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How do you understand atonement

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Stryder06, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. abacabb

    abacabb Newbie

    I think Leuko's evasiveness easily means he concedes defeat. May God have mercy on you, a sinner, and may He bless you with faith in His love and forgiveness.
  2. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

    What happened with the cross?

    What happened is much easier felt then through academic explanation. There are lots of wrong ideas running around:

    You do good to see the problems with penal substitution (PS), the ransom theory (although it is a ransom but it is not paid to God or satan) and the others.

    I had to develop my own understanding, since I could not find anything that did not contradict God, His Love, mercy, justice and God being our Father.

    The most popular explanation of atonement seems to be penal substitution (PS), but there are lots of issues:

    PS is the whipping boy scenario which is not fair or just by human standards even if the innocent is willing, so why would God give us a different standard and say His is perfect?

    PS makes God out to have the problem needing something in order to forgive people.

    PS has God responsible/cause for the torture, humiliation and murder of Christ.

    PS loses all the benefit that comes from punishing the guilty

    If God is Love, how could God have a problem forgiving people? The reason given for “penal substitution” is God cannot forgive us without Jesus being our substitute, but that makes God out to having a problem, lacking in Love someway, and being almost blood thirsty.

    What is the relationship between “forgiveness” and punishment for a transgression?

    Would the perfect parent (the one you would like to be and be like God) see to the punishment of his/her children in order to have the Love to forgive those children?

    The best parent does not “punish” (discipline) their children in order for the parent to have the love to forgive, they punish (discipline with time out or something) their children for the benefit that punishment provides?

    God does not have a “problem” forgiving us, but we need to be punished somehow in order to obtain the benefits from being disciplined. So God somehow need to see to our discipline for our transgressions without killing us and yet be fair, just and show us His concern/Love.

    What are the “benefits” to being fairly punished (disciplined) for our transgressions?


    Deterrent for the person being punished and others aware of the punishment to keep from repeating the action.

    It places the value on the transgression (the greater the punishment the bigger the transgression), so times we do not know how much pain it has caused until we know the punishment for the transgression.

    It shows fairness and justice, the parent needs to be consistent and we want to know we have a fair and just parent.

    It is a way to put the transgression behind us, since we have done the time for the crime.

    We know wonderful parent see to the discipline of the children they Love, so if our parents do not discipline (punish) us, we should rightfully question their love/concern for us.

    Let me ask you a few questions:

    1. How hard and why was it hard for God to allow Christ to do what did on the cross?

    2. Christ is not standing in for me, but Christ is going to the cross because I did not keep from sinning, It is my fault Christ is allowing Himself to be tortured, humiliated and murdered, so I can personally be tortured for my sinning, not physically tortured like He was, but to tortured similar to the torture God went through watching His Son. Are there something worse than your own death?

    3. As with those in the crowd (Act 2:37) I should experience a death blow to my heart from realizing what I have done, fully coming to the realization that my greatest “Love” has undergone torture, humiliation and murder, because of my sinning. Can we also say to the degree I “Love” Christ will be the degree to which I suffer and could that suffering be as great as His suffering?

    4. The realization of what I cause Christ to willingly do for me on the cross is debilitating and makes me want to die, but there is also unbelievable Love shown from both God the Father and Christ that is uplifting and makes me want to live for them. So should we have mixed feelings about remembering what happened on the cross?

    5. We also see how the cross does not work for the nonbeliever, since they would not experience any punishment in this life from Christ going to the cross. Their fair/just punishment will thus come later with hell. Does this explains how Christ going to the cross can be both for everyone and yet not everyone?

    6. The bottom line is: God sees to the fair punishment of the guilty, we receive all the benefits of being punished, we realize what a unbelievable huge debt sin has created and thus when God does forgive us; we will have an unbelievable huge Love (Godly type Love) automatically, since Christ has taught us: “…he that is forgiven much will Love much…”. Is this “Love” what we are after?

    7. If you do not experience the “punishment” for your transgressions, is hard to get the complete feeling you have truly been forgiven (like a child that has not been punished for a transgression)?

    I have written a parable to help explain:

    There is battle going on and you as an old man leave you post. The crime is punishable by 40 lashes or equivalent, but that will kill you. Your young innocent son offers to take your place and explains to the judge (general) that; 40 lashes on him will cause you tremendous pain and anguish. The judge (general) refuses because that would not be just to punish an innocent for the guilty (Whipping Boy). The innocent son then says: “I will go over to the enemy’s camp for my father’s sake and they will beat me and imprison me until the end of the war”. The Judge (general) says he cannot stop the young man from doing such a thing and knows this will really hurt the father when you find out, so the judge will not have to punish you father (justice has been done). You plead for the son’s return, but it is to later and besides; there is really no other way for you to be punished and live.

  3. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

    No, I am not. And neither should you. Why? Because the type is the shadow. The true is the reality.

    Heb 10:1 For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

    This verse refers to a couple of things.

    a. the type was not the reality. The Hotwheels toy is not the real car. It only goes so far.

    b. Second it makes a specific application. The same sacrifices are offered every year. They didn't take away sin.

    Now I am not suggesting that you are unaware of the all sufficient nature of the sacrifice of Christ. However, you are missing that trying to guess the reality only from the type would be a colossal failure.

    Consider the following:

    - The type had many sacrifices throughout the year. The fulfillment had one. You would not get that just from the type.

    - The type had a levitical priest. The fulfillment did not according to Hebrews 7. You would not get that from the type.

    - The type had many entries. Hebrews says Jesus entered once for all in Hebrews 9:12. You would not get that from the type.

    - They type was offered by many high priests who died due to weakness. The fulfillment had one High Priest who was both Sacrifice and Priest. You would not get that from the type.

    - The type made priests of only those from Levi, and those of the right family. All believers however can boldly approach the throne of grace in the fulfillment. You would not get that from the type.

    So no, I am not letting the process speak for itself. I am looking at what the New Testament says about the process.

    And it describes

    -once for all sacrifice
    -once for all entry
    -cleansing of sins, and entry into God's present, compared to the yearly entrance on the Day of Atonement, to present Himself before God, in the context of a direct reference to the cleansing of the heavenly things.

    That is the fulfillment of what happened in the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement.

    Note, I said IN the sanctuary. I have said many times the scapegoat is not described in the NT. I won't spell out what the NT doesn't.

    Does the scapegoat have something to do with our atonement? It appears so. In that regard I agree we don't have everything spelled out on that point.

    However, there is no room for the Adventist IJ which tries to take something already fulfilled in the first century, as described by Hebrews when addressing the "process".
  4. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter



    Heb 9:6 These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties,
    Heb 9:7 but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people.

    I think even you would admit this is a direct reference to the Day of Atonement, referring to the type.

    This is referenced at the beginning of Chapter 9, which then goes on to relate more about how Jesus fulfilled various sacrifices, including the inauguration, including the ratifying of the covenant, etc.

    It also references things which can be no other than the Day of atonement

    Heb 9:22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
    Heb 9:23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
    Heb 9:24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.
    Heb 9:25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own

    Here it speaks about purification by blood. It then specifically references the cleansing of the heavenly things.

    Then it says

    Christ entered into God's presence on our behalf, not as the high priest did every year with blood not his own.

    That is a clear reference to the Day of Atonement.

    Blood cleansing of the heavenly things.
    Yearly entry into God's presence with blood.

  5. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

    As you well know, because I have presented it to you before, and you responded, even Adventist scholars are forced to recognize these Day of Atonement references:

    Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary on Hebrews 10:1:

    Compare ch. 9:25, 26, where the work of Christ is again contrasted with that of the earthly high priest on the Day of Atonement.

    M.L. Andreasen in The Book of Hebrews:

    On Hebrews 4:16

    Verse 16. "The throne of grace." This expression in Christian terminology has always been closely connected with prayer, and hence with the mercy seat. It was at the mercy seat the high priest supplicated
    God for forgiveness on the Day of Atonement. We are invited to come there to find grace to help in time of need. (64)

    On Hebrews 9:25-26

    Verses 25, 26. The priests entered the first apartment daily, the high priest once every year when he went into the most holy with the blood of the bullock and the goat. (127)

    William Johnsson in his essay "Day of Atonement Allusions," which can be found in the DARCOM volume on Hebrews, lists 9:25 as clearly alluding to the Day of Atonement.

    The context clearly points to a Day of Atonement allusion (high priest . . . yearly . . . blood [cf. 9:7]) (113)

    Alwyn Salom in his appendix article in the Daniel and Revelation committee series, speaking of verse 24, 25:

    The reference in the context of the Day of Atonement service of the earthly high priest is not to the outer compartment of the sanctuary. (227)

    Richard Davidson, notes that vs. 25 is an unmistakable reference to the Day of Atonement:

    I agree with Young that Hebrews 9:7 and 9:25 refer to Day of Atonement, because of the clear references to “once a year” and “every year” respectively. ("Inauguration or Day of Atonement?" Andrews University Seminary Studies, Spring 2002, 79)

    Felix Cortez states in his article "From the Holy to the Most Holy Place: The Period of Hebrews 9:6-10 and the Day of Atonement as a Metaphor of Transition" in the Journal of Biblical Literature, 125.3, Fall 2006, 527 (footnote):

    Unchallenged references to the Day of Atonement in the central section include 9:7, 25

  6. RevelationTestament

    RevelationTestament Our God is a consuming fire.


    Wow, that sounds almost like me talking.
    I would add that the atonement is also an example.
    1Pet 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
  7. Cribstyl

    Cribstyl Veteran

    United States
    Stryder, you gotta be kidding, so I'm laughing:D:D:D. Your eyes are fixed on Lev where the cleansing of the earthly sanctuary is found. As if the heavenly sanctuary is to pattern after the earthly. That's why I will not follow your lead.
    Hebrews explains repeatedly that the pattern shown in Leviticus was for the earthly sanctuary not the heavenly.
  8. Stryder06

    Stryder06 Check the signature

    Crib, the earthly was patterened after the heavenly. Of course the Heavenly is better, but it also can be properly understood thanks to that which God gave to Moses. We can't make up what we think atonment is when God already showed us what it is and what it involves through types.
  9. Stryder06

    Stryder06 Check the signature

    You're right. That text does make mention of the day of atonement.

    Actually the text does not say that the heavenly things had been cleaned, but that it was necesary for them to be cleaned by better sacrifices.

    I guess where we're going to differ here is the assumption that this text is placing Christ and the Father in the MHP. That it simply doesn't do.
  10. Stryder06

    Stryder06 Check the signature

    I'm sorry but I don't think I can agree with any of this. There was a problem that God had to solve. How would He save fallen humanity but uphold the intergrity of His law? That was the issue at hand, and that issue was solved by the sacrifice of His Son. Through the death of Christ, God showed Himself to be fair, loving, and just. Christ's life proved God's law to be something that man could keep, thus upholding it's integrity, while His death payed for the debt owed to the law by the transgressor, thus satisfying the laws requirement.

    Too often people get the issue confused because they are trying to think about how God could or couldn't behave based on thier own finite reasoning. We look to the word of God to explain this matter, and yes to the insipred word of His messenger.
  11. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

    You are not answering my questions, but just saying you “disagree”, so are we to just disagree?

    So you think the wises, most knowledgeable, most powerful Being has a personal problem he has to solve with Christ going to the cross?

    Did God write a bad Law?

    So it is God’s problem with saving man?

    Does a most wonderful wise parent have a problem forgiving his/her children?

    How is it ever “fair” (as you say) to torture, humiliate and murder the totally innocent and allow the guilty to go free?
  12. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

    Good, that is a point to build agreement on.

    Now think about this. Why did it mention it?
  13. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

    We agree that verse 23 emphasizes the necessity of the cleansing of the heavenly things, but does not specify a timing. And were it in isolation, that would be a good argument. However, it is not in isolation.

    Right after mentioning the necessity of the cleansing of the heavenly things it describes that cleansing.

    Heb 9:23 It is therefore a necdessity that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

    Verse 23 notes the necessity. I have rendered it here more literally. It does not have timing. But right after that we see the word "for" which translates the greek word GAR, which ties this verse to the next verse. This whole chapter spells out things fulfilled. The question of the necessity was not to be left unanswered.

    Heb 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
    Heb 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others

    The fulfillment is the entry into God's presence, in comparison with the high priest's entry with blood every year. That is the day of atonement, and in the context of the cleansing of the heavenly things it is not at all unclear.

    It is confirmed by 1:3

    Heb 1:3b After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

    Purification is the same root here. He made purification for sins.

    So the action is rooted in the past. Like the rest of the chapter it is discussing what Jesus already accomplished.
  14. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter


    We have gone through the reasons a number of times and in the end you wind up acknowledging a lot of the evidence. I guess we can do it again.

    First point of evidence that the entry extended to the MHP, Jesus inaugurated, which you agree with.

    That involved entry into the full sanctuary, true or false?
  15. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

    United States
    In Relationship
    God became man, and destroyed the powers of sin, death, hell, and the devil. In Him we are reconciled and restored to God.

  16. Stryder06

    Stryder06 Check the signature


    Please for give me, but I really didn't know how best to answer your questions which is why I made the response that did. Was hoping that it would give you a general idea of what I thought about your response.

    Yes actually. Considering that He is all powerful and all knowing. It lends on to think that Christ going to the cross was the only solution that could be implemented to solve the problem of sin.

    According to modern protestantism, yes. According to scripture, no.

    Yes. Man couldn't save himself. God's dilema was either to save man or wipe him out. He choose to solve dilema A.

    We are not God. We may learn lessons from parenting, but we in no way can compare any parental act to God's act of solving the sin problem. It's simply not possible.

    I didn't say the act of what man did to God was fair. I said that God himself is fair by saving man through the life and death of Christ. The way Christ was treated went to show how disgusting sin is, and will ultimately juistify God in how He ends it.
  17. Stryder06

    Stryder06 Check the signature

    Man, I don't see how you're making such great leaps here. You're continuing to point to the day of atonement and the process there to cleanse sins, but you forget that the cleansing of the sins on the day of atonement was not complete until the sins were transfered from the sanctuary to the scapegoat, which was lead out of the camp.

    What Christ had accomplished to this point in the book of Hebrews is the providing of the blood needed to cleanse the sanctuary, and the entrance into the sanctuary to being the process, starting first in the Holy Place, and then at the appointed time, into the Most Holy Place.

    You can't just pick and choose which parts of the process you want to make applicable, and forget about the rest.
  18. Stryder06

    Stryder06 Check the signature

    Yeah I've never followed the "Inaguration" arguments around here that you've had with others. Twas a bit too much for me ^_^

    I try to keep this whole thing as simple as possible.
  19. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

    Actually 1:3 says He already made purification.

    Heb 1:3 b After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

    Moreover, the entrance into God's presence in the Day of Atonement to present the blood is what happened in the sanctuary. And it is that portion, the portion in the sanctuary, that Adventists say is fulfilled by the IJ. Adventists have invented some work of the priest in the sanctuary investigating. It is not there. He presented blood in God's presence. That is what Jesus did as well.

    There is nothing in Leviticus that shows the priest investigating books, or investigating blood in the sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. You have substituted a totally different thing than what the text says. The text says presentation of blood for atonement.

    He presents blood before God. That is what Jesus did. That is the portion IN the sanctuary.

    Also, the atonement for the holy place (and the people, and himself) and the altar, all happened before the scapegoat.

    Now did the scapegoat still play a role? Yes, but it is not in the sanctuary, which is what Adventists apply to the IJ.

    Lev 16:16 Thus he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel and because of their transgressions, all their sins. And so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which dwells with them in the midst of their uncleannesses.
    Lev 16:17 No one may be in the tent of meeting from the time he enters to make atonement in the Holy Place until he comes out and has made atonement for himself and for his house and for all the assembly of Israel.
    Lev 16:18 Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around.
    Lev 16:19 And he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it and consecrate it from the uncleannesses of the people of Israel.
    Lev 16:20 "And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall present the live goat.

    If you go just by the type, the scapegoat would happen when He leaves the sanctuary. However, I don't intend to try and interpret what the NT does not interpret regarding the scapegoat. However, the portion that happens in the sanctuary already happened. And that was presentation of blood in the presence of God.
  20. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter


    So looking at evidence against your position would be too complicated? I guess things are simple that way, but that is not examining all the evidence.

    Stryder, what are these verses talking about? There are two services referenced.

    Heb 9:15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
    Heb 9:16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.
    Heb 9:17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.
    Heb 9:18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.
    Heb 9:19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
    Heb 9:20 saying, "This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you."
    Heb 9:21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship.


    Heb 10:20 by the way which he dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

    The word dedicated here is ενεκαινισεν, egkainizō
    From G1456; to renew, that is, inaugurate: - consecrate, dedicate.

    The inauguration was the service that was done before the temple was used.
    Last edited: May 1, 2013