Monday, April 03, 2006

Christ Our Propitiation.

"4Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him."
(Isaiah 53:4-6, NASB)

When Adam sinned, it brought devastating consequences for all of mankind. As a result of that sin, the perfect relationship that Adam and Eve had with God was severed. Adam was warned that partaking from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would bring death.(Genesis 2:17; 3:19) This produced a curse that was transmitted to all of mankind.(Romans 5:12;6:23) We inherited Adam’s sin nature and we were under a death sentence, ready to receive the wrath of God.

As a result of our sinful disobedience, we were under the curse of the law. (Galatians 3:10, Deuteronomy 27:26) The law provided the means for defining the extent of our disobedience and was the grounds for our indictment. (Romans 3:19-20; 4:15; 5:13; 7:7) Scripture is replete with verses that indicate that we were in danger of the wrath of God.

John 3:36
Romans 1:18; Romans 2:5-6; 2:8
Ephesians 2:3; 5:6
Colossians 3:6

All of us are guilty of sin. (Romans 3:10-12) We were all deserving of just punishment for our sins, but God in His great mercy, provided the perfect sacrifice for sins, a propitiation for our sins. The term propitiation means to appease or pacify in the sense of allaying wrath or anger. Christ absorbed the wrath of God that was directed at us as a result of our sinfulness.

Romans 5:9-10
2 Corinthians 5:21
1 John 4:10

Scripture is quite clear on this matter and it is impossible to go very far in the Bible without running into verses that point out the substitutionary atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. God offered his only Son in our place as a substitute to bear the punishment that we deserved.

"I have heard it said, "God didn’t die for frogs. So he was
responding to our value as humans." This turns grace on its head.
We are worse off than frogs. They have not sinned. They have not
rebelled and treated God with the contempt of being inconsequential
in their lives. God did not have to die for frogs. They
aren’t bad enough. We are. Our debt is so great, only a divine sacrifice
could pay it."

(John Piper, "The Passion of Jesus Christ", pg. 29)

Yet, sadly there are those who want to deny this and go to great lengths to deny and redefine the meaning of what took place on the cross. This is especially true in the emerging "church" movement. Observe the following quote by Brian McLaren in an interview with Leif Hanson:

McLaren: This is, one of the huge problems is the traditional understanding of hell. Because if the cross is in line with Jesus’ teaching then—I won’t say, the only, and I certainly won’t say even the primary—but a primary meaning of the cross is that the kingdom of God doesn’t come like the kingdoms of the this world, by inflicting violence and coercing people. But that the kingdom of God comes through suffering and willing, voluntary sacrifice. But in an ironic way, the doctrine of hell basically says, no, that that’s not really true. That in the end, God gets His way through coercion and violence and intimidation and domination, just like every other kingdom does. The cross isn’t the center then. The cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God.

This is not the only incident of this philosophy. There is more. And this really is nothing new. I will be posting more on this subject soon.

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