A Contradiction in Substitution
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 3:01 pm    Post subject: A Contradiction in Substitution Reply with quote

If our debt concerning sin has been paid, is forgiveness necessary? Or even possible?

Suppose you broke the windshield of my car. For that, you owe me the price of a replacement windshield. Suppose that thereís just no way you can pay that price.

There are two ways in which you can get free of having to pay me.

1. I might become aware of your financial struggles, and forgive your debt.

2. You might have a good friend who would be willing to pay your debt for you.

Now if your friend has paid your debt for you, then there is no need for me to forgive your debt. You are no longer obligated to me. You owe nothing. Indeed, it is impossible for me to forgive your debt. For you no longer have a debt. Thereís no debt to forgive. Your debt has been paid.

All people have broken Godís law. Many say that because of Godís holiness and justice, we are all obligated to pay for having broken His law. They believe that on the cross, Jesus paid our debt for us. They also say that Jesus died on the cross so that the Father would be able to forgive us.

But if Jesus paid our debt for us, we are no longer obligated to the Father for having broken His law. We owe nothing. Therefore thereís no need for the Fatherís forgiveness. Indeed, it is impossible for Him to forgive us. For we no longer have a debt to Him. Thereís no debt to forgive. Our debt has been paid.
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darin-houston



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm beginning to think that our future sins (or even all actual/personal ones) aren't what Christ's atonement was to pay. I'm just now starting to seriously think beyond my default Sud'n Babtist tract-level views of the atonement, but it strikes me as I've been reading of other views that God was always able to forgive the truly repentant heart for confessed sin - what was missing was our ability to have the Holy Spirit indwell us and guide us to avoid sin in the first place. If so, then maybe Christ's atonement was primarily for our original sin and to allow the Spirit to indwell and empower the believer. The question still remains, though, even if it was to pay for original sin, then why are the other non-relational effects of original sin still with us? Also, if the debt for original sin was paid with perfect effectualness, then wouldn't we be able to have the same communion with God now that Adam had pre-Fall? My relationship, though real, seems to fall short of that described with respect to Adam.
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Homer



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paidion,

Your little story demonstates a rather commercial view of the atonement. Did you consider that God might take personal offense regarding His "broken windshield"?

According to your system, if I punch my neighbor in the nose there is nothing for God to forgive; after all, its no harm to him. But on the contrary, if I treat my neighbor badly, God is the party most offended!
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Allyn



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The situation with us is more then a need of forgiveness but to become alive again. Since Adam's sin in the garden our relationship to God has been dead. Where once Adam and Eve had a vital life and sustaining relationship in spirit with God, our spirit became dead through sin. Not annialation but only dead as a battery is dead. A dead battery in a flashlite cannot produce light but a battery recharged by a life giving source makes that battery alive again. This is what our spirit becomes when through Christ and in our acceptance of His work we are made alive in Him. God accepts that recharge which, while connected through Christ, can never go dead again.

Forgiveness is the paper we receive that the debt was paid in full. Its the legal tender made and deposited for future withdrawl.
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Allyn



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:01 am    Post subject: Re: A Contradiction in Substitution Reply with quote

Paidion wrote:
If our debt concerning sin has been paid, is forgiveness necessary? Or even possible?

Suppose you broke the windshield of my car. For that, you owe me the price of a replacement windshield. Suppose that thereís just no way you can pay that price.

There are two ways in which you can get free of having to pay me.

1. I might become aware of your financial struggles, and forgive your debt.

2. You might have a good friend who would be willing to pay your debt for you.

Now if your friend has paid your debt for you, then there is no need for me to forgive your debt. You are no longer obligated to me. You owe nothing. Indeed, it is impossible for me to forgive your debt. For you no longer have a debt. Thereís no debt to forgive. Your debt has been paid.

All people have broken Godís law. Many say that because of Godís holiness and justice, we are all obligated to pay for having broken His law. They believe that on the cross, Jesus paid our debt for us. They also say that Jesus died on the cross so that the Father would be able to forgive us.

But if Jesus paid our debt for us, we are no longer obligated to the Father for having broken His law. We owe nothing. Therefore thereís no need for the Fatherís forgiveness. Indeed, it is impossible for Him to forgive us. For we no longer have a debt to Him. Thereís no debt to forgive. Our debt has been paid.


I understand the premise of your arguement but lets say that in the future I will continue to break your windshields. My friend paid for that original windshield but is he willing to continue paying for the next thousand windshields I may break? Also, will you say that my friend is able to always pay for my windshield breakage since he paid for it once? What guarantee can my friend give you that his word is good enough to satisfy you that future winshields will be paid for by him? I will certainly never be able to pay for those windshields so what would satisfy you that my friend will always take care of my actions? Is it only the relationship I have with my benevolent friend or is it the relationship my friend has with you? And, what about your attitude toward me? Would it be necessary for you to care about me or only that you are fair and want to work with me on this problem I will continue to have?
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darin-Houston, I appreciate your thoughts!

Allyn wrote:
My friend paid for that original windshield but is he willing to continue paying for the next thousand windshields I may break?


Interesting thought, Allyn! I doubt if he'd pay for even the second one!

Now applying this thought to Christ's "paying for our debt of sin" according to the understanding of Fundamentalism, would this mean that His death paid for only the first "windshield"? That the Father, without the necessity of Christ's death, will simply forgive (upon genuine repentance) the breaking of all subsequent "windshields" ?
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TK



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jesus's death paid for all future windshields (sins). thank goodness for that! i think jesus died for all sins ever committed and that ever will be committed. therefore, nobody's sins will send them to hell (for punishment or correction, whichever one may believe), but rather their failure to put their faith in Christ. the sin problem has been dealt with, once and for all. people simply need to open their mouths and take the medicine.

TK
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Paidion



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If that is the case, TK, then, as I showed in my initial post, the Father's forgiveness would be unnecessary, and even impossible.
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Allyn



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paidion wrote:
Darin-Houston, I appreciate your thoughts!

Allyn wrote:
My friend paid for that original windshield but is he willing to continue paying for the next thousand windshields I may break?


Interesting thought, Allyn! I doubt if he'd pay for even the second one!

Now applying this thought to Christ's "paying for our debt of sin" according to the understanding of Fundamentalism, would this mean that His death paid for only the first "windshield"? That the Father, without the necessity of Christ's death, will simply forgive (upon genuine repentance) the breaking of all subsequent "windshields" ?


One of us is misapplying the windshield scenerio. It is not about winshields (sins) but relationship which comes through righteousness. And it is not forgiveness that does it either rather the action of one for the other. We are already sinners and any amount of forgiveness does not make us less a sinner, but the action of the one who paid for the broken windshield and subsequent broken windshields is what is at issue. This is why I asked what the relationship was towards the sinner and the one who paid the price by the one offended (by having his windshield broke).

If we simply think that it is because our sins are forgiven that allows us entrance into a correct relationship with God then we are making a big mistake. Instead it is simply all about Christ and His relationship to God. It is because of His obiedience in the perfect way that we can now have back what our spirit yearns for and that being alive and in communion with God.
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SoaringEagle



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christ's death made it possible to deal with the penalty and power of sin in believer's lives. Since future sins and future sinners did not exist at the cross, we do not interpret this as a wooden literalism. Perhaps it is an allusion to OT animal sacrifices. They did not literally bear sins since sins are not substances or things, but wrong choices/lawlessness/rebellion/selfishness. Christ could not literally bear a thing called person x's murder.

His sacrifice was a substitute for the penalty of sin. Perhaps it is an imagery or metaphor that He is a substitute for this penalty. His death was the reason God now extends mercy instead of judgment. We do not bear the penalty for our sins, but He does on our behalf. Just as our sins are not literal things somewhere in our body, so the work on the cross does not depend on literally placing billions of sins (can you see them under a microscope or on autopsy?) in His body (absurd).

Albert Barnes, 'The Atonement', seems to answer questions on the nature and extent of the atonement, etc. It is from a Moral Government perspective, which I think is closer to the truth than an Anselmian 'literal payment or Commercial transaction theory'.

I think you might get your ideas from popular preaching, but the phrase does not seem to be literal in light of the rest of Scripture that does not teach that sin is a substance that can be born in a body.

Considering the strengths of Open Theism and various possible views about what His death and 'bearing' sin is and is not (substitute for the penalty of sin, not a literal payment or literal placing of non-existent?! sins into His body), I don't think this is a proof text against OT.


Any sin that would come into existence was dealt with at the cross as we appropriate His finished work. It does not matter what kind or how many, so there is not even a theoretical need (basically it is absurd to imagine) to somehow know or place specific sins on body of Christ, whatever that could possibly mean (so take it as a metaphor since only a couple verses use the phrase and no passage develops a unique doctrine...it seems to recall the imagery of the shadow/type of sacrifices, that also were not literal, but symbolic in identification with sin/sinners...you can't put David's murder and adultery on the animal since they are not things, but choices).

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Paidion



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allyn wrote:
If we simply think that it is because our sins are forgiven that allows us entrance into a correct relationship with God then we are making a big mistake.


I fully agree. But then what are the ramifications of having our sins forgiven? Many claim that it is the way to get to heaven and avoid hell. Is that your position also? Are you suggesting that if we merely have our sins forgiven, we may get to heaven, but not particularily enjoy it since we will lack a correct relationship with God?

Quote:
Instead it is simply all about Christ and His relationship to God. It is because of His obiedience in the perfect way that we can now have back what our spirit yearns for and that being alive and in communion with God.


That can't be what it's all about. For if there are no decisions or actions on our part, Christ's work is to no avail as far as we are concerned. With deference to Christ's proclamation of the gospel of the Kingdom, I must concur that as far as we personally are concerned, repentance, baptism and discipleship, are what is necessary on our part. Christ's death, was for the purpose of delivering us from sin, not those we've already committed, but from our "present live sins" (as George MacDonald put it). We must be so converted so as not continue with the same sinful inclinations.
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SoaringEagle



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
We must be so converted so as not continue with the same sinful inclinations.


And just how do we do that?
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STEVE7150



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christ's death, was for the purpose of delivering us from sin, not those we've already committed, but from our "present live sins" (as George MacDonald put it). We must be so converted so as not continue with the same sinful inclinations.


Would'nt it be logical that Christ's sacrifice was at least greater then the OT sacrifices? In Lev 1-5 we see 5 major sacrifices
1. burnt offering
2. grain offering
3. peace offering
4. sin offering
5. trespass offering

The first three are fellowship offerings, the last two are for forgiveness from unintentional and intentional sins. Christ's sacrifice replaced these
and was greater because it also covered the Passover sacrifice which was a deliverance sacrifice.
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TK



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paidion (or whoever)-

John tells us to confess our sins and God will forgive us. what does he mean by this? i have always taken it to mean that even though our sins our taken care of from a forensic standpoint, that God still doesnt like it when we sin; in fact it is extremely offensive to Him.

so, just because our sin debt has been dealt with, it does not mean that God is now happy go lucky about our sins. quite the contrary.

TK
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Allyn



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I say its all about Christ, I mean it in the same way that the Bible is all about Christ and to the glory of God. Yes, God is love - and by that love came about all creation, but only to His glory. I think it is important to keep the perspective that we are the reciepients of His love but conditional upon Christ - thus it is all about Christ. Now, as we look deeper into these things we may have revealed to us all or many of the branches of God's purpose in the realm of creation, but ultimately and definitively it is all about His Son.
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