Arguing about the atonement

It seems that some peoples mechanistic idea of the trinity “It cannot be separated in any way” is behind at least part of the disagreement with penal substitution which is rampant these days. Spurgeon would have had exactly the same things to say about the people today who deny the plain teaching of scripture that Christ bore in his body the punishment due for our sin. And yes, Steve Chalke is among the number of those who deny this teaching (follow the link for more information)

Last night I had a late night google talk conversation who’s identity will remain secret to protect the guilty (unless he chooses to unveil himself!)

I batted around the plain notion that Jesus became sin “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor 5:21). This blogging friend of mine said something like “Jesus somehow took sinful man into God and reconcilled them”, to which I strongly disagreed since the bible plainly says that Jesus became sin.

We discussed Romans 1 and the wrath of God, Romans 3 and the fact that simply leaving sin un punished is not possible if God is to be just. Again, the blogger wriggled. It seemed the notion of an actively angry and yes vengeful God was just too much for him. But the bible plainly teaches the terrible wrath of God. If it wasnt poured out on Jesus then the wrath of God still exists towards me.

It is only possible for God to forgive and lay aside his anger against us because he has punished sin in Christ. He can only accept us because he actively rejected Christ on the cross.

This statement caused even more antibodies to be raised in my friend. He simply couldnt accept the statement Jesus made on the cross: “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?

My friend even dared to contradict Jesus and say “But God DIDNT forsake him, he only FELT like he was being forsaken. This contradiction of the very words of the son of God hanging on the cross is the closest thing to blasphemy I have heard in a long time. My friend says his theology of the trinity wont allow it. I say my theology of who Christ is will not permit Christ to be wrong and my friend right!

The bible is very very clear, we are saved by Christ from the wrath of God. If you cannot accept that, I am not convinced that you are definitely saved and I would be concerned that you might fall short of the test that we will all undergo on that final day. This issue really is that important.

About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock has been a blogger since April 2003, and a member of Jubilee Church, London since 1995, where he seves as part of the leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso.

Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus.

Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway.

Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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