Clement of Rome: Penal Substitution Atonement

Fathers

The atoning work of Christ Jesus is immeasurably deep in value. All orthodox theories of atonement, in diverse viewpoints yet a unified picture, disclose  certain truths about what happened when Christ died on the cross. Penal substitution is one of the theory that fathoms Christ Jesus as vicariously suffering the judicial penalty, viz., the holy and righteous wrath of God, in the place of those He substituted at Golgotha.

This view, according to Paul S. Fiddes, was an outcome of John Calvin reworking of the atoning work on Christ Jesus through the lens of Anselm’s satisfaction theory (Fiddes 1989:98). Granting that the church fathers clearly taught substitutionary atonement, Derek Flood contended that they did not teach penal substitution”(Flood 2010: 142) Is it true that penal substitution was not taught by the church fathers? Is it true that they did not teach that the penalty of sin that we justly deserve from God has being borne  by Christ Jesus in our place?

This series of articles answered both questions with a negative. Exploring some passages from ante-Nicene and post-Nicene church fathers’ writings, it is clear that they taught penal substitution atonement.

Clement of Rome and Penal Substitution

Commending the Corinthians to exemplify Christ mildness Clement of Rome, in circa 96 A.D., cited Isaiah 53’s prophecy and applied it to Christ Jesus. The servant of God was prophesied to bear our iniquities. “He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities.” And that it was God who “delivered Him up for our sins” and was “pleased to purify Him by stripes”. Clement understood Christ Jesus as making an offering for our sin. At Golgotha Christ Jesus carried our sins. Christ Jesus “bare the sins of many, and for their sins was He delivered.”(Cle 1 Cor. 16)

Using the salvation of Rehab the harlot when Joshua took over Jericho as an example to teach Corinthians the rewards of faith and hospitality Clement understood the sign, which Rehab was given to hang forth from her house as “manifest that redemption should flow through the blood of the Lord to all them that believe and hope in God.”(1 Cor. 12)

Expounding the nature of love, Clement wrote,

By love have all the elect of God been made perfect; without love nothing is well-pleasing to God. In love has the Lord taken us to Himself. On account of the Love he bore us, Jesus Christ our Lord gave His blood for us by the will of God; His flesh for our flesh, and His soul for our souls.(1 Cor. 49)

As Ninevites, in time of Jonah, repented “of their sin, propitiated God by prayer, and obtained salvation” Christians, commended Clement, are to “look stedfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God, which having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world.”(1 Cor. 7)

Polycarp in The Epistle to the Philippians underlined that Christ Jesus is He “who for our sins suffered even unto death”(Poly Phil 1). Ignatius echoed Polycarp in The Epistle to the Smyrnæans when he argued that the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ “suffered for our sins”(Ign 1 Smyr 7)

From these passages I concluded that Clement viewed Christ Jesus’ atoning work as bearing death, our  justly deserved penalty of sin from God, in our place. In his works we can deduce that Christus Victor was the goal of atoning work of Christ Jesus, which brought us victorious over sin, death, Satan. This victory was archived through the means of penal substation atonement. Going beyond the goal and means of atonement out-flowing outcome, Christ’s humbleness to the point of death, according to Clement, is also a moral exemplary attitude for Christians to mimic.

Bibliography:

Clement, First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, eds. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, vol.1 (1885) Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company.

Fiddes, Paul S. (1989) Past Event and Present Salvation: The Christan Idea of Atonement. Westminster/John Knox Press Lousiville, Kentucky.

Flood, Derek (2010) “Substitutionary atonement and the Chruch Fathers: A reply to the authors of Pierced for Our Transgressions,” in Evangelical Quarterly, 82/2:142-159

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50 thoughts on “Clement of Rome: Penal Substitution Atonement

  1. Pingback: Reflecting on The Passion: Substitutionary Atonement | a millenial's experience with christianity

  2. Prayson, I have answered that question nearly a dozen times by now. I accept the word of Scripture. Scripture says that the righteous will receive a reward, and the unrighteous will receive punishment. What answer are you looking for?

    I will go through this in great detail because I like you. You say that you think Clement clearly taught penal substitution. Let’s take a closer look at that. I will make it easy and number the passages you cite for our reference.

    1. … Clement of Rome … cited Isaiah 53′s prophecy and applied it to Christ Jesus.
    2. The servant of God was prophesied to bear our iniquities.
    3. “He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities.”
    4. It was God who “delivered Him up for our sins” and was “pleased to purify Him by stripes”.
    5. Clement understood Christ Jesus as making an offering for our sin.
    6. At Golgotha Christ Jesus carried our sins.
    7. Christ Jesus “bare the sins of many, and for their sins was He delivered.”(Cle 1 Cor. 16)

    8. Using the salvation of Rehab the harlot … as an example to teach Corinthians the rewards of faith and hospitality …
    9. Clement understood the sign, which Rehab was given to hang forth from her house as “manifest that redemption should flow through the blood of the Lord to all them that believe and hope in God.”(1 Cor. 12)

    10. [Expounding the nature of love, Clement wrote,] By love have all the elect of God been made perfect; without love nothing is well-pleasing to God.
    11. In love has the Lord taken us to Himself.
    12. On account of the Love he bore us, Jesus Christ our Lord gave His blood for us by the will of God;
    13. His flesh for our flesh, and His soul for our souls.(1 Cor. 49)

    14. As Ninevites, in time of Jonah, repented “of their sin, propitiated God by prayer, and obtained salvation” …
    15. Christians, commended Clement, are to “look stedfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God, …
    16. “which, having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world.”

    Now, these are the only passages from Clement that you refer to above. You state that “[you conclude that Clement viewed Jesus’s atoning work as bearing death, our penalty from God, in our place.” From what in the above words do you conclude that? You can refer to it by number.

    My view, since I suspect you will ask me:

    2. Yes, the servant of God bore our iniquities.
    3. Yes, he was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.
    4. Yes, he was delivered up for our sins and purified by stripes.
    5. Yes, he was making an offering for our sin.
    6. Yes, he carried our sins.
    7. Yes, he bore the sins of many.

    … But all of this is nothing more than a nearly verbatim quotation of Isaiah 53. Clement offers very little if any original thought here. He offers no commentary about what any of this means. He only quotes the Scripture without explanation or any insight into his understanding of it.

    Now, only the words of Clement are at issue here. Unless something Clement said necessarily implies a belief in penal substitution, in addition to the words he quoted from Scripture, then he cannot be said to have taught penal substitution. Discussing the interpretation of Scripture is beyond the scope of the present topic (whether Clement taught penal substitution or not), but for the sake of discussion, I will examine it:

    Isaiah 53 certainly refers to a substitution, Christ bearing our sins and being wounded for our transgressions. But nothing in this can be taken to imply a penal substitution. In fact, the very idea of “making himself an offering for sin” (Isaiah 53:10) entails the opposite: A priest making an offering (cf. Hebrews 9 and 10) does so willingly and voluntarily, not as a criminal being punished by a third party. And in the case of a sin offering under the Old Covenant, the sacrificial animal was seen to be a sacrifice for our sins, not because the animal was seen to a substitute for some penalty of death due to us (certainly the animal was also offered for many sins that were not worthy of death under the Law, and was not understood to be connected with the death penalty due for anyone), but because the act of sacrifice was a gift to God from the blessings God had given and from the people’s goods, prosperity, and livelihood (cf. Leviticus 5:15, 18, etc,) — which is why, in particular, it was to be an animal “from his herd” (cf. Leviticus 3:1, etc. — not your neighbor’s, or purchased at market, or taken from an enemy), “without blemish” (Exodus 12:5, etc.) — because such an animal would have been eminently more valuable; sacrificing an animal that was lame or sick would not be a sacrifice at all! It was never understood under the Old Covenant that it was supposed to be us being sacrificed! The Hebrews had no notion of a “penal substitution” in their sacrifices.

    Continuing with Clement:

    9. Yes, “redemption flows through the blood of the Lord” — as Scripture itself says (Ephesians 1:7).
    12 and 13. Yes, He “gave His blood for us by the will of God; His flesh for our flesh, and His soul for our soul” — again, a doctrine quite present in Scripture, and one that denies the notion of a penal substitution. One being punished does not “give himself.”
    15 and 16. Yes, Clement commands that Christians are to “look steadfastly to the blood of Christ … [which has] been shed for our salvation.”

    Scripture plainly teaches that Christ’s blood is “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Mattthew 26:28); that “he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” (John 6:54); that “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of trespasses” (Ephesians 1:7); that in His blood we “are brought near” to God (Ephesians 2:13); that His blood “[secures] an eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12); that his blood “has freed us from our sins” (Revelation 1:5); etc. — i.e. that His blood brings us salvation. But none of this necessarily implies a penal substitution.

    In fact, the whole idea of a high priest making a voluntary sin offering is contrary to that understanding. Scripture very clearly places the active role in our redemption in the hands of Christ as our high priest, making a sacrifice by His own hands for the propitiation of our sins before God. Penal substitution, contrary to Scripture, removes redemption from the hands of Christ and His voluntary sacrifice of Himself and gives it to God the Father — who is never presented in Scripture as being the actor in our salvation. It gives God the Father an active role in our redemption, and Christ a passive one as merely a victim — when Scripture teaches the opposite: Jesus, by His own will and self-offering, gave Himself up for us and for our salvation, He Himself making a sacrifice of Himself for the expiation of our sins. There is nothing in Scripture to imply that God the Father sacrificed His Son or punished Him for our sins or propitiated His wrath upon Him.

    And as I have shown, there is certainly nothing in Clement to that effect.

      • That is exactly the question theologians have been seeking to answer for the past 2,000 years. 🙂 And “penal substitution” certainly hadn’t been thought of in the first century.

        Scripture says that Jesus is our sacrifice, our perfect sin-offering, the precious Lamb of God, wholly without sin or blemish (see especially Hebrews 7 through 9). What the imperfect sacrifices of the Old Covenant could not accomplish, Jesus accomplished by the sacrifice of Himself. Just as Moses inaugurated the Old Covenant with sacrificial blood (Exodus 24:3–8), Jesus gave us a New Covenant in His Blood (Luke 22:14–23). Read the Mosaic passage and then read the institution of the Eucharist and tell me that they are not parallel. Jesus used the explicit language of a sacrificial rite in offering Himself as our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7). The language of sacrifice, in fact, pervades the whole of Scripture. The Christian mystery is Jesus’s self-emptying sacrifice for the whole of humanity out of perfect love — not the wrath of God being poured out upon His own Son.

        But that’s a discussion for another time. Clement did not teach penal substitution, and neither did any of the other Church Fathers.

        • I think he does and so are the church fathers I will present in this series. You agreed that Jesus died for our sin, and the wrath of God is on sinners. How could he died for our sins if he did not substitute us without drinking the cup of God’s wrath?

          • Prayson. I did not go through all of that just to argue with you. Please point out where in the words of Clement (I even numbered them to make it easy) you think he declares penal substitution. Can you do that?

            Remember the logical fallacy I pointed out:

            1. [You believe] Scripture teaches penal substitution.
            2. Clement quotes the Scripture that I believe teaches penal substitution.
            3. Therefore Clement teaches penal substitution.

            This logic doesn’t work. 1 and 2 do not entail 3. Clement does not teach penal substitution unless something he says either plainly declares that doctrine or necessarily implies it. And you haven’t shown that. You are unable to point out anywhere that Clement states “God punished Jesus for our sins” or “God poured out His wrath upon Jesus.” Because he doesn’t say that. He does not anywhere teach penal substitution. Just because the Scriptures he quotes, to you imply penal substitution, does not mean that that was the understanding he had of those Scriptures. I can quote those Scriptures, too, and I in fact believe penal substitution is false, abhorrent, and unscriptural. I can quote Ephesians 2:8–10 until I’m blue in the face, but that does not mean that I am teaching justification “by faith alone.”

            I rest my case. I am tired of arguing this to you. You are basing your argument on fallacious logic, and you cannot in fact show me anywhere that Clement teaches penal substitution.

          • Pardon my typo. The logic should read:

            1. [You believe] Scripture teaches penal substitution.
            2. Clement quotes the Scripture that you believe teaches penal substitution.
            3. Therefore Clement teaches penal substitution.

            Also, regarding Jesus “drinking the cup of God’s wrath”: I don’t know where that comes from, but it’s not in Scripture.

          • It seems to me humankind separated themselves from God and placed themselves under the power of sin and death. The work of Christ can be viewed, not as a satisfaction of God’s wrath or the satisfaction of justice which God was bound to by necessity, but as the work of rescuing us from sin, it’s power, and everlasting death and total destruction. Sin equals eternal death.

            Is it not true that Christs’ defeat of the devil was accomplished because Jesus suffered. The nature of Satan’s authority over humanity comes from mankind’s problem of sin, but by Jesus’ cross, the guilt of sin before God is paid for and erased, the devil has no more power over the person saved.

            It doesn’t seem so much as a penalty, or a substitution for anything we did, yet more to bring us back from the results of sin and into Grace and everlasting life.

            In accounting, reconciliation refers to the process of ensuring that two sets of records (usually the balances of two accounts) are in agreement. In this analogy, God sent the Word to teach us, then make a substitution, that by our faith and works this Saving Grace takes us from under Satan’s’ influence and reconciles or restores the original agreement-back under Gods’ influence.

            John 3 14-21 explains it perfectly. Christs’ mission was to defeat sin and Evil and restore eternal life through grace and faith. There is no substitution, condemnation, and no penalties on the faithful.

            “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

  3. I don’t see how you gain from Clement’s quotation of Scripture anything more than what Scripture itself says. You are still projecting your understanding of penal substitution onto the words of Clement, just as you do onto Scripture. Nothing in what Clement says necessarily implies penal substitution.

    • We all project our understanding onto something, but that is not an issue. The issue is is it true that Clement taught that Christ Jesus died for our sins and from His blood we obtained our salvation? If it is true, then my projection of penal substitution onto his writing is true, if not, false. The reason I write is for my projection to be trialed, evaluated and criticized.

      I did not claim that what Clement wrote necessarily implies penal substitution. Do you disagree that Clement did not teach Christ Jesus died in our place, for our sins, that we received salvation from His brutal death?

      • Yes, certainly he taught, as Scripture itself teaches, that Christ died in our place, that He bore our sins and is the expiation of them. But that’s merely an understanding that his death was substitutionary. There’s nothing penal about that — the idea that God punished Christ with our penalty. Commentators are correct that the Church Fathers (in fact, nobody prior to Calvin) taught that.

        • The aim of my series as you will see is to show that they are wrong.

          Points of agreement:

          We agree that Jesus “was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities.”? Yes?

          • That is what Scripture says. As I said above, quoting Clement quoting Scripture accomplishes nothing where he offers no commentary on that Scripture. What you read from Scripture will of course be what you read from Clement in that case — but in both cases you are reading something that isn’t present in the text.

          • Joseph, I am simply trying to find a common ground. We may both be reading something which is not there or one of us reading what is there. I am using Clement, and as you will see also Origen, Justin, Barnabas etc, to show that the church fathers taught penal substitution.

            Do you agree that the blood of Christ was “shed for our salvation”(Cle 1 Cor. 7)?

          • Our common ground is the word of Scripture and the literal word of what these Fathers said. So yes, anything you can quote that Clement said, I will agree that he said. I have the same text in front of me that you do. But you have yet to show how anything Clement said implies that he taught penal substitution.

          • Awesome! That is all I hoped for our common ground.

            Now we agree:

            1. Christ Jesus “was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities.”
            2. Christ Jesus “bare the sins of many, and for their sins was He delivered.”
            3. Christ Jesus’ blood was “shed for our salvation”

            Is there punishment for human transgression, iniquities, and sins?

          • Yes, there is suffering and death and punishment and for sins. But that in no way entails that Christ was being punished for our sins, or even less that God was punishing him.

          • I am trying to make you see how I understand him teaching penal substitution. I know we bring suffering and pain to ourselves, but I am taking about the wrath of God at the coming of Christ Jesus.

            Do you agree that on that day God will render just reward to the righteous and just punishment to the unrighteous? ( See 1 Thes 1:7-10, Rom 5:9)

          • Clement quotes Scripture, and offers little more than that with regard to the atonement. Just because you read penal substitution in Scripture does not mean that Scripture teaches penal substitution, or that Clement quoting Scripture teaches penal substitution. In order for me to accept that Clement teaches penal substitution, according to the argument you are now making, I would first have to accept that Scripture does. You see? Your whole argument that Clement teaches penal substitution (and I suspect your similar arguments for other Church Fathers) depends wholly on your own understanding that Scripture teaches penal substitution, not on anything Clement himself says. Either Clement teaches penal substitution, or he doesn’t, and it’s clear that he doesn’t.

          • Joseph, that is what I am trying to show you here that he did teach penal substitution. We all read something into Scripture and Clement( I think it is unwise of you to suspect a similar arguments for other church fathers before I even present them ). That is not an issue as I told you. I could equally say you are doing the same reading substitutionary atonement.

            If you are willing to understand, not necessarily agree, on how I see Clement teaching penal substitution, then do answer my last question?

          • More than a few patristic scholars have concluded that the Church Fathers did not teach penal substitution. When I see your first argument is based upon a fallacy, I have reason to suspect that your other arguments are based on the same fallacy.

            It is clear and undeniable that Scripture teaches some form of substitutionary atonement, that Christ suffered for our sins — since Scripture says so in plain language. That is not an issue of interpretation or my own reading; it is an accepted fact.

            But Scripture does not say, at any point, that God punished Christ for our sins. That is an understanding built on an theological argument that is external to Scripture. And your understanding that Clement teaches penal substitution is based on that same argument. By the same reasoning, anyone who quotes those same Scriptures is “teaching penal substitution” — since Clement is doing little more than quoting those Scriptures. For Clement to “teach penal substitution,” he would have to have said something that implied that he believed the atonement was a case of Christ being punished for our sins or of God punishing Christ — and he says neither. He only quotes Scripture.

            The truth is that the theology of the atonement was not an important concern for the Early Church, nor was justification or any other Reformed obsession. No one prior to Anselm gave much thought to a developed theology of the atonement or spilled much ink on it. And no one prior to Calvin concocted the notion that God punished Christ for our sins.

          • There are scholars who also hold that the church fathers did teach penal substitution. So the only way is to read it for ourselves. How is my argument based upon fallacy? Which fallacy is that?

          • Quoth Wikipedia (with half a dozen detailed source citations from well respected scholars), “In scholarly literature it has been generally recognised for some time that the penal substitution theory was not taught in the Early Church.” What scholar holds that the Church Fathers taught penal substitution?

            This is your logic:

            1. Scripture teaches penal substitution [according to my interpretation] (Christ was wounded for our transgressions; God will punish the unrighteous, etc.)
            2. Clement quotes Scripture (the very verses that [I interpret] to teach penal substitution).
            3. Therefore, Clement teaches penal substitution.

            But if one does not accept that Scripture teaches penal substitution, then the rest of the argument does not follow and in fact makes no sense. The conclusion that Clement teaches penal substitution is based upon your own interpretation of Scripture, not on anything Clement himself said. Nothing Clement himself says implies penal substitution. You have yet to show me anything he said, or even to make a case based on anything he said, that supports your argument. Instead you are still trying to convince me of Premise 1, which in itself indicates that your logic is faulty.

          • It’s called a logical fallacy because you make it without realizing it. 🙂 Your whole argument has reflected it. Can you show me anything Clement said that plainly teaches penal substitution? Apparently you can’t, so instead you’ve been trying to convince me that Scripture teaches penal substitution. If Clement teaches penal substitution, then why does that depend on what Scripture does or does not teach, or on how you or I interpret Scripture at all?

          • What is the name of that logical fallacy? Apparently I am trying to show you but you are not willing. If you are willing then answer my question:

            Do you agree that on that last day God will render just reward to the righteous and just punishment to the unrighteous? ( See 1 Thes 1:7-10, Rom 5:9)

          • It doesn’t have to have a formal name to be fallacious logic! But it’s similar to begging the question. You presume that Scripture teaches penal substitution, so Clement quoting Scripture must teach penal substitution.

            I have told you half a dozen times that I accept the word of Scripture. But why are you making an argument from Scripture at all? If Clement teaches penal substitution, then why aren’t you making an argument from Clement?

          • Why do we have to have a common ground regarding our understanding of Scripture to understand or agree on what Clement teaches? Can Clement not speak for himself? This post was supposed to be about how Clement taught penal substitution, and nothing above or below implies that he taught penal substitution.

          • Joseph I see Clement teaching penal substitution above but you do not. The only way I can show you what I see is finding common ground to which we can read Clement.

            Why are you unwilling to reason with me Joseph?

          • Joseph it is because you do not answer my question. I cannot make an argument until I find a common ground. Do answer my last question and I will present you my case.

          • I have answered your question repeatedly. I accept the word of Scripture. What Scripture says, I accept. Scripture says that the righteous will receive a reward, and the unrighteous will receive punishment. But one more time, why are you not making an argument from Clement? Why does my understanding of Clement depend on my understanding of Scripture?

          • Who said your understand of Clement depended on your understanding of Scripture? I am going to make a case from Clement but before I do so I want us to be on the same train by having common ground.

            Would you care to answer then: Do you agree that on that last day God will render just reward to the righteous and just punishment to the unrighteous? ( See 1 Thes 1:7-10, Rom 5:9)

          • Clearly it depends on my understanding somehow, or you would simply make your argument without such constant and precise affirmation from me. Most people who write articles arguing for some position are able to make an argument without expecting their readers to “be on the same train.” An argument that depends on the reader’s understanding is not a very effective argument.

            If you had an argument to make from the text of Clement, you should have made it in the article itself. As it stands now, if you have an argument, please make your argument. I am tired of going around in circles on this and I am sure that you are too.

          • Josef I think Clement is clear above. You do not. Thus for me to show you then I need to understand what are your understandings that we both agree. From there show you that Clement above does teach penal substitution.

            Could you answer the last question so that we can move on?

          • Garry Williams in ‘A Critical Exposition of Hugo Grotius’s Doctrine of the Atonement in De satisfactione Christi’ (unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Oxford, 1999)

            See also his response to his 2011 article: “Penal sbustitutionary atonement in the church fathers”(EQ 83.3 195-216) where he responded Derek Flood who hold a similar position to yours.

            See also Michael J. Vlack (2009) ” Penal Substitution in Church History” TMSJ 20/2:199-214 and Gregg Allison’s Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christ Doctrine(2011)

  4. Greetings Prayson. It happens that I’m currently involved in a similar discussion. Here is my question for anyone who cares to respond:

    Yeshua’s death was clearly substitutionary (on our behalf) and a sin offering (“bearing” our sin.) But I don’t see how it can be “penal substitutionary” in an equivalent sense, since Jesus did not: suffer in hell; suffer for eternity; endure separation from God. Correlating question for me now are:

    1) Was Jesus “made to be sin” as Paul literally says in 2 Cor 5:20? I say no. I contend that Paul was employing a Hebraism, and that his meaning was that Jesus was “made to be a sin offering.”
    2) Was Jesus “forsaken” on the cross by the Father? Did God then “turn His back on Jesus” so that Jesus suffered the penalty we deserve? I say no.

    These 2 ideas have become the common in American evangelicalism, but I no longer see ample support in the Bible for them. I see a Messiah who always was, is, and will be sinless, and who always was, is, and will be in loving communion with the Father. This communion has never been broken. Our redemption was accomplished by the shedding of the blood of this sinless Messiah (1 Peter 1:18-20.) He covered our debt – not by suffering our due penalty, but by bearing our sins as prefigured in the Mosaic covenant sacrifices. It was the innocence & perfection of the lamb that qualified it to be a bearer of the sin of others. The lamb did not become sinful or guilty. So it is with the spotless Lamb of God.

  5. Ah, I see Prayson. That helps me understand the context. My only advice would be to just ask someone fluent in English to proof read the posts – if anyone is able to do so. If not, no worries, as I can discern the meaning well enough.
    It’s good stuff and I appreciate the blog, so keep it coming.

    God bless,

    –Bill

  6. Without a PARADIGM SHIFT, in accordance with the series in the Scriptures of God’s self-revelations, a.k.a., “life-giving Spirit”, i.e., source of life, all theories on the vicarious suffering of a penalty by Jesus in substitution for mankind cross the red line of idolatry.

    (Deut. 12: 29-32; Psa. 68:18; Isa. 55: 8-9; John 6: 62-64; Eph. 4: 8-10)

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