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

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christian cerna's picture

Don, you didn't respond to my post earlier where I mentioned that the word wrath can mean "punishment for an offense". In that sense of the word, Jesus did bear the wrath of God for our sins. 

Don Sailer's picture

christian cerna wrote:

Don, you didn't respond to my post earlier where I mentioned that the word wrath can mean "punishment for an offense". In that sense of the word, Jesus did bear the wrath of God for our sins. 

The question is this, where is the word "wrath" used when describing the death of Christ?

Look up all of the verses about Jesus dying for our sins, suffering, being a sacrifice or an offering, and tell me which one of these verse also uses the word wrath.

I'll wait for your reply.

christian cerna's picture

Don, 

If my neighbor, in his wrath, fired his gun at me, and my friend, wishing to save my life, jumped in front of me and was hit instead of me, then does that not mean that my friend suffered the wrath of my neighbor?

Don Sailer's picture

christian cerna wrote:

Don, 

If my neighbor, in his wrath, fired his gun at me, and my friend, wishing to save my life, jumped in front of me and was hit instead of me, then does that not mean that my friend suffered the wrath of my neighbor?

I take it you couldn't find a verse?

Isn't it interesting that the emphasis in the Bible concerning the death of Christ is on God's extreme love for the world?

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for us.

Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Since God's love and Christ's love is the emphasis concerning the death of Christ, I would have to say, to be consistent with the Bible in this analogy, that your friend loved you very much and was willing to give his life for yours.

James K's picture

Don Sailer wrote:

Thank you, James, for your kind words. You get it.

I would ask you to explain how the cup is the cup of God's wrath in light of Mark 10:39. If the cup is the cup of God's wrath and the disciples will drink this cup along with Christ, the whole theological system of God pouring out his wrath on Jesus so that he can't pour out his wrath on us is unfeasible. The closest antecedent to the "cup" in Luke 22:42 is found in Luke 22:20. And this cup is the cup of the New Covenant.

Don, it would seem that you see the same 2 possibilities I do with regard to the cup that Jesus asked the Father to not give Him.  It would either be the cup of the New Covenant, or it would be the cup of God's wrath.

The reference to Mark 10 and also Matt 20 and the cup that Jesus and His disciples would drink from is interesting.  The context of those statements make it clear that suffering and death is involved.  That is something the disciples shared in.  However, Jesus in the garden makes it clear that the coming agony wasn't death, but what He would endure in the process.  So while the disciples shared in suffering, they did not suffer as Jesus did.  I think we can agree on that.

Your position then must make the cup that Jesus DID NOT WANT to be the New Covenant.  I find that very dubious given the nature of the New Covenant and the blessings associated with it.  The closest antecedent, which you are weighing heavy, doesn't rule out my point at all.  Jesus offered the cup of the New Covenant but declined partaking.  Instead, He begged the Father to not let Him take the cup. 

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.

James K's picture

Also a quote from Don Sailer:

"Where are the building blocks for "penalty," "paid," "punishment," and "wrath," in relation to the references in the Bible that describe the "death," "suffering," "offering," or "sacrifice" of Christ?

Why do the writers of Scripture shy away from applying the first set of terms to the second set of terms? I find this shockingly amazing!"

 

To which I reply:

I don't agree that they do.  Consider Rom 8:1 that states the believer is now NO LONGER under condemnation.  He was prior to faith.  The major event that took place between the sinner being under condemnation and no longer being under condemnation was the work of Jesus on the cross.  God can be both just (because he punished sin), and the one who justifies.  If God did not punish sin, then He cannot be just, as He allows sin to get away unscathed.  His punishment was meted out in Jesus.

The infinite value of Jesus sacrifice was greater than the sin debt incurred by man.  So we are not redeemed by the corruptible but the incorruptible.

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.

Don Sailer's picture

James K wrote:

Also a quote from Don Sailer:

"Where are the building blocks for "penalty," "paid," "punishment," and "wrath," in relation to the references in the Bible that describe the "death," "suffering," "offering," or "sacrifice" of Christ?

Why do the writers of Scripture shy away from applying the first set of terms to the second set of terms? I find this shockingly amazing!"

 

To which I reply:

I don't agree that they do.  Consider Rom 8:1 that states the believer is now NO LONGER under condemnation.  He was prior to faith.  The major event that took place between the sinner being under condemnation and no longer being under condemnation was the work of Jesus on the cross.  God can be both just (because he punished sin), and the one who justifies.  If God did not punish sin, then He cannot be just, as He allows sin to get away unscathed.  His punishment was meted out in Jesus.

The infinite value of Jesus sacrifice was greater than the sin debt incurred by man.  So we are not redeemed by the corruptible but the incorruptible.

How does your post connect the two lists together? Our sin condemns us. The atoning sacrifice covers our sins and releases us from condemnation for those who are in Christ. Where is the crossover?

Romans 6:2-4 states, "We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (NIV).

If God poured out his wrath on Jesus and punished him when he died, then by extension, God has also poured out his wrath on us and punished us since we are baptized into Christ Jesus' death. But this is contrary to the theory that states that God poured out his wrath on Jesus so that he won't pour it out on us.

By being baptized into his death, we partake in his sufferings. Romans 8:17 states, "Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." Now if Jesus' sufferings include the wrath of God, then we too share in that wrath. But that contradicts Romans 5:9, which states, "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" Since we are saved from God's wrath, and since we share in Christ's sufferings, it stands to reason that Jesus did not suffer God's wrath on the cross.

And then, once again, the rest of Romans 8 emphasizes the amazing love that God has for us. The God who did not spare his own Son. The God who along with Christ graciously gives us all things. The Christ who intercedes for us. The God who will let nothing separate us from his love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:31-39). Once again the atoning sacrifice is all about God's great love for us and our identity with our Lord Jesus Christ - in his death, burial and resurrected life. We share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

 

christian cerna's picture

We share in the sufferings of Christ in the sense that we may have to endure persecution, trials, temptations, sorrows, hunger, and tribulations while alive on this Earth. Obviously we will never suffer as much as Christ suffered while on the way to the cross. The bible also says that we have been crucified with Christ. But obviously most of us have never really been physically nailed to a cross. It means that we have died to this world. And we have been made alive in Christ.

Don, I think now you are just playing word games in order to avoid reaching the logical conclusion that is implied by all the verses we have given you. You keep asking for a specific verse that proves what we are saying. But anyone who knows about biblical interpretation and systematic theology knows that some doctrines of Christianity are reached by fitting different passages together which share a common theme, such as the doctrine of the Trinity. I know you do not have a verse with the word Trinity, yet I know that you will not deny the existence of the Trinity. And you seem to dance around this last point. Whenever someone asks you to cite a verse which contains the word trinity, you pretend as if they didn't ask you.

So Don, please show me the verse that uses the word trinity.

 

Don Sailer's picture

James K wrote:

Don Sailer wrote:

Thank you, James, for your kind words. You get it.

I would ask you to explain how the cup is the cup of God's wrath in light of Mark 10:39. If the cup is the cup of God's wrath and the disciples will drink this cup along with Christ, the whole theological system of God pouring out his wrath on Jesus so that he can't pour out his wrath on us is unfeasible. The closest antecedent to the "cup" in Luke 22:42 is found in Luke 22:20. And this cup is the cup of the New Covenant.

Don, it would seem that you see the same 2 possibilities I do with regard to the cup that Jesus asked the Father to not give Him.  It would either be the cup of the New Covenant, or it would be the cup of God's wrath.

The reference to Mark 10 and also Matt 20 and the cup that Jesus and His disciples would drink from is interesting.  The context of those statements make it clear that suffering and death is involved.  That is something the disciples shared in.  However, Jesus in the garden makes it clear that the coming agony wasn't death, but what He would endure in the process.  So while the disciples shared in suffering, they did not suffer as Jesus did.  I think we can agree on that.

Your position then must make the cup that Jesus DID NOT WANT to be the New Covenant.  I find that very dubious given the nature of the New Covenant and the blessings associated with it.  The closest antecedent, which you are weighing heavy, doesn't rule out my point at all.  Jesus offered the cup of the New Covenant but declined partaking.  Instead, He begged the Father to not let Him take the cup. 

As you have pointed out, Mark 10:39 and Matthew 20:23 both state that the disciples will drink from this cup. In addition, Mark adds the additional information about being baptized with the baptism that Christ is baptized with. As you noted, this indicates that suffering and death are involved.

As noted in my previous post above, Romans 6:2-4 and Romans 8:17 addresses our baptism into the death and burial of Christ and our participation in his sufferings. We must all drink of the cup of the New Covenant in his blood if our sins are to be forgiven. We must all suffer and die with him in his death if we are to share in his glory.

How can the cup be the wrath of God if all believers share in his death and suffering? In order for the cup of the New Covenant to bring about the forgiveness of sins, Christ must die and shed his blood. It is this cup of atonement that we drink from and are justified. And it is his death that we are baptized into. I can't begin to understand what bearing the world's sin would be like, but wouldn't it bring about anguish of soul as he is tempted in the garden? Is his prayer not understandable?

Nevertheless, unlike Adam who succumbed to Satan in the garden, Jesus conquered Satan. In the Garden of Eden, Adam said, "My will be done." In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said, "Thy will be done." And then he took the cup of the New Covenant and poured out his blood for the forgiveness of sins.

Amazing.

Don Sailer's picture

christian cerna wrote:

We share in the sufferings of Christ in the sense that we may have to endure persecution, trials, temptations, sorrows, hunger, and tribulations while alive on this Earth. Obviously we will never suffer as much as Christ suffered while on the way to the cross. The bible also says that we have been crucified with Christ. But obviously most of us have never really been physically nailed to a cross. It means that we have died to this world. And we have been made alive in Christ.

Don, I think now you are just playing word games in order to avoid reaching the logical conclusion that is implied by all the verses we have given you. You keep asking for a specific verse that proves what we are saying. But anyone who knows about biblical interpretation and systematic theology knows that some doctrines of Christianity are reached by fitting different passages together which share a common theme, such as the doctrine of the Trinity. I know you do not have a verse with the word Trinity, yet I know that you will not deny the existence of the Trinity. And you seem to dance around this last point. Whenever someone asks you to cite a verse which contains the word trinity, you pretend as if they didn't ask you.

So Don, please show me the verse that uses the word trinity.

 

Hi Christian,

I have already addressed the topic of the trinity numerous times. Please go back and read what I have written.

I think the Apostle Paul has a drastically different picture of what being baptized into the death of Christ entails (Romans 6:2-4). Likewise, Christ's sufferings. There is a partaking in the sufferings of Christ - his death, burial and resurrection - that many of us refuse to embrace in our theology and in our hearts. The sharing in his sufferings is absolutely necessary if we are to share in his glory. But when we participate in his death, burial and resurrection we participate in the very nature of God (2 Peter 1:3-4).

I can see how you can think that I'm just playing word games. But the Word of God is so far above our complete comprehension. We can only submit to it and let it teach us.

James K's picture

Don, we are at an impasse here.  I see the cup as the wrath of God per Jeremiah and Revelation.  Jesus saved us from the eschatological judgment of God by taking our place.

You see the cup as the New Covenant.  My problem with that is that would be the only place in the entire Bible (that I know of) where the NC is ever associated with judgment or suffering.

I wanted to weigh in on this, but I just don't have the time to pursue this much more.  Thanks for the interaction.

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.

Jay's picture

I'll echo James' sentiments that I do not see the cup of the 'New Covenant' in the NT outside of Luke 22:20-23, which reads:

And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.

Note especially the reference to this (explicit) cup, not a future cup.  I'll look at the greek later, but it would be very interesting to see if Luke uses an explicit article when recording Jesus' words.

But I think your argument about the wrath of God breaks down all the way back in Genesis 3.  After the Fall into sin, God curses and condemns three agents - Satan (vv. 14-15), the woman (vv. 16), and then Adam (vv. 17-19).  After that, God expels them from Eden, lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever.  So God, in his wrath and and hatred for sin, expels Adam and Eve - with no mention that the wrath has been satisfied.  Now, eventually man receives instructions in Exodus establishing the OT sacrificial system (which, by the way, does not save - only the faith in Messiah would) where the death of lambs and birds and oxen are explicitly required as a "covering for our sin" (cf. Hebrews 10:1-18).  If that is an type of Christ (and we know that it is), then how can Christ's death NOT be a sacrifice to turn aside the Lord's wrath (which is where Isaiah 53 and some of the other passages come into play)?

 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Don Sailer's picture

Jay wrote:

I'll echo James' sentiments that I do not see the cup of the 'New Covenant' in the NT outside of Luke 22:20-23, which reads:

And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.

Note especially the reference to this (explicit) cup, not a future cup.  I'll look at the greek later, but it would be very interesting to see if Luke uses an explicit article when recording Jesus' words.

But I think your argument about the wrath of God breaks down all the way back in Genesis 3.  After the Fall into sin, God curses and condemns three agents - Satan (vv. 14-15), the woman (vv. 16), and then Adam (vv. 17-19).  After that, God expels them from Eden, lest they eat of the tree of life and live forever.  So God, in his wrath and and hatred for sin, expels Adam and Eve - with no mention that the wrath has been satisfied.  Now, eventually man receives instructions in Exodus establishing the OT sacrificial system (which, by the way, does not save - only the faith in Messiah would) where the death of lambs and birds and oxen are explicitly required as a "covering for our sin" (cf. Hebrews 10:1-18).  If that is an type of Christ (and we know that it is), then how can Christ's death NOT be a sacrifice to turn aside the Lord's wrath (which is where Isaiah 53 and some of the other passages come into play)?

 

I agree that the sacrificial death of Christ turns aside God's wrath from us, not because God poured out his wrath on Jesus, but because Jesus' blood covers our sin, expiating it, resulting in forgiveness to those who believe. So I agree completely with your last sentence, which is a question.

The seed of the woman will crush the serpent's head (Genesis 3:15). Here we find the promise of a Savior who will destroy the devil. This is our victorious Christ who in his death won our victory over the devil, sin, and death freeing us from slavery (Hebrews 2:14).

 

Don Sailer's picture

James K wrote:

Don, we are at an impasse here.  I see the cup as the wrath of God per Jeremiah and Revelation.  Jesus saved us from the eschatological judgment of God by taking our place.

You see the cup as the New Covenant.  My problem with that is that would be the only place in the entire Bible (that I know of) where the NC is ever associated with judgment or suffering.

I wanted to weigh in on this, but I just don't have the time to pursue this much more.  Thanks for the interaction.

 

Thank you, James. I appreciate your thoughts. I continue to think about what you wrote.

I see suffering in the cup of the New Covenant because Christ's blood must be poured out for the forgiveness of sins in order to initiate the New Covenant. The description of Christ's blood being poured out is quite graphic in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. And in both cases the piercing of his side and the pouring out of his blood come in conjunction with his suffering prior to deliverance, resurrection, and the light of life.

For the New Covenant to come to pass, Christ must suffer and die for the sins of the people. So the cup of the New Covenant entails suffering for Christ (and us) in order that we may also share in his glory.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Since there is now mostly an impasse on Don's position let's get back to the OP. Even if Don's interpretation (that man would suffer the wrath of God without Jesus' sacrifice even if Jesus himself did not) were correct, why would the lyrics be a problem for anyone holding either position argued above? Is it that God's wrath being "satisfied" somehow implies that Jesus must have experienced God's wrath himself? I can't see that the words are that specific, especially given the nature of poetic construction. There are many types of "satisfaction," not all of which require the exact same consequences.

Dave Barnhart

Don Sailer's picture

If Jesus is the object of God’s wrath, and if we are in Christ, then we too are the objects of God’s wrath. However, if Jesus is not the object of God’s wrath, then when we enter into Christ, we are no longer the objects of God’s wrath by virtue of his holy life.

The death of Christ reconciles us to God. His sacrifice of atonement takes our sins away and we are able to enter into Christ by faith. Having entered into the holy life of Christ, we now receive his righteousness and through his holy life we are saved from God’s wrath.

It isn’t so much that God turns his wrath away from us when we believe. Rather, when we enter into the holy life of Christ we enter into a place where there is no wrath. And thus, the life of Christ saves us from wrath (Romans 5:8-10).

We are literally saved from wrath in his life.

James K's picture

Don, I think that is exactly what it means that Christ is the substitute for us.  Col 3 says that we are hidden in Christ.  He took it all upon himself so that we do not bear it at all.  That is how I would explain it.

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.

christian cerna's picture

Don, can you show me the verse that says "we enter into the holy life of Christ".  I am not finding it.

DavidO's picture

Don, Jesus is not the object of God's wrath presently.  Jesus suffered punishment/wrath on our behalf.  Once, for a limited time.  It is finished.

Romans 6, in addition to what James K posted above, tells us about how we did indeed die "with Him" and so now can live with Him.  The "problem" of us being "in Christ" isn't a real problem at all. 

Don Sailer's picture

DavidO wrote:

Don, Jesus is not the object of God's wrath presently.  Jesus suffered punishment/wrath on our behalf.  Once, for a limited time.  It is finished.

Romans 6, in addition to what James K posted above, tells us about how we did indeed die "with Him" and so now can live with Him.  The "problem" of us being "in Christ" isn't a real problem at all. 

 

The silence in Scripture is deafening with regard to this claim - that Jesus suffered God's wrath!

I will never understand how man-made theories can grab such a hold on us especially when we claim "Scripture only."

 

Don Sailer's picture

christian cerna wrote:

Don, can you show me the verse that says "we enter into the holy life of Christ".  I am not finding it.

Romans 5:10 states, "How much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved "in" his life! The Greek word for "in" is "en."

We are saved from wrath in his life.

But not only are we in his life, he is in us (Romans 8:10).  The fusion that exists when we enter into Christ and his life is amazing. We are in Christ and he is in us. Jesus said the same thing in John 15:4-5. This is why the sharing in his sufferings is no little thing. And it is also why Christ could not have suffered God's wrath. Because if he did, so would we. But Christ is our safe haven. He is our wrath-free zone because he was sinless, perfect and righteous. He always pleased his Father and he was never the recipient of God's wrath. Therefore, when we enter into his life we are saved from wrath.

 

Don Sailer's picture

James K wrote:

Don, I think that is exactly what it means that Christ is the substitute for us.  Col 3 says that we are hidden in Christ.  He took it all upon himself so that we do not bear it at all.  That is how I would explain it.

 

But that's not right. Colossians 3:3 actually states that our life is hidden with Christ in God. That is not substitution; that's participation. There is a participatory aspect of the atonement evidenced by our being baptized into his death, burial and resurrection that we fail to appreciate.

Only Jesus could be an atoning sacrifice for sins. His sacrifice covers our sin. The barrier to reconciliation with God has been removed. God in Christ has reconciled the world to himself. Now be reconciled. Enter into Christ. Be baptized with the baptism that he was baptized with. Die with him, be buried, and rise again to new life in Christ. And your life will be hidden with Christ in God. It is God who reconciles. He is involved in in this great mystery of enfolding us into himself. By Christ's death we are reconciled to God. By his life we are saved from wrath.

DavidO's picture

Re: God's wrath and Jesus.  Let's understand that we are not saying the Father was angry with Jesus per se, but that, as Jesus bore our guilt, He suffered the punishment God's holy justice and righteous anger toward sin demanded of sinners.  This does not omit the elements of demonstrating love toward us and being well-pleased with His Son.  

James K's picture

Don, my contention about Col 3:3 is that we are hidden in Christ from something.  What would we need to be hidden from?  How are we safe in Christ?  Safe from what?  I would answer God's wrath.

Rom 10 says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  That is a quote from Joel about the coming Day of the Lord, which is God's eschatological wrath.  When Jesus stood in my way, he took it upon himself.  I do believe that is Paul's point in Rom 3 when God is declared to be just (in punishment of sin) and the justified (still holy to declare others just).

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.

Don Sailer's picture

James K wrote:

Don, my contention about Col 3:3 is that we are hidden in Christ from something.  What would we need to be hidden from?  How are we safe in Christ?  Safe from what?  I would answer God's wrath.

Rom 10 says that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.  That is a quote from Joel about the coming Day of the Lord, which is God's eschatological wrath.  When Jesus stood in my way, he took it upon himself.  I do believe that is Paul's point in Rom 3 when God is declared to be just (in punishment of sin) and the justified (still holy to declare others just).

 

But the Bible doesn't say this. It doesn't say anywhere that Jesus stood in my way and took God's wrath upon himself. We are hidden with Christ in God. It is the life of Christ that saves us from wrath - his perfect, sinless, holy, God-honoring, God-pleasing life (Romans 5:9-10). That's why we are no longer under wrath when we enter into his life. When we are united with Christ we enter into a wrath-free zone precisely because Jesus is not under the wrath of God. And then with Christ we are hidden in God.

Don Sailer's picture

DavidO wrote:

Re: God's wrath and Jesus.  Let's understand that we are not saying the Father was angry with Jesus per se, but that, as Jesus bore our guilt, He suffered the punishment God's holy justice and righteous anger toward sin demanded of sinners.  This does not omit the elements of demonstrating love toward us and being well-pleased with His Son.  

I understand what you are stating David. But you are still using language (punishment) that the Bible does not use to describe Christ's atoning sacrifice. The language of the Bible is that Christ died for us to take our sins away reconciling the world to himself.

If the Gospel is the most important message we can hear and receive, don't you think we would all do well to explain it in scriptural terms? Are the scriptural terms somehow deficient that we need to import words like "punishment" to describe it?

 

James K's picture

Don, why do you think the Bible has to state that God was both just and the justifier?  What consequence of the Law did Jesus address that would call into doubt that God was just if it wasn't to take punishment?

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.

Don Sailer's picture

James K wrote:

Don, why do you think the Bible has to state that God was both just and the justifier?  What consequence of the Law did Jesus address that would call into doubt that God was just if it wasn't to take punishment?

It isn't right or just for God to forgive sin on the basis of animal sacrifices that cannot take away sin (Hebrews 10:4).

So God presents Jesus Christ as a sacrifice of atonement. His sacrifice takes away sins (Hebrews 10:11-12).

Now God is just or right to forgive sin and declare us righteous (justifies) because he declares us righteous on the basis of his Son's sacrifice and not animal sacrifices.

The atoning sacrifice is why God is just.  And the atoning sacrifice is how he justifies.

James K's picture

Although that is true Don, the context of Rom 3:20-24 doesn't say anything about animal sacrifices.  It does sum up that God is wrathful against all unrighteousness.

It would be unrighteous of God if he just let sin go unpunished.

The context of the passage states that God's righteousness was revealed in such a way that God would still be just and the one who justifies.

At the cross, God had to punish sin.  That is the summary conclusion of Paul's argument from Rom 1-3.

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.

Don Sailer's picture

James K wrote:

Although that is true Don, the context of Rom 3:20-24 doesn't say anything about animal sacrifices.  It does sum up that God is wrathful against all unrighteousness.

It would be unrighteous of God if he just let sin go unpunished.

The context of the passage states that God's righteousness was revealed in such a way that God would still be just and the one who justifies.

At the cross, God had to punish sin.  That is the summary conclusion of Paul's argument from Rom 1-3.

Romans 3:25 states that God in his forbearance passed over the sins previously committed. Why did God do this?

Paul explains why God presented Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement. He presented him as a sacrifice of atonement because in his forbearance God passed over sins previously committed. How were sins dealt with prior to Christ's sacrifice? by animal sacrifices.

I agree that it would be unrighteous of God if he forgave sin on the basis of animal sacrifices - sacrifices that cannot expiate sin.

That's why the atoning sacrifice of Christ demonstrates God's integrity or righteousness. He refused to forgive sin on the basis of an inadequate sacrifice. He justly forgives sin on the basis of Christ's sacrifice. So God's integrity (righteousness) reveals God's great love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Amazing love.

The summary conclusion of Paul's argument in Romans 1-3 is that "now a righteousness from God, apart from the law, has been made known. The "righteousness" from God apart from the law is Christ himself - the Holy One of God (John 1:17-18). The conclusion of the section is that those who believe in Christ through faith are justified and receive the righteousness from God that is apart from the law.

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