The Real Work andby Tony Warren
Accomplishment of the Cross
Sadly, most people who quote the verse that says "Christ died for the Sins of the whole world", don't really have the slightest idea of what that really means, nor what actually took place at the cross. Many think that they do, but once their doctrines are examined we discover that their ideas will not stand the test of scripture. This situation is made worse by many theologians who (in their zeal) have taught things which are both contradictory and un-biblical. Some teach that Christ went to the cross and died simply to "make it possible" that sins could be paid for. How they arrive at that confused and heretical conclusion when sins were paid for long ago, is a mystery. Other Theologians teach that He "actually Paid" for the sins of every single person in the entire world, but each person has to accept that payment in order for it to really take effect. In this study, we will take a Biblical look at what really happened at the cross, how it had to be a real (as opposed to symbolical) occurrence, and the undeniable result of that occurrence. And by the Spirit we will glean from the the scriptures what what was required, what was accomplished, the How, and the why. There is no need for us to speculate, because the scripture answers all these questions!
T he Question that man asks is, "Did Christ die for all the sins of the world?" The answer is, unquestionably, yes! Christ died for all of the sins of the world. ..that is to say, all of the sins of all the world who will ever become Saved. The rest of the world are yet in their sins, and thus must pay for those sins at the judgment day. Biblically, logically and rationally speaking, Christ obviously did not die and pay for "All" the sins of Judas, or of the anti-Christs, or of false prophets today, else having all been paid for not one of their sins could be required of them. So He couldn't have died and paid for everyone's sins. God declares that the penalty for sin is death, and If the Penalty (wages) was paid for sin, then there righteously can be no death. That would be double jeopardy, an unrighteous injustice, for God to ask for payment when the payment was "already" made by Christ. It makes no logical sense whatsoever. It would be both unrighteous and without honor to seek a payment which has already been given. Reformed Theologian John Owen said it quite succinctly:The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:
- All the sins of all men.
- All the sins of some men, or
- Some of the sins of all men.
In which case it may be said:
That if number three be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and therefore, none are saved.
That if the number two be true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth!
But if number one be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due them for their sins?
You answer, "Because of unbelief."
I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins!"
-John Owen (1616-1683)
B rother John was obviously a lot more rational and logical thinker than most of the theologians of our day. But more importantly, He was much more Biblical! He understood the truth that if Christ paid for some sins of all people, then obviously all people are still left with at least some sins which they must pay for themselves. Which of course means that "not one" of them can be redeemed until they pay the price for their remaining sins. So, if this were really the truth, and with God's Word that the wages of sin is death, we're back where we started before Christ. Namely, in need of a Saviour to Save us from our remaining sins!
..Scratch that theory!
Likewise if it was true that Christ paid for all of the sins of all of the people in the world, then obviously all people in the world would have no sin, and so all are pure, white, and righteous in God's eyes. For if everyone had their sins washed away in the blood of the Lamb, then all in the world are clean and have no sin. Which of course would mean that the Bible is all a lie. For all have no sin, having been made righteous in the blood of the lamb, and therefore there can be no Condemnation.
..Scratch that Theory!
It becomes clear that the only possible remaining answer is that Christ had laid upon Him all the sins of all of "His" people, not all people. The sins of all who will ever become Saved in the world. That's the sins of the whole world that He paid for. Since God paid for no one's sins in vain, He couldn't have paid for the sins of those he already knew (being Omniscient) would never become Saved. That would be God paying for them in vain, Knowing in advance that the payment He was making would be ineffectual. God Forbid! By the Cross of Christ, God accomplished all that He set out to do, which was to pay for the sins of His people. To bring the remnant through the fire and refine and cleanse them (Zech. 13:9), not everyone. This is the only Biblical view.
The reason that so many people today do not really have a full grasp of this, is because people seldom understand the real work and the real results of the cross. The work is not a variable, it cannot change or become non-effectual. It did happen and it was a real non-abrogating accomplishment. In order to get a better understanding of this, let's take a serious look at the real mechanics of the Cross, step by step.
1. What is the Price? 2. Who could Pay such a Price? 3. How was Christ indebted? 4. Who required the Payment? 5. How was the Payment made? 6. The REAL result of Payment
1. What Is The Price?
Sin, the disobedience of the laws of God, is abhorrent to God. For He is Holy and True, the Light wherein is no darkness. His Righteousness and perfect Justice "demands" that there must be a price paid for sin. From the very beginning He has made it known to man what that price was. The soul that sinneth, it shall Die. Even from the Garden of Eden God has made the price of sin known to man.
- "...thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
Transgression of the laws of God (Sin) is punishable by death. And the death in view is the second death (Revelation 21:8), not mere physical death. All men die physically, but the judgment of God upon the wicked for sin is the second death. The Soul that sinneth, that is the death it shall surely suffer. Not maybe, or could be, God said surely, which means TRULY! By the sin of Adam, the judgment of death entered into the world and we are all Guilty of that crime against God. Because we all have sinned.
- "As it is written, there is NONE Righteous, no not one!"
- "Wherefore, as by one man Sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
Therefore, we are all guilty of death, because there is not one of us who does not sin against God. Everyone is responsible for his own sins. No one will be judged of God, except for the sins He himself has committed.
- "The Soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the Father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son..."
This is the dilemma that mankind is in. The Wages (or Price required) for sin is death, and each of us are responsible for all the sins that we commit. Since we all sin, we all are under condemnation of God, and must pay the price. There is no getting around it, because God's righteous justice demands payment. That is man's dilemma. There is none who would escape the wrath of God!
But God had promised a Saviour who would deliver His people from their sins. The problem is, there is no man who could satisfy God's justice for us. It would take someone Righteous enough, and Powerful enough to take in his flesh each and every one of us with all the sins that we'd ever commit, and then suffer the penalty of death for them in our stead, and rise in the flesh from that death having suffered and satisfied God's justice. In Him we would have to have suffered and be raised up with Him from death, without our sin. That was the only possibility of a saviour for man!
2. Who Could Pay Such A Price?
First of all, who could be Righteous enough to have No sin of his own, in order to take upon himself our sins? A man with sins is not qualified to take upon himself anyone's sins. Because he is under condemnation himself! Second, man sinned in the flesh, it would have to be each man in the flesh who would pay. Since we are the ones who sinned, and sin must be paid for by the sinner, we would have to somehow die with him. Third, in this death, He would have to be Powerful enough to suffer the terrible wrath of God poured upon him for each and every one of those sins laid upon him, and not be consumed, but be raised up from that death, in the flesh, free from our sins which were in him.
..IMMEDIATELY we know there is no man that ever lived, nor who ever would live on the face of earth that would qualify!! There was None! There is no man who could do that! The fact is, it would take GOD Himself, in the form of man, in order to pay the wages of Sin that must be paid. Who else could do this and come out the other side resurrected, without debt, and without sin, and we raised up with Him? No man! It would take God in the Flesh as man! And God knowing that there was none that could save, His own arm brought Salvation unto men. ..as was always His intention!
- In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word Was God.
- All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.
- and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His Glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and TRUTH."
God, the Creator of all that was made, became Flesh in order to fulfill His Word, His promise of a saviour to man, and pay the wages of sin that no man could pay and come out unscathed. Any man who comes upon the wrath of Almighty God would be undone. But God has decreed that the wages of sin is Death and that sin must be paid for, and He promised a Saviour. So He came down from Heaven in the likeness of man in order to make His word of promise flesh, that it might fulfill His Promise of a Saviour. The Word became completed or fulfilled. Speaking of Christ, we read:
- "who, being in the FORM OF GOD, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
- But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the LIKENESS OF MEN:
- And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto DEATH, EVEN THE DEATH OF THE CROSS."
Being in the form of God, He humbled Himself, made in the likeness of man, flesh and blood, in order to suffer the death of the cross for us. This is the Love of God for His people.
There are those who say that Jesus was just a good man like so many other good men in history. These people have absolutely no idea what the cross was all about. They have no idea of the work that Jesus accomplished at the cross. None other religion answers the sin payment question. So none other can Save! There is no other name (Acts 4:12) whereby men may be Saved! None! This is because there is none other who can be called the Son of the Living God, because He came from God! Only God, in the flesh, could be the Saviour and pay the debt that is required for sins. And that is why God says (Isaiah 45:21), "Besides Me, there is no Saviour!" No other religion answers the sin question! Unless our Saviour is God in the flesh, the Only Saviour, then according to that scripture, we have no Saviour and our sins are not paid for. No other religion can answer the Sin question. That is precisely why it had to be God in the flesh! Because No man, no matter how Holy or Righteous or Good he may seem to be in man's eyes, could be without sin, have the sin of all "His" people in the world laid upon Him, suffer the wrath of God, and be raised up afterwards in the flesh, alive without sin. No one Could Do it. We'd all be condemned to Hell if not for this work of Christ! That's the precious gift of God. And when He was resurrected from the dead, we (having died with him) were raised up with Him, The wages (price) of our sin satisfied. That debt that we owed, had been paid. The Word of the Promise of a Saviour had been made flesh, made real, and fulfilled (completed).
3. How Was Christ Indebted?
Christ had no sins of His own, we (Christians) were the ones in debt to God for our sins, and so when Christ went to the cross, He had to take us with him. For we who sinned had to suffer the penalty of death in him. The Word of the scriptures was completed or fulfilled in Him. The Promise of David was made real according to the Word.
- "Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:"
1st Corinthians 15:3
- "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;"
He was the promise of the Word made flesh, and He took in His flesh our sins, He took on our Debts. So instead of us owing, Christ was now indebted to God. That is the debt that He carried to the cross and suffered the payment for. Read The Psalms of David for some insights into this. For example, Psalms 16:10 of, "how Thou wilt not leave His soul in Hell," in relationship to Acts 2:27-31. The passage in Acts explains this Psalm was really a Messianic Psalm about Christ.
- "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in Hell, neither His flesh did see corruption.
- This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses."
the debt was to God, we owed that debt (the wages of sin is death) Christ became sin for us, and suffered the wrath of God enduring death (the second death), and paying the price, He was risen. And likewise, we in Him are raised up in Newness of life. Righteous (in God's Eyes) because our debts to him has been paid by Christ.
There are those (even some respected Theologians incredibly) who think that Christ just went to the cross, and was tortured and killed and that was the horribleness of the cross. But this is just looking at the cross superficially. This is not the real Horribleness of it. The suffering was not simply the being nailed to the cross, or a beating, or a scourging. Did not others suffer like things? Many men were crucified horribly! Are we to think that Jesus was crying, "let this Cup pass from Me" because he was weaker than the two who were Crucified with Him? God Forbid! The debt was more than just physical torture and death, It was that He had to have His soul in Hell, forsaken of God and have the wrath of God poured upon Him for the sins (our sins) that He carried. No one knows that terrible penalty for sin except Christ who suffered through it! It doesn't take a GOD-MAN to die on the cross. Many men did! But it took a GOD-MAN to take upon Himself each and every one of our (believers) sins, and suffer the wrath of God for them. But His soul was not left in hell, as God was satisfied with His payment, and He was raised up without sin. His work accomplished what it set out to do, and the debt was satisfied.
1st Peter 4:1
- "Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the Flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for He that hath suffered in the flesh hath CEASED FROM SIN!"
Christ suffered in the Flesh with our sins, that He was risen without them, and we with Him that we have no more sins. None of us may ever know the true awfulness and suffering that Christ had to endure at the cross. But God allows us to get some insight into it by the Psalms and the Lord's prayers in the garden.
4. Who Required The Payment?
God required the payment Obviously. "The Soul that sinneth, it shall die." God is He that has made that declaration, and it is He that requires the price for sin:
- "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of GOD is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Here we see, though Sin "must" be paid for, and the wages (the debt we owe for it) is Death, there is a way out. The Gift of God, Jesus Christ, wherein if we died with Him, and were buried with Him, we are raised with Him. If we be "In Christ" then our sins were with Him at the cross. Then are we a New creation in His rising.
- "buried with Him in baptism, wherein ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead".
We (born from above Christians) were there with him at the cross. God saw us there, our sins were there in Christ, and God poured out His wrath on Him for them. And we were also raised up with him free from sin. This is the marvelous Grace of God. This is the Love of God. God's Righteousness and justice means that He had to require payment, and it had to be paid. But God's Love is the Gift of Life to us in Christ Jesus!
Some have asked, "..But why can't God just forgive the debt without payment?" Let's take a practical example. If there was a murderer today who continually broke the law by murdering people. But then he had a change of heart and repented and gave himself up to the judge. When he came to court the evidence showed that he was a murderer and is guilty without question. Should the judge then say, "Oh, I'm feeling righteous today, I think you're a new man, I'll forget the murders and the debt you owe society for your crimes and set you free?" Well, immediately we know that this is not right. That certainly is not righteous Justice. That would make him a UN-just judge, not a righteous judge. There is a penalty for breaking the law, and a just judge will require it if the man is guilty, even if he is a changed man. Well, God is much more Holy and Righteous and just than any earthly judge, and so His righteousness requires justice even more, so the debt had to be paid. No one with sin can enter the kingdom of heaven. And that is precisely why the wages for sin had to be paid, to free us from it so we could enter the Kingdom! God will change our lives, He will make us a new creation, yet the debt must be paid! Praise the Lord that God is merciful to make a Way when there was none, and have us cleansed from "ALL" our sins. This is why we read,
- "They shall call His name Jesus, for He will save HIS PEOPLE from their sins".
God required the payment, and because He loved us, He made a way for us who had no way. He sent a Saviour for His people. Not all people, but His people.
5. How Was The Payment Made?
The debt was paid to God the Father, by God the Son. Christ is the "Gift from God." Remember when God said "I am He and besides Me, there is no Saviour (Isaiah 43:11)"? TRUE, because there isn't! God is the Saviour! God, the Holy Spirit, took on Flesh by Creation in Mary, a God-Man! For this cause came He into the world, to make the payment for sin, to become sin for us, a sacrifice Lamb in our stead. The debt must be paid to who it is owed. The Wages of sin is Death, so then the sacrifice Lamb must die for a sin offering. The ceremonial sacrificing of lambs had pointed to Christ from the beginning. Those lambs couldn't Save anyone, they merely were a shadow or a sign of the coming of the true sacrifice Lamb (Christ) who would shed His blood to really cleanse man from sin. The payment was made by God pouring out his wrath on Christ for us. A Substitute or scapegoat for us. Read Isaiah 53 carefully for some insight into this. Speaking of Christ, this sacrifice, we read:
- "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; And the lord hath Laid upon Him the Iniquity OF US ALL."
the All in view there is all His people, all the children of God! The Lord laid "ALL" our sins (not the sins of everyone in the world, but the sins of ALL the world who would ever believe). The sins of all His sheep who had gone astray were laid upon Him, so that He could pay the debt for them! Not for the goats, but for the sheep! He was a Lamb without spot, pure Righteous, without sin, and that is why He could have our sins placed upon Him. He was Worthy! All God's sheep had gone astray but Merciful God who loved us (his sheep), sent His Son, a sacrifice Lamb to be slain in our place. NOT ONE of His lost sheep will not be found. We "ALL" will be saved! Jesus says He will leave the 99 and go and find the one if it was lost. None of God's sheep will remain lost, and all of them have their sins paid for. He would pay the debt that we owe by becoming sin (our Sin) for us.
2nd Corinthians 5:21
- "For He hath made Him to be sin for US, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
God hath made Christ, (the Righteous one who knew no sin, God in the Flesh) to be Sin. ..the sin of us! So that He could pour out His wrath upon Him (The Penalty for our sin) thereby making that debt we owed paid in Christ. We become righteous because He took "ALL" our sins on Himself and paid the debt. This becomes redundant but it's very Important to Understand. He was a offering for our sins. This is why no person that will remain unsaved could have had his sins paid for by Christ. It's an impossible idea! Because that would mean God took away that man's sins, placed them in Christ in His flesh, and poured out His wrath on Him for them! Therefore, He would have no sin. Those who believe such ideas as "He paid for the sins of every single person on earth" have no real understanding of what happened to all the sins that were on Christ. They cannot show up again at judgment, because they were judged in Christ, and God was satisfied with the payment.
- "Yet it PLEASED the Lord to bruise Him; HE HATH put Him to Grief: When Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
- He shall see of the travail of His soul, and Be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant Justify many; and He shall bear their iniquities."
It was God to whom the debt was owed, and it was to God to whom it was Paid. It's amazing some people say, "how can God be the Father, and also be the Son", and yet these same people have no problem understanding that the Holy Spirit is God and he sends it where he will. God in New York, and God also at the same time in China! The Son is God in the Flesh. The Spirit is God in the Spirit. And the payment was Real. He bore our iniquities, He didn't make some kind of superficial symbolic payment, He ACTUALLY became our sin and suffered for them so we have none. It pleased the Lord to bruise him, and He was made a offering for our sin, and the Lord was satisfied! These are marvelous scriptures which clearly show the price that was "Really" paid at the cross. A real payment, not a superficial (might-be, if you accept it) type payment, but one of Substance and Efficacy. Every true Christian has had their sins paid for. No one who will never come to be Saved had ever had their sins paid for. It's a blatant contradiction in terms, and confusion.
To profess the misguided idea that the payment was simply death, or suffering on the cross is ridiculous! People suffered on the cross all the time in those days. No, it was much much more. There was a REAL debt to be paid for REAL sins, and Christ paid it. Real (not symbolic) sins laid upon Him, our sins, and really paid for them (No if's, and's, maybe's, or but's), and God was satisfied. That "MEANS" that all who had their sins paid for, had their debt satisfied. And all the debt being satisfied means that he "CANNOT" later have some debt. So all the world's sin were not paid for. Christ suffered for the sins of "HIS" people as Christ's soul was not left in Hell. Consider Carefully:
- "Because thou wilt not leave My soul in Hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy one to see corruption."
- "He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in Hell neither His flesh did see corruption."
Though Christ took upon Himself our sins, and suffered the wrath of God in the flesh, His soul was not left in Hell (hades). It was risen from the unseen place without the sins that it went in with.
And so yes, these "are" very serious questions with very serious answers and God is not playing little word games here. The Cross is not just some abstract ideal where God made it possible for sin to be paid for. NO WAY! The cross "WAS" the payment for the sins of each and every one of us who become truly Saved. It's not conditional, and it didn't make possible that sins could be paid for. It "PAID" for sins. There is a big difference! When God says He laid upon Him our sins, and He became Sin for us, that is our sins in His flesh. Not some abstract where they "might" have been my sins, and are paid for conditioned by how I choose today. No, Either they were or they weren't! You can't have it both ways. If they were on Christ at the cross, then I have no more sins. Not "If" I accept Christ they will be put on Him, but if I become Saved they "had already" been laid on Him. I have no more sin. Payment for sin is not conditional! It was by unmerited favor.
6. The Result of Payment?
The result of Christ taking my sins in His flesh and suffering the payment for them, is that I no longer sin. This is what God means by, "we are Cleansed in the Blood of the lamb". If our sins were on the Lamb of God, then we are clean. Clean equals "NO SIN!" If Christ paid for our sins, the result is we have no more sin. That's the unmistakable conclusion which these people who say "all the world had their sins paid for", cannot reconcile. How one can be made Clean from all their sins (ALL) in the blood of the lamb, and then later on have sin that wasn't cleansed is a ludicrous impossibility! It makes no logical nor rational sense whatsoever! It's totally un-Biblical and contradictory. We are cleansed from "ALL" sin by the blood, not a few sins or almost all. When Christ was the Firstborn from the dead, we were raised up with Him (as we were buried with him) and as He was raised without sin, so we are without sin. We have ceased from sin in God's eyes. The world has not ceased from sin so how then did Christ pay for all their sins?
1st John 3:9
- "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for HIS SEED remaineth in him: and his cannot sin, because he is born of God."
Naturally! If Christ took upon Himself "ALL" our sins (which He did) and He died with them paying the wages of that sin (Which He did) and He was raised up without those sins, and we with him (Which He did, and we are) then how can we then have sin? ..We can't! Unless the cross was all just a lie and all sins were not actually paid for. Praise God it's all True! That's what that verse above declares! We can't sin because we were born of God a new creation without sin! We are Holy, Unblamable, Clean, Righteous, Pure in God's sight.
- "And you that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled
- In the body of His flesh THROUGH DEATH, to present you Holy and Unblamable and Unreprovable in His sight."
Just another way of saying Sinless! His death made us sinless. We are Holy and can't be blamed or faulted. Believers have no sin. The only way a person can have sin is if when Christ went to the cross and became sin, it wasn't that person's sins He had in His flesh. For IF it was, he has no sin. He obviously didn't fail in paying for it. Therefore, He never had everyone's sin in His flesh at the Cross. He only had the sins of His people. The sins of the World yes, but "NOT" the sins of everyone in the world.
Which is exactly why I say many Christians have no idea what took place at the cross, they simply parrot ideas that they've heard before. Ideas like, He paid for the sins of not the world, but "every single person in the world." That is an untenable conclusion. Yes, Christ paid for the sins of the whole world. i.e., everyone in the world who has their sins paid for, they were paid for by Christ! The Sins of the world are paid for by Him. NO, that does not mean that He paid for every single person's sins in the whole world. For that would mean that no one in the world had any sins, they were all paid for. Hell will be heavily populated because some don't have their sins paid for. No one will stand before God guilty who had their sins paid for. Again, that's Ludicrous! It will be because they stand before God Never having had their sins paid for. You can't have Christ pay for your sins, and then have to stand before God having to pay for them yourself "..AGAIN!!" That's unjust, and unrighteousness! God is the just and Righteous judge! You can be sure that if Christ paid for your sins, you are without sin.
And note the inconsistency of those who try and rationalize, saying, "He paid for all sins, except the sin of unbelief". If that were possibly true (Which it cannot be) then the scriptures lie and He really didn't pay for "ALL" of our sins, just some of them. And If that could possibly be true that every sin was paid for besides that one, then there would be no other sin "But That one" required of God, correct? Yet, we read in scripture of those who will be judged "according to their works", and that every single idle word will have to be given account of. Which is proof positive that many will have more than just this one sin to account for. So yet another one of these arminian rationalizations bites the dust. None of these excuses or assumptions will stand when compared with scripture. Yet so many are blinded and refuse to receive what God says, and continue to cling to these man-made justifications.
I've had people tell me, "Christ paid for all the world's sins, but they have to accept it". But when I ask, "..what happens if someone doesn't accept it, does Christ go back to the cross and try and UN-PAY for the sins he ALREADY Paid For?" They have no answer, because it's an un-sound conclusion. Christ paid for no sins in "VAIN". Any sins that God became in the flesh is no more because He was raised without them. The result of the cross was sinlessness! Christ didn't suffer for anyone's sins in vain. More than that, this logic makes God a LIAR. Because He said we were reconciled to God through Christ's death and made sinless, unblamable and Holy. If we were made sinless and unblamable by the cross, how can we be blamed or have sin? Inconsistency is the hallmark of error. I am sure that many have been indoctrinated and they do not like hearing these truths, but this Truth is ROOTED in the Word of God and are upon which the true Christian Church stands. Payment for sin is not some all general, abstract sort of universal payment, it was a PERSONAL PAYMENT of your sins (all of them). Christ is a personal Saviour, not a general Saviour! Every single person who will ever become a Christian had his sins in Christ. Those who never become truly saved, never had their sins in Christ. Simple as that!
- "And shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His People from their sins."
Not all people from all sins, but "HIS PEOPLE" from THEIR sins! There is a difference. Think about it! To say that He will Save "ALL PEOPLE" from their sins makes no sense does it? ..I guess that's why few think about it. No, He didn't die on the cross to Save all people from sins, He died to save "HIS PEOPLE" from sins. He didn't come to save all sheep, He came to save His sheep. He didn't say all the sheep and the goats will hear His voice, He said "HIS" sheep will hear His voice.
Those who reject these fundamental truths always fall back on saying things like, "..what about 1st John 2?" Let's take a look at that.
1st John 2:2
- "And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
Some misguided souls think that this means that he takes on the sins of the Whole (as in every single person in the) world. Not so. The words "Whole World" is qualified! John is simply saying that Christ is the Saviour of not only them, (the Jews) but the whole world. In other words, all the whole world that is Saved, is Saved by Christ. If that indeed did mean the whole world (as some people think) it would be saying that the whole world will be Saved. Because the way they want to understand it (as everyone in the world, not just the world) makes it say He is the propitiation for everyone in the world. but Christ isn't the Propitiation for everyone in the world, He didn't redeem the whole world, but Christ "is" the Saviour of the world. Big Difference! Not unlike the verse in John chapter 1.
- "..Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the whole world."
If that truly meant what these misguided people think, it would be saying that the whole world has no sin for Christ took it all away! It doesn't mean He's going to Save the whole world, it means He's the Saviour "of" the whole world. Yes, there is a difference! i.e., there is none other name in the whole world, whereby men may be Saved. Jesus is the only one who takes away the sins of the world. That's what John means by, not only their sins (jews), but those of the whole world. Just as if I was talking to people in Americans explaining that Christ is not only for america only, but for all Europe as well. "Christ is the propitiation for America's sins, and not ours only, but the whole world". That doesn't mean the whole world's sins are paid for, it means He's the Saviour of more than just Americans, but also Chinese, Italians, Greeks, the Whole World. The same type language is used a few chapters later in:
1st John 5:19
- "And we know that we are in God and the Whole world lieth in wickedness."
Who are the we, and who are the whole world? Again, the whole world is Qualified. The Gentiles were already come and become Saved, and so the whole world ONLY means those who are not Saved. Those who are not of God, not Everyone in the whole world. Just like we read in Revelation where it says the Beast deceives the whole world, but then we read that the faithful were not deceived. You see, the language of "the whole world" is qualified. It doesn't mean every single person. Just as we read as in Adam, all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive. Well we know the "all" there does not mean every single person, but all those who become Saved shall be made alive in Christ. The "ALL" again is qualified.
What is the actual result of His death payment for sin that would "PRECLUDE" Him having paid for the sins of the whole world? These are only a few of "many".
#1. He reconciled us to God by His death (Rom 5:9-10) (Is the whole world reconciled to God, having Peace?) #2. We were buried with Him and raised, forgiven all (Col 2:12-13) (Is the whole world by His death raised and forgiven All?) #3. We are Washed clean, Sanctified, Justified by it (1st Cor. 6:11) (Is the whole world Clean, Holy, and Justified?) #4. We are redeemed, adopted as God's Sons by it (Gal. 4:4-5) (Is the whole world Redeemed, adopted Son's of God?) #5. We receive the promise of eternal life by it (Heb. 9:15) (Has the whole world been given eternal Life?)
Sin was never paid for every person in the entire world, and those who claim that, don't really understand the work at the cross. The result of the price paid is that those it was paid for, Have No Sin! Let's recap:
#1. What Is The Price?
The Price for man's sin is death. God's law says that the wages (Price) of sin is death, the soul that sinneth, it shall die. God, being True to His word, requires it!
#2. Who Could Pay Such a Price?
Only a GOD-MAN could. No human being could qualify to get the job done. The Price owed to God was too great. But to God it must be paid regardless. So either Christ has paid for our sins (Christians) or we will have to pay for them OURSELVES on judgment day. But one way or the other, the Price "MUST" be paid.....
#3. How was Christ Indebted?
He was indebted by taking upon Himself "OUR SINS!" Our Debt became His, and He "WILLINGLY" went to the cross as a Lamb to the slaughter, in order to pay for them!
#4. Who Required the Payment?
GOD being righteous, requires that sin be paid for. No sin will go unpunished. Sin is the transgression of the laws of God. And while the unrighteous judges in this world "WINK" at the transgressions of the law, the Righteous Judge God, does not wink at sin. The payment MUST be meted out. The Wages of Sin is death, and sin must be paid for.
#5. How Was payment Made?
By God laying upon Christ our iniquity, and then Judging HIM in our place. God took payment from Christ. For this cause He came into the world. God, being merciful, knowing that all sin and have fallen short of the glory of God, hath provided a way for "His People" to escape the judgment. A Sin Bearer to substitute for us. A sacrifice Lamb with our iniquities laid upon Him, paying the debt we owe to God. The Love of Merciful God. ....A Gift of God!
#6. The True Result of Payment?
The result of Christ paying for our sins is that we have no sin in God's eyes. For each and every one of them has been paid for. Not in some abstract general way of never-never-land logic, but a personal payment for each of us, that brings a personal relationship with Christ whereby we are born of God, and Free from Sin. Every Saved man had His sins personally paid by Christ. Every single unsaved man still has his sins ONLY because they were "NEVER" paid for by Christ. For the result of payment is you are sinless, unblamable and Holy in God's eyes.
These are very serious questions. We should all think carefully, and ponder just what the cross means to us. Is it a personal thing where we KNOW God suffered for "OUR" sins personally, or is it some feel-good theory, where no one in the world has sin because all of them were paid for? Is it a personal thing whereby we were personally RAISED with Him from the dead (Romans 6:4-9) without sin and can die no more, or some baseless idea of the whole world being raised up and their sins paid for? No, the whole world was not buried with Him in baptism, and so COULD NOT be raised with Him from the dead free from Sin. Think about that! So if they weren't, how can we say they have had their sins paid for? It's unsound! No one has their sins paid for except those risen in Christ! To think otherwise is irrational. God's payments for sin were PERSONAL. It's logical, it's biblical, it's common sense, and it's TRUE.
We have to start becoming Biblical thinkers, and think upon God's Word of Truth and His ideas about Salvation, not man's. For God trieth the hearts. He knows what man can only guess at. He knows the difference between the Soul and the Spirit, things man can only grope for words to try and comprehend. Man is always looking for excuses and rationalizations to forsake God's words for his own or his teacher's. But God knows every secret place in the mind and the heart where man hides from Truth, and will bring all into judgment. Clever words and vain ego trips may deceive men, but God knows motive as well as the frown behind every smile. Let us think on Ecclesiastes...
- "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
- For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil."
God couldn't do that if the only sin He could Judge was the sin of unbelief. He can do that only because man's sins were "NEVER" paid for. As that verse says, let us fear God, and Keep His commandments.
Peace,Feel free to duplicate, display or distribute this publication to anyone who would like a copy, as long as tha above copyright notice remains intact and there are no changes made to the article. This publication can be distributed only in it's original form, unedited, and without cost.
Copyright ©1996 Tony Warren
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