Monthly Archives: November 2013

Sin Annihilated at the Condemnation of the Judge

The “problem” with all “theories” of the “Atonement” is partly… perhaps largely, methodological, having to do with the pitfalls and snares of theorizing and systematizing per se. Here the work of Herman Dooyeweerd and his school of Christian philosophy can be of particular value. [7/30/06]

Sin was annihilated when the person against whom all sin is committed, and who alone had the divine right to avenge sin, was himself put to death. Sin was abolished when the judge himself—the only person who could rightfully condemn sinners—allowed himself to get condemned by them and executed! He had the right to lay down his bodily existence and to get it again (John 10:14-18) and GOD RECOMPENSED JESUS FOR THIS UNSPEAKABLE INJUSTICE BY BRINGING HIM BACK TO LIFE WITH SUPERADDED GLORY!


Is the wrath of God part of the authentic Proclamation of God’s Kingdom? OF COURSE!  But it is not present at the CrossLet’s put it where it belongs—at the Destruction of Jerusalem where Daniel the prophet and Jesus the Messiah warned that it would turn up…with undiminished FEROCITY! And locate it also at the end of the age when God sends in His harvesting messengers to reap and His fire to consume. There it very well belongs. BUT NOT AT THE CROSS! FOR THE CROSS WAS SHEER LOVE from God’s side. [7/30/06]

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Auguste Sabatier on the Atonement

The following is an exceedingly illuminating excerpt from Auguste Sabatier’s The Doctrine of the Atonement And its Historical Evolution (NY:  G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904) pp. 46-48.  These paragraphs cast unusual light on the question of what it means to be dead “in Christ,” although one need not agree in every detail or word choice.  His perspective on Christ’s bearing the penalty of sin is worthy of note, even for those of us who hold the premial view.  But note especially how he integrates the resurrection of Christ into his treatment!  Sabatier is a worthy conversation partner from a century ago.

[T]he death on Calvary, caused by the sin of all, is repeated in the soul of the sinner, by faith, on account of his own sin. Such is the profound manner in which Paul understood the repentance to which the prophets and Jesus promised the forgiveness of sins. Death with Christ, is, for the individual sinner, the way He expiates his sin; that is to say, the way He bears the penalty and consequently is absolved. The great benefit of Christ to sinful men, who repent and believe, is not therefore, as in Anselm, that He exempts them by dying in their stead, but, on the contrary, that He enables them to die with Him and personally to bear in Him the penalty of their sin. The law which punishes sin by death has therefore produced for them its full effect; the law has exercised its right to the very utmost, but by so doing has become of none effect, and the sentence of condemnation renders itself void, those who came under it escaping through death, and the law itself ceasing to have dominion over them.

But this is not all. Having died with Christ by faith, the sinner, now a new creature in Him, rises with Him, by faith, to a new life, the life of the Spirit. He is a new creature, in other words, a new creation of that Spirit which raised Christ and raises the dead: … (II Cor. 5:17, Rom. 6:4, 7:6, 8:10-10). Hence we see the value and importance of the fact of the resurrection of Christ, in His work of redemption. It was no less necessary than the death itself, for the latter would leave us in death; it is the resurrection that introduces us into life, and, by putting an end to the reign of the law, of sin and of the flesh, inaugurates the period of the Spirit and of eternal Life: … (Rom. 4:25). It is this aspect of the redemptive value of the resurrection of Christ that constitutes the originality of the Pauline theory and forbids its being confounded with any other. In reality, the right expression to be used here is not substitution, but mutual identification. [Or better, mutual participation, R.L.R.]

The historical drama of the death and resurrection of Christ is an external drama without value or incomplete, as you will, except insofar as it is morally reproduced in the Christian. Strictly speaking, it is not Christ who expiates the sins of humanity; humanity expiates in Him its own sins, by dying to satisfy the demands of the law, and by rising again, a new creation at the call of Him who raises the dead.1  [All emphases added, R.L.R.]

1 See Paul: Sketch of Development of his Doctrine, 3rd edit., 1896. Appendix.

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The Celestial Mechanics of Righteous Overcompensation

The entire possibility of our ever experiencing the Kingdom of God turns on our being able to get God’s own Spirit to reverse our death and its results:  decay, lust, covetousness, wrongdoing, etc.  From a “mechanical” or “engineering” point of view, this was effected and mediated by the last Adam (Messiah Jesus) being glorified and becoming a vivifying Spirit (John 7:38-9, I Cor. 15:35-46).  This celestial occurrence is the divine process lying at the core of the salvific phenomenon of righteous OVERCOMPENSATION because of which we sinners enjoy the overflow of Wholesome Spirit that rightfully belongs to the Lamb of God, slaughtered wrongfully, as a sin-offering, for the sins of the whole world.  It is because Jesus the Master was duly overpaid that we, his brethren and friends, get paid anything!  7/28/06]

Any assertion regarding the meaning of “laying hands on” the head of the sacrificial animals specified in Leviticus (with the exception of the scapegoat…which was not sacrificed!)–such as “substitution for others” or “transfer of sins,” etc.–except “so that it will be accepted for him to make a protective shelter over him” (Lev. 1:4), is simply conjecture because the Scriptures do not tell us.  As with all other Old Testament shadows of New Testament realities, we must start with what was unveiled in the explanations and actions of the Master, Jesus the Messiah, and the sequel of God’s own interventions in earthly history and celestial events, insofar as God has revealed them by apostolic authority.  Then we must think backwards from there, into the shadows of dark, primitive figures and antiquated rituals.  [7/29/06]


Romans 6:7 clarifies how our lifetimes of sin are “paid for”:  we die, thus experiencing the consequences that God predicted in Genesis 3.  All our sins have earned us this justice.  And did Jesus’ dying on the Cross alter this consequence? NOT A BIT!  Even if we construe this consequence as a “penalty” (and many contest it), still, the alleged “paying the penalty of our sin(s)”  by Jesus on the cross evidently did nothing whatever “as a substitute in exchange” to “cancel” our “penalty.”  By contrast, his resurrection from the dead does assure agelong life to all who trust him.  SO WHAT “NEED” IS THERE FOR HIM TO “PAY OUR DEBT OF SIN” ON THE CROSS?  NONE WHATSOEVER!  Neither sin nor its “guilt” nor its “penalty” were paid for, cancelled, nullified, justified or otherwise traded AT THE CROSS!  SIN WAS “OBJECTIVELY” DEALT WITH BY THE RESURRECTED MASTER IN HIS PRIESTLY WORK OF SPRINKLING WITH HIS SINLESS, RIGHTEOUS BLOOD THE SINFUL HEARTS OF ALL WHO BELIEVE.  THEREUPON, GOD ACCOUNTED THEM “RIGHTEOUS” ON ACCOUNT OF THEIR FAITH IN MESSIAH’S FAITHFULNESSERGO:  JESUS DIED FOR OUR SINS SO THAT GOD’S REWARDING JUSTICE WOULD AT LAST HAVE SOMETHING WORTHY TO WORK WITH!  HE WOULD THEN BE JUSTIFIED, AT LONG LAST, IN GIVING A PUBLIC DISPLAY OF HIS OWN INCOMPARABLE RIGHTEOUSNESS—A RIGHTEOUSNESS THAT ACTUALLY, INCREDIBLY, REVERSES CRIMES, UNDOES THEM, AND VASTLY OVERCOMPENSATES THEIR VICTIMS!  EVIL HAS NO CHANCE AGAINST THIS QUALITY AND MAGNITUDE OF GOOD!  [7/29/06]


What redolent words!  The grace-filled interplay between God the Father and His Son, our Master, settles on the magnification process unveiled in the “Crossurrection” events.  Our salvation results from no penurious trickle-down from the heavens, but from an uncalculating downpour!  And Jesus is the cosmic conduit.  This unstinting bounty—God’s gifts are “unregretted” by Him!—is channeled through Jesus, however, not merely as through a conductor, unchanged (if undiminished), but as through a TRANSFORMER…an AMPLIFIER!  For God MULTIPLIED THE SEED THAT DIED ON THE CROSS A ZILLION FOLD…and this because of God’s justice giving Jesus back his JUST DESERTS!  [7/29/06]

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