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Featured Why is Christ's bodily death a satisfactory substitute for the death of the soul in hell?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Dirkthelurk, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Dirkthelurk

    Dirkthelurk New Member

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    Does scripture give any indication as to why Christ's physical execution on the cross was seen as a satisfactory substitution for an eternity in hell for all humanity? Even from the sinless and perfect Christ, physical death doesn't seem, to me at least, match up with the severity of eternal damnation.
     
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  2. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Life is lived in the shape of a "?" Supporter

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    Hi Dirk, Welcome to CF! I hope your stay here is an eventful one.

    My answer to your questions is both "yes" and "no," but probably not for the exact reasons that you may be thinking at the moment.

    Reason 1) I believe that lost souls who remain separated from Christ in this life eventually face destruction of an eternal nature. And that's all I can say about that since my view isn't really allowed to be expressed.

    Reason 2) Since Jesus is Divine, and the exact fulfillment of God's Will in all matters having to do with forgiveness and reconciliation between humanity and God, then Jesus' death on the cross pays it for everyone who believes that Jesus is who He says He is.

    Peace,
    2PhiloVoid
     
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  3. Dirkthelurk

    Dirkthelurk New Member

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    Thank you for the wecome. The reason I'm posting on here is because I am trying to get a deeper understanding of salvation beyond the basic Sunday school textbook answers. I fear the answers to many of my questions are "it's a mystery" or "no one knows the full extent of the mind of God".

    Why are you not allowed to share your views on this matter? I'm very curious for the aforementioned reasons.
     
  4. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Life is lived in the shape of a "?" Supporter

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    I can share most of my views since most of them are "orthodox." A couple of them are not, one being that I am a proponent of Annihilationism rather than Eternal Scorching. :cool: However, I still believe that the penalty is eternal in nature. And again, that's all I can say.

    The important part is to understand that Jesus' death covers everyone who believes or to whom God will appropriate His grace and mercy. So, to those who might say, "Sure, but Jesus is just one person," I will then say, "Yes, He is just one person in the same way that the Atlantic Ocean is just one ocean," How many people can get wet with just one ocean? :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  5. tampasteve

    tampasteve Messianic leaning Lutheran Staff Member Red Team - Moderator Supporter

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    Much of the theology rests on the Jewish belief of why the righteous suffer. Most Jewish sages would say that the righteous suffer for the sinful, the sinful suffer for themselves. Being as Jesus was sinless he could suffer for everyone and atone for our sins, enabling us to stand before G-d in the heavenly Temple.
     
  6. Petros2015

    Petros2015 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure it was a substitution so much as it was as providing a means of escape and salvation for an otherwise sinking ship, a pathway to repentance and eternal life, a path back to God. There are couple of ways of looking at it, some of which are overviewed here. Some are older than others.

    Substitutionary atonement - Wikipedia

    1 Peter 2:24

    1 Peter 3:18
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  7. Dave G.

    Dave G. Well-Known Member

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    Basically it boils down to because God deemed this a fitting sacrifice, it was His choice, His plan for redemption. He would sacrifice his only son who was pure and sinless and Jesus would experience the weight of sin in the process. Thus that opens the door to come to Jesus for forgiveness. That is unless you listen to the science channel on TV where they say this was already a pagan belief and Christians just borrowed it so to speak.. IE, made it all up.
     
  8. FenderTL5

    FenderTL5 Well-Known Member

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    another POV would say you have identified one of the challenges of the 2nd millennia, Anselm/Augustinian construct of Penal Substitution.
     
  9. Nicolaus Mourer

    Nicolaus Mourer Call me Nic. Supporter

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    Christ's physical crucifixion pays the debt of sin in full because all sins we commit are in the flesh. Our soul is punished for eternity because we sin in the flesh. In the day that Adam ate of the forbidden fruit was the day his soul perished, but his physical death came hundreds of years later - so Christ's death is a complete propitiation because Christ was sinless in his physical life on earth; as a result he held both moral and legal justification in the eyes of God. However, when he died on Passover, God accepted his death as legal payment for the sins (disobedience of God's law) of the entire world, thereby giving those who believe on him legal justification in the eyes of God. While we're always going to be morally corrupt, unjust and sinful until our last breath, Christ's physical death paid the eternal sentence for our physical sins committed against God. However, because Christ was still completely morally justified before God, he raised himself from the dead as proof (or justification) of God's acceptance of the payment. God was "unable" to leave Christ in the tomb because Jesus is perfect and just before God, and because God is perfect and just, he wouldn't allow "his soul to be left in hell." (It's pretty much the fact that God is perfectly righteous, so he cannot allow the perfectly righteous, i.e. Jesus Christ, to stay dead. Righteousness is life, and because Jesus Christ is perfectly righteous, he must by nature live.) To all those who believe on Christ, God won't allow our soul to be left in hell for the same exact reason - because when God looks upon us, he doesn't see us as we are: he sees his Son, and so we're saved because of that.

    I hope that explanation helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  10. food4thought

    food4thought Loving truth Supporter

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    Not really, Scripture just states it as a fact.

    From my perspective, and others share my view, the cross was more than just a physical death for Christ. While He was on the cross, He took the penalty for mankind's sin. That penalty was both physical death and Spiritual death (God's wrath). We cannot fathom what it meant for Jesus Christ, the Word of God in perfect communion with the Father for all eternity, to experience wrath instead of love and acceptance from the Father. Eternal communion marred by wrath for a period of time... yet what does time mean to an eternal bond? Sorry, but it is ultimately a mystery we cannot fully fathom.

    Hope this helps anyway... God bless;
    Michael
     
  11. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hell is the default destiny for all fallen human beings, the destiny we deserve because we are sinners, so Christ rescues us from hell by taking on the penalty of death that we deserve so that we are given eternal life and the forgiveness of sins through faith in him.

    In our Apostles Creed we say Christ descended to Hell or to the dead (Catholics use the same language). What he was doing there exactly is something folks have debated, but we interpret it as both humiliation and victory.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  12. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    The Eastern Orthodox perspective can be summed up in the Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom:

    Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

    O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages.
     
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  13. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    Huge topic with books written on the popular alternatives but all the popular alternatives have huge issues and scholars do not address the scripture which makes their pet alternative unexplainable.

    1. You do good to realize someone is standing in for you at the cross, but is it one of those who yelled “Crucify Him”, maybe one of the thieves, a Roman soldier, a Pharisee, or one of the disciples who ran away, but how bold to you have to be to say: “Christ was taking my place?” Are you so committed as to say: “I would stay on the cross when you could leave”?

    2. Is it not interesting that the very best: “Christ Crucified Sermon” we have given by Peter on Pentecost does not have Peter saying: “Christ took your place?” Did the Jews of the Old Testament feel the sacrifice they were offering for their sins was taking their place (like a bag of flour in Lev.5)?

    3. A lot of support for substitution is based on the interpretation of one Greek word of “for” having to mean “instead of”, but of the 1000 plus times “for” is used in scripture when other than possibly talking about Christ’s crucifixion does it ever need to be translated “instead of”? Now this is not “proof” that it could not mean “instead of” since small word can change meaning over time, but it would be good to look at the frequent translations of for as an alternative.

    Tell me this after rereading the Prodigal Son story (Luke 15: 11-32) if the young son was not chained to the pigsty or under armed guard why did he stay there as long as he did and who kept him from leaving sooner?

    Did that rebellious disobedient arrogant young man who virtually told his father “I wish you were dead so I can have my inheritance return to the father or did a humble, repentant, sincere child of the father go to the father? Was he a different person?

    If the rebellious disobedient young man was holding the repentant child of the father back from the father than he is a criminal and really a kidnapper of the father’s child.

    Jesus (plus Paul, Peter, John and the Hebrew writer) describes Christ’s sacrifice as a literal (not just like) ransom pay, but could that payment be “for” the kidnapper to accept or reject? You have one payment and many kidnappers and many children being held. Jesus is both the payer of the ransom payment and the ransom payment, so could you be both the kidnapper and the child living as one person?

    Answer me these and we can go from there.
     
  14. BryanJohnMaloney

    BryanJohnMaloney Member

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    Who is to say that "substitution" is all there is to it? Perhaps there is more. Penal substitutionary atonement actually is a doctrine of men. It is based on the works of Anselm (AD 1098). Before then, the older doctrine was the Ransom. Under the Ransom, even though Hell had a claim on the sinful, God willing paid a greater price, Himself, which essentially "broke" the system. He "glutted" Sheol and it "burst". Substitutionary atonement was based on medieval European culture: Socially, there was great distance between knights and serfs. An offense of a serf against another serf was fairly insignificant. An offense against the honor of a knight was very serious requiring the satisfaction of heavy punishment. Knights could not simply forgive an offense. When we get to kings, the need for this feudal satisfaction was even greater.

    So, Anselm comes along, as part of the establishment of that era, and says that God, as the ultimate King, requires the ultimate, unfullfillable satisfaction. An offense against God CANNOT ever be forgiven unless God spills His own blood to satisfy His own bloodthirsty need for "satisfaction". This was not a doctrine within the church until the Middle Ages. It was gleefully adapted and accepted by the Reformers, centuries later.

    However, we do not need this false doctrine. It is true that Christ's death was necessary, but it was not because God is a bloodthirsty beast who demands "satisfaction" and "justice". It is because the willing Sacrifice of the Son, who is God, was part of a necessary process to "break" the fallen system. The Blood that should never have been shed was shed. The Live that never should have been ended had ended. There was a death that never should have happened, by One who was beyond a perfect, unfallen human. This was victory over Satan, not a payoff to a bloodthirsty "God".

    However, contrary to the errors of far too many Western Christians, the death was NOT the end-all and be-all. The Resurrection was the goal. As Christ rose, so we will rise in Christ. The death on the Cross was the prelude. The Resurrection is the climax. We have to keep our eyes on the Resurrection, not on the death.
     
  15. DavidFirth

    DavidFirth Saved by the blood of the Lamb Supporter

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    2 Cor. 5
    16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:a The old has gone, the new is here! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sinb for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
     
  16. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

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    But does the Bible even claim so?

    According to the Bible, Jesus had right to forgive sins even before his death. That is why I believe the forgiveness didn’t require death at all.


    The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, answered them, "Why are you reasoning so in your hearts? Which is easier to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you;' or to say, 'Arise and walk?' But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" (he said to the paralyzed man), "I tell you, arise, and take up your cot, and go to your house." Immediately he rose up before them, and took up that which he was laying on, and departed to his house, glorifying God.

    Luke 5:21-25
     
  17. Dirkthelurk

    Dirkthelurk New Member

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    Thank you all for the replies. It did not even occur to me that the cross may not have been a matter of penal substitutionary atonement but something else. I will need to pray and study this more.
     
  18. DavidFirth

    DavidFirth Saved by the blood of the Lamb Supporter

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    The book of Hebrews explains the cross in a way that I think will interest you.
     
  19. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    Agree but answer my questions in post 13
     
  20. bling

    bling Regular Member Supporter

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    Think about the simple questions I asked in post 13.
     
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