Atonement: Ransom; Learning Obedience

Ransom

The explanation for how the atonement works found in Matthew and Mark is found in —

(Mat 20:26-28 ESV)  26 “It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,  27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,  28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

(Mar 10:43-45 ESV)  43 “But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,  44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.  45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

What does “ransom” mean? To modern ears, a ransom is what you pay a kidnapper. How does that make any sense at all?

In the Torah, we find “ransom” used of a price paid to free a murderer (not allowed). The same word is used for the freeing of a slave by the payment of a price.

As a result, Jesus’ giving of his life for a “ransom” means he paid the price for our freedom — from slavery or perhaps from a death sentence. Both images work.

But this is, of course, entirely consistent with God himself paying the price for our violation of Abraham’s covenant with God. The price is not human blood — but God’s blood.

Why death?

Before we look into additional explanations or theories, I’ll put forward another unconventional explanation. The best I can recall, I first read this in C. S. Lewis, but I can’t find the citation.

The critical text is —

(Heb 5:7-10 ESV) 7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.  8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.  9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

Notice the logic. Jesus learned obedience by submitting to death on the cross, despite being fully aware of how awful that death would be.

While living in heaven, Jesus could never truly be obedient, because there was no temptation to be otherwise. There was no pain and no death and so no reason to disobey out of fear.

But on earth, Jesus learned the pain of human suffering and death, and when confronted with the reality of crucifixion, he obeyed — in a way that he’d never been able to obey before.

This obedience made him “perfect” or, perhaps better, finished or complete. And it made him the source of eternal salvation.

Now that Jesus lives in heaven, he sends us his Holy Spirit, to shape our hearts and minds to be more like Jesus. Where did the Spirit learn to teach us to be like Jesus? Well, from Jesus.

(John 16:13-14 ESV)  13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.  14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

The Spirit takes what belongs to Jesus — obedience, among other things — and teaches God’s children how to also obey.

Until Jesus was perfected by the crucifixion, God could not call us to live submissive, sacrificial lives. He could not call us to be truly righteous, because God had never honored the covenant from the human side. He’d never suffered. He’d never died.

But God’s children are called to be like God. You see, we’re saved by faith, and faith in Romans and Galatian includes the idea of “faithfulness,” and we’re also saved by the faithfulness of Jesus, as shown on the cross.

Paul first declares that God’s righteousness — his faithfulness — is  not undone by our lack of faithfulness.

(Rom 3:3 NET) 3 What then? If some did not believe [were not faithful], does their unbelief [unfaithfulness] nullify the faithfulness of God?

No, although many Jews rejected Jesus, not having faith in/being faithful to Jesus, God remained faithful.

(Rom 3:26 NET)  26 This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be [righteous] and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness.

Jesus’ obedience on the cross allows Christians to also be faithful. God is faithful, a faithfulness that is completed in Jesus on the cross.

(Rom 3:28 NET)  28 For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith[fulness] apart from the works of the law.

Our faithfulness parallels the faithfulness of Jesus. God is faithful to the covenant. Therefore, Jesus is faithful, too, and completed his (and God’s) faithfulness on the cross. And we who are faithful, and who are being transformed by God’s Spirit, are saved by our faithfulness.

Indeed, in our faithfulness, we die daily for Jesus, becoming living sacrifices. We walk through the blood with God. Indeed, we become the sacrifices along with Jesus.

Profile photo of Jay Guin

About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
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23 Responses to Atonement: Ransom; Learning Obedience

  1. John says:

    First, becoming a slave and servant to all is a more specific, and shocking, way of saying we must die to self in order to live. The idea of dying to self sounds grand until we come face to face with what it actually entails.

    And, when we do die and become slave and servant, do we not as Christ become a ransom for many? After all, when we give self up for one or a few we do so for the many upon many those few lives will touch.

    Sometimes I think that the word “doctrine” for the words and life of Jesus is such a dry and dead word. Christianity is when his life flows, like blood, through all and for all.

  2. price says:

    Jay, you said..”And we who are faithful, and who are being transformed by God’s Spirit, are saved by our faithfulness.” I would agree with you if you said that we are Sanctified by our faithfulness, because we cannot be perfectly faithful. We learn our lessons…some of us daily. We grow in the likeness of Christ because we allow ourselves to be guided and lead, molded and transformed, by the Holy Spirit. This growth is sanctification..

    Yes, we must cooperate. There won’t be anyone taken captive and forced into heaven in my opinion. But, to say that we are somehow in any way responsible for our salvation seems to discount Christ is some way and I know it sounds good and looks good on paper to say faith is faithfulness but I just don’t believe that we are “saved” by our ability to do what is right, and I hope like crazy that you are wrong. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ. I hope whatever part I play in it (my salvation) is covered by His blood and the Grace that saves me. But, I also hope that I am pliable enough to be lead and taught by Him and that indeed He will find a man wanting and trying to do what is right. If he grades my performance…I hope it’s on a curve. :) or perhaps on a cross.

  3. Royce Ogle says:

    Well, your legalistic friends ought to love this one! I’m limited to a smart phone so I’ll have to be brief. This is the worst post of yours I have ever read. You jumped off the track here brother. There is something here even our friend Laymond can enjoy.

  4. laymond says:

    First off let me say I enjoy every one of Jay’s posts, If I didn’t I would quit reading. But remember I said enjoy, not agree with.
    “While living in heaven, Jesus could never truly be obedient, because there was no temptation to be otherwise.”
    Jay, did Lucifer and his followers live in the same “Heaven” as Jesus. ?

    Jay, I hope you are dropping bread crumbs, you are getting deeper and deeper into the woods in each post. I am waiting to see you find your way out.

    There is more than one fantastic statement in this post alone. If you want me to I will expound, if not I won’t.
    You have taken on a “grand Job” explaining “atonement without works” and it simply can’t be done. God Bless you.

  5. Jerry says:

    John wrote:

    Sometimes I think that the word “doctrine” for the words and life of Jesus is such a dry and dead word. Christianity is when his life flows, like blood, through all and for all.

    What a beautiful statement! To think of our life as being the life of Jesus, His blood, flowing through our veins! This picture should quell forever those who want their own works to merit salvation – or who think that Christian works are anything other than the works of God in them.

  6. laymond says:

    Read Ezekiel 18 again Jerry.

  7. guy says:

    Jay,

    i’m surprised you didn’t say a little bit more about the ‘ransom’ bit. Some of the early church fathers talk about the ransom being paid to death or the devil or Hades, but it all turning out to be a sort of ruse on God’s part when Christ descends into Hades–a trick, because death takes the soul of One who is the source of life. So instead of the final decay of death infecting yet another victim, Christ’s life infects death itself, and the cogs and mechanisms of the machine of death are jammed and broken. Christ tramples down death by death. And in so doing frees all those captive to death (frees–like paying a ransom).

    You never answered my question–have you read Christus Victor by Gustaf Aulen? The material you touch on here concerns a great deal of that book. Aulen argues that among all the church fathers, no one prior to Anselm subscribed to any sort of satisfaction or penal substitution theory. All the church fathers prior to the 11th century had a view of atonement much closer to what you are describing here. (And, if Aulen is right, those early church fathers’ view of the atonement doesn’t presuppose the juridical and legal frame work that generates people’s nervousness about things like merit and earning and penalties, etc.)

    Also, it sounds to me as though you are describing a synergistic view of salvation (which has clearly made nervous those here who have always leaned toward monergism). Would you say that you mean here to describe a process-view of salvation as opposed to a state- or punctiliar- or categorical-view? Protestantism has always tended to cleanly separate salvation from sanctification, but here you seem to blur those back together a bit.

    –guy

  8. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Price,

    So Christians don’t have to be faithful? It’s optional?

    You see, one of my problems with Reformation era atonement theology is this forced, artificial, radical separation of “justification” from “sanctification.” The Reformers begin by insisting that Christians contribute absolutely nothing to their salvation and then struggle to defend why they should live just and righteous lives.

    Indeed, it becomes in just terribly bad taste to speak of the necessity of being faithful to Jesus, and yet the Scriptures are filled with such verses as —

    (Luk 9:23-24 ESV) 23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

    (Act 26:19-20 ESV) 19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.

    Jesus expresses the atonement in terms of “follow me.” Paul says “repent and turn to God.” Sounds like they expected people to do something to contribute to their own salvation. They call for a choice and a radical commitment to Jesus — not merely getting a bit of doctrine right but a personal pledge of loyalty to Jesus.

    And Paul doesn’t change in Romans and Galatians. He’s not distinguishing between merely having the right position on the Jesus question and works. That’s not his point at all. He’s distinguishing between a heart truly committed to Jesus and mere outward signs that may or may not reflect the heart.

    And, as we know, the heart is circumcised by the Spirit and God’s laws are written there. But, as Paul told Agrippa, a penitent (or faithful) heart will reveal itself in works, but not the works of a legalist. No, it will be fruit of the Spirit, beginning in love.

  9. laymond says:

    Price, what I take away from what you wrote is that you know you are being unfaithful to the teachings of Christ,but you just can’t do anything about it.
    It sounds as if you are relying on the old adage, “the spirit is strong, but the flesh is weak” I am sorry, but a Christian is supposed to be ruled by the spirit, not the flesh. We all fail from time to time, but if we don’t try to do better that is a different story. If as you say we are held to no level of obedience, then why ever ask for forgiveness?

  10. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Guy,

    I’ve written several posts in the past where I dispute the notion that “justification” refers uniquely to the moment of initial salvation. We are justified by faith throughout our Christian lives. I am as justified by faith today as I was coming out of the baptistry.

    But I refuse to accept the notion — which seems Gnostic to me — that “faith” is merely belief that Jesus is the second-person of the Godhead. Even the demons believe and tremble.

    The Churches of Christ — and most others — have long taught the necessity of repentance. It’s a plain teaching in Acts, where the audience is often Jewish and the arguments made in Jewish categories.

    Outside of Acts, Paul does not speak in terms of repentance. Some find a contradiction. But Paul actually says the very same thing in speaking of “faith/faithfulness.”

    It’s odd to me that when someone insist on repentance as a requirement to be saved, there’s no accusation of synergism. But when the vocabulary shifts to “faithfulness,” suddenly it’s heresy to speak of turning toward God and following Jesus.

    The gospels tell us to “follow” Jesus. It’s the same concept. To follow Jesus is to be faithful to Jesus.

    Acts tells us to repent. It’s the same concept. To repent is to be faithful to Jesus.

    Paul says to have faith. It’s the same concept.

    Who would suggest that we could follow Jesus without believing that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God?

    Who would suggest that we could repent without believing that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God?

    Who would suggest that we could have faith without believing that Jesus is the Messian, the Son of God?

    But who would suggest that we could follow Jesus without committing to live as he commands?

    And who would suggest that could repent without committing to live as Jesus commands?

    And how might we have faith in Jesus and yet refuse to commit to live as Jesus commands? You see, faith obviously requires commitment to obey.

    Hence, “faithfulness” is a fair translation — as suggested by N. T. Wright, Michael Gorman, the translators of the NET Bible, and many others.

    And this translation — and perspective — avoids the old Protestant problem of how to preach salvation by faith and yet insist that our members follow Jesus in their lives.

    In fact, given how poorly Christians live the Christian life, it just might be that we need to seriously rethink our definitions. The Baptists are undergoing a serious re-evaluation of the sinner’s prayer, not because they think baptism would be better, but because the sinner’s prayer inadequately communications the commitment — faithfulness — demanded by Jesus.

    Paul was not saying “We’re saved by having the right position on whether Jesus is the second member of the Godhead, not by living righteously.” That’s not the point at all. That’s Gnostic.

    Rather, Paul is saying that we’re saved if we follow Jesus, or repent, or are faithful to Jesus, so that our salvation is marked by our faith (following/repentance/faithfulness) not by our obedience to certain commands that allegedly mark us as true Christians. It’s about our hearts. It’s about having circumcised hearts. It’s about having God’s laws written on our hearts. It’s about possessing the Spirit. It’s about having the love of God poured out into our hearts.

    Hence, we err when we make justification merely intellectual (I have the right position on the Jesus issue). It’s much more about the heart (I’ve turned toward Jesus to follow him with all my heart.)

    And when Christianity becomes about circumcised hearts, then people change and the Kingdom spreads.

    You’ll notice that I’ve not tried to fit any of this into categories created for Reformation era debates. They ask the wrong questions. They begin with a Gnostic premise — that salvation is about believing something to be true and little else. And the gospel repeatedly refuses to be fit into those kinds of categories.

    The gospel is not merely about “Jesus is the second member of the Godhead.” Rather, the gospel is about God becoming King through the work of Jesus. It’s about the coming of the kingdom (which is unmistakable in the gospels).

    The kingdom is about people repenting and submitting to God, as revealed in Jesus. Submission is, of course, a near synonym for “being faithful to.”

    The kingdom is not about people merely understanding that Jesus is the Son of God (in the Nicene Creed sense). It’s much more about people recognizing that Jesus is Lord! King! Ruler of the Universe! And bowing before him, submitting to him to become faithful subjects of the kingdom.

    “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” in terms of Psa 2, means “You are God’s Anointed King promised by the prophets.” And this confession compels submission and obedience, much more than philosophical rumination on essences and accidents.

    To preach the gospel is to preach “Jesus is Lord” — which compels submission to Jesus as King. To believe it is not an exercise in accepting the mystery of the Trinity. It’s to rearrange our worldview to see Jesus as lord and master and ruler — and an utter and complete commitment of our lives to him.

    (Mat 16:24-25 ESV) 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

    I have no idea where that verse fits in the old Reformation-era debates. Nor am I interested to know what percent of Pelagian I might be. I just believe it to be exactly true — and any systematic theology that struggles to find a place for this saying is not a gospel theology.

    The Reformers were right to reject the works salvation taught by the Medieval Catholic Church. They were right to preach sola fide (faith only). They were mistaken in defining “faith” in terms of Jesus’ place in the Trinity rather than Jesus’ place in the Kingdom. The New Testament confessions place Jesus on a throne and urge us to submit as his subjects. That is gospel and that is faith.

  11. rich constant says:

    rich constant says:
    July 3, 2012 at 1:59 am

    WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS THE WILL OF GOD
    NOT THE LAW OF GOD

    Heb 10:7 “Then I said, Lo, I come, in the heading of the Book it was written concerning Me, to do Your will, O God.” LXX-Psa. 39:7 -9; MT-Psa. 40:6 -8
    Heb 10:8 Above, saying, “You did not desire nor were pleased with sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and sacrifices concerning sins,” (which are offered according to the Law),

    Heb 10:9 then He said, “Lo, I come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first in order that He may set up the second;

    Heb 10:10 by which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Rom 11:8 even as it has been written, “God gave to them a spirit of slumber, eyes not seeing and ears not hearing” until this day. Isa. 29:10; Deut. 29:4

    Rom 11:9 And David said, “Let their table become for a snare and a trap, and for a stumbling block,” and a repayment to them;
    Rom 11:10 “let their eyes be darkened, not to see, and their back always bowing.” LXX-68:23, 24; MT-Psa. 69:22, 23
    THIS IS JUST AN EMPHATIC STATEMENT
    Jas 2:10 For whoever shall keep all the Law, but stumbles in one, he has become guilty of all.

    Gal 3:11 And that no one is justified by Law before God is clear because, “The just shall live by faith.” Hab. 2:4
    Gal 3:12 But the Law is not of faith, but, “The man doing these things shall live in them.” Lev. 18:5
    Gal 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us; for it has been written,

    “Cursed is everyone having been hung on a tree;”
    DID CHRIST GET CURSED BY THE FATHER SEPARATED AND WOUND JUDGED AND SENT TO HADES

    UNTIL YOU MASTER THIS C0NCEPT” THE HINGE POINT” OF THE OLD AND NEW COVENANT WILL BE LOST

    Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, having come into being out of a woman, having come under Law,
    Gal 4:5 that
    He might redeem the ones under Law,
    that we might receive the adoption of sons

    1Ti 1:8 And we know that the Law is good, if anyone uses it lawfully,
    1Ti 1:9 knowing this, that Law is not laid down for a righteous one,
    but for lawless and undisciplined ones, for ungodly and sinful ones, for unholy and profane ones, for slayers of fathers and slayers of mothers, for murderers,
    1Ti 1:10 for fornicators, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and if any other thing opposes sound doctrine,

    Rom 5:8 but God commends His love to us in this, that we being yet sinners, Christ died for us.

    Rom 5:18 So then, as through one deviation it was toward all men to condemnation, so also
    through
    one righteous act
    toward all men to justification of life.

    3:20 For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. 3:21
    ” i just love this BUT NOW”

    But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – 3:22 namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction,

    3:27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded! By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of faith! 3:28 For we consider that a person43 is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law. 3:29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too! 3:30 Since God is one, he will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 3:31 Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead we uphold the law.

    WHAT THE LAW COULD NOT DO WAS MAKE A RIGHTEOUS MAN DOING A RIGHTEOUS ACT FOR GOD,
    JUST FOR THE POSITION OF HANGING ON A CROSS ANYTHING BUT CURSED BY GOD, ALTHOUGH GOD VINDICATED HIM AND RAISED HIM FROM THE ABODE OF THE DEAD BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUS FAITHFULNESS

    AND GOD BEING NO RESPECTER OF A MANS PERSON…

    SALVATION IS FOR ALL WHO BELIEVE FAITHFULLY

  12. guy says:

    Jay,

    Good stuff. Do me a favor and tell me what you think of this brief video where a man tries to compare two different ways of looking at the gospel using chairs. And it seems to me this illustrates what you’re getting at.

    —guy

  13. aBasnar says:

    @ Royce

    Is it really necessary that those who would agree with this post of Jay should be labelled as “legalistic”? Jay wrote a very meaningful statement. If he had written: We are saved by our faith (or by Grace through faith, if you prefere) you surely would have applauded him. Well, he wrote nothing else, except that he used a more fitting translation for the word “pistis”: Faithfulness. So when he wrote “We are saved by our faithfulness”, this is actually to the point (or by Grace through faithfulness). This destroys the Protestant dogma of separation from faith and works once and for all, and shows plainly, that salvation is not settled once an for all, but tied to daily and lifelong faithfulness.

    This is how it is. This is not how it is preached very often, however …

    Alexander

  14. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    Guy,

    Thanks for sharing the video. It’s good stuff. Christus Victor is part of the Orthodox view, as well, and we’ll get there shortly. And there’s at least one other theory I’ll be considering beyond it.

    I’ve actually not sorted this entirely out, but I do see some areas where we need considerable improvement.

    1. What is “faith”?
    2. Recognizing that God initiated salvation rather than the terrible sermons in which Jesus frustrates God’s desire to damn humanity.
    3. Recognizing the oneness of Jesus and God. Jesus’ sacrifice is God’s sacrifice.

    I’m sure there’s more but that’d be a good start.

  15. aBasnar says:

    I too liked the video (esp his beard). It gives God a “kinder face”, not that all is wrong and misunderstood in Protestant salvation theory, but it paints a very imbalanced picture of God. What this video points out is God’s longing to restore and to revive. The term ransom was absent there, too, however. But I think what Jay wrote above goes in the right direction. I’m looking forward to more on “Christus Victor”.

    Alexander

  16. Royce Ogle says:

    It is almost entertaining to read that Reformed folks dismiss good works and obedience as “optional”. It’s the best example I know of creating a straw man to make a point. No prominent Calvinist I know believes such foolishness. In fact it’s exactly the opposite! Those who have indeed come to Christ will be faithful is their clear teaching. And they teach that the one way you we can know a true disciple is by his walk with God. (1st John and James come to mind here.)

    It is a little God who must wait as a human father would to learn if his child would turn out well. I suggest a reading of Jesus words in John 6:26 to the end of the chapter. I fear that if I should quote it I’ll be dismissed as a Calvinist. Over and over Jesus spoke of eternal life as a present possession and of a sure resurrection.

    “And this is the testimony, that God GAVE us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever HAS the Son HAS LIFE; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. ” ( 1st John 5:14,15) Then John gives the purpose of his letter.

    “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you might KNOW that you HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” (1st John 5:13)

    It makes no difference what N T Wright or any other theologian says, these promises are the inspired word of God. If they disagree with your traditions, your favorite author, or a thousand other things, they are true and can be trusted.

    The atonement of Jesus did not provide a chance to be good enough, or a chance to start over with a clean slate with the possibility of eternal life. Jesus, by himself did everything necessary for God to instantly justify an ungodly sinner and give him eternal life, everything! Every good work, every obedient act arises from that transaction.

    The comedy is that some of you who read this think I’m way out in lala land because I believe what the Bible so clearly says. No Greek geek necessary, just simple gospel promises down on the bottom shelf so the most common folk can eat of the Bread of Life and live.

  17. Profile photo of Jay Guin Jay Guin says:

    So, Royce, then why is it so terrible that I translate “faith” as “faithfulness.” If faithfulness is not optional, why is this troubling?

  18. JMF says:

    Hey Guy —

    Over at www dot experimentaltheology dot com Dr. Richard Beck is going through a lengthy series titled “The Slavery Of Death” that is based on the Orthodox view of Christus Victor. He is like Jay in that he is well studied and a thoughtful writer. It is a great series — you’d probably dig it.

  19. aBasnar says:

    Royce, haven’t we been down this road several times already? My Bible contains the very same verses you quoted, and I know them by heart and I live by them. But there are other texts that don’t allow the interpretation you give them. I spare you the Greek, if you don’t want to be confused by facts, Royce.

    But now Jay offers a different approach to the same topic: Our understanding of the atonement. The Protetsant view is heavily influenced by the assumption that – as soon as the sins are forgiven, they are forgiven and all that hinders eternal life is forever done away with. It’s all about penal substitution. I don’t believe this is a correct presentation of the Gospel, because it leaves out so much that is hard to fit in afterwards, once you adopted this theory. Namely: Why is sanctification then necessary to see God (Heb 12:14)? Protestant theology is famous for tearing apart what belongs together: Faith and works, forgivceness and baptism, justification and sanctification. Why is this so? Because all is centered on the forgiveness of sins! But forgiveness of sins is not the center of the Gospel, it’s just the entrance into the Kingdom.

    To be ransomed from slavery of sin, Satan and death liberates us not live autonomous lives, but to become citicens of God’s Kingdom. This Kingdom in its present stage is “a work in progress”, and we are called to be His co-workers. He entrusted us with a might task and gave us the talents needed to accomplish it. We are to be the light of the world, while the true light is at the Right Hand of God waiting for the appointed time of His return. We are to prove our loyalty and faithfulnes to Him and bringthe fruit of the Kingdom which he did not receive from the earthly Israel – that’s why He took the Kingdom away from them and gave it to the Gentiles, making them the true sons of Abraham by faith.

    So this present time we live in, the time between Pentecost and His return, we are ambassadors and servants of the King in and to this world. He also “promised” us to “evaluate” (judge) our service at His return: “What did you do with your talents? Let me see the results!” And there will be some, who have done nothing with it – you know their end (or future). And Christ will ask, whether we DID what He taught us to be the will of the Father – and He will cast out Christian confessors who lived lawless lives (in spite of all the spiritual Gifts they HAD and exercised).

    This means: You “pearls of promises” are conditional promises. To be in Christ, to HAVE Christ means to obey Him, not just to simply once have received Him (Present Tense, Royce, sory for a grammatical side reamark).

    I see no way how to fit what I have summarized from the Gospel into the “penal substition”-understanding of the Gospel. Therefore I began to see it as insuffiecient, true in part only, missing too much and therefore missing the mark. A misleading Gospel that will shock numerous Christians who … received the Grace in vain.

    Alexander

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  21. BeABerean says:

    Why was the Law given in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament)?

  22. BeABerean says:

    Ummm, Price where does the Bible say the Kingdom was taken from Israel and given to Gentlies? Gentiles are grafted in through Israel…Do Not Boast Against The Branches (Romans 11)!

    If you would notice the Apostles who wrote the New Testament, all but Luke were Jewish (Israelites)! Paul clarifies that he is an Israelite and that God has Not cast off His people in Romans 11:1-6

  23. BeABerean says:

    I’m sorry, my last post was to Alexander not Price. I’m supposing that is why Alexander has not answered it and given to what Paul clarified in Romans 11.

    I’ll resubmit my question and expect an answer:

    Ummm, Alexander where does the Bible say the Kingdom was taken from Israel and given to Gentiles? Gentiles are grafted in through Israel…Do Not Boast Against The Branches (Romans 11)!

    If you would notice the Apostles who wrote the New Testament all but Luke were Jewish (Israelites)! Paul clarifies that he is an Israelite and that God has NOT cast off His people, Romans 11:1-6

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