Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Price of Redemption - God or Man?

By Ronald R. Day, Sr. (Restoration Bible Study Services - ResLight, RLBible)

Many argue that man's sin is so great, that no man, nor any created being, could not possibly pay the price to atone for sin -- that only God can pay for man's sin. Some speak of what they call "infinite sin", which according to the reasoning given, would require a "infinite" price that only God Himself could give for sin. This may sound "reasonable" to human thought, but the question is: Is such reasoning in harmony with the Bible, and with God's thoughts on the matter?

In all that was revealed by means of God's Holy Spirit through the apostles, there is nothing at all said about God's death would be needed to suffice for sin. God did not sin and bring death upon mankind, thus God's death is not required to offset sin.

What did the apostle Paul state concerning this?

1 Corinthians 15:21 For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man.
1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. -- World English.

Romans 5:12 Therefore , just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned -
Romans 5:13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Romans 5:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.
Romans 5:16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned ; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.
Romans 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
Romans 5:19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. -- New American Standard

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
1 Timothy 2:6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. -- New American Standard.

God did not give himself as a ransom, an offsetting price, for sin, but it was the "man Christ Jesus" who gave himself
God, in his wisdom, condemned all of Adam's offspring in one man, so that only one righteous man would be needed to pay the price for sin. That one man was not God, but was the man Christ Jesus.

Paul also wrote:

For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh. -- Romans 8:3, NAS.

Thus, if God died for our sins, what would that mean? It would mean that Christ did not condemn sin in the flesh, but rather that he justified sin in the flesh, proving that Adam would have needed to have been God in order to obey God. It is only because Jesus was indeed a human being, having the full crown of glory a little lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:9), sinless -- never having fallen short of the glory of God  (Romans 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5) -- that Jesus' obedience condemned sin the flesh, and by his sacrifice of his humanity, made the way for God to remain just, while yet justifying the sinner. -- Romans 3:26.

Add to this the fact that God cannot die; if God actually died, and his being as Most High actually ceased to exist, he is still dead, for there would have been no one to raise him out such a death. Some respond to this by imagining that Jesus is both God and human, and thus claim that Jesus the human died, but God did not die, evidently not realizing that such an argument is contradictory to the argument that God had to die for sin. Nor do they seem to realize that their dogma of "dual natures/hypostatic union" has to be imagined in human imagination, added to, and read into the scriptures. The Bible never mentions such an idea.

Furthermore, one can present all the human reasoning they wish concerning the matter; yet in the Bible you will not find any thing that says that God requires that He present Himself to Himself as a offering to Himself for sin. No such idea exists anywhere in the Bible. That which God required as a offering for sin was not Himself, the price needed to offset sin was not God, but rather an obedient man to offset the first man's disobedience. The world was not condemned in God, but in man. -- 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:12-19.

It is claimed that God was offended. not man. According this reasoning, if man was offended, then man could provide the ransom.

We assume that "offended" (as used above) is meant to transgress against. This simply sidetracks the true issue of the redemptive price. Since it was God who was transgressed against, it was God, to whom the price must be paid, or given, to offset the transgression. It was a man who transgressed (committed offense) not God, that is the scriptural point, and thus the redemptive price to offset that transgression requires an obedient man, not God. -- 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:12-19.

Indeed, in the Bible, it is ONLY a human sacrifice that is ever mentioned as being what was acceptable to take away sin. The Bible NOWHERE says that God had to sacrifice Himself to Himself for sin. The scriptures are given above related to this, but for continuity here, we present them again, this time using Catholic translations:

1 Corinthians 15:21,22:
As it was by one man that death came, so through one man has come the resurrection of the dead. Just as all die in Adam, so in Christ all will be brought to life; -- New Jerusalem Bible translation.

1 Timothy 2:5,6:
For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and humanity, himself a human being, Christ Jesus, who offered himself as a ransom for all. This was the witness given at the appointed time, -- New Jerusalem Bible translation.

That which was required was not God to pay for the sin of Adam, but it was "man", and it was the "human being, Christ Jesus, who offered himself as a ransom for all."

If death came to many through the offence of one man, how much greater an effect the grace of God has had, coming to so many and so plentifully as a free gift through the one man Jesus Christ! -- Romans 5:15, New Jerusalem.

Again, it is by means of the sacrifice of the "man Jesus Christ" that the free gift comes.
Ephesians 5:2 WEB
Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

Hebrews 10:5 WEB
Therefore when he comes into the world, he says, "Sacrifice and offering you didn't desire, But a body did you prepare for me;

Hebrews 10:10 WEB
by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

He sacrificed his humanity — including his body of flesh — as an offsetting price, which sacrifice he formally presented as priest after his ascension. – - Hebrews 8:4; 9:24-26; 10:10.

Jesus sacrificed his human blood.

Matthew 26:28 – for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.

Mark 14:24 – He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.

Luke 22:20 – He took the cup in like manner after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, that which is poured out for you.

Acts 20:28 – Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. – Revised Standard Version.

Romans 5:9 – Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him.

Ephesians 1:7 – in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.

However, what does blood represent? Jesus’ human soul, which is included in his sacrifice.

Leviticus 17:11 – For the life [Hebrew, nephesh - soul] of the flesh is in the blood.

Deuteronomy 12:23 – The blood is the life [Hebrew, nephesh - soul].

The human soul consists of the body made from the dust of the ground and the neshamah, activated by spirit of life as received from God. - Genesis 2:7.

Jesus did sacrifice his human body:

Hebrews 10:10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:11 Every priest indeed stands day by day ministering and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins,
Hebrews 10:12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Hebrews 10:13 henceforth expecting until his enemies to be made the footstool of his feet.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.

Luke 22:19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, “This is *my body which is given [as an offering in sacrifice to God - Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:14] for you*. Do this in memory of me.”

Yes, it was Jesus the man -- not God -- who "bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed." -- 1 Peter 2:24.

Thus, Jesus sacrificed his human flesh:

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
Jesus sacrificed his human soul:

Matthew 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life [soul] as a ransom [price to offset] for many.

Isaiah 53:12 He *poured out his soul* to death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

He died; he was totally dead, ceased to be sentient, else there has been no ransom. His human body, his human soul, his human flesh, his human blood, was given in sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:10; Luke 22:19) Jesus’ human soul — his sentiency as a human — was given in sacrifice (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and went into into the oblivious condition of sheol, where there is no work, device, knowledge or wisdom, and wherein one cannot give thanks to, or praise to, Yahweh. (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 6:5; Isaiah 38:18) Jesus’ human blood — which represents his human soul/being (Leviticus 17:11; Deuteronomy 12:23) — was given in sacrifice. (Mark 14:24; Acts 20:28; Hebrews 9:14) Thus his soul — his being — as raised, made alive, from the oblivious condition of sheol was no longer human, but spirit, with a spiritual body and glory, not with the earthly, fleshly, physical body and glory. As a human sentiency, Jesus remains oblivious forever, since that would have been the result of the condemnation upon Adam, had Jesus not offered his human soul as the offsetting price. If, however, Jesus now has human sentiency, as man's self-proclaimed "orthodoxy" claims, then the offsetting price was not completed. The dogma that Jesus is still a human being would actually annul the purpose of Christ's coming the flesh. -- Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 John 2:2; 4:2,3; Hebrews 10:20.

Additionally, if Jesus had to be the only Most High in order to pay to God the redemptive price for sin, then this would have proven that for Adam to have obeyed the Most High, Adam would have needed to have been the Most High. This would, in effect, give justification to Adam's sin, and thereby justifying sin in the flesh, since neither Adam nor any of his descendants are the Most High. In other words, if Jesus was "God in the flesh", it would have proven that Adam would have needed to have been "God in the flesh" in order to obey God, which, in turn, would justify sin the flesh rather than condemn sin the flesh.

However, Paul wrote that Jesus condemned sin the flesh (Romans 8:3). He did this because Jesus was flesh, a little lower than the angels, just as Adam -- the first human son of God (Luke 33:8) -- had been, but instead of disobeying as did Adam, Jesus remained obedient to his God. (Romans 5:19; Hebrews 5:8) Thus, "Just as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man's obedience are many to be made upright." (Romans 5:19, New Jerusalem) It was not God's obedience to God, but rather it as Jesus' obedience as a man.

It was the man, Christ Jesus, "gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance." (Ephesians 5:2) It was the man, Christ Jesus, who "offered himself without blemish to God." (Hebrews 9:14) It was the man Christ Jesus, who "suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh." (2 Peter 3:18)  Not once do we read that God offered Himself to God.

Furthermore, in saying "to God" in above verses, it is saying that Jesus offered himself to only one person, not to three persons. "God" does not mean three persons, but rather it refers only to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who raised Jesus up as a prophet like Moses. (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:13-26; Hebrews 1:1,2).

Yes, scriptures tell us plainly that, although under the Law bulls and goats were offered for sin, that such sacrifices cannot actually take away sin. (Hebrews 10:4) We find next that what is needed to take away sin is a human body, which God prepared for Jesus, thus making Jesus' human body apart from the sin in Adam. (Matthew 1:20; Hebrews 10:5) That this human body was indeed what was required for sin is shown by Hebrews 10:10.  The scriptures are in full harmony in testimony that it was indeed the man, Christ Jesus, who offered himself to God as a ransom for all. -- Romans 5:12-19; Ephesians 5:2; 2 Timothy 2:5,6.

One has claimed: "If Jesus wasn't God in the flesh, then He never might have been our Deliverance from sin." The false premise presented is that if Jesus was not God in the flesh, then he would have been "have been just like every other person who died for a good cause." Such overlooks the fact that Jesus was not born of the world that became condemned through Adam. (Romans 5:12-19) Jesus was, while in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), indeed, not of this world, even as the sons of God -- having been begotten again (born again) -- are not reckoned as being of the old creation, this world that is passing away. (John 3:7; 8:23; 15:19; 17:14,15; 2 Corinthians 5:7; 1 John 2:17) Unlike the dying world around him, Jesus' body was specially prepared by God (Matthew 1:20; Hebrews 10:5), and thus, Jesus -- although he was a man, a little lower than the angels (Psalm 8:4,5; Hebrews 2:9) -- was not under the condemnation through Adam.

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