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Is this the same cup?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Hammster, Jun 12, 2019.

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  1. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    The cup of wrath in Psalm 75:8 are for the unrepentant wicked to drink. The cup that Christ was to drink was the same wrath of God for sin as Christ was the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world & those who put their faith in Him will not have to face the wrath of God. (I Thess 5:9).

    However, those who reject what Christ has done, not recognizing Who He truly is, their sins remain. (John 3:18,36; 8:21,23,24; Isaiah 64:5; John 9:40,41).

    Christ's cup not only included the wrath of God but the suffering & the baptism of suffering. This his disciples would also experience but not the facing of God's wrath as the atoning sacrifice for sin. Only Christ was able to do that.

    The OP only quoted Matthew 26:39 out of its context, without other passages that also talked about this same cup & what it meant. The corroborative verses help define what this cup is. Here is the context. Also see my prior post on this, in this thread.

    Matthew 26:27-30, 37-46 Then He took the cup, gave thanks & gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in My Father’s kingdom.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

    37He took with Him Peter & the two sons of Zebedee & began to be sorrowful & deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is consumed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here & keep watch with Me.” Going a little farther, He fell facedown & prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”

    40Then Jesus returned to the disciples & found them sleeping. “Were you not able to keep watch with Me for one hour?” He asked Peter. “Watch & pray so that you will not enter into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

    42A second time He went away & prayed, “My Father, if this cup cannot pass UNLESS I DRINK IT, may Your will be done.” 43And again Jesus returned & found them sleeping—for their eyes were heavy.

    44So He left them & went away once more & prayed a THIRD time, saying the same thing. 45Then He returned to the disciples & said, “Are you still sleeping & resting? Look, THE HOUR is near & the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us go! See, My betrayer is approaching!”

    Luke 22:41-44 And He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, where He knelt down & prayed, "Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Yours be done." Then an angel from heaven appeared to Him & strengthened Him. And in His anguish, He prayed more earnestly & His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground.

    Mark 14:35,36,39-41 Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, THE HOUR WOULD PASS FROM HIM. "Abba, Father," He said, "all things are possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will." Again He went away & prayed, saying the same thing. When Jesus returned the 3rd time, He said, “Are you still sleeping & resting? That is enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

    John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled & what shall I say? Father, save me from THIS HOUR: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

    John 18:1 "Put your sword back in its sheath!" Jesus said to Peter. "Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given Me?"

    Matthew 20:21-23 She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand & the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22But Jesus answered & said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of &to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup & be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand & on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

    Luke 12:50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

    Heb 5:7 During the days of Jesus' earthly life, He offered up prayers & petitions with loud cries & tears to the One who could SAVE HIM FROM DEATH & He was heard because of His reverence.

    Christ not only had to face all the suffering of His trials, beatings, etc. & then death on the cross, He also had to suffer the wrath of God for the sin of the world, to propitiate for sin. Not only those two things but He had to suffer what happens AFTER physical death & being held captive for 3 days under the power of sin & death, before He was raised & conquered both, now having the keys of death & Hades!

    Christ had to reconcile all things, both visible & invisible, by the blood of the cross & His resurrection power.

    And one poster did get it right. The cup is a metaphor for what Christ had to face, His fulfillment of prophecy & His hour AND for what the unrepentant wicked will have to face at the final judgment.
  2. dqhall

    dqhall Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Foaming wine is partly fermented wine, not fully aged and degassed. It made mad men drunk, stumbling and forgetful.

    The cup that was set before Christ seemed to be his coming arrest, trial and execution at the hands of the Hebrew chief priests and Romans. There was no way out as Jesus taught God’s good teachings even to the point of persecution and death. As Jesus was obedient to God unto death, Jesus was resurrected in glory.
  3. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

    The Psalm scripture is about grace to the humble, and about the proud being humbled, i think?. Christ humbled himself although He is the King. Was that part of His cup?
  4. Devin P

    Devin P Well-Known Member

    United States
    The same cup Jesus had is the cup mentioned here in numbers 5.

    16And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD: 17And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is in the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water: 18And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of memorial in her hands, which is the jealousy offering: and the priest shall have in his hand the bitter water that causeth the curse: 19And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lain with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with anotherinstead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse: 20But if thou hast gone aside to another instead of thy husband, and if thou be defiled, and some man have lain with thee beside thine husband: 21Then the priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The LORD make thee a curse and an oath among thy people, when the LORD doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell; 22And this water that causeth the curse shall go into thy bowels, to make thy belly to swell, and thy thigh to rot: And the woman shall say, Amen, amen.

    It goes into more detail about the cup in the rest of numbers 5 but yeah.
  5. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

    All this is interesting information, but back to the question:

    James and John are thought to have experience a baptism of fire (severe persecution) just as Christ had experienced a baptism of fire (a baptism of fire being severe persecution).

    James and John did drink from the same cup Jesus drank from (Jesus said they would), so that cup cannot be the wrath of God, since James and John would not have experienced the wrath of God, but are thought to have experience persecution to the point of death as Jesus did.

    You cannot use “the cup” to only mean “the cup of God’s wrath” to proof Christ was taking the God’s wrath upon Himself while on the cross. That might have been what happened, but the cup does not support it.
  6. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

    What about including the following information?

    James and John are thought to have experience a baptism of fire (severe persecution) just as Christ had experienced a baptism of fire (a baptism of fire being severe persecution).

    James and John did drink from the same cup Jesus drank from (Jesus said they would), so that cup cannot be the wrath of God, since James and John would not have experienced the wrath of God, but are thought to have experience persecution to the point of death as Jesus did.

    You cannot use “the cup” to only mean “the cup of God’s wrath” to proof Christ was taking the God’s wrath upon Himself while on the cross. That might have been what happened, but the cup does not support it.
  7. timtams

    timtams Active Member

    United States
    No, that is the cup of God's wrath, but Matthew speaks of the cup which Christ drank which is death at the hands of sinners, which the sons of Zebedee also drank. It means they were martyred.
  8. Blade

    Blade Veteran Supporter

    United States
    Pfft.. now I am back at school.. THANKS! LOL... awesome.. never looked into that.. I will have to.. Thanks brother. I really dont know
  9. Devin P

    Devin P Well-Known Member

    United States
    It's the cup of the adulterous bride talked about in numbers 5. He drank it for Judah. He died for Ephrayim, and drank the cup for Judah.
  10. Ronald

    Ronald Exhortations Supporter

    United States
    Psalm 75 is about God's authority, His judgment ... the earth quakes and He is in control ... To the arrogant, He says, "Do not boast" ... To the wicked, He says, "Do not lift your horns (speak with an outstretched neck) against heaven".
    His authority is all inclusive, all of God's sovereignty, the moment in Gethsemane, the bowls of wrath, and everything else.
  11. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

    Christian Seeker
    Good correlation.
  12. Swan7

    Swan7 Made in the image of His Grace Supporter

    Jesus drank from His Father’s cup, yes, but this is a bit different because Jesus had a role to fulfill.

    Isaiah 51:17 is a more better fit for Psalm 75:8 as it is in context with the “inhabitants”.
  13. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    In Relationship
    Men drake from the wine of wrath until Jesus Christ of Nazareth replaced it with His blood of Salvation for the entire world who would believe He did so.
  14. Wordkeeper

    Wordkeeper Newbie


    If Christ's work was to be a blessing to mankind, by saving it from its sins, through drinking from the cup, then the disciples who drank from the same cup shared in the same work:

    Colossians 1
    24Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.

    2 Corinthians 5
    21For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be a sin (offering), so that in Christ we could be made the righteousness of God.

    On Becoming the Righteousness of God
    By N. T. Wright

    Three final reflections. First, this way of reading the second half of the crucial versem ay perhaps provide an additional reason for taking the second occurrence of in the verse as a reference not just to “sin” in general but to the “sin-offering.”

    I have argued elsewhere for this meaning for in Rom 8:3, and I think it is likely, granted the more context-specific reading of the verse which I am proposing, that
    Paul would intend it here too. This, if correct, would not water down the striking impression of the first half of the verse, as is sometimes suggested, but would rather give it more specific direction. The verse is not an abstract, detached statement of atonement theology (Paul nowhere offers us such a thing); rather, it focuses very specifically on his own strange apostolic ministry. Insofar as this ministry is a thing of shame and dishonor, it is so despite Paul’s intention, and the sin-offering is the right means of dealing with such a problem. Insofar as it is the means of the divine covenant faithfulness being held out to the world, it is because, in Christ, Paul has “become” the (“righteousness of God”). This is only a suggestion, which could perhaps be taken up in subsequent discussion.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  15. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Christ's sacrifice on the cross was not a blessing but a propitiation (Rom 3:23-26), a satisfying of the just demands of God for the handwriting of our guilt (Eph 2:11-22) before a holy God for rebelling against Him & sinning against Him.

    Thus taking the wrath of God upon Himself, He ONLY of all the people in the world could MEET the righteous demands because He ONLY did not sin. Those placing their faith in Him, could then be delivered from the wrath of God, BECAUSE He imputes or places to their account His very righteousness as a free gift.

    Romans 4:23-25 Now the words “it was credited to him” were written not only for Abraham, but also for us, to whom righteousness will be credited—for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our trespasses & was raised to life for our justification.

    Thus, the disciples & we in the body of Christ do NOT share in His work of redeeming the world by His righteous life & taking away sin by His atoning sacrifice, but we DO share in His sufferings on this earth, as His body of believers. (Eph 2:1-10; Titus 3:3-5; Psalm 49:6-8; Eccl 8:8; John 14:6; Acts 4:12, etc.)

    Acts 4:12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

    Psalm 49:7,8 No man can possibly redeem his brother or pay his ransom to God, since the price of redeeming him is too costly. What we could pay would never be enough & we should stop trying.

    Rom 5:6-19 For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. It is rare indeed for anyone to die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    9Therefore, since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through Him! For if, when we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

    12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned. For sin was in the world before the law was given; but sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who did not sin in the way that Adam transgressed. He is a pattern of the One to come.

    15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many!

    16Again, the gift is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment that followed one sin brought condemnation, but the gift that followed many trespasses brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive an abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

    18Therefore, just as one trespass brought condemnation for all men, so also one act of righteousness brought justification and life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

    Part of that cup was the afflictions & sufferings Christ went through in having the world hate him, the devil seeking to tempt Him & the cruelty of His trial & crucifixion.

    The disciples & we in the Body of Christ also suffer in this life, filling up the sufferings of Christ as our Head. He continues to experience suffering, because we are united with Him. Christians are continually being hated by the world, persecuted, maligned, tortured & martyred.

    We as brethren around the world, continue to suffer the hatred of the devil & his temptations & afflictions as God allows, for the testing of our faith, like silver tried in a furnace.

    I Pet 5:8-10 Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore you, secure you, strengthen you & establish you.

    We don't share in the work of redemption & ransom, because only Christ could accomplish that. But we do share in being ambassadors for Christ, as His representatives & have the ministry of proclaiming the message of reconciliation to the world, that they might repent, believe the gospel & be reconciled to God.
  16. Ken Rank

    Ken Rank Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    That is a great question... and what a powerful verse Psalm 75:8 is!

    My answer, without having looked at anything anyone else has written... is that they are not the same. The word cup is just being used abstractly as a picture of something that must come to pass. In the first one, the Psalm... we are looking at the time of His wrath and we already have another use of the word cup to tie into this verse, the cup of His wrath. It is something that will be "poured out," or "delivered upon" a wicked people. The second verse, the one from Matthew, the cup is an image of a great work that must be accomplished. The pouring out, in this case, is on a person who will undergo a great stress or turmoil (almost like wrath) but this isn't the same that gets poured out on all people. It's not because one is being poured out on somebody who will use it to save the world, the other is being poured out on those who have ultimately rejected the one on whom the first cup was poured. :)
  17. Wordkeeper

    Wordkeeper Newbie

    You have to explain how the verses say we are to bear what remains of Christ's afflictions, what God meant when He said mankind would be blessed through Abraham's seed, how we are representing Christ, are His ambassadors, when we become the righteousness of God by being IN Christ.

    Also the verses that say we are to pick up our Crosses and follow Christ. Are these empty Crosses? And are they empty words which say, "No greater love has a man than this, than when he lays down his life for his brother"?

    Bear in mind that the offering must be without blemish. This is only possible by being under the covering, the kapporeth. The atonement is what makes the promise of those in the Seed be blessings to the world possible, make the life of a believer who has left worldly pursuits to follow Christ perfected, fulfilled.

    Kapporeth is not to enter heaven squeaky clean. It is what makes the offering an acceptable sacrifice.

    Hebrews 4
    1Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 2For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

    3For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,
    although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.

    4For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALLHIS WORKS”; 5and again in this passage, “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.” 6Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,

    7He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,

    8For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. 9So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. 11Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.

    Wright and White on the “righteousness of God” in 2 Corinthians 5:21

    This is not a random dictum. Isaiah’s “servant” has been formed to restore Israel, to “set up the tribes of Jacob and turn back the dispersion of Israel”. God has listened to him in an acceptable time; he has helped him on a day of salvation; he has given him as a “covenant to nations, to establish the land, and to inherit a wilderness heritage” (Is. 49:5-6, 8 LXX). Kings and rulers will honour this servant because “the Holy One of Israel is faithful” (49:7 LXX). So it is through the work of the servant that the righteousness of God is established (cf. Is. 46:13), that he proves himself faithful to his covenant with Abraham.

    Paul’s argument in 2 Corinthians 5:21 is that the apostles are the “servants of God” (cf. 6:4) through whom God is seeking to reconcile these Corinthian believers to himself—just as in Isaiah 49 God used his servant to reconcile Jacob to himself. They are ambassadors, through whom God makes his appeal to the Corinthians; they implore the Corinthians to be reconciled to God (5:20).

    The apostles are in a position to perform this task because they are in Christ, through whom “God was reconciling the world to himself” (5:19). Jesus became sin—he was crucified as an enemy of Israel and of YHWH, a blasphemer, a false claimant to the throne of Israel. But that led, paradoxically, to real enemies of God such as Paul becoming the “righteousness of God”, the means by which YHWH is justified. As Wright says in the podcast, the apostles embody the covenant faithfulness of God in their ministry.

    In effect, what Paul is claiming is that the apostles are right, they embody the rightness of God, they are justified in making this appeal, because they are in Christ, as is clearly evidenced by their suffering (6:4-10)—they carry in their bodies the dying of Jesus (4:10). This is not an abstract argument about the imputation of righteousness through faith. It is a practical argument: the apostles make their appeal on the ground that they are acting out the role of Christ-like servants, who commend themselves by accepting, as Jesus accepted, hardships, persecution, distrust, abuse, and punishment.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  18. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    I don't need to explain how, the Scripture does. Also I already DID EXPLAIN HOW but evidently it didn't sink in or you ignored what I said. Also the Scripture TELLS US that we DO fill up Christ's afflictions & sufferings. That is the gospel truth. How you ask? I already explained it.

    Is your head attached to your body? When pain is felt in the body, is the head affected as well? Of course. So my prior explanation: Christ is the Head of his ORGANIC body, the church spiritually. If the body suffers in this world & we are called to experience suffering as followers of Christ--then Christ suffers still, being the Head.

    I already explained how in the sufferings coming from the devil with our brotherhood throughout the world.

    I Pet 2:20,21 But if you suffer for doing good & you endure it, this is commendable before God. For to this you were CALLED BECAUSE Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His footsteps.

    If you STILL need more, then read I Peter chapter 4. Then do your Bible study. Do a word search on suffering in the NT. You can be taught by the Holy Spirit as He opens your mind to understand the revelation of God, IF you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

    Paul explains what the blessing is that God promised in the Abrahamic covenant. You need to do your Bible study. But I will help you to start.

    Paul mentions that the blessing was not Christ but the promise of the Holy Spirit! The blessing was the Holy Spirit to all nations, that those who put their trust in Christ to save them--SINCE THEY COULD NOT SAVE THEMSELVES OR PARTICIPATE IN THEIRS OR ANYONE ELSE'S SALVATION--would receive the blessing of the indwelling Holy Spirit!

    Study the context of Galatians chapter 3 and you will see this. The American evangelist Charles Finney explains it very well here.

    THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE by Charles G. Finney

    The Blessing of Abraham

    Keeping Covenant- Part 1: The Promise of the Spirit by Tom Stewart

    I can continually quote Christian teaching on this blessing being the promised Holy Spirit & His indwelling the believer trusting in Christ to save him, positionally, progressively & ultimately.

    The apostles ran & hid after the crucifixion. However at Pentecost & the birth of the body of Christ, they were transformed as bold witnesses by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. They were no longer the same. God came to live IN THEM & WALK IN THEM, only spiritually now rather than physically.

    The sacrifice Christ made was physical on the cross. Our carrying our crosses, suffering for the sake of Christ as His followers, is a spiritual cross. We now offer SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES as His body. (i will list verses but it seems you don't read theses as to explaining the how you are asking for: Rom 12:1,2; I Peter 2:4-12; Rom 15:16; Phil 4:18; Heb 13:15; Isaiah 61:6; Rev 1:6, etc.)

    And your relying on man's teachings (N.T. Wright & White) on 2 Cor 5:21 PULLED OUT OF CONTEXT makes their heretical teaching contrary to the actual teaching of that Scripture IN CONTEXT. I quoted the context in summary but did not post the verses. So now to keep people from falling into heresy, i will quote vs 21 in context to show it doesn't mean what Wright or White are teaching.

    We do NOT nor can we ever redeem, reconcile, ransom or propitiate ANYONE, EVEN OURSELVES. Salvation is not of ourselves (Eph 2:8-10; Titus 3:3-5; Acts 4:12, etc. which i have continued to repeat but will do so no longer)

    Prior context in 2 Cor 4:

    "Therefore, since we have this ministry through the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2Instead, we have renounced secret & shameful ways. We do not practice deceit, nor do we DISTORT THE WORD OF GOD. On the contrary, by open proclamation of the truth, we commend ourselves to every man’s CONSCIENCE in the sight of God...For we do NOT PROCLAIM OURSELVES, but Jesus Christ as Lord & ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

    2 Cor 5:12-21 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God & I hope it is known also to your CONSCIENCE. 12We are NOT COMMENDING OURSELVES to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance & not about what is in the heart.

    13For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, BECAUSE WE HAVE CONCLUDED THIS: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

    16From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.b The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    In vs. 14, Christ alone died for the whole world, because all those in the world (including the disciples & ourselves) were spiritually dead. We cannot share in Christ's ransom & substitutionary sacrifice because we all are spiritually dead in our trespasses & sins. Only Christ can do that: ONE DIED FOR ALL. There is no sharing in that part.

    Again Paul repeats this in vss 18,19 showing that Christ reconciled US TO HIMSELF & then repeats vs 14, Christ reconciled the world to the Father.

    Again I am repeating myself & I will do so no longer: we are AMBASSADORS OF CHRIST, not ourselves. We are not the ones reconciling the world to ourselves because we have to be reconciled by Christ to begin with! We represent Christ as His witnesses, witnessing that Christ is the One alone who reconciles people & that we plead as ambassadors of Christ for people TO BE RECONCILED TO GOD THROUGH CHRIST & His sacrificial substitute for us & the whole world.

    People aren't reconciled to us; they are reconciled to God through Christ, not us again.

    To say that we share in Christ's work of redemption, ransom & reconciliation is heretical teaching. To say we are spokespeople of God's redemption, ransom & reconciliation IN THE WORK OF CHRIST & what He did on the cross, does not make us sharers in it, only RECIPIENTS of what He has done. We cannot boast in ourselves.

    We become the righteousness of God because of our faith in Christ. It is imputed to our account by God's grace & mercy. God saves us; we don't save ourselves. Salvation is a GIFT of God, not of ourselves & not of our works. It is by God's grace through faith in Christ. Paul explains the how in detail in Romans 4 & Galatians 3 & 4.

    How can salvation be not of works when faith is required? Isn't believing a work?

    Rom 11:5,6 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would NO LONGER BE GRACE.
  19. Wordkeeper

    Wordkeeper Newbie

    What is your view about what the Cross achieved?
  20. Mathetes66

    Mathetes66 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    What does the cross of Jesus Christ mean? What did it achieve? Listen to this great quote from the theologian, J.I. Packer, to which I agree:

    "Jesus Christ our Lord, moved by a love that was determined to do everything necessary to save us, endured and exhausted the destructive divine judgment for which we were otherwise inescapably destined, and so won us forgiveness, adoption and glory." J.I. Packer, What Did the Cross Achieve? The Logic of Penal Substitution

    This has been the prevailing view of what Christ has done on the cross & is in agreement with ancient Christian doctrine passed down & entrusted to the church, the body of Christ, since the first century.

    This is what all the prophets taught concerning the many prophecies concerning the Suffering Servant & the promised Messiah, the Lamb of God that the Father provided Himself. All the prophets testify & predict what He did, not anyone being a co-redemptrix or contributing to our salvation. This is what the Roman Catholic church has taught in the recent past concerning Mary.

    "[It is only recently in the past], that the likes of Robin Collins, Tim Bayne, Greg Restall & N.T Right have proposed PARTICIPATORY MODELS OF ATONEMENT. The cross unites us to the death of Christ & the resurrection life & power of Christ. Paul stresses the participatory nature of the cross, in which the "old man", is CO-CRUCIFIED with Christ & CO-RAISED to new Spirit-infused/directed life." Alex Dalton

    However, ancient Orthodox teaching has been this: Christianity is unique in its teaching that God, not humanity, atones for sin. We do not co-participate, we do not co-atone for sin. We were not co-crucified nor co-raised. We were not crucified with Christ on the cross. We were not raised with Christ when He rose from the dead originally & uniquely.

    "Exactly what God did in & through Jesus remains a problem. The apostle Paul, for example, is clear that Jesus’ death is central. Yet he gave no clear explanation, nor did the church come to a united position in its development of orthodoxy after the apostolic period. No church council was ever held on the atonement, such as there was on the Trinity & on the nature of Christ." William Hordern, 1955.

    The above quote is HIS opinion, but that is not what Scripture teaches nor the witness of the church that Christ has been building since the first century. The early councils were held because of heretical teachings seeking to undermine the Scriptural teachings. No disagreement on the atonement of Christ alone atoning for sins on the cross by His sinless life was seriously challenged by false teaching until the recent past.

    Michael Vlatch, in his article, 'Penal Substitution in Church History' brings this out forcefully & exposing the errors of participatory atonement by the sinless & righteous Christ & sinful & unrighteous humans. He says it much better than I can & covers it IN DETAIL & conclusively.


    Recently, at least since the 18th-century liberalism gained a place in Protestantism, the penal-substitution view of Christ’s atonement has come under attack. The claim that the doctrine was unknown in the ancient church has emerged along with the idea that such a teaching was invented by the Reformers. The fact that the 1st 1000 years of ancient Christianity frequently espoused the teaching that Jesus suffered death, punishment & a curse for fallen humanity as the penalty for human sin shows the falsity of such a claim.

    The fact that early Christians supported other views of the atonement did not exclude the possibility of their supporting penal substitution also. Other views of the atonement include the classic/ransom, the satisfaction, the moral influence & the governmental theories.

    Without discussing penal substitution thoroughly, the following church fathers & writings expressed their support for the theory: Ignatius, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Epistle to Diognetus, Justin Martyr, Eusebius of Caesarea, Eusebius of Emesa, Hilary of Poitiers, Athanasius, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, Ambrose of Milan, John Chrysostom, Augustine of Hippo, Cyril of Alexandria, Severus of Antioch & Oecumenius. Martin Luther wrote during the 2nd Christian millennium, but he, too, endorsed penal substitution. Available writings show clearly that the early church supported a penal-substitution view of Christ’s death.

    Since the rise of Protestant liberalism in the 18th century, it has become common for some to claim that penal substitution, the view that Christ died on behalf of sinners, is not a biblical doctrine. In recent years this position has been accompanied by assertions that the church of the 1st 1500 years did not hold to penal substitution.

    So in addition to claiming that penal substitution is not found in the Bible, a growing chorus is arguing that this doctrine was not taught by the church of the Patristic & Medieval eras. Instead, the belief that Jesus died on behalf of sinners, becoming a curse on their behalf, was a creation of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.

    1Paul S. Fiddes, Past Event & Present Salvation: The Christian Idea of Atonement (London:Darton, Longman & Todd, 1989) 89.

    2Gustaf Aulen, Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types of the Idea of theAtonement (New York: MacMillan, 1969).

    For example, in his work on the atonement, Paul Fiddes claimed that the doctrine of penal substitution was “developed in the Reformation period.”1 In addition, some like Gustaf Aulen have argued that objective views of the atonement, of which penal substitution is one example, are a creation of the Latin West church of the early 12th century.2

    Aulen & others have claimed that the early church held to a classical view of the atonement in which Christ’s death was primarily a victory over the powers of darkness & a ransom paid to Satan, but the early church did not hold to penal substitution.

    This assertion is quite serious. If those like Fiddes & Aulen are correct, those who believe in penal substitutionary atonement are accepting a doctrine that is relatively new & by implication, something foreign to the church of the 1st 1000 years.

    While Protestant Christians have often emphasized that the Bible, not church history, is their authority, they have usually held that new doctrines should be scrutinized. They also believe that Christians should be skeptical of holding positions not believed or addressed in the early church.

    Is penal substitution one of those novel views? Is it true that many believe a doctrine of the atonement that began with the Protestant Reformation? The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that penal substitution WAS taught in the early church.

    Consequently, it will also refute the claim that penal substitution was not taught in the church of the Patristic & Medieval eras.

    Though acknowledging that the early church held to a classical view of the atonement, it will argue that critics of penal substitution are in error when they claim that the pre-Reformation church did not also believe in penal substitution. Ample and even overwhelming evidence proves that Christians of the Patristic Era & beyond held that Christ died on behalf of sinners to pay the penalty for their sins.

    Before surveying what the early church believed about penal substitution, some clarifying points are necessary. First, the emphasis will be on the church of the 1st 1000 years & especially the church of the Patristic Era (AD 100-500). This is where the heart of the controversy lies.

    That after Anselm in the 12th century an objective view of the atonement was taught is not debated. Also, that Calvin & the Reformation tradition clearly taught penal substitution is established.

    The controversy is over whether the church of the 1st 1000 years taught penal substitution, so this time period will be the focus. Second, penal substitution needs to be defined.

    Penal substitution is the doctrine that Jesus suffered on behalf of sinners the death, punishment & curse due to fallen humanity as the penalty for sin.

    As Millard Erickson defines the doctrine,“By offering Himself as a sacrifice, by substituting Himself for us, in our place, actually bearing the punishment that should have been ours, Jesus appeased the Father & effected a reconciliation between God & humanity."3

    3Millard Erickson, ChristianTheology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998) 833.

    4Leon Morris, “Theories of the Atonement,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A.Elwell (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984)

    5"Those who believe in penal substitution usually deny a sense in which Christ’s death was a ransom to Satan. One can hold to a cosmic victory of Christ over the powers of darkness & not hold that the atonement was a payment to Satan."

    Penal substitution, then, emphasizes that the punishment from God provoked by human sin was borne by Jesus Christ with His sacrificial death.

    Third, this is not to deny that earlier Christians held views of the atonement other than penal substitution or that the early church did not hold to a classical or ransom view of the atonement.

    When some early Christians emphasized a certain implication of Christ’s death, they could also teach or believe in penal substitution.To claim that because some theologians advocated a classical view of the atonement, they denied or knew nothing about the penal substitution view is a logical fallacy.

    Yet such error is occurring today. Some say that because the early church affirmed & emphasized one aspect of the atonement—the classical or Christus Victor view—they knew little or nothing about penal substitution.

    Even today those who strongly view penal substitution as the primary meaning of the atonement usually affirm other facets of the atonement as well. As Leon Morris has pointed out, “the atonement is vast & deep” & we need all the theories.”4

    Thus, the fact that Christ died on behalf of sinners is not inconsistent with the ideas that Christ’s death was a victory over the powers of darkness or that Christ’s death is an example for us.

    Historical Views of the Atonement

    Before looking in the early church at evidence for belief in penal substitution, a brief summary of the major atonement views in history will serve as a backdrop for discussion.

    Classic or Ransom Theory

    The classic view sees the atonement of Christ as a cosmic victory over Satan & the forces of evil. A subset of this view is the ransom view of the atonement. With this perspective, with His death Jesus paid a ransom to the devil.

    At the cross, God handed Jesus over to Satan in exchange for the souls of humans held captive to Satan. Satan believed he could hold Jesus in death, but the resurrection proved him wrong as Jesus triumphed over Satan. This view was popular in the early church. Origen & Gregory of Nyssa were the two major early developers of this perspective.

    Gregory of Nazianzus & Athanasius, on the other hand, rejected the ransom theory. Later, John of Damascus would reject this view as well believing that it was impossible for God to offer Jesus to the devil.

    6See Bruce Demarest, The Cross and Salvation (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 1997) 149-51.

    7See Morris, “Atonement” 102.8Demarest, The Cross and Salvation 153- 54.

    This ransom theory of the atonement fell out of favor during the time of Anselm & Abelard around the 12th century.

    More recently, Gustaf Aulen (d. 1977) has defended this view of the atonement.6

    Satisfaction Theory

    The satisfaction theory views the atonement of Jesus as compensation to the Father. Thus, Jesus’ death satisfied God’s wounded honor. This approach was promoted by Anselm in the early 12th century. Anselm’s satisfaction theory appears to rely on the idea of a feudal overlord, who, to uphold his honor, insisted that there be an adequate satisfaction for his assaulted honor. Anselm promoted this view in his work, Cur Deus Homo? (“Why God Became Man?”).

    He rejected the classic view that Satan had a right of possession over humanity & that God had to use Jesus to pay a ransom to Satan. Anselm held that sin is the failure to render God His due honor. Since Jesus was divine, He was able to offer adequate satisfaction in this area.

    Anselm’s view became associated with the Latin view. The primary way to distinguish this view from the penal substitution view of the atonement is that the satisfaction theory views the atonement more in relation to God’s honor while the penal substitution position views Christ’s atonement more in relation to God’s law.7

    Moral Influence Theory

    The moral influence theory views the atonement primarily as a demonstration of God’s love. Christ’s death was not a payment to the Father to satisfy God’s wounded honor. It was a demonstration of God’s love & thus, a motivation for Christians to show love in return.

    This theory was promoted by Peter Abelard (d.1142) in reaction to Anselm’s satisfaction view. For Abelard, the major effect of Christ’s death was on humans—not God or Satan. God is viewed as mostly love and His attributes of justice and holiness are not emphasized. God’s love is so strong that it overcomes the resistance of sinners. The power of divine love compels human love toward God. Horace Bushnell (1802-1876), the father of modern liberalism in the United States, popularized the moral influence theory in the United States.8

    The Governmental Theory

    With the governmental theory the atonement is a demonstration of divine justice. Hugo Grotius (d. 1645) promoted this view in detail in his work Defensio fidei catholicae de satisfaction Christi adversus F. Socinum.

    According to Demarest, Grotius maintained that objectively Christ by His death made a token, rather than a full or equivalent, payment to God for human sins. Through the death of His Son, God upheld the moral governance of the universe while setting aside the requirement of the law that sinners must be punished. The Ruler of the universe could have relaxed his law altogether & not punished Christ, but this would not have achieved the maximum deterrence against future sins.9

    9Bruce Demarest, The Cross & Salvation (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 1997), 154-55.

    10Ibid., 155.

    11See Erickson, Christian Theology 833; Leon Morris, “Theories of the Atonement” 102.

    12Garry Williams points out that even by a narrow criterion the doctrine of penal substitution was taught by the following: Justin Martyr, Origen, Eusebius of Caesarea, Athanasius, Hilary of Poitiers,Gregory of Nazianzus, Ambrose, John Chrysostom, Augustine, Cyril of Alexandria & Gregory the Great (Gary J. Williams, “A Critical Exposition of Hugo Grotius’s Doctrine of the Atonement in DeSatisfactione Christi [D.Phil. thesis, Faculty of Social Studies, Univ. of Oxford, 1999] 70). Williams has done significant work unearthing the statements of penal substitution in the early church. He has also addressed the anachronistic demands of those who insist that penal substitution was not taught in the earlychurch because this doctrine was not expressed precisely as it would be later during the Reformation (67).

    This governmental theory claims that the punishment of Christ communicates God’s hatred of sin & motivates a person to repentance & godly living.10

    According to Grotius it was possible for God to relax His law so that an exact punishment for each human sin was not necessary. For Grotius, the death of Christ was not a punishment. Instead, it made punishment unnecessary.

    Thus, there are two elements to the atonement. Objectively, Christ’s death satisfies the demands of justice. There was a real offering made by Christ to God. Subjectively, Christ’s death is viewed as a deterrent to sin by emphasizing the seriousness of sin.

    Penal Substitution Theory

    As mentioned earlier, according to the penal substitution view, with His death on the cross Jesus Christ bore the just penalty for human sins & in doing so became a curse on man’s behalf. (Gal 3:13; Deut 21:23, etc.)

    With this perspective sin is primarily a violation of God’s law, thus Christ’s death pays the penalty for sins that God’s holiness requires.11 This position has been HELD BY CHRISTIANS THROUGHOUT CHURCH HISTORY as will now be discussed. (to be continued)
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