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Penal Substitutionary Atonement

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Tree of Life, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    The Bible teaches that Jesus saves sinners by substituting for them in judgment and facing the wrath of God in their place. Throughout Jesus' entire life - and especially on the cross - he suffered the wrath of God for sins. On the cross, Jesus propitiated the wrath of God. If we are in Christ, the wrath of God does not remain on us. Rather, we enter into the blessing of God. This entails several Biblical truths:
    1. All the suffering that we are liable to in this life, including death itself, is due to God's wrath and curse upon sin (Genesis 3:16-19).

    2. Those who disobey God merit covenant curse, which includes the anger and displeasure of God bringing about misery for a person and ultimately bringing about the person's death (Deuteronomy 28:15-68, Romans 6:23).

    3. Many sacrifices in the Old Testament were of a propitiatory and substitutionary nature (Genesis 22, Exodus 12, Leviticus 16, 2 Samuel 24:25). The animals symbolically bore the sin of the people and were killed to satisfy God's wrath.

    4. Jesus bore our sins in his body - especially on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). In the body of Jesus, God condemned sin (Romans 8:3). Jesus bore the curse from God due to sin (Galatians 3:13).
    This is the core of the gospel. There is no other gospel. Without penal substitutionary atonement there is no gospel. It is only through the removal of God's wrath that we enter into his blessing, gain citizenship in his kingdom, gain access to the Holy Spirit, are given repentance and faith, are healed of all of our diseases and iniquities, and will be raised up at the last day. To deny penal substitutionary atonement is to deny the gospel.
     
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  2. tampasteve

    tampasteve ✞ Christian ✞ Staff Member Administrator CF Senior Ambassador Angels Team Supporter

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    I generally agree, but not with this part of the post:
    Can you cite where Jesus suffered God's wrath other than on the cross? I see where he suffered under the hands of man, the misunderstandings of men, etc. but I do not see that as God's wrath. God would of had no reason to dispense wrath on Jesus as he was perfect and followed the law perfectly.
     
  3. thecolorsblend

    thecolorsblend If God is your Father, who is your Mother? Supporter

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    Not really.
     
  4. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    The Scriptures I quoted above demonstrate this. Jesus did not suffer wrath because he was guilty of his own sins. He suffered wrath because he assumed the guilt of our sins.
     
  5. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Really.
     
  6. Athanasius377

    Athanasius377 Out of the deep I called unto thee O Lord Supporter

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    I use this passage as a quick summary of the Gospel: 1 cor 15 ESV

    15 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
    3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me
     
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  7. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    Good passage. It's unfortunate that some take the clause "Christ died for our sins" to mean something other than PSA.
     
  8. Mark_Sam

    Mark_Sam Newbie

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    I'm not so sure about that. Nowhere in Genesis 22 (the Binding of Isaac) or Exodus 12 (the Passover) is it stated that the animal was punished for sin instead of the people. And in 2 Samuel 24:25, all it says is that David offered burnt offering and peace offerings - again, nothing about the animals explicitly being punished instead of the people. Yes, there is some form of substitution going on (cf. Leviticus 1:4), but is it necessarily penal substitution?

    Biblical sacrifice is more about giving up something of value, in the proper ritual way, to satisfy the wrath of God and make up for sins. In the Old Testament days, a healthy animal was very valuable. So symbolically giving it to God by sacrificing it, would make satisfaction. That's why also grains and bread can be sacrificed (Leviticus 2), and also drink and other foods (Leviticus 23:18).

    The scapegoat in Leviticus 16 seems to be the only explicit instance where sin is transferred to the animal, and the animal is being punish on account of that sin. However, the scapegoat was sent away into the desert, while the goat for the Lord was sacrificed. Christ is the Lamb of God, but is never compared to the scapegoat. Really, the scapegoat is the oddball in the Old Testament sacrificial system.

    And it is in this context the sacrifice of Christ should be understood: he was not the damned scapegoat sent into the wilderness to wither and die. He was the blessed Lamb of God, who gave his life (of infinite value) to make satisfaction for our sins and shortcomings.

    PenSub (Penal Substitution Theory of the Atonement) is a subset of a particular school of thought (Substitutionary Atonement), and developed in Reformed circles in the 1500's. Then I feel sorry for all those who lived before that time, or those who just happen to advocate another theory, whilst agreeing that Christ died for us.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  9. TuxAme

    TuxAme Quis ut Deus? Supporter

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    I admit I'm guilty of this sometimes, but yes, what this really means is "denying my interpretation is to deny the gospel".
     
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  10. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Yes, yet....the wording (or precisely equal wording to) "penal substitutionary atonement " is not familiar from careful reading of the New Testament. (and this is not a trivial point to consider, nor is it about mere technical accuracy why it matters)

    It's an abstraction. The thing about abstractions is that regardless of whether they are true or false -- either way -- they are a diversion, a distraction, from what we really need.

    What we really need is true listening, to His words, so that we hear.

    For that, we have to really put aside our abstractions, doctrines, even when true(!), and instead listen. (We stop talking, stop thinking doctrines, etc., and instead the Word does all of the talking. It's very humble.)

    So that the Word changes us.

    Not us doing the action, but the Word acting on us, because we have stopped talking, and really are listening in faith, in order to hear.

    This is why I want to repeatedly reject abstractions for core things, like the amazing love Christ showed for us, giving His life here for our sakes, lest the mere abstraction replace something infinitely more precious in my mind.
     
  11. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Hide The Pain

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    It's not an abstraction. It's a definition. We say "Jesus died for our sins". And someone asks: "In what sense did Jesus die for our sins?" PSA is the answer.
     
  12. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Ok, sure, if you are answering a direct question, then it can make sense to get into theological abstractions possibly, though I'd feel that because of the transcendent sides of such things, it's better to instead directly quote applicable verses, or a very close paraphrase, and yeah, I know you can say you are paraphrasing something like Rom 3:25, but I worry about the paraphrases when we include a word like "penal", because well, that word is going to mean different things to different people, miscommunicating. I guess what I'm trying to say here in this post is maybe we have to be exceedingly cautious that our paraphrases don't leave stuff out. That's all. And another thing is that I would not feel it's okay to leave out the other parts of that same verse -- that you need more than the isolated thing, but instead the whole verse (or in the case of Paul, the long sentence) at minimum. I mean if I tell somebody a piece, do they know the other pieces???

    "...all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,i through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."
     
  13. GodsGrace101

    GodsGrace101 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Regarding number 2:

    There were blessings and curses in the O.T. covenants.
    In the new covenant there is no curse, only blessings.

    Also, why can't there be another thesis for salvation economy?

    The penal substitutionary atonement is just one explanation for Jesus' sacrifice. This is the legal view.

    There is also the spiritual view.
    This view refers to the Hebrew word Tsadaqa...it is the energy by which God saves.

    IOW, in the Garden God does not kill Adam and Eve because they sinned...their death is a consequence of the sin. God, in His mercy, desires to save us from this consequence, which is eternal death.

    The wages of sin is death...
    Romans 6:23 NOT the punishment for sin is death.

    We die because God is the only being that is able to give life.
    God is the source of this life and sin separates us from this source of life.
    John 15:1-6

    By reconciliation with God through Jesus' sacrifice, we are reconnected to God, our life source.
     
  14. GodsGrace101

    GodsGrace101 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    None of the verses you posted in the O.P. show that God felt wrath toward Jesus...

    Could you please post a verse that would show this to be true?
     
  15. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5.21)

    "All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me." (Psalm 42.7)

    "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53.5)
     
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  16. GodsGrace101

    GodsGrace101 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't see the wrath of God in these verses.
    You do?
     
  17. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    God punished sin at the Cross where the Lord Jesus died.
     
  18. GodsGrace101

    GodsGrace101 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    True. And also we can say that Jesus was punished on that cross.
    But was it because God's wrath was on Him?
    He is God, after all. How could God have wrath on Himself?
    When Jesus was baptized, God said, Behold, My Son in Whom I am well pleased.

    Also, at the transfiguration, God said the same and added that Peter, James and John should listen to Jesus only when they offered to build three tabernacles.
     
  19. faroukfarouk

    faroukfarouk Fading curmudgeon

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    The Lord Jesus also cried at the Cross: "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

    In Hebrews the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus at the Cross are so closely bound up; and the cost He bore to fulfil the sin reconciling work there was immense because of the wrath of God for sin.
     
  20. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Good verses for us. Especially that Isaiah 53 one -- with His stripes we are healed.

    Now....we know that because Christ was lifted up, all people have a chance to look to Him, and be drawn to Him, and be saved. I tend to object to the words "penal" in the OP because I feel we are leaving out something with "penal" in part because of how what Christ did for us was atoning, meaning not only to suffer for our sins (and suffer even from our sins I think), not only is something done we don't fully understand, above us, but additionally something is done inside us individually. We are changed, inside, when we contemplate what He did. Our own urge to sin unrepentantly is broken.
     
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