>Is sin an inconvenience to God? Is my sin an “oops” that God takes lightly? Or is the Holy One furious at not “just” the consequences of sin, but furious at sin itself? Thought about that lately?
Did Jesus “just” die for us? Is dying really enough? Or did more happen on the cross (and “on” Jesus) than we hear about?
Willing to invest eight minutes to think through this? I pray so:
>“When the Bible speaks of ransom, it speaks of that ransom being paid not to a criminal but to the One Who is owed the price of redemption, the One Who is the offended party in the whole complex of sin — the Father. Jesus didn’t negotiate with Satan for our salvation. Instead, He offered Himself in payment to the Father for us. By so offering Himself, He made redemption for His people, redeeming them from captivity.”http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=jacksjots-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1567690874&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr
– R. C. Sproul
“The Truth of the Cross”
>As usual, R. C. Sproul writes with succinct clarity:
“The necessity for the atonement of Christ finds its genesis, in the first instance, in the character of God. Because He is holy and righteous, He cannot excuse sin. Rather, He must pass judgment on it. The Judge of all the earth must do right. Therefore, He must punish sinners — or provide a way to atone for their sin.”
This is truly remarkable!
Christopher Hitchens (noted atheist and author of God is Not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything) was interviewed in Portland, Or by Unitarian “minister” Marilyn Sewell.
Near the beginning of the interview Sewell remarks, “The religion you cite in your book is generally the fundamentalist faith of various kinds. I’m a liberal Christian, and I don’t take the stories form the Scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make any distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?”
How do you think Hitchens will reply? I’ve not read his book yet; but I think I shall to see what his train of thought is. I shall also pray that Spirit of God will draw him to the cross, because he “gets” the gospel. Here is his reply:
“I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that He rose again from the dead and by His sacrifice our sins are forgiven,
you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.”
Some people today may find it compelling that some Great Cosmic Transaction took place on that day 1,980 years ago, that God’s wrath burned against his son instead of against me. I find that version of atonement theory neither intellectually compelling, spiritually compelling, nor in keeping with the biblical narrative.
J.I. Packer, from “The Heart of the Gospel” in Knowing God (also in In My Place Condemned He Stood, p. 32):
Has the word propitiation any place in your Christianity? In the faith of the New Testament it is central. The love of God [1 John 4:8-10], the taking of human form by the Son [Heb. 2:17], the meaning of the cross [Rom. 3:21-26], Christ’s heavenly intercession [1 John 2:1-2], the way of salvation–all are to be explained in terms of it, as the passages quoted show, and any explanation from which the thought of propitiation is missing will be incomplete, and indeed actually misleading, by New Testament standards.
In saying this, we swim against the stream of much modern teaching and condemn at a stroke the views of a great number of distinguished church leaders today, but we cannot help that. Paul wrote, “Even if we or an angel from heaven”–let alone a minister, a bishop, college lecturer, university professor, or noted author–“should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (“accursed” KJV and RSV; “outcast” NEB; “damned” Phillips–Gal. 1:8). And a gospel without propitiation at is heart is another gospel than that which Paul preached. The implications of this must not be evaded.
>This is from one of my favorite books of all time (orderable on the book picture below) and is appropriate for the week:
“The concept of substitution may be said, then, to lie at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and put himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to man alone.”
-John Stott, The Cross of Christ