. Yes, the LXX translated it with paideuo, but that word is used in Heb. 12:5-11 in a context that clearly indicates chastisement. The word "chastises" in Heb. 12:6 is literally "scourges."

-------
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, if Jesus didn't die we would still be children of God's wrath. God punished Jesus in our place, and so we are no longer the objects of His wrath, because Jesus was the object of His wrath on the cross when He forsook Him and bruised, punished, chastised, afflicted, etc., Him.

As David indicated, this is pretty basic and commonly accepted Protestant theology (well, except for the liberals, as indicated by the OP).

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

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

christian cerna's picture

Don, the bible also says that Christ became a curse for us. For cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree. I am not saying that Christ is still cursed, but at the point of his death, he took upon himself the punishment for our iniquities. 

If punishment means merely discipline according to you, then why did Jesus have to be crucified at all? In that case, as long as he was obedient, then all he had to do was live a sinless life, and he could have died of natural causes, and we would still be saved.

 

The bible tells us that the wages of sin is death. We sinned. Christ did not. But Christ died in our place, taking upon himself the sins of the world, and the punishment for sin, which is death.

We must be honest and say that we don't really know how sacrifices work. We don't know why or how blood sacrifices takes away sin. In the old testament, before an animal was sacrificed, the owner would lay his hands on it, as a symbolic way of saying that he was transferring his sins to it. We must acknowledge that when Christ died, something happened in the spiritual world. Sins were taken away. Atonement was made before God. And that his blood really did have spiritual power to cleanse us from sin. Some things are a mystery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don Sailer's picture

DavidO wrote:

Don Sailer wrote:
As to punishment of our sins, what is forgiveness? What does it mean to have a debt forgiven? Does someone else have to be punished for my debt to be forgiven?

Does someone have to die at all for my debt to be forgiven?  Why did God kill His Son?  Because his love would not otherwise be satisfied?  That's weird.

Why was Jesus' sacrifice the only one that could wash away sin?  There's a reason the death of bulls and goats couldn't do it. 

 

Do you really believe that God killed his Son. The Bible teaches that the Jews present at Passover along with wicked men put him to death (Acts 2:23).

God gave his Son.

The Son laid down his life for us.

God did not kill his Son. Now God knew that the Son would die as an offering and sacrifice for sin. And God knew that Jesus would be handed over to these people to be put to death by his set purpose. But God is not responsible for the death of Jesus. Wicked, sinful men are responsible for the death of Jesus.

Now what is wierd about God giving his Son as a sacrifice for sin when only his Son could take away sin? God's love for sinners was made manifest by his gift of his Son (Romans 5:8). Because God loves the world he gives his only Son to die for the sins of the world. This death, then, satisfies his love for us and God is now right and just to forgive those who have faith in Jesus.

The Good News is that God demonstrates his love to us in this, that Christ died for us. Therefore, Christ's death satisfies and fulfills God's love for us as he now forgives those who have faith in him.

God loves you. God has reconciled the world to himself. So be reconciled. He has demonstrated his love to you through the sacrificial death of his Son on your behalf.

christian cerna's picture

Don, you mention God's love. But no where in your explanation do you mention God's justice. God giving his Son to the world is a demonstration of his love for us, but his death is also a demonstration of his justice. Someone needed to pay the penalty of our sins, which is death.

 

You mentioned earlier that Jesus spoke the words, "why have you forsaken me?", because the only way to quote a Psalm was to say the first line. Where do you get this information? I see no other example of this in scripture. Everywhere in Scripture, when someone quotes another part of it, they quote only the part that they wish to use, not the first line of it.

 

Someone once told me that the reason Jesus cried to God that he was forsaken, was because at the moment of him being on the cross Jesus took upon himself or sins, and God had to turn away from looking at his son. Perhaps at that moment, he was feeling in his body all the bad things we feel, like fear, hopelessness, loneliness, or despair. Perhaps at that moment he did not hear the voice of his Father guiding him. I was taught that part of the reason that Jesus prayed in Gethsemane and asked that the cup be taken away from him, was because the cup was wrath, and he was afraid of feeling forsaken by God. He was more afriad of the spiritual silence more than the physical pain of death.

 

In the old testament, the cup is often symbolic of God's wrath.

mbruffey's picture

What eventually became known as the New Haven Theology among the Congregationalists, and the New School Theology among the Presbyterians, was characterized by several aberrations from orthodox theology. Many of these aberrations hung together around the notion of a Moral Universe—and hence a Moral Government—that existed in a kind of parallel to the physical universe. The moral government operated on a certain set of rules, one of which was that God could only exert moral influence in the salvation of "free" human beings. For many of these nineteenth-century theologians, regeneration consisted merely in a change of the ruling preference of the mind, since sin consisted only in the act of sinning, and, therefore humans had no sinful "nature" requiring regeneration in the orthodox sense. Finney held this view.

For reasons that I won't explore in this short post, the orthodox view of original sin, imputation of Adam's sin, transmission of the sin nature, imputation of Christ's righteousness, and penal substitutionary atonement all had to go, eventually. This occurred over a series of decades in New England and the Middle States, as well as in the "West" (Western NY and OH in particular).

What became the core of this "theology" for many adherents was the notion of Moral Government, as I said above. Another key feature was that it rolled all of God's moral attributes into benevolence, or love. All moral attributes are merely expressions of benevolence. This (finally!) goes to the issue that Don Sailer has raised. If you do not wish to hold to the penal substitutionary theory, then you must have an alternative. The alternative articulated in the nineteenth century was the Governmental Theory of the Atonement. One beauty of the theory was that it alleviated the problem of a just God unjustly wrathfully punishing a just and beloved Son as if he were unloved and unjust. The Son, in fact, suffered only enough to show that God was serious about sin, thus honoring the concept of a moral government. As a result, penitent sinners are candidates for God's mercy, and God remains just; his moral government is upheld. But there is no real "payment" of any kind for sin. There is no treasury of merit in Christ that is applied to the sinner's account. The term imputation is still used in this theology, but it is redefined; it does not carry the orthodox notion of imputation.

I will give you a sample from Smalley:

"From the use of the words ransom and redemption, we are no more obliged to suppose a literal purchase, or an obligatory satisfaction in what our Saviour did and suffered, than we are to suppose there was occasion for such a kind of satisfaction, and for the same reasons as among men." [p. 53] [emphasis mine]

Smalley, John. “Justification through Christ an Act of Free Grace.” In The Atonement: Discourses and Treatises by Edwards, Smalley, Maxcy, Emmons, Griffin, Burge, and Weeks with an Introductory Essay by Edwards A. Park, 43–64. Boston: Congregational Board of Publication, 1859.

(Smalley originally wrote in the 1810s or teens, and is republished here. A lot of the theology that Finney claimed as his own was slurped up, consciously or unconsciously, from Jonathan Edwards Jr., Timothy Dwight, Lyman Beecher, Albert Barnes, and, of course, that most notorious Nathaniel Taylor.)

Now, Don, I don't know for certain that you hold to the governmental theory, and I do not mean to pigeonhole you or your theology. I'm merely reflecting on what you have articulated and trying to locate your notions within the development of theology in America.

Mark

Shaynus's picture

Do you really believe that God killed his Son. The Bible teaches that the Jews present at Passover along with wicked men put him to death (Acts 2:23).

God gave his Son.

The Son laid down his life for us.

God did not kill his Son. Now God knew that the Son would die as an offering and sacrifice for sin. And God knew that Jesus would be handed over to these people to be put to death by his set purpose. But God is not responsible for the death of Jesus. Wicked, sinful men are responsible for the death of Jesus.

Don, why do you find it so hard to believe that God killed the Lamb? Is it your sense of fairness? Let your sense of fairness be damned right along with Jesus who was damned on our behalf and rose to new life to conquer damnation itself.

Don Sailer's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Don, Is. 53 really couldn't be more clear. He was stricken, smitten, afflicted, wounded, bruised, chastised, oppressed. By whom? By God. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him.

Greg,

Isaiah 53:1-4 explains that humans despised him and rejected him. We esteemed him not. While he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, we considered him stricken by God.

But . . .

Isaiah 53:5 shifts gears. This next section explains why Jesus was allowed to go through this abuse at the hands of sinful man. But I'm going to focus on the role man played.

He was pierced for our transgression? Who did this? God or man? Men did.

He was crushed (bruised) for our iniquities? Who did this? God or man? Men did.

The discipline that brought us peace was upon him? Who did this? Jesus did. He learned obedience and subjected himself to a brutal death at the hands of men.

And by his wounds we are healed. Who did this? Jesus did. He suffered and died so that we might be healed from sin

Isaiah 53:6

The LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. God let the iniquity of us all strike him. See the Hebrew word for "laid."

Isaiah 53:7

He was oppressed and afflicted. Who did this? God or man? Men did.

He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. Who did this? God or man? Men did.

By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Who did this? God or man? Men did.

For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. Who did this? God or man? Men did.

Isaiah 53 is actually very clear that humans despised him, struck him, pierced him, bruised him, etc. etc. Come on, Greg, read the text.

Isaiah 53:10 shifts gears for us once again. Yet . . .

Only at Isaiah 53:10 do we read that it was YHWH's will to bruise him and cause him to suffer. Why? Because only Jesus can atone for sin. Only Jesus can take away the sin of the world. So in poetic fashion, Isaiah declares that YHWH allowed or permitted the Son to suffer. It was God's will that the Son suffer so that humans who despised him, rejected him, esteemed him not, pierced him, bruised him, oppressed him and afflicted him could be rescued from sin.

Even though all these things happened to Jesus at the hands of wicked men, yet it was God's will that it should be so. Why? so Jesus could be a guilt offering for us. So that he could see his offspring, see the light of life and be satisfied. Satisfied for what reason? Satisfied that many will be justified.

Greg, you can't possibly believe that it was God who struck Jesus, smote him, afflicted him, oppressed him, wounded him, and chastised him. It wasn't God who did this. Sinful, wicked men did this. Did you even read the chapter? It wasn't God that considered him stricken by God, it was us (Isaiah 53:4).

Only after sinful humanity did all of these things to Jesus do we see God's answer as to why he permitted Jesus to suffer like this (Isaiah 53:10-12).

Blessings.

 

 

 

 

Don Sailer's picture

Shaynus wrote:

Do you really believe that God killed his Son. The Bible teaches that the Jews present at Passover along with wicked men put him to death (Acts 2:23).

God gave his Son.

The Son laid down his life for us.

God did not kill his Son. Now God knew that the Son would die as an offering and sacrifice for sin. And God knew that Jesus would be handed over to these people to be put to death by his set purpose. But God is not responsible for the death of Jesus. Wicked, sinful men are responsible for the death of Jesus.

Don, why do you find it so hard to believe that God killed the Lamb? Is it your sense of fairness? Let your sense of fairness be damned right along with Jesus who was damned on our behalf and rose to new life to conquer damnation itself.

 

Shaynus, do you interact with scripture at all? Jesus wasn't killed for our sins. He was sacrificed for our sins. There is a difference. And even though sinful man "put him to death," God raised him from the dead. I'm going to stick with scripture. You can have your opinions and language and suppositions.

Where have I raised the issue of "fairness"?

Like I have stated, I'm going to stick to the scriptures. Why do my statements based on scriptural verses offend you so much? I would think that you would be overjoyed to know that God loves you and demonstrates this love to you by sacrificing his Son for your sins. Shouldn't this make you rejoice?

Shaynus's picture

Can you sacrifice something without killing it? Let's say a lamb. How would one go about sacrifice a lamb without killing it? Without slitting it's throat? Who did the sacrificing? Who planned this plan from the beginning? God Himself. Author and finisher. 

christian cerna's picture

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, othat he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, (1 Peter 3:18, ESV)

 

It says here that the righteous took the place of the unrighteous. He was put to death for our sins.

James K's picture

The "cup" that Jesus had to drink, was the "cup" of God's wrath.  In the Garden, Jesus proved that there was no other way to bring about salvation than for Him to receive upon His death the wrath of God.  That is why unbelievers will experience the full force of the "cup" of God's wrath in the eschaton.

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.

Joel Tetreau's picture

Don,

Your question while surprising is fair. Admitidly I'm not used to having to defend Biblical orthodoxy that has been codified by the orthodox for hundreds if not thousands of years....but we say that the Bible is the final authority of faith and practice ..... so be it.

So the concept of the wrath of God being poured out on Christ or those judged without the benefit of atonement - is explicit and implicit in the various classical texts.

Let me say that just like one doesn't have the exact word "deacon" in Acts 6 - most believe them to be "proto-deacons." In a similar sense while the exact word "wrath on Christ" may not show up word for word - the concept is seen both in context and sense.

Just about every theological text both evangelical, catholic and otherwise understands "Propitiation" to include an "appeasing of one's wrath." Actually the most literal definition is "to cover." Well to cover what? So notice Romans 3:25; 5:1, 10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Colossians 1:20-22; 1 John 2:2; Hebrews 9:5. So for most Biblical students and teachers these verses coupled with the term and how this is played out in the OT sacrificial system and then how that's combined with what Christ did as described in Hebrews leads most of us to the conclusion that this "propituation" is the appeasment of wrath. God's wrath was poured out and appeased by Jesus. Clearly.

So Don - check out some OT passages - I'm not sure how proficient you are with Hebrew but I love the words we have in Deuteronomy 9:18 and 19. Man if you can't see "anger" and "wrath" especially in verse 19. Notice the tense of those tems in verse 19 - man that action is on steroids in the text. Emphatic! I think one of those terms cary's the idea of "fury."

A few Greek words and context (Some of this Tetreau paraphrase) - Hebrews 2:17 - "To make propitiations for the sins of the people." The context marks out a presence of wrath, the need for mercy, concern for sin, etc.....The Greek word is "Hilaskomai." (every lexicon I know connects this to wrath). I think one of the brothers mentioned the Romans passage - let's look at it. Romans 3:25. Again the term is "Hilasterion." "Whome God displayed publicaly as a propitition in His blood." Don - how in the world you can't connect the concept of wrath and judgment appeased temporarily by the sacrifice of the OT and now fulfilled in this appeasment of that wrath by Jesus via the context of Romans 3? Another text and word - Hilasmos - 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10 - powerful is the Johannine Christology here - looks at the flow of context you have the "blood" in 1:7 - you have the nned for this appeasment (Hilsmos) and this is accomplished by the Advocate (2:1).

To be clear - I disagree with Mr. Scofield who unfortunatly spread the notion that "propititation has not thought of placating a vengeful God....." Mr. Scofield are out of the majority here that have seen a connect between propitation and the wrath of God being satisfied by Christ's atonement.

Fankly I believe you gut the doctrines of God's holiness, judgment, and even "satisfaction" without the wrath part. By the way - I don't think I hold this view because I'm a ticked off fundamentalist!

Let me dip into systematic theology - now much to the desmay of some of my systematic teachers I have always sung the song of Biblical theology over Systematic theology. Having said that - there is a place and a benefit of comparing Scripture with Scripture (i.e. Systematic theology). You understand that without at least a basic approach to sys theology we would not have the understanding of the Trinity as we do. So let's string some verses together - yes each verse has a context but I'm positive if you string the verses (and their contexts together) we are not undermining the idea of God's wrath being poured out on Christ but we see a strengthening of this view.

Isaiah 59:2 - iniquity causes separation from God; Nahum 1:2 - God is avenging and pours out wrath against enemies - (question who are the enemies of God? - answer those who continue in Sin - notice Psalm 15!) - Because of sin we are enemies of God - Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:21 - Why are we no longer enemies but friends of God? Because Jesus who knew no sin became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21) - So in that moment when Jesus became sin - the natural theological conclusion here is that Christ experienced that which is connected to judged sin - that is the wrath of God (Nahum 1:2).

One more dip into a systematic theology - Notice in Romans 2:5 - those who are lost are headed for "wrath" - why? they've earned it! Compare with Romans 8:1 - what do God's children experience? No comdenation - well what about the believer's sin? That sin had to be met with the same wrath that the sin in Romans 2:5 will eventually be dealt with. That wrath and sin was expiated by Christ!

Don much of my conviction here is driven because I love and "get" Old Testament Theology. You see God's wrath all over the OT! Towards the heathen - towards true Isreal - true false Isreal......etc......Why do we not see the same level of "wrath" in the NT? The answer in part is Christ. You do see wrath - and those in the eschaton will taste wrath - the devil and the anti-Christ - they'll enjoy an eternity of wrath. The difference is that they recieved wrath because they earned it - Jesus recieved wrath because of imputation. Once the imputation was complete (both ways) the wrath (for redemption) was complete.

So those are some quick thoughts - I'll try to bring more to the table if I can steal some time to think about this more.

Straight Ahead!

jt

 

 

 

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Don Sailer's picture

christian cerna wrote:

Don, you mention God's love. But no where in your explanation do you mention God's justice. God giving his Son to the world is a demonstration of his love for us, but his death is also a demonstration of his justice. Someone needed to pay the penalty of our sins, which is death.

 

You mentioned earlier that Jesus spoke the words, "why have you forsaken me?", because the only way to quote a Psalm was to say the first line. Where do you get this information? I see no other example of this in scripture. Everywhere in Scripture, when someone quotes another part of it, they quote only the part that they wish to use, not the first line of it.

 

Someone once told me that the reason Jesus cried to God that he was forsaken, was because at the moment of him being on the cross Jesus took upon himself or sins, and God had to turn away from looking at his son. Perhaps at that moment, he was feeling in his body all the bad things we feel, like fear, hopelessness, loneliness, or despair. Perhaps at that moment he did not hear the voice of his Father guiding him. I was taught that part of the reason that Jesus prayed in Gethsemane and asked that the cup be taken away from him, was because the cup was wrath, and he was afraid of feeling forsaken by God. He was more afriad of the spiritual silence more than the physical pain of death.

 

In the old testament, the cup is often symbolic of God's wrath.

How many times in the NT are quotes from the OT transliterated? Not very many. So why did the Gospel writers (Matthew and Mark) transliterate this one quote by Jesus from Psalm 22:1? So that we would not mistake it as "his" words but David's words. And did David believe that he was forsaken in Psalm 22? No, he did not. The other key aspect of this psalm is that it is about the crucifixion. Jesus is letting those in the crowd know that he was fullfiling this psalm in their very presence. And then he quotes the very last word of the psalm when he dies - asa' ( which means, it is done or finished). When a Hebrew wanted to call attention to a psalm, he read the first line and everyone would recall the psalm. It is intriguing that Jesus quoted from the first line of the psalm and from the last word. Doesn't that encourage you? Doesn't that make you take notice? Jesus is pointing to a psalm and indicating that he is the fulfillment of the psalm. Doesn't that excite you?

God never turned away from his Son. God never turned his face away from his Son. There is not one verse in the Bible to support this speculation. Psalm 34:15-20 states, "The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; . . . the righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. . . . A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken." This passage refers to the prophecy that none of Jesus' bones would be broken when he died (John 19:36). Notice that in this context, the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous! Jesus is righteous. Therefore, the eyes of YHWH were on Jesus when he died - not one of his bones would be broken. And that's a fact. Not one of his bones were broken. And neither did YHWH turn his eyes from him.

Where in Luke 22:42 does it state that the cup was the cup of God's wrath? It is not good to read into scripture what is not there. It was in the garden where Jesus again surrendered fully to the Father's will and learned obedience to death - even death on a cross (Phil. 2:8). The cup refers to the events that followed - the brutal physical beating that he suffered and the world's sins upon him (Isaiah 53:6).

I have explained how the death of Jesus satisfied both the love of God and the justice of God. Go back and read my posts about Romans 3:21-26, and 1 John 1:9.

As to someone paying the penalty for our sins, that person was God. God paid the penalty for sin by providing the Lamb. God provided the sacrifice. God gave his Son. God paid a ransom (Jesus). It was God who paid the penalty for sin. Jesus was the Lamb, the sacrifice, the offering, the ransom.

Thank you for your questions.

Blessings.

Don Sailer's picture

christian cerna wrote:

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, othat he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, (1 Peter 3:18, ESV)

 

It says here that the righteous took the place of the unrighteous. He was put to death for our sins.

I agree fully.

Don Sailer's picture

James K wrote:

The "cup" that Jesus had to drink, was the "cup" of God's wrath.  In the Garden, Jesus proved that there was no other way to bring about salvation than for Him to receive upon His death the wrath of God.  That is why unbelievers will experience the full force of the "cup" of God's wrath in the eschaton.

James,

You didn't cite any scriptures to back up your statement.

This same Jesus who allegedly believes that he is forsaken by God and the recipient of God's wrath believed that God would be with him when he was lifted up on the cross, believed that God was pleased with him, and entrusted his spirit to the Father. There is nothing in the crucifixion setting that suggests that Jesus thought that he was experiencing the wrath of God.

Blessings.

 

Don Sailer's picture

Joel Tetreau wrote:

Don,

Your question while surprising is fair. Admitidly I'm not used to having to defend Biblical orthodoxy that has been codified by the orthodox for hundreds if not thousands of years....but we say that the Bible is the final authority of faith and practice ..... so be it.

So the concept of the wrath of God being poured out on Christ or those judged without the benefit of atonement - is explicit and implicit in the various classical texts.

Let me say that just like one doesn't have the exact word "deacon" in Acts 6 - most believe them to be "proto-deacons." In a similar sense while the exact word "wrath on Christ" may not show up word for word - the concept is seen both in context and sense.

Just about every theological text both evangelical, catholic and otherwise understands "Propitiation" to include an "appeasing of one's wrath." Actually the most literal definition is "to cover." Well to cover what? So notice Romans 3:25; 5:1, 10-11; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Colossians 1:20-22; 1 John 2:2; Hebrews 9:5. So for most Biblical students and teachers these verses coupled with the term and how this is played out in the OT sacrificial system and then how that's combined with what Christ did as described in Hebrews leads most of us to the conclusion that this "propituation" is the appeasment of wrath. God's wrath was poured out and appeased by Jesus. Clearly.

So Don - check out some OT passages - I'm not sure how proficient you are with Hebrew but I love the words we have in Deuteronomy 9:18 and 19. Man if you can't see "anger" and "wrath" especially in verse 19. Notice the tense of those tems in verse 19 - man that action is on steroids in the text. Emphatic! I think one of those terms cary's the idea of "fury."

A few Greek words and context (Some of this Tetreau paraphrase) - Hebrews 2:17 - "To make propitiations for the sins of the people." The context marks out a presence of wrath, the need for mercy, concern for sin, etc.....The Greek word is "Hilaskomai." (every lexicon I know connects this to wrath). I think one of the brothers mentioned the Romans passage - let's look at it. Romans 3:25. Again the term is "Hilasterion." "Whome God displayed publicaly as a propitition in His blood." Don - how in the world you can't connect the concept of wrath and judgment appeased temporarily by the sacrifice of the OT and now fulfilled in this appeasment of that wrath by Jesus via the context of Romans 3? Another text and word - Hilasmos - 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10 - powerful is the Johannine Christology here - looks at the flow of context you have the "blood" in 1:7 - you have the nned for this appeasment (Hilsmos) and this is accomplished by the Advocate (2:1).

To be clear - I disagree with Mr. Scofield who unfortunatly spread the notion that "propititation has not thought of placating a vengeful God....." Mr. Scofield are out of the majority here that have seen a connect between propitation and the wrath of God being satisfied by Christ's atonement.

Fankly I believe you gut the doctrines of God's holiness, judgment, and even "satisfaction" without the wrath part. By the way - I don't think I hold this view because I'm a ticked off fundamentalist!

Let me dip into systematic theology - now much to the desmay of some of my systematic teachers I have always sung the song of Biblical theology over Systematic theology. Having said that - there is a place and a benefit of comparing Scripture with Scripture (i.e. Systematic theology). You understand that without at least a basic approach to sys theology we would not have the understanding of the Trinity as we do. So let's string some verses together - yes each verse has a context but I'm positive if you string the verses (and their contexts together) we are not undermining the idea of God's wrath being poured out on Christ but we see a strengthening of this view.

Isaiah 59:2 - iniquity causes separation from God; Nahum 1:2 - God is avenging and pours out wrath against enemies - (question who are the enemies of God? - answer those who continue in Sin - notice Psalm 15!) - Because of sin we are enemies of God - Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:21 - Why are we no longer enemies but friends of God? Because Jesus who knew no sin became sin for us (2 Cor 5:21) - So in that moment when Jesus became sin - the natural theological conclusion here is that Christ experienced that which is connected to judged sin - that is the wrath of God (Nahum 1:2).

One more dip into a systematic theology - Notice in Romans 2:5 - those who are lost are headed for "wrath" - why? they've earned it! Compare with Romans 8:1 - what do God's children experience? No comdenation - well what about the believer's sin? That sin had to be met with the same wrath that the sin in Romans 2:5 will eventually be dealt with. That wrath and sin was expiated by Christ!

Don much of my conviction here is driven because I love and "get" Old Testament Theology. You see God's wrath all over the OT! Towards the heathen - towards true Isreal - true false Isreal......etc......Why do we not see the same level of "wrath" in the NT? The answer in part is Christ. You do see wrath - and those in the eschaton will taste wrath - the devil and the anti-Christ - they'll enjoy an eternity of wrath. The difference is that they recieved wrath because they earned it - Jesus recieved wrath because of imputation. Once the imputation was complete (both ways) the wrath (for redemption) was complete.

So those are some quick thoughts - I'll try to bring more to the table if I can steal some time to think about this more.

Straight Ahead!

jt

 

 

 

It appears Joel that you haven't read my other posts on this thread where I spell it out. I've dealt with most of the passages you cited and many more. Romans 3:21-26 is a favorite passage for me. The atoning sacrifice of Jesus covers our sins so that God is just and right to forgive us of our sins when we believe in Christ. Prior to Christ's death, sins were passed over out of God's forbearance. Animal sacrifices couldn't take away sins. But Christ's atoning sacrifice does cover sin. It actually takes our sins away so that God can rightfully forgive those who believe in his Son.

You have a kindred spirit with regard to biblical theology.

Systematic theology has its place (I teach both systematic theology and hermeneutics at the graduate level). However, before we construct theologies, should we not at least make sure we know what the nuts and bolts are?

So I ask you, Joel, where does the Bible teach the concept that God poured out his wrath on Jesus? Where does the Bible teach that God is an angry God that needs a sacrifice that will appease him? Is our God one of the Greek gods? How do you know that your "teachers" and "sources" for hilasmos are not just importing classical Greek concepts into the term. Yes, I know. Propitiation means that God's wrath was appeased by the sacrifice of his Son. At least when you use classical Greek definitions and contexts from the angry gods. But you admitted that another meaning for the word is "to cover." It can also mean expiation and sin offering.

The atoning sacrifice of Christ "covers" our sins or expiates our sins.

Joel, I'm stating that the sacrifice of Christ satisfied the love of God (Romans 5:8).

If you are stating that the sacrifice of Christ satisfied the wrath of God, show me the verse?

The tenor of the NT is that God loves the world and gave his Son to be a sin offering or cover for sin. His death expiates our sins when we believe in Christ because God is love and is motivated by love.

Again, please read what I have written in this thread. I am not "unorthodox" in my beliefs but stand in the stream of the historic, Christian faith. The reformers' theory of the atonement is just that - a theory.

 

christian cerna's picture

Don't you see? His death is the ultimate display of wrath.  Jesus became a spectacle. He was betrayed by one close to him. He was whipped. Brutally beaten. Spit upon. Mocked. Cursed. He was punished like a thief. He died outside the city. In the old testament animals were sacrificed outside the city. Jesus didn't die of natural causes while sleeping. He died in one of the most horrific ways imaginable. The sun and moon were darkened, the Earth trembled after his death. Even the Roman centurion guarding him grew fearful when he saw the signs in the heavens. If someone dying on a cross does not display wrath, then I don't know what does. I think one of the reasons why God chose sacrifices, is because it is a visual representation of the evil of our sin. Sin must ultimately be dealt with violently, painfully, swiftly, and through shedding of blood. 

christian cerna's picture

If God is not an angry and just God, then why does Hell exist? 

 

Don, if you arrived at a crime scene, and found 7 bodies lying on the ground, all having been brutally beaten and stabbed to death, and blood splattered all over the floors and walls, would you not think that the person who committed the crime was angry and full of wrath? 

That is what a person might have felt, when each year, thousands upon thousands of innocent animals were brought the to the priests, and had their throats slit, and were cut into pieces, and blood splattered upon people during the yearly sacrifces to God.

 

Don Sailer's picture

Jeffrey Dean wrote:

Now this is an excellent thread.  It is so much better than the usual drivel.  Threads like this are why I check this place often.

I would point out to David O that Jesus gave up His life of His own will in His own timing.

Don Sailer, I appreciate your points very much.  They make me examine what I believe about what exactly happened on the Cross.

Example:  I have heard like New York lawyer boiler plate from every other pastor in the pulpit that:  "God is so Holy that He cannot look on sin and that is why He turned His back on His Son on the cross."  That statement seemed so obviously wrong to me since God has been in the presence of sin since Adam.  God hung out with Adam while He made him some new clothes, He talked to Moses like a friend, He entertained the High Priest once a year, and so forth.  (Not to mention that Jesus had been hanging with mankind for like 33 years prior to the cross.)  So Shaynus, I have always wondered about those words from Jesus on the cross about being forsaken.  And then I heard it explained to me in a way that finally made sense.

A teacher I enjoy said it like this.  God the Father didn't go anywhere.  Yet Jesus the Son in those last minutes as a man with the burden of mankind's sin heaped upon Him had His close bond of fellowship with His Father broken for the first time ever.  Jesus couldn't see, touch, hear, feel His connection due to that sin burden.  The shock of that moment brought His cry. 

That may not satisfy anyone here but it seems to me more in character with God the Father than abandonment.  

Thank you Jeffrey.  I enjoyed your post and your comments.

One thing to consider, do the Gospels portray the crucifixion event as a time when Jesus felt like he was under the wrath of God? Think about the rapid succession of quotes at the end of Jesus' life. During the whole process, Jesus is aware of who he is and is in communion with his Father.

He even commits his spirit into his Father's hands. Does this sound like someone under the wrath of God? Does it sound like Jesus was unaware of where his Father was? Think about it.

Do the scriptures state that the close bonds of fellowship with the Father were broken for the first time? Or did just some preacher say that?

John 8:29 and John 16:32 tell us what Jesus believed about his relationship with his Father at the moment of his crucifixion. Jesus believes that his Father will be with him and that he will not be alone! Then the Gospels portray Jesus in constant communion with his Father during the crucifixion. Read the Gospel accounts and you will see!

Blessings.

Don Sailer's picture

Greg Long wrote:

"Punishment" in Is. 53:5 corrective punishment. Yes, the LXX translated it with paideuo, but that word is used in Heb. 12:5-11 in a context that clearly indicates chastisement. The word "chastises" in Heb. 12:6 is literally "scourges."

 

Hebrews 12:6 deals with believers under the discipline of God. Isaiah 53:5 deals with Jesus Christ and the discipline to subject himself to the Father's will.

Since context determines meaning, and since paideuo has more than one meaning, it is hard to see what point you are making.

Verse 6 injects the word mastigoo into the poetic couplet. But again this "scourging" is of those who are believers under the discipline of God. It is interesting that in Proverbs 3:11-12, the source of the quote in Hebrews 12, the last phrase is "as a father the son he delights in." No mention of scourging here.

Go figure. Can never figure out how the NT writers messed up the OT quotes. Smile

 

Don Sailer's picture

Greg Long wrote:

Don, if Jesus didn't die we would still be children of God's wrath. God punished Jesus in our place, and so we are no longer the objects of His wrath, because Jesus was the object of His wrath on the cross when He forsook Him and bruised, punished, chastised, afflicted, etc., Him.

As David indicated, this is pretty basic and commonly accepted Protestant theology (well, except for the liberals, as indicated by the OP).

Greg,

You haven't cited one verse to support your basic and commonly accepted Protestant theology. Please show me the verse that states that Jesus was the object of God's wrath. This should be easy for you to do since this is a basic and commonly accepted Protestant belief.

Don Sailer's picture

christian cerna wrote:

Don, the bible also says that Christ became a curse for us. For cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree. I am not saying that Christ is still cursed, but at the point of his death, he took upon himself the punishment for our iniquities. 

If punishment means merely discipline according to you, then why did Jesus have to be crucified at all? In that case, as long as he was obedient, then all he had to do was live a sinless life, and he could have died of natural causes, and we would still be saved.

 

The bible tells us that the wages of sin is death. We sinned. Christ did not. But Christ died in our place, taking upon himself the sins of the world, and the punishment for sin, which is death.

We must be honest and say that we don't really know how sacrifices work. We don't know why or how blood sacrifices takes away sin. In the old testament, before an animal was sacrificed, the owner would lay his hands on it, as a symbolic way of saying that he was transferring his sins to it. We must acknowledge that when Christ died, something happened in the spiritual world. Sins were taken away. Atonement was made before God. And that his blood really did have spiritual power to cleanse us from sin. Some things are a mystery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I already answered this. He learned obedience from what he suffered (Hebrews 5:8, Phil. 2:8).

I agree fully with your last paragraph. That's my point, too. We don't know how the atoning sacrifice of Christ works. We just know that it does. But our friends who claim that Jesus was the object of God's wrath are just making that up. You can't find it in the Bible.

Mark_Smith's picture

So God's wrath is revealed against unrighteousness (Rom 1:18). We are all unrighteous in and of ourselves, so God has wrath towards us. As you agreed above, Jesus takes that sin from unrighteousness and carries it Himself, correct (2 Cor 5:21)? Does it not stand from simple reasoning that at the moment the wrath that was present on me now shifts to Him? If not why not?

Don Sailer's picture

mbruffey wrote:

What eventually became known as the New Haven Theology among the Congregationalists, and the New School Theology among the Presbyterians, was characterized by several aberrations from orthodox theology. Many of these aberrations hung together around the notion of a Moral Universe—and hence a Moral Government—that existed in a kind of parallel to the physical universe. The moral government operated on a certain set of rules, one of which was that God could only exert moral influence in the salvation of "free" human beings. For many of these nineteenth-century theologians, regeneration consisted merely in a change of the ruling preference of the mind, since sin consisted only in the act of sinning, and, therefore humans had no sinful "nature" requiring regeneration in the orthodox sense. Finney held this view.

For reasons that I won't explore in this short post, the orthodox view of original sin, imputation of Adam's sin, transmission of the sin nature, imputation of Christ's righteousness, and penal substitutionary atonement all had to go, eventually. This occurred over a series of decades in New England and the Middle States, as well as in the "West" (Western NY and OH in particular).

What became the core of this "theology" for many adherents was the notion of Moral Government, as I said above. Another key feature was that it rolled all of God's moral attributes into benevolence, or love. All moral attributes are merely expressions of benevolence. This (finally!) goes to the issue that Don Sailer has raised. If you do not wish to hold to the penal substitutionary theory, then you must have an alternative. The alternative articulated in the nineteenth century was the Governmental Theory of the Atonement. One beauty of the theory was that it alleviated the problem of a just God unjustly wrathfully punishing a just and beloved Son as if he were unloved and unjust. The Son, in fact, suffered only enough to show that God was serious about sin, thus honoring the concept of a moral government. As a result, penitent sinners are candidates for God's mercy, and God remains just; his moral government is upheld. But there is no real "payment" of any kind for sin. There is no treasury of merit in Christ that is applied to the sinner's account. The term imputation is still used in this theology, but it is redefined; it does not carry the orthodox notion of imputation.

I will give you a sample from Smalley:

"From the use of the words ransom and redemption, we are no more obliged to suppose a literal purchase, or an obligatory satisfaction in what our Saviour did and suffered, than we are to suppose there was occasion for such a kind of satisfaction, and for the same reasons as among men." [p. 53] [emphasis mine]

Smalley, John. “Justification through Christ an Act of Free Grace.” In The Atonement: Discourses and Treatises by Edwards, Smalley, Maxcy, Emmons, Griffin, Burge, and Weeks with an Introductory Essay by Edwards A. Park, 43–64. Boston: Congregational Board of Publication, 1859.

(Smalley originally wrote in the 1810s or teens, and is republished here. A lot of the theology that Finney claimed as his own was slurped up, consciously or unconsciously, from Jonathan Edwards Jr., Timothy Dwight, Lyman Beecher, Albert Barnes, and, of course, that most notorious Nathaniel Taylor.)

Now, Don, I don't know for certain that you hold to the governmental theory, and I do not mean to pigeonhole you or your theology. I'm merely reflecting on what you have articulated and trying to locate your notions within the development of theology in America.

Mark

 

Thank you, Mark, for a probing and thought-provoking post. I appreciate it.

I agree with all of the "orthodox" positions that you have stated including substitutionary atonement. What I don't agree with is the excesses of reformed theology that reads into scripture, based on its theory of the atonement, what is not there. Thus we hear that Jesus bore the wrath of God, or that God poured out his wrath on Jesus in wave upon wave (Grudem), or Jesus was punished by God, etc. etc. But as you know, the scriptures don't use this type of language.

My point is that we would do better to describe the atonement in terms of scriptural language instead of 16th century theories.

Don Sailer's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

So God's wrath is revealed against unrighteousness (Rom 1:18). We are all unrighteous in and of ourselves, so God has wrath towards us. As you agreed above, Jesus takes that sin from unrighteousness and carries it Himself, correct (2 Cor 5:21)? Does it not stand from simple reasoning that at the moment the wrath that was present on me now shifts to Him? If not why not?

 

Because the Bible doesn't say so. We are by nature objects of God's wrath. Jesus is by nature an object of God's love. The sacrifice dies and sheds it's blood to cover or atone for our sin. The sacrifice is not the object of God's wrath. The sacrifice is the gift that atones for or covers our sins (John 3:16). So the sacrifice is actually a fragrant offering and beautiful sacrifice and the context of the sacrifice is not God's wrath but God's love (Eph. 5:1-2, 1 John 4:10).

God's wrath is poured out on sinners and on those who reject Christ. It is not poured out on Christ or those who are in Christ. It is also not poured out on the "sacrifices" in the OT sacrificial system.

When Abraham was tested by God to sacrifice the son of the promise, what was the attitude of Abraham towards his son? Should we think that God's attitude toward his own Son would be any different?

The best antidote to the teaching that God poured out his wrath on Jesus when he was crucified is to read the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion. Do these accounts indicate that God was pouring out his wrath on Jesus? How did Jesus view the upcoming crucifixion (John 8:29, 16:32)? How did he view his relationship to his Father as he contemplated the crucifixion? Now how did Jesus commune with his Father during the crucifixion?

I encourage you to take your theology from the Bible. Read it closely. I don't know why Romans 5:8 is being so roundly rejected for a theory of Christ's atonement that claims that Christ's death satisfied God's wrath. To do this, one must separate Jesus from the Father, make him the object of God's wrath, and claim that God poured out his wrath on Jesus in wave upon wave. 

Jesus death satisfied God's love (Romans 5:8) and justice (Romans 3:25) so that the God who is love and who wants to forgive sin will be right and just to justify those who have faith in Jesus. This is scripture.

 

Joel Tetreau's picture

Don,

For the record I don't see you as a jerk or stupid. I know what it's like to be in your seat when you post something that many may not believe. So while it may seem like I'm jumping on top of the "buck-buck" pile that is on top of you - bro I'm more on the floor looking at you asking if you need juice or something - I love your spirit man.

Having said that ..... you dummy! (lol....just kidding!)

OK - first - Sorry for not interacting with previous posts - I shot off the answer when I saw your original post late today - I had time to glance over just a few posts before launching - I wasn't trying to ignore what you had already written.

Second -at the risk of doing that again - Just one more round of passages - I think a few of these have already been mentioned - in addition to what many of us believe is the "wrath must be poured on Jesus to be satisfied by the Father for atonement " view - we have the concept of wrath (orga) against sin in Rom 1:18, 2:5, 4:15, 5:9, 9:22, 12:19, 13:4, Eph 2:3, 5:6, Col 3:6, and 1 Thess 1:10, 2:16, 5:9. I think especially strong here is the idea behind Romans 3;25-26 - Jesus is "ilastarion" - Don you have to compare that with the Septuagint use of "edziaskomai" in Zech 7:2, 8:22, Mal 1:9.

That's why for many of us it just comes together.

Pray about that and (like our more Keswick friends would say) see if you get a blessing!

God bless my friend 

Straight Ahead!

jt

ps - btw - George Ladd deals with this more extensively in his "Theology"  - check out pp 429-30.

 

Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (sevbc.org); Regional Coordinator for IBL West (iblministry.com), Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Greg Long's picture

Don, we've all posted numerous verses that clearly teach this concept but you just deny their plain meaning and then keep saying we haven't posted any verses to document our position. Please stop doing that.

For example, you can dance around "it pleased the Lord to bruise Him" all you want, but the meaning couldn't be more clear.

-------
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

"Propitiation" is a good word!

 

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

Don Sailer's picture

Greg Long wrote:
Don, we've all posted numerous verses that clearly teach this concept but you just deny their plain meaning and then keep saying we haven't posted any verses to document our position. Please stop doing that. For example, you can dance around "it pleased the Lord to bruise Him" all you want, but the meaning couldn't be more clear.

 

Hi Greg,

Isaiah is writing poetry.

Isaiah is also explaining how humans despised and rejected the suffering servant. It was human beings who put Jesus to death.

Finally, the context of Isaiah 53:10-12 is a major shift in the chapter. It pleased the LORD to bruise him explains that all that Jesus went through was according the the set purpose and foreknowledge of God. It was God's will or purpose for Jesus to suffer and die. But that is not the same thing as saying that God punished Jesus or God poured out his wrath on Jesus.

Read the text, my friend.

Read it in context.

Pages