Systematic Theology 2 Final Part 2 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Systematic Theology 2 Final Part 2 Deck (196):

after what did they begin separating Jesus of history vs. Jesus of faith?

Enlightenment (Immanuel Kant)
Ernest Renan
Rudolf Bultmann
John Hick - the Myth of God Incarnate
Jesus Seminars - 5 gospels, 1 Jesus


Both the authors of Myth and the members of ‘Jesus Seminar’ are committed to either

philosophical naturalism or panentheism (=both which are methodological naturalism)


This is what happens to Christology within the above framework – both the person and work of Christ are lost.
1. Here the idea is that Jesus is only one possible mediator of salvation, but there are others as well (see John Hick – editor of Myth; Paul Knitter; Don Cupitt; process thought; Maurice Wiles). Each religion expresses the religiosity of a given culture, so each religion is relative to that culture. We might say that each religion is ‘true’ for that culture (Ernst Troeltsch).
2. On this position, it is a transcendent value that is mediated by the various saviors (i.e. love), but this value is universal while the mediators are historical and particular (cf. Lessing’s ugly ditch). It is held that God has acted for all people, but in various ways and through different religions.
3. Atonement: Jesus is a moral example–nothing substitutionary/unique about it.

Pluralistic Christology:


This is the traditional affirmation of the church.
Jesus is the God-man, the eternal Word made flesh, our only Lord and Savior who laid down his life for sinners and as a result is our only hope of salvation.
Thus, Jesus is not only the final revelation of God (Jn 14:6; Heb 1:1-2), he is also the only hope of salvation for fallen mankind (Acts 4:12). Unless there is a self-conscious faith in Jesus Christ, there is no salvation.

Exclusivist Christology:


In recent days, even within evangelicalism (Clark Pinnock, John Sanders, et al.), there has been a rise of inclusivist Christology. It is seen as a mediating position between pluralism and exclusivism. There are a variety of views within this overall category. On the ‘evangelical’ side of the spectrum, the view is argued that the cross work of Christ is the basis for salvation, but that one does not necessarily have to have faith in Jesus to experience salvation (ontological vs. epistemological basis for salvation).

Inclusivistic Christology


the position that historians qua historians must never admit a supernatural explanation for anything

methodological naturalism


how does the Bible's story link give us a high Christology?
In Creation?

Creation identifies that
1. God is Lord.
God is the source of all there is, sovereign & absolute, establishes a Creator-creature distinction
2. God is the Covenant Lord..
living and active
personal and such moral
3. God is holy.
creation is the beg of the story
God created the world good
theistic universe
moral universe


how does the Bible's story link give us a high Christology?
the fall?

*Creation establishes the proper place and interpretation of human beings.
1. We are made in God’s image, to reflect him and to be like him.
2. Human beings are made to know God
3. we cannot escape God; we are without excuse (Rom 1-2). We are responsible creatures. We have a Lord.

* Creation establishes the first Adam—Last (2nd) Adam typological connection
1. anticipates the new adam
federal head... adam the first.. christ the second. does not fail


But Christ is the Last (2nd) Adam.

A new creation begins under his headship.
His obedience – his life of obedience and act of obedience in laying down his life for us on the cross – brings salvation. His work is a representative and substitutionary work.
Result: he secures for us eternal life, righteousness, justification. We participate ‘in Christ,’ not by the course of nature, but by new birth (Jn 3:6) wrought by the Spirit and the Word, through faith.
‘In Christ’ (union with Christ) we receive all the benefits of God’s saving grace – justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification (including resurrection bodies – cf. 1 Corinthians 15).
Christ work becomes our work


The Fall (Genesis 3). Without the historic Fall, we could not make sense of the Bible’s story and the person and work of Christ.

the Bible’s story and the person and work of Christ.


how does the Bible's story link give us a high Christology?
3rd: God’s Promise of a Coming Salvation for His People in the ‘Last Days’.

1. By way of enigmatic prediction – the protoevangelion (Gen 3:15). a promise - old creation not completely destroyed ….Jesus will crush satan…. typology
2. By way of typology and foreshadowing. This picks up the redemptive-historical and progressive unfolding of Scripture. This is tied to the promise-fulfillment theme. One way of presenting promise-fulfillment is via typology.
(Adam, Moses, Isreal, Leaders, David, Insituations, Events)
3. By way of covenant and covenantal themes.
4. By way of explicit prophetic announcement.



1. Creation/Edenic Covenant
2. Noahic Covenant - new creation promise
3. Abrahamic Covenant - unconditional convenant
4. Covenant with Israel.
Obedience was the means to experience covenant blessing in their daily lives
5. Davidic Covenant
6. New everlasting covenant


how does the Bible's story link give us a high Christology?
Fulfillment of the Promise in Messiah Jesus.

And in light of Jesus’ coming, what was anticipated, has now come, and things have slightly (even dramatically) changed as a result.


This term describes the theme of ‘fulfillment.’ Because the NT sees itself as the fulfillment of the OT, it modifies the structure of the redemptive-historical time line. The NT proclaims that what was predicted in the old has now arrived in the new, even though there is still more to come. This is what is meant by the ‘already’ ‘not yet’ tension.

Inaugurated Eschatology


Jesus is..

1. He is the new temple (Jn 2).
2. The great High Priest (Heb 7).
3. David’s greater Son (Mt 1; Lk 2).
4. OT references to Yhwh are applied to Jesus, and in Revelation, “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb” are repeatedly linked. Jesus is nothing less than the great “I am” (Jn 8:58; cf. 5:23).


the persona and work of Christ
Jesus, the Christ is seen as the only solution to evil, sin, and death. In this, the gospels unite in driving the story of Jesus to the cross



Jesus is the possessor of divine attributes.

1. Omniscience (Jn 21:17 (Jesus knows all; Acts 1:24- Jesus knows all things) - all knowing ( Jesus doesn’t know the end of times only God… mark)
2. Omnipresent (Eph 4:10) - everywhere
3. Immutability (Heb 13:8) - unchanging


Jesus is eternally existent.
contrary to arianism

1. Pre-existence. Two texts speak of Christ’s existence or activity prior to his incarnation (Jn 12:41 – see Isa 6:1-3; 1 Cor 10:4)
2. Eternal pre-existence. Other texts affirm Christ’s existence prior to creation (Jn 1:1; 17:5; Heb 1:2).


Jesus is equal in dignity

The divine name (Mt 28:19)
Specific names.
Lord (Ex 6:2; Isa 45:5; Acts 2:36; 1 Cor 12:3)
Lord of lords (Dt 10:17; Ps 136:3; Rev 17:14; 19:16)
Shepherd (Ps 23:1; Ezk 34:11-31; Jn 10:11-16; Hb 13:20; 1 Pt 5:4)
Alpha and Omega (Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13; cf. 1:17)
The Spirit (Rom 8:9)
The Kingdom (Eph 5:5; Rev 11:15)
The Throne (Rev 22:1,3)


In relation to human beings...

Jesus is the recipient of praise and worship.
Jesus is the addressee in prayer.
Jesus is the object of saving faith.
Jesus is the joint source of blessing.
Jesus is the object of doxologies


Jesus' divine functions.. in relation to the universe

Jesus the creator and sustainer


Jesus' divine functions.. in relation relation to human beings..

1. Jesus taught and healed with authority.
2. Jesus dispensed the Spirit
3. Jesus raises the dead
4. Jesus forgives sins
5. Jesus grants salvation or eternal life.
6. Jesus exercises judgment


List the 7 texts which explicit state that the Son is ‘God’ (theos). Why is this important?

John 1:18:
John 20:28: my Lord and my God / / Because you have seen me you beleive.. blessed are those who have not seen me and believe in me…
Romans 9:5 attributed theos to Jesus
Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1: God & Savior
Hebrews 1:8a:
psalm 45 -


List the 7 texts which explicit state that the Son is ‘God’ (theos). Why is this important?

John 1:1-2.
John 1:18:
John 20:28: my Lord and my God / / Because you have seen me you beleive.. blessed are those who have not seen me and believe in me…
Romans 9:5 attributed theos to Jesus
Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1: God & Savior
Hebrews 1:8a:
psalm 45 -


Why is the title not used more often?

1. In the NT, theos has virtually become a proper name for God the Father. If Christ was everywhere called ‘God’ so that in reference to him the term was not a title but a proper noun, linguistic ambiguity would be everywhere present. See 2 Cor 5:19.

2. Theos, denoting the Father and rarely the Son, helps protect the personal distinction between Son and Father, which is everywhere in the NT.

3. there is a role difference. It is the role of the Father to direct, of the Son to obey.


Theos is often reserved for the Father to safeguard

the humanity of Jesus.


This theory argues that Christ gave up some of his divine attributes while he was on earth as a man. The word kenosis is taken from the Greek verb kenoō which means “to empty” and is translated “emptied himself” in Philippians 2:7. Thus, according to this theory, Christ “emptied himself” of some of his divine attributes such as omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, while he was on earth as a man. This was viewed as a voluntary self-limitation on Christ’s part, which he carried out in order to do his work.

“kenosis theory”


“kenosis theory” phil 2:5 response..

he humbles himself, not by loosing his attributes, but by being a human.. affirms God’s attributes.. greatness is not from clingy to ones rights, but giving them up


Theological importance of the virgin birth.

1. It demonstrates that salvation ultimately must come from the Lord.

2. Virgin birth allows us to assert the uniqueness of Jesus.

3. Virgin birth made possible the uniting of full deity/humanity in one person.

4. What is the relationship between the virgin birth and the sinlessness of Jesus? This is a difficult question. Some have argued that the virgin conception makes possible Christ’s true humanity without inherited sin. But we must be careful at this point. Does this then mean that the transmission of sin comes only through the father? Scripture nowhere teaches this. But then why did he not inherit a sinful nature from Mary? Should we affirm with the Roman Catholic church the immaculate conception of Mary? Note: The immaculate conception was made dogma on Dec 8, 1854 (Pius IX). No, since there is no scriptural warrant for this position. What should we then say?


In the 1st century, Jews recited Dt 6:4 twice daily. This confession affirms that there is only one God and that he is unique in the universe. It also implies that God alone is the proper object of worship; to worship the creature rather than the Creator is blasphemy. The first Christians also shared this same sense of utter repulsion at the idea that a human being should be worshipped (cf. Acts 14:14-15; Rev 19:10). Against this background we must take seriously two astounding points.
When Jesus was on earth he received the praise and worship given to him without ever rebuking the persons who acted in this way (Mt 14:33; 21:15-16; 28:9,17; Jn 20:28; cf. 5:22-23).
After Jesus’ return to heaven as the exalted Lord, praise and worship of him intensified (Eph 5:19; Phil 2:9-11; Rev 5:8-9, 12-14). Also see Hebrews 1:6 and its quotation of Dt 32:43 (LXX).

In relation to human beings...
Jesus is the recipient of praise and worship.


Creator and Sustainer Verses

In relation to the universe.…
Jesus is the creator (Jn 1:3; Col 1:16; Heb 1:3).
Jesus is the sustainer (Col 1:17; Heb 1:2-3).


How is the virgin birth presented in Scripture?

Luke asserts that the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” Mary (Lk 1:35; cf. Mt 1:20). This same word (episkiazō) used here is again used in his account of the Transfiguration (Lk 9:34). Why is this significant? To Jewish minds, this is significant for 2 reasons: (1) Genesis 1:2 where the Spirit is said to hover over the face of the waters. This would be appropriate especially if Jesus were considered the head of a ‘new creation.’ Thus, what emerges from the Spirit’s creative work in the beginning was called ‘good;’ what emerges from this work in Mary is called ‘holy;’ (2) Divine cloud that covered the Israelites’ camp in the desert. This cloud was the mysterious presence of God visually presented.


A definite predicate nominative has the article when it follows the verb; it does not have the article when it precedes the verb. [I shall abbreviate it “Colrule.”]

Colwell's Rule


Sinlessness of Christ (verses)

1. Jesus’ self-consciousness: Jesus recognized sin in others but not in himself. He charges others to repent but never repents himself. In fact, he even calls on his enemies to try to find fault with him (Jn 8:46).
2. Hebrews 4:15; 7:26; 9:14.
3. 1 Peter 1:19: Peter refers to Jesus as a “lamb without blemish or spot.” Of course, Peter is picking up OT imagery to affirm Jesus’ freedom from any moral defilement. Peter directly states “He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips” (1 Pet 2:22). When Jesus died, it was “the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Pet 3:18).
4. John calls Jesus in his epistle, “Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 Jn 2:1) and says that “in him there was no sin” (1 Jn 3:5).
5. 2 Corinthians 5:21: Paul states that Jesus knew no sin. When Paul speaks of Jesus coming to live as a man he is careful not to say that he took on “sinful flesh,” but rather says that God sent his own Son “in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin” (Romans 8:3).
6. John 15:10: Jesus claimed to have kept all of the Father’s commands.
7. John 18:38: Pilate could find no fault with Jesus (cf. Lk 23:4,14-15,22,41,47).
Acts 2:27; 3:14; 4:30; 7:52; 13:35: Over and over again Jesus is referred to as “the righteous or holy one.”


Colwell's Rule with John 1:1-2. hows the jehovah witness's got it wrong?

-jehovah witnesses say that the Word was A God

-emphasizing more of a qualitative nature… this word is the second person of the God head - Jesus… God the unique one…THEOS doesn't have the article.. use colonel's rule to see the JW are wrong


From dokew = “to seem”. This was one of the first full-fledged heresies. it denied the reality of Jesus’ body as well as his sufferings and death. In other words, Jesus only seemed to be human.



(a Gnostic): According to Irenaeus, “Cerinthus taught... that Jesus was born not of a virgin but was the son of Joseph and Mary, like other men, but superior to all others in justice, prudence, and wisdom. And that after his baptism Christ descended upon him in the form of a dove... but that in the end Christ flew back, leaving Jesus, and Jesus suffered and rose again but Christ remained impassible, being by nature spiritual.”



(offshoot of the Judaizers): They denied the ontological deity of Jesus. They were strongly monotheistic. They argued that Jesus was born to Joseph and Mary in a normal way. Jesus was an ordinary man possessed of unusual (but not supernatural) gifts. Christ descended on Jesus at his baptism. This meant that God’s presence and power was real. God was in Jesus influentially. Near the end of Jesus’ life, Christ withdrew from him, thus cry of abandonment on the cross.



they were concerned with the transcendence of God and monotheism. God cannot share his being with anyone else. If he did then we could no longer speak of monotheism. Only God is eternal and everything else is created. However, the Father did not create the world directly (because then he would have had to come into contact with it). Instead he used an agent – the ‘Word’. This Word had a beginning.
They based their beliefs on passages that indicate that the Son is a creature. They referred to such texts as Col 1:15 – ‘firstborn.’ They also referred to texts in which the Father is represented as the only true God (Jn 17:3), and hence not the Son, as well as texts that seem to imply that Christ is inferior to the Father (Jn 14:28; Mk 13:32-33; cf. Prov 8:22)



homoousios vs. homoiousios

Nicea/Constantinople affirmed that Jesus Christ was truly God – homoousios, i.e. same substance, not homoiousios, i.e. similar substance – and truly man. It left unanswered as to how Christ is both God and man.


body, soul, and spirit coexisting in a union (trichotomy), in Christ were only the human body and soul, the divine Logos having displaced the human spirit (nous).
esus had a human body and a divine soul. Problem: the divine swallowed up the human. human.. but not fully human.. he cannot fully save us if he is not fully human..if this was true then you would have a savior who could not save… must no tho to the ditch off the road…



the view that there were two separate persons in Christ, a human person and a divine person. This view was rejected because nowhere in Scripture do we see that the human nature of Christ is an independent person, deciding to do something contrary to the divine nature of Christ. Rather, we have a consistent picture of a single person acting in wholeness and unity. That is why the church insisted that Jesus was one person, although possessing both a human nature and a divine nature. Nestorianism was condemned at the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD).



This is the view that Christ had one nature only (monos: ‘one,’ and physis: ‘nature’). Proponent: Eutyches (c. 378-454). Eutyches taught that the human nature of Christ was taken up and absorbed into the divine nature, so that both natures were changed, and thus a 3rd kind of nature resulted. Jesus, then, according to this view, was a mixture of divine and human elements in which both were somewhat modified to form one new nature. Problem: Christ was neither truly God nor truly man.

Monophysitism (Eutychianism).


What did the Council of Nicea decide Christologically?

Nicea/Constantinople affirmed that Jesus Christ was truly God – homoousios, i.e. same substance, not homoiousios, i.e. similar substance – and truly man. It left unanswered as to how Christ is both God and man.


What did the Council of Chalcseon decide Christologically?

fully God fully man


The Chalcedonian formulation sought to summarize and address every problem that had plagued the church with regard to the person of Christ. It argued against:

Docetism: the Lord Jesus was perfect in manness, truly man, consubstantial with us according to his manness, and born of Mary.
Adoptionism: it argued for the personal subsistence of the Logos ‘begotten of the Father before the ages.’
Modalism: it distinguished the Son from the Father both by the titles of ‘Father’ and ‘Son’ and by its reference to the Father having begotten the Son before the ages.
Arianism: it affirmed that the Lord Jesus was perfect in deity, truly God.
Apollinarianism: it confessed that the Lord Jesus Christ was ‘truly man of a reasonable soul [spirit] and body... consubstantial with us according to his manhood; in all things like unto us.’
Nestorianism: it affirmed Mary as theotokos, not in order to exalt Mary, but in order to affirm Jesus’ true deity and the fact of a real incarnation. It also spoke throughout of one and the same Son and one person and one subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons and whose natures are in union without division and without separation.
Eutychianism: it confessed that in Christ there were two natures without confusion and without change, the property of each nature being preserved and concurring in the one person.


Chalcedonian understanding of ‘person’ and ‘nature’ as applied to Christ

1 person
2 natures


what is the hypostatic union (Enhypostatic Union.)?

Chalcedon argues that Christ is ‘one person with two natures’ with the ‘person’ being that of the Son of the intra-Trinitarian unity. Some have complained that Chalcedon has not escaped the charge of docetism in that it denies to the human nature a human personality.


This explanation of the personality of the human nature of Jesus has come to be known as the doctrine of the

enhypostatic union.


It is true that the statement denies that the Son of God, already a person within the Trinity, took into union with himself a human person. Instead, the creed insisted that the Son took into union with himself a full complex of human attributes without its own person (‘anhypostasia,’ literally ‘no person’). However, these early church fathers would never have thought of Jesus, as a man, as being an impersonal human being. Jesus was personal, as a man, by virtue of the union of his manness in the person of the eternal Son. In other words, as a person, the Son of God gave personal identity to the human nature that he had assumed without losing or compromising his divine nature. Never for a moment did the man Jesus exist apart from the union of natures in the one divine person. This implies, then, that the man Jesus from the moment of conception was personal by virtue of the union of the human nature in the divine Son.

hypostatic union (Enhypostatic Union.)?


The enhypostatic union means that Christ’s humanity is that of .

Everyman, but it does not mean that he is Everyman. He is the man, Christ Jesus; and the only humanity united to him hypostatically is his own


‘anhypostasia,’ literally

‘no person’


The Chalcedon definition requires us to argue that there were not two ‘

self-consciousnesses’ within Jesus, even though each nature has its own will, mind, and consciousness.


Communicatio idiomatum?

The Lutheran vs. Calvinistic Controversy.


Communicatio idiomatum? about what for lutherans?

Lutherans argued for a ‘communication of attributes’ whereby our Lord’s divine nature at his virgin conception virtually ‘divinized’ his human nature by ‘communicating’ its attributes to the human nature – e.g. omnipresence. Cf.


Communicatio idiomatum? about what for Consubstantiation?

On the other hand, John Calvin and the Calvinist tradition denied the Lutheran viewpoint. This denial and understanding of the integrity of the two natures of Christ has been called extra-Calvinisticum.


Consubstantiation - This denial and understanding of the integrity of the two natures of Christ has been called



Chalcedon affirms that Jesus Christ possesses “two natures without confusion, without change, without division, without separation, the distinction of the natures being by no means removed by the union, but rather the properties of each nature being preserved.” Implication: we should not hesitate to distinguish between things .........................
In other words, one nature does some things that

done by Christ’s human nature but not by his divine nature, and vice versa.

the other nature does not do.


It is also important to stress, within this context, that anything either nature does, ........

Anything that is true of the human or the divine nature is true of .............

Thus, Jesus can say, “Before Abraham was, I am” (Jn 8:58). He does not say, “Before Abraham was, my divine nature existed.”

the person of Christ does.

the person of Christ.


some roman catholics believe that Mary was sinless.. in order to have a sinless Jesus, must have a sinless mother… where would her sinlessness come from.. it doesn’t….

immaculate conception


Adoptionism: Chalcedonian stated...

it argued for the personal subsistence of the Logos ‘begotten of the Father before the ages.’


Monergism vs . Synergism

Monergism, which comes from a compound Greek word that means “to work alone,” is the view that God alone effects our salvation. This view is held primarily by Calvinistic and Reformed traditions and is closely tied to what is known as the “doctrines of grace.” Synergism, which also comes from a compound Greek word meaning “to work together,” is the view that God works together with us in effecting salvation. While monergism is closely associated with John Calvin, synergism is associated with Jacob Arminius, and his views have greatly shaped the modern evangelical landscape


Employing the concept of Christ’s 3-fold messianic office ...

munus triplex – of prophet, priest, and king.


what does the 3 fold do for us?

It helps connect us to the Bible’s story line.
It helps keep together the person and work of Jesus the Messiah.
It helps us grasp the comprehensive nature of what Jesus has won for us.
It helps us see the Adam-Christ typological relation, the new creation motif.


Why is a prophet important?

Because a prophet speaks God’s word to us. A prophet gives us truth. Without the voice of God through the prophet, we would not have truth.


Jesus Christ as the final prophet and revelation of God, but not merely a prophet.

1. those who call Jesus a ‘prophet’ know very little about him (see Mt 16:14; cf. Lk 9:8; Lk 7:16; Jn 4:19; 9:17)
2.Jesus is presented as a prophet, indeed, the prophet that Moses anticipated (Acts 3:22-24)
3. far greater proper


Jesus far greater prophet how?

1. Jesus is the one about whom the prophecies in the OT were made. See Lk 24:24-27, 4-47; Jn 5:45-47; 1 Pet 1:10-12).
2. Jesus was not merely a messenger of revelation from God but was himself the source of revelation from God. Rather than saying, as all the OT prophets did, “Thus says the Lord,” Jesus could begin divinely authoritative teaching with the amazing statement, “But I say unto you” (Mt 5:22). The word of the Lord came to the OT prophets, but Jesus spoke on his own authority as the eternal Word of God (Jn 1:1), who perfectly revealed the Father to us (Jn 1:14, 18; 14:9). In other words, Jesus is in a category all by himself.


Explicit testimony to the prophetic work of Christ

(Heb 1:1-3; Jn 1:1-18; Mt 28:18-20; Lk 9:26-36; Jn 5:24-27; 12:47-50; Heb 3:1-6).


3 char. to be an apostle

1. They needed to be called and appointed by Christ himself.
2. Apostles were associated with the ministry of Jesus from the beginning.
3. The apostles were witnesses to Christ’s resurrection.


He continues to exercise his prophetic ministry through the giving of Scripture.

1. The risen Christ has sent the Holy Spirit to his church.
2. Holy Spirit is the original author of Scripture (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21).
3. Scripture as the word of God is consequently the word of Christ.


While the prophet is supremely the mouthpiece of God to the people, the priest is

humanity’s representative before God.


Jesus as high price.. temple?

Jesus laid claim to a special relationship to the temple, where the High Priest worked, which enabled him to transcend it and all that it stood for (Mt 12:6; Mk 14:57-58; Jn 2:19, 21). In fact, Jesus saw himself as fulfilling the temple and its ritual (Jn 2:13-22). Thus, he placed himself and his task in a priestly context. He also assumed a place of centrality at religious feasts (Jn 7-8).


Jesus as high priest.. interceding?

Jesus’ intercession is a prominent feature of his entire ministry. He prays for Peter (Lk 22:31-32). He promises to intercede with the Father on behalf of his disciples so that the Paraclete will be sent (Jn 14:16f). John 17 is an entire chapter devoted to Christ’s intercession.


Jesus as high priest... passover lamb?

Jesus regarded his impending death as the shedding of new covenant blood and so parallel to the death of the Passover lamb. By viewing his death as a sacrificial blood-shedding, he put it squarely in a priestly context. In addition, in the rest of the NT, Jesus’ death was also regarded as a sacrifice (see Jn 1:29,36; 1 Cor 5:7; Eph 5:2; 1 Pet 1:19; Rev 5:6-6:5; 12:11; 14:1f; 19:6-10; 21:9-14; 22:1-5).


Jesus high priest...

When Jesus finally departed from his disciples it was with benedictions (Lk 24:51; Jn 20:19). This picks up the work of a priest (see above).
In the rest of the NT, Jesus’ sinlessness is stressed clearly and consistently (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:21-25; 3:18; 1 Jn 3:5, 7). The reason why this is so is because Christ’s sinlessness is linked to his sacrificial death (see 1 Pet 1:19).


How is Jesus Christ a true priest?

1. In Israel the office of priest was reserved for Aaron and his direct descendants. Even other members of the tribe of Levi were excluded from the priestly office (Num 3:10). The high priesthood was given to the eldest representative of the family of Aaron’s son, Eleazer.
2. But if this is the case, then how is the priesthood that Jesus ushers in, the fulfillment of the Levitical priesthood? Jesus was not a member of the tribe of Levi, still less of the family of Aaron. Therefore, he simply was not qualified. In addition, a specific divine appointment was necessary for the assumption of priesthood, which Aaron received from the Lord. How, then, is Jesus Christ the great and final High Priest?


A Biblical-Theological Justification of Jesus Christ as Our Great High Priest. See

Hebrews 7:1-28 and Hebrews 8.


Further Priestly Qualifications in Hebrews.

1. Jesus has taken upon a human nature, thus identifying with us, qualifying himself as our representative (Hebrews 2:11-18).
2. Jesus is one with us in human weakness – yet without sin (Hebrews 5:1-10). Thus he is able to sympathize with out struggles (Hebrews 4:14-15).
3. Jesus is able to discharge the duties of high priest perfectly since he faced temptation successfully, emerging sinless from the ordeal (Hebrew 4:14-16; 7:26-27; 10:5-10).
4. Jesus continues to make intercession for us (Hebrews 2:18; 4:16; 7:25).
5. Jesus, as a priest, offered a sacrifice for sins. Crucial difference with OT priest: he offered himself, not an animal. Hence, Jesus is both priest and victim; offerer and offering. See below under “sacrifice.”


The office is most commonly associated with Christ’s resurrection and exaltation (sitting at the right hand of God – session). The resurrection and ascension must never be divorced from the atoning death on the cross. All of the events together are part of the work of our Redeemer, the Lord of glory, on our behalf. The office of king highlights important themes of Christology in the NT. Generally speaking there are 2 streams of Christology in the NT:

(1) Jesus Christ is Lord by virtue of who he is as the eternal Word and Son (John 1:1-2; Phil 2:6; Heb 1:1-3); (2) Jesus Christ is Lord/King by virtue of what he does–his cross work which leads to his resurrection/exaltation (Phil 2:5ff; Mt 28:18ff; Eph 1:18-23). It is this theme that highlights the fact that Jesus is the Messianic king.


the idea of Jesus Christ being a king is in fulfillment of 2 Sam 7:14; 1 Chron 17. Jesus is

David’s greater Son who reigns forever (see Ps 2; Ps 45; Ps 72, Ps 110; cf. Hebrews 1:3, 4-14; 7:1ff).



NT data (see Matt 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-53; John 20:1-21:25). In addition, we have the testimony of the book of Acts, the epistles, and the rest of the NT.


Nature of Christ’s resurrection. It was not an ordinary resurrection such as others had experienced before (cf. Lk 11:1-44). Rather it was of a whole different order –

Note: Understanding the resurrection this way helps us understand the meaning of Jesus’ death. It was no mere example. It was a death that ushered in a whole new order (see biblical framework).

New creation (2 Cor 5:17); firstfruits (1 Cor 15:20ff) – a new kind of human life, a life in which his body was made perfect, no longer subject to weakness, aging, and death. It was a physical body, similar to his pre-crucifixion body (Mt 28:9, 17; Lk 24:39; Jn 20:19-20, 26-28, 21:7, 12; Acts 10:41). But it was also different – a spiritual body (1 Cor 15:42-44).


His resurrection insures our

Regeneration: 1 Pet 1:3; Col 3:1; Eph 1:19-20; Rom 6:1ff.
Justification: Rom 4:25; cf. Phil 2:8-9.
Glorification: 1 Cor 6:14; 2 Cor 4:14; 1 Cor 15:12-58.


The Ascension.

NT data (Acts 1:6-11; Luke 24:50-53; Ephesians 1:20; 4:8-10; Phil 2:9-11; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:3; 4:14; 9:24).


The Ascension establishes 3 facts:

1. Christ’s personal ascendancy. Jesus now rules and reigns (Mt 28:18; Eph 1:20-22; 1 Cor 15:27; 1 Pet 3:22).
2. Christ’s personal omnipresence. In the heavenly sanctuary, Jesus is accessible to all who invoke him (Heb 4:14), and he is powerful to help us, anywhere in the world (Heb 4:16; 7:25; 13:6-8).
3. Christ’s heavenly ministry (linked to priestly work). The Lord intercedes for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). The essence of Christ’s intercession is intervention in our interest (from his throne). From his posture of authority, he now lavishes upon us the benefits that his suffering won for us. It began with Pentecost and continues to equip us for service and battle (Ephesians 4:8-12).


NT data (Acts 2).
Theological significance.

1. A one-time event as the fulfillment of Christ’s work (cf. Acts 2).
2. Inauguration of the new covenant age (see Acts 2).
3. Holy Spirit is guarantee/promise of Christ’s victory for us (Eph 1:13-14).


‘Atonement’ is a theological word that was first used in 1526 in the sense of

“the restoration of friendly relations between God and sinners.”


The cross is..

central for Jesus
central for the apostles



Christ’s perspective of the cross.
Scripture defines Christ’s work. Rom 5:19; Phil 2:8; Heb 5:8-9.


obedience scripture

servant theme (Mk 10:45; Mt 20:28; cf. Isa 42:1; 52:13-53:12); purpose of Jesus’ coming was to do the Father’s will (Jn 5:30; 10:18; 12:49; Heb 10:5-10; cf. Ps 40:7); the perfected in suffering theme (Heb 2:10-18; 5:8-10); submission to the law (Mt 3:15; Lk 2:51-52; Gal 4:1-4).


Jesus obeyed the Father completely, keeping the precepts of the law and ultimately suffering the penalty of the law on our behalf (Jn 8:29; 10:11-18; Mk 10:45; 14:36; Heb 10:5-10).

goes to the cross for the people - acting for us


Active vs. Passive Obedience of Christ

Active: Christ’s representational work for us - obedience… all the way thrpugh.. actively living our life for us..
Passive: Christ in his passion suffers for us. in his passion he chooses to give his life for us - even to death.


Obedience  speaks of representation/substitution on our behalf. It picks up the Adam-Christ link and the concept of ______ ______ Christ’s death on the cross was vicarious and substitutionary.

federal headship


Obedience  ‘Passive’ speaks of Christ being our

representative and substitute in regard to the full requirements of the law. Hence the concept of penal substitution, as well as imputation.


Obedience  highlights our complete inability to bring about

our salvation and thus our great need of Jesus Christ.


Sacrifice : The NT clearly interprets Jesus’ death as a sacrifice with the OT sacrificial system as the background for the use of this metaphor

(see e.g. Acts 20:28; 1 Cor 5:7; 11:25; Eph 5:2; Rm 8:3; 1 Pet 1:9; 3:18; Gal 1:4; Rev 5:8-9; 7:14; cf. Hebrews).


OT sacrificial system is the background for the meaning of this metaphor (cf. Passover). What was the nature/purpose of OT sacrifices? At least 3 truths:

1. God’s holiness and God’s provision (Lev 17:11; Lev 26; Dt 28).
2. Human sin.
3. Vicarious character of the sacrifices.


OT Sacrificial System, Isaiah 53, and Jesus Christ. The 4th Servant son, Isaiah 52:13-53:12 provides an important link between

the Passover, the OT sacrificial system, and all that is bound up with the Day of Atonement, and the NT’s conviction that Christ’s death was sacrificial on our behalf.
Hebrews 9-10: NT Fulfillment.


The sinless perfection of Christ, since any sacrifice acceptable to God had to be

‘without blemish’ (Ex 12:5; 1 Pet 1:19).


The imputation or transfer of the sinner’s sin to Christ on the analogy of the Levitical legislation (Lev 1:4; 3:2, 8, 13; 4:4, 15, 24, 29, 33; 16:21-22; Num 8:12; cf. Isa 53:4-12). Thus, Christ is our representative and substitute. Our sins have been imputed to him and he has paid for them. This corresponds with the NT language regarding Jesus’ death for us:

1. In the place of (anti – Mt 20:28; Mk 10:45).
2. Because of (dia -- 1 Cor 8:11; 2 Cor 8:9).
3. For (peri -- Mt 26:28, Rom 8:3; 1 Pet 3:18; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10).
4. In behalf of (hyper – Mk 14:24; Lk 22:19-20; Jn 6:51; 10:11, 15; Rom 5:6, 8; 8:32; 14:15; 1 Cor 11:24; 15:3; 2 Cor 5:15, 21; Gal 1:4; 2:20; 3:13; Eph 5:2, 25; 1 Thess 5:10; 1 Tim 2:6; Tit 2:14; Heb 2:9; 10:12; 1 Pet 2:21; 3:18; 1 Jn 3:16).


liability / penalty?

Sin involves a certain liability, a liability arising from the holiness of God and the gravity of sin. The sacrifice was the divinely instituted provision whereby the sin might be covered (expiated) and the liability (penalty) to divine wrath and curse removed (propitiated). Thus, in Jesus’ death, he acted as our substitute, thus securing the juridical removal or expiation of our sin, as well as satisfying all of God’s requirements for us, and averting God’s wrath (propitiation).


propitiation =



The NT describes Jesus’ death as a propitiatory sacrifice in four places (Rom 3:24-26; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10). ‘Propitiation’ is a word derived from the hilaskesthai word group. Its basic meaning is

a sacrifice that turns aside a person’s wrath or anger [in this case God’s wrath] by taking away sin.


Paul makes it very clear that the first and main consideration is not our being justified but God himself being just (Rom 3:25-26). Because he is just, our salvation had to be compatible with the claims of his own justice and character.

Christ in his cross work both expiated our sin (removed our guilt), and propitiated God (appeased God’s wrath).


Propitiation speaks of at least three truths (see Stott, The Cross, 173-75).

1. Propitiation is necessary because sin arouses the wrath of God. The cross has a God-ward focus. God is the object of propitiation.
2. God takes the initiative in propitiation (Lv 17:11; Rom 3:25; 1 Jn 4:10). God’s love is the source of the atonement. God takes the initiative to appease his own righteous anger. God is the subject of propitiation.
3. How? God offered himself as the propitiatory sacrifice. Jesus Christ, the eternal Word made flesh, the Lord of glory, took our place, bearing our sin, satisfying his own holy character and righteous demands. There is no crudity here, says John Stott, there is only ‘the profundity of holy love to evoke our worship.’


s heart, is a ‘market-place’ term which means ‘to buy or to buy back’ whether as a purchase or ransom.

‘Redemption’ (apolutrosis; cf. lutroo)


In the latter use of ‘ransom’ it also conveys the idea of ......... Inevitably, as John Stott reminds us, “the emphasis of the redemption image is on our sorry state – indeed or captivity – in sin which made an act of divine rescue necessary” (175). See Mk 10:45; Eph 1:7; Col 1:13-14; 1 Pet 1:18-19; 1 Tim 2:6; Titus 2:14; Rom 3:24-25; Heb 9:12, 15. Also see 1 Co 6:19-20; Gal 3:13; 4:4-5; Acts 20:28 (agorazo; peripoieo).

‘deliverance’ from a state of bondage and captivity by the payment of a price, not merely an act of deliverance.



Backdrop of redemption...

Exodus deliveranc


What was the price with which we were bought?

The NT never presses the imagery to the point of indicating to whom the ransom was paid, but it leaves us in no doubt about the price: it was Christ himself. The cost was great: incarnation, temptation, life, and death. Ultimately it cost Jesus’ own blood (1 Pet 1:18-19). Once again, this is OT language that speaks of the violent nature of his dying for us, and giving himself in our place as our substitute.


Who requires the ransom price?

God himself. We see this especially when we keep in mind the other metaphors of the atonement—propitiation and reconciliation. Our deliverance was exceedingly costly to God himself but there was no other way to release us and to claim us for his own and God the Father, out of love, sent his Son, and Jesus willingly undertook the enormous task in order to redeem us from our bondage to sin.


Redemption speaks of the Redeemer’s ............... (1 Cor 6:18-20; Acts 20:28; Rev 5:9). We belong to the Lord 2x over – creation and redemption.

rights over us


While the concept of .......................... between God and humankind is repeatedly found throughout the OT and NT, the terms reconcile and reconciliation are distinctively Pauline. And even in Paul, the concept is found more often than the exact words – also see language such as ‘peace,’ ‘brought near,’ and ‘access.’ In terms of specific words (katallasso; katallage; apokatallasso) they are found 4x in the NT (Rom 5:10-11; Col 1:19-20; Eph 2:11-22; 2 Cor 5:18-21).



At its heart, ‘reconciliation’ means.......................
It is a family or personal relationship image, in contrast to the law court, temple, or market place kind of imagery.

‘to restore to friendship’ or ‘to make up after a quarrel.’


‘To reconcile’ means to bring together, or make peace between two estranged or hostile parties. It assumes that an old relationship has been broken, and so in reconciliation two parties who were once opposed to each other, are now brought together once again. The central fact of humanity’s fallen state is its hostility to God. In the cross, Jesus has ‘brought us back’ to God. Sin has separated us; it has made us enemies. But because of Christ’s atoning and priestly work, he has

brought us out of a state of enmity to a state of renewed fellowship with God.


In fact, the original fellowship that Adam enjoyed with God before the fall has been restored. We are now at ‘peace’ with him. Because Christ took our place in obeying the Father and in suffering for our sins and because he has turned back God’s wrath that stood against us, he has

removed all the barriers to a restored friendship with him.


Reconciliation brings us

‘adoption,’ ‘access,’ and ‘peace’ with God (Rom 5:1-2; Eph 2:17-18; 3:12; Heb 10:19-22). God is the offended party due to our sin and his demand of holiness and so if reconciliation is to take place he must initiate and accomplish it.


Reconciliation is accomplished by

God and offered to us as a gift. In Jesus Christ and his cross, God has achieved reconciliation. God did not reckon our sins against us, instead he placed them on his Son, so that we might become the righteousness of God.


Reconciliation also has a ........ component to it. See Eph 2:11-22. Christ has brought forth a new humanity, whose members through the cross have been reconciled both to God and to one another. Formerly enemies, they are now brothers and sisters in Christ, sharers in the Messianic community. Cf. ‘mystery’ theme (Eph 3:4-6).



Reconciliation is also ........, but not in the sense of universalism (Col 1:15-20; 2:15; cf. Rom 8:18ff; Eph 1:10, 22).



Justification denotes, primarily, that action in the lawcourt whereby a judge upholds the case of one party in dispute before him (in the Hebrew lawcourt, where the image originates, all cases consist of an accuser and a defendant, there being no public prosecutor). Having heard the case, the judge finds in favor of one part, and thereby ‘justifies’ him: if he finds for the defendant, this action has the force of ‘acquittal.’ The person justified is ‘just,’ ‘righteous,’ not as a description of moral character but as a statement of

his status and position before the court. Thus, to justify does not mean to make righteous, i.e. to change a person’s character, rather to constitute righteous by declaration.


‘Justification’ language is rooted in the dik- root, especially dikaioo, dikaiosune, and to a lesser extent, dikaios.
Dikaioo in the LXX. In the LXX, it normally translates 2 Hebrew words of the sdq word group. It occurs 44x in the LXX, and in all but 6 occurrences where there is a Hebrew original it translates a form of sadaq. In the qal this verb means ‘to be righteous,’ in the piel ‘to be demonstrated as righteous,’ and in the hiphil ‘to declare righteous.’ The 9x dikaioo translates the hiphil of sadaq are particularly significant for Paul’s usage. The verb is used almost always with a

judicial or forensic sense. Sometimes the judge who pronounces righteous or acquits is human (Dt 25:1; Isa 5:23), and at other times divine (Ex 23:7; 1 Kgs 8:32; 2 Chron 6:23; Ps 82:3; Isa 50:8). Even when the term is not used with explicit reference to the law court, the forensic meaning remains (Gen 38:26; 44:16; Jer 3:11; Ezk 16:51-52).


In Paul, it is always God who justifies and the human being who is justified (except 1 Tim 3:16). Paul insists that justification takes place by faith (Rom 3:28, 30; 5:1; Gal 2:16; 3:8, 24) and

not by ‘works’ (Rom 4:2) or ‘works of the law’ (Rom 3:20, 28; Gal 2:16).


For Paul, ‘justification’ is forensic. This is clear by his addition of the phrase ‘before God’ to the verb (Rom 2:13; 3:20) and the contrast between dikaioo and katakrino (‘condemn’) in Romans 8:33-34 (cf. 8:1; Dt 25:1). ‘To justify’ in Paul does not mean ‘make

righteous’ but ‘declare righteous’ or ‘acquit’ on the analogy of the verdict pronounced by a judge. Further evidence.


The synonyms of ‘justification’ are

‘vindicate’ and ‘acquit,’ thus conveying the meaning of ‘to declare righteous.’


To condemn is not to make someone sinful. Rather to condemn a person is to find someone guilty. To condemn is not to infuse sin or rebellion into someone. Thus, ‘to justify’ is

‘to declare one righteous.’ When God justifies us, he, as the Judge, declares us “not-guilty.”


Jesus is said to be ‘justified’ at .........

It is quite impossible to understand this in the sense of an alteration in Jesus’ character. It must refer to the ‘vindication’ of him by God through the

his resurrection (1 Tim 3:16).

triumph and victory of the resurrection. Thus, by the resurrection Jesus was ‘declared’ to be in a right relationship with God (Rom 1:4); he was ‘vindicated.’


Despite Paul’s debt to the OT, his usage differs in 3 ways. 1

1. The verdict pronounced by a judge, in the OT, was required to be in accordance with the facts (Ex 23:7; 1 Kgs 8:32). Paul, on the other hand, argues that ‘God justifies the ungodly’ (Rom 4:5). This does not mean that God acts unjustly against the fact. Rather it means that God’s justifying takes into account a larger set of facts, including the atoning character of Jesus’ death and the righteousness he thereby acquired, which is all of grace.


Despite Paul’s debt to the OT, his usage differs in 3 ways. 2

The Jewish view was that the verdict of ‘justification’ would only be pronounced at the judgment. Paul, however, transfers the final verdict into the present (see Ladd, Theology, 441-3). The moment a sinner places their faith in Christ, they are justified – i.e. the final verdict is read back into their present experience in a characteristic example of ‘inaugurated eschatology.’


Despite Paul’s debt to the OT, his usage differs in 3 ways. 3

‘Justification’ offered the sinner in Christ goes beyond ‘acquittal.’ Not only are all sins dealt with and accounted for – future as well as past – but the righteousness of Christ is imputed to the sinner.


Justification: Theological Understanding.

Source: God’s grace (Rom 3:24).
Instrument: faith (Rom 3:28; 5:1; Gal 2:16; Phil 3:9).
Grounds: the atoning work of Jesus alone (Rom 3:24-26; 5:9).
Justification is not subject to degrees.
Pillar underlying justification.


The cross work of Christ is also presented in Scripture as a conquest by which he

conquers the rebellious principalities and powers, the demonic world headed by Satan.


This presentation of the cross picks up the protoevangelion of Genesis 3:15 (cf. Rom 16:20) as well as the divine warrior theme of the OT – Yhwh will come and win victory over his enemies (cf. Isa 59:16-17). In this theme the union of Christ’s death/resurrection are clearly seen. In fact, there are aspects of this victory that are more related to

the resurrection than to the cross. This theme is developed by Jesus (e.g. John 12:31-33), Paul (e.g. Col 2:13-15), and the author of Hebrews (e.g. Heb 2:14-15).


Stages of the conquest

The conquest predicted (Gen 3:15).
The conquest begins in the ministry of Jesus (Mk 1:24; 4:39; Mt 4:23; Lk 10:18; 11:21-22; Jn 12:31).
The conquest achieved at the cross (Col 2:13-15).
The resurrection was the conquest confirmed and announced (Acts 2:24; Eph 1:20-23).
The conquest extended in the church (Mt 28:18-20).
The conquest consummated (Phil 2:9-11; Rev 20:10,14; 1 Cor 15:24-28).


Helpful points regarding this perspective.

1. It brings the death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ into a harmonious unity – it unites the priestly and kingly work of Christ. Thus, the shameful death on the cross, the suffering that occurred there was not the final word. For all the darkness, there was victory in the cross as evidenced by the resurrection, ascension, and Pentecost.
2. It gives us confidence that Christ’s victory over Satan is decisive, but it still awaits the consummation (‘already-not yet’ tension). That is why we still see much damage done by Satan. It is essentially the same with sin. See Romans 6; Revelation 12.
3. Even in this theme we see the interrelationship between sin and the power of Satan over us. The conquest theme is not divorced from the penal substitutionary and representative role Jesus undertakes for us.


The cross is presented as the supreme ______ ______ for believers of love, obedience, suffering, etc. As such, it serves as the supreme standard/example of our behavior (see 1 Pet 2:18-25; Phil 2:5ff; Jn 13:12-17; 1 Jn 4:7-12; Eph 5:1-2, 25-27). No doubt, some have stressed this subjective aspect of the atonement so much that they have excluded other biblical images, statements, and teaching – e.g. moral example theory of the atonement. However, we must not go to the opposite extreme.

moral example


That is why it is important to stress the fact that the cross is a moral example to us – indeed an influence upon us. For the Christian, Christ’s death is to be a stimulus to moral action. But why? Precisely because of its objective work. In other words, without the objective work of the cross, it would not serve as

an example at all for our behavior and action.


Complementary metaphors and images.

1. It is important to do justice to all of the language. Together they give us complementary perspective on the cross, which are all important if we are to understand the cross correctly.
2. Each metaphor highlights a different aspect of human need. And together they stress our incredible need and our inability to save ourselves. In addition, each metaphor emphasizes that God took the saving initiative in his love. He is the planner, author, and initiator of salvation – grace.


Complementary metaphors and images.

Furthermore, each metaphor plainly teaches that God’s saving work was achieved through blood shedding, that is, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. All the benefits of Christ are ours because Jesus stood in our place as our substitute and representative. It is ours because Jesus did it on our behalf. It is ours because he did it in union with us. He took our wretchedness, sin and death, while, in faith, we receive from him his righteousness and life.
Adam-Christ link. At all points Jesus lived and acted in union with his people. Christ is the 2nd Adam. Christ took Adam’s place and ours and became the head of a new humanity. Christ is the one who ushered in a new covenant, who fulfilled the temple, sacrifices, feasts, priesthood, etc. On the cross he died for us, and we died with him (Romans 6). That is why the power of sin and death has been broken in us because we died with Jesus, the one whom the grave could not hold.


He states: “Substitution is not a ‘theory of the atonement.’ Nor is it even an additional image to take its place as an option alongside the others. It is rather the essence of each image and the heart of the atonement itself. None of the images could stand without it.”

Penal Substitution.


(from the Latin, poena) speaks of the fact that in order to save us, Christ had to endure our penalty, take our punishment that we rightly deserve. Because God’s holy and righteous character have been maligned and his holy standards have been broken, the penalty of our sin is death (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:46).



speaks of the fact that Christ paid this penalty in our place. Also see the word – vicarious. The Greek prepositions – anti and hyper – both carry substitutionary connotations in the NT. Christ willingly, in perfect obedience to God, submitted to the just penalty which we deserved, receiving it on our behalf, and in our place, so that we can be set free (2 Corinthians 5:21). Cf. 1 Peter 3:18; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 9:28; Luke 22:20; Romans 8:32.



critics of penal sub.

Some have objected to the view that Christ’s death was a penal substitution. Particularly, those who are liberal theologians reject this view of the atonement immediately and without question. But it must be remembered that they also reject the whole biblical-theological framework. Here are some of the standard objections to the view that have been raised.


The Necessity of Christ’s Death.

There is a debate in theology over the necessity of Christ’s death. Was all this – Christ’s salvific work of sacrifice, propitiation, reconciliation, justification, redemption, and conquest – really necessary if the elect were to be saved? Could God have saved us in a number of different ways, if he had so chosen? Or was he bound to save us in the way he did, by the cross work of Christ? Was the cross of consequent absolute necessity?


Augustine, Aquinas, and some early Reformers espoused what is known as the......... This view, while not denying that God planned to save his people by Christ’s cross, contends that there were other ways possible to him that he could have chosen beside the cross of Christ. Thus, while God could have saved us without an atonement, yet in accordance with his plan, he has chosen to save us in this way for a variety of reasons.

hypothetical necessity view.


Francis Turretin, Charles Hodge, A. A. Hodge, Robert Dabney, Louis Berkhof, John Murray, et al. have argued for the .................. of the cross. I would argue that this is correct for the following:

consequent absolute necessity


ancis Turretin, Charles Hodge, A. A. Hodge, Robert Dabney, Louis Berkhof, John Murray, et al. have argued for the .................. of the cross. I would argue that this is correct for the following:

NT texts that speak of the necessity of Christ taking upon our humanity and going to the cross (Heb 2:10, 17; 7:26; 9:23-24).
The connection between sin and punishment. Every sin carries with it infinite disvalue because it violates the holy character of the personal-sovereign Lord. As such, every sin deserves infinite punishment and no compensation given by us before the Lord will ever make an act of sin right in his sight. Because this is so, then the means of retribution for that sin which God’s holy nature demands must of necessity be of infinite value, which fact rules out any offering to God’s offended holiness other than or less than Christ’s own infinitely efficacious cross work.
The cross of Christ is costly for it is the Lord of glory who dies, at the same time the cross is the supreme demonstration of God’s infinite love for us. But would the Father have given up his only Son to the death of the cross if it had not been absolutely necessary, if there had been another possible way to save us? And would the cross have been the supreme and signal demonstration of God’s infinite love for us if there had been no absolute necessity for it? On this reflect on the Garden of Gethsemane.


Summary: John Stott, The Cross of Christ, 109: “All inadequate doctrines of the atonement are due to inadequate doctrines of God and man. If we bring God down to our level and raise ourselves to his, then of course we see no need for a radical salvation, let alone for a radical atonement to secure it. When, on the other hand, we have glimpsed the blinding glory of the holiness of God, and have been so convicted of our sin by the Holy Spirit that we tremble before God and acknowledge what we are, namely ‘hell-deserving sinners,’ then and only then does

the necessity of the cross appear so obvious that we astonished we never saw it before.”


The Patristic Era.
Did the early post-apostolic church have a doctrine of the atonement? It is widely acknowledged that the early post-apostolic church did not have a clear idea of the Atonement. However, there were 3 themes that were present, which are then later developed into more elaborate ‘theories.’



This is associated with Irenaeus and Athanasius. They view Christ’s redemptive work primarily in terms of his identification with humanity through the incarnation, but he also stressed the real identity of the race in Adam, and thus gave support to the theory of the unity of humanity in judgment, which helped lead to the viewpoint of substitutionary satisfaction. It is called a ‘physical’ view because it emphasizes the taking upon himself of our natures by the divine Son and it is ‘recapitulation’ because Christ lives our life and dies our death as the last Adam.

Physical (recapitulation):


This is the theme that a ransom was paid to Satan for our release from our bondage and captivity to him.



Originally, this theory argued that God had given Satan a certain amount of authority because of the fall. In order to save us, God himself came into the world in Jesus Christ. The Father handed Jesus over to Satan. Satan fell into the trap, thinking that he had Christ in his grasp. Christ’s deity, however, concealed by his humanity, enabled him to overpower Satan and to rise from the dead, thus destroying “him who had the power of death.” Thus, human beings are freed from Satan’s power and Satan himself is now subject to death and condemnation.

ransom = Origen (185-254 AD) and other church fathers.


2. Later on, a crude and bizarre imagery was introduced into the picture. E.g. Gregory of Nyssa (330-c.395) wrote of Christ as bait, with Satan being duped into swallowing what was on offer but being hooked by the hidden deity.
3. Over time, the theory argued that the ransom that Christ paid to redeem us, was paid to Satan, in whose kingdom all people are by virtue of sin.



This emphasizes that the death of Christ is in our place and for us – representative and substitute – paying the debt of sin, but the why and how of this suffering is not fully developed.



Anselm (d. 1109): Cur Deus Homo? With Anselm, we have a major attempt to give rational statement to the doctrine of the atonement.

The Satisfaction Theory


Anselm was influenced by the concept of a ______ ________ whose dignity was injured by his private citizens, thus suggesting that Christ’s death chiefly satisfies God’s wounded honor.

feudal overlord


Here are some of the specifics of Anselm’s view: 1. 2.

1. If one person violates another he must repay what is owed plus an additional restitution for pain and injury. Therefore all who sin against God must repay their debt to him plus payment for the offence of his honor. It is not fitting that God should forgive sins without payment received for humanity’s debt, since God does nothing unjustly.
2. If a sinner does not repay what he owes, God takes it from him. Therefore sin is followed either by satisfaction or by punishment. To be saved, satisfaction must be made for human sin.


Here are some of the specifics of Anselm’s view:
3. 4.

3. But human beings cannot do this themselves. In order for God to forgive satisfaction for sin must be made by someone who is not a sinner. Only a God-man could make this satisfaction, one who is greater than anything other than God and one who is also human since it is a human responsibility to pay the debt – hence the consequent necessity of the incarnation.
4. The God-man is not obliged to die, since only the corrupt have to die. Instead, Christ dies of his own free choice, as a voluntary act of the will. And due to this obedient act, Christ wins an excess of honor. As a result, the Father gives the Son a reward – but not for himself. The gift of salvation for which he has made satisfaction he will give to those for whose sake he became man and to whom he has left, in his obedience unto death, the supreme example of honoring God. Christ’s work is that of supererogation that carries with it a superabundant merit.


Evaluation of The Satisfaction Theory.

1. Anselm’s theory certainly picks up a lot of biblical data and explains it well. He integrates the incarnation and atonement well, and roots the necessity of the atonement back to the nature of God.
2. However, Anselm may be fairly criticized for making too much of the honor issue (influenced by a feudal system), instead of seeing Christ’s death as undergoing the vicarious punishment to meet the claims on us of God’s holy law and wrath.
3. There is little mention of the love of God. Furthermore, for all the stress on the incarnation, Anselm does not ‘connect’ Christ with his people in ‘covenant’ language.


this view was given in response to both Socinian theology and Reformation theology. Theologians identified with this view are known as Remonstrants or Arminians. It was propounded by Dutch theologian and jurist, Hugo Grotius (1583-1645) who was a student of James Arminius (d. 1609). Here are the basics of the view.

The Governmental Theory


The Governmental Theory Basics A

God is the governor and ruler over all who stands above the law. Law is for the good order of society and that ordering of society is secured only as the law is upheld. But since God is above the law he can alter or relax it by his own choice. What might that choice be? For his glory and our salvation. In fact without his relaxing the law and forgiving our sins, there would be no hope for human beings.


The Governmental Theory Basics B

But if God can do this without requiring the payment of a penalty, why the cross?
1. Grotius views the cross as a sacrifice of satisfaction to the necessities of the relaxed law. He rejects penal substitutionary atonement. Instead, the cross is God’s demonstration of the fact that his laws have been broken, that he is the moral lawgiver and governor of the universe, and that even though he has relaxed his laws and forgiven us of our sins, it is still a serious matter.
2. Objectively, through the cross, God upheld the moral governance of the universe while setting aside the requirement of the law that sinners must be punished. God, as the Ruler of the universe, could have relaxed his law altogether and not punished Christ, but this would not have achieved the maximum deterrence against future sins.
3. Subjectively, the punishment inflicted on Christ is exemplary in that it communicates God’s hatred of sin and motivates persons to repent of sins and reform their lives. And with the moral order of the universe thus upheld


The Governmental Theory Problems

1. At root, there is an unbiblical presentation of God. For Grotius, law and justice are not an expression of the character of God; God is the ruler who is above the law and thus the law is external to him. But Scripture presents God as the Judge, whose personal-moral character is the standard of righteousness and justice. The law cannot be separated from God himself. That is why God’s holiness must bring about punishment and that is why the atonement was a necessary outflow from God’s nature.
2. The connection between sin and punishment is severed. No doubt Grotius argued that God does punish human sin in Christ, but such punishment comes not because God’s righteous, holy, and just character requires it, but because he freely chooses to punish in order to govern the human race more effectively. But the Scriptures speak of Christ bearing our sins on the cross, of God laying on Christ the iniquity of us all, of Christ dying specifically for our sins, and of Christ being the propitiation of our sins. This Scriptural data is hard to reconcile with a governmental view.
3. Christ’s death is not itself viewed as atonement for sin. The guilt of sin is abolished by the graciousness of God in relaxing its punishment, and the suffereings of Christ are such as to prohibit our continued sinning. Christ, in the end, is merely a penal example. But he does not bear my sin, or die in my place. But this is not what Scripture teaches.


This view was attributed to Peter Abelard (1079-1142), but however recent scholarship has recognized that Abelard had a much more traditional understanding of the atonement. The real genesis of the idea appears to be in Enlightenment Germany. Other proponents: Classic liberalism, Unitarians.

The Moral Influence Theory.


This view says that God did not require the payment of a penalty for sin, but that Christ’s death was simply a way in which

The Moral Influence Theory.

God showed how much he loved human beings by identifying with their sufferings, even to the point of death. Christ’s death therefore becomes a great power that brings about a subjective change in us as we contemplate what Christ did. In light of what Christ has done, we become a grateful people who love him in return.


This view assumes in terms of a broader theology: (1) Pelagian thought – we can improve ourselves unaided by

The Moral Influence Theory.

divine grace; denial of original sin; (2) God has no divine wrath and judgment.


The Moral Influence Theory.

This view is reductionistic and contrary to Scripture.


extent of atonement..

Introduction: What do we mean by the “extent of the atonement?” We simply mean: For whom did Christ make atonement? In other words, what was the nature – design and intent of Christ’s death? Did he die for the sins of the whole world “without exception” or “without distinc­tion?” The terms “all without exception” and “all without distinction” are important.


Historic Evangelical Views.
There are 2 main views held in evangelical theology.

1. Atonement is univer­sal in divine design but limited in its accomplishment and efficacy.
2. It is particular in its design (i.e. to save the elect of God) and as such particu­lar, definite, or limited in its extent. limited atonement, particular atonement
Note: Both posi­tions entail some kind of limit placed on the atonement.


Furthermore, both views agree on the following points:

1. That the death of Jesus Christ is of infinite worth and there­fore amply sufficient to redeem all mankind, all angels and the whole world, even a million worlds besides, if God had so intended. ‘Sufficient for all.’
2. That all men are not saved and that universalism is unbib­lical.
3. That there are certain blessings, short of salva­tion, which are the fruits of the work of Christ, which may terminate upon any and all men, and which do in fact benefit substan­tially some who never attain unto salvation.
4. The nature of Christ’s work. Both positions agree that Christ’s death was a substitutionary death in order to propitiate the wrath of God and expiate the sin of people. Note: Historically many Arminians have disputed this point.
5. That there is a bona fide offer of salva­tion which is made to all that hear the gospel, on the condition of repentance and faith.


whats God's intent ?

to hypothetically save people or to truly save people


Universal Atonement: Limited in Efficacy (The Arminian View).
The intent or purpose of the atone­ment was for

‘all men without exception.’


Universal Atonement: Limited in Efficacy (The Arminian View).

Furthermore, the death of Christ secures for all men a possible salvation and a measure of ______ ______ whereby all are able to believe, if they so choose to exercise their free will. In other words, Christ did not secure an actual atonement on the cross but rather underwent a provisory suffering for all, which is ratified by believers when they trust in Christ at conversion. Christ’s death permits the Father to forgive all who repent and believe.

common grace


is a Christian theological concept rooted in Arminian theology, though it appeared earlier in Catholic theology. It is divine grace that precedes human decision. It exists prior to and without reference to anything humans may have done.

Prevenient grace


permits the Father to forgive all who repent and believe.
That is why, given the Arminian view, the cross is not a direct satisfaction by Christ of divine justice in the place of those he represents. Instead divine justice is satisfied for those who choose to believe. The intent of the atonement is not secured, since

all people without exception are not actually saved.


‘Universal divine love.’

if God truly loves all equally and impartially, and if he truly wants all to be saved, then it is inconceivable that he would offer Christ to pay for the sins of only some. Universal love requires universal payment and atonement.


‘Universal gospel offer.’

Since the offer of the gospel goes to all (Mt 28:18-20; Acts 1:8), then the provision of the cross must be for all as well. If no payment has been made for the non-elect, then we cannot say to the non-elect that God offers salvation to them.


The Modified\Universal Calvinist View (Amyraldian or Sublapsarian View). This view is tied to the French theologian, Moise Amyraut (1596-1664). It seeks to be a mediat­ing position between Arminianism and Calvin­ism (i.e. particular atonement).
** Historically, central to this position is the order of the divine decree in eternity.

1. The decree to create the world and (all) human beings.
2. The decree that (all) human beings would fall.
3.The decree to redeem (all) human beings by the cross work of Christ. However God foresaw that this purpose would fail and that no one would accept Christ by faith.
4. Thus, God then decreed the election of some fallen human beings (elect) to salvation in Christ (and the reprobation of others – i.e. passing them by).
5. The decree to apply Christ’s redemptive benefits to the elect.


This view attempts to maintain simultaneously an unconditional election and a universal atonement. This view is called “sublapsarian” in contrast to “infralapsarianism” and “supralapsarianism.” All of these views deal with the logical order of God’s decrees in eternity past before the creation of the world.

modified universal calvinist view


“after the fall.” This view argues that God first decreed the fall, and then elected individuals to salvation.
The decree to create the world and (all) human beings.
The decree that (all) human beings would fall.
The election of some fallen human beings to salvation in Christ.
The decree to redeem the elect by the cross work of Christ.
The decree to apply Christ’s redemptive benefits to the elect.



“before the fall.” This view argues that God first decreed his elect unto salvation, and then the fall.
The election of some human beings to salvation in Christ (and the reprobation of others).
The decree to create the world and both kinds of human beings.
The decree that all humans would fall.
The decree to redeem the elect, who are now sinners, by Christ’s work.
The decree to apply Christ’s work to the elect.



: The order of the decree is: fall, atonement for all, and then the redemption of the elect. The provision of Christ’s death is for all, but the application of Christ’s work is to the elect (see Millard Erickson, Christian Theology, Bruce Demarest, The Cross and Salvation).



‘Multiple intentions.’ If one views that there are multiple intentions in the atonement then much of the conflict can be solved between a classic Arminian and Calvinist viewpoint.

‘Limited scope intent.’ Christ died for the purpose of securing the sure and certain salvation of his own, which salvation they will surely receive as they are efficaciously called and irresistibly drawn to place their faith in Christ and his accomplished atonement on their behalf.


‘Multiple intentions.’ If one views that there are multiple intentions in the atonement then much of the conflict can be solved between a classic Arminian and Calvinist viewpoint.

‘Limitless scope intent.’ Christ died for the purpose of paying the penalty for the sin of all people making it possible for all who believe to be saved. Belief in Christ is necessary, however, to receive the benefits of Christ’s death and be saved, and only the elect are called efficaciously and so believe in Christ and so are saved. Scripture speaks of the breadth of Christ’s atoning work that extends to the whole world.


‘Multiple intentions.’ If one views that there are multiple intentions in the atonement then much of the conflict can be solved between a classic Arminian and Calvinist viewpoint.

‘Bona fide offer intent.’ Christ died for the purpose of securing the bona fide offer of salvation to all people everywhere. Since we are commanded to preach the gospel to all people, the unlimited atoning sacrifice of Christ renders this offer of salvation genuine.


‘Multiple intentions.’ If one views that there are multiple intentions in the atonement then much of the conflict can be solved between a classic Arminian and Calvinist viewpoint.


‘Just condemnation intent.’ Christ died for the purpose of providing an additional basis for condemnation for those who hear and reject the gospel that has been genuinely offered to them. Christ’s death for the sins of those who reject him and who are condemned insures that their judgment for rejecting Christ is just because they reject a real gift that is genuinely offered to them.


Definite/Particular Atonement: Limited in Ex­tent/Inten­tion (The Calvinist Vi

1. The intent or purpose of the atonement was actually and certainly to secure the salvation of God’s elect, and the elect only. As Packer states, “The doctrine states that the death of Christ actually put away the sins of all God’s elect and ensured that they would be brought to faith through regeneration, and kept in faith for glory, and that this is what it was intended to achieve” (Concise Theology, 137).
2. Christ died for the purpose of saving only those to whom he actually applies the benefits of his work. As such, intention and outcome are in harmony, but, in contrast to universalism, account is taken of the fact that not all will be saved.


Scriptural texts:

Numerous texts speak of the fact that Christ died for his people (Jn 10:11, 15; Acts 20:28; Eph 5:25).
Jesus is aware of a group of people whom the Father has given him (Jn 6:37-39; 17:9 and 20).
Language of Scripture which speaks of a definite relationship and transaction between the Father and the Son when Christ died, a transaction that had specific reference to those who would believe (Rom 5:8, 10; 2 Cor 5:21; cf. Gal 1:4; 3:13; Eph 1:7).
Texts which speak about all of the blessings of salvation, including faith, repentance, and all of the works of the Holy Spirit in applying redemption to us, as being secured by Christ’s cross work for his people. Those for whom he earned forgiveness also have had those other benefits earned for them (cf. Eph 1:3-4; 2:8; Phil 1:29).


Evaluation of the Debate:
The Issues at Stake.
This doctrine is a

‘secondary fundamental’ doctrine.


The main point of contention for universal atonement advocates.
The all passages in Scripture (e.g. Jn 3:16; 12:32; Rom 8:32; 2 Cor 5:14-15; 1 Tim 2:4-6; 4:10; Heb 2:9; 2 Pet 2:1; 1 Jn 2:1-2.
The free offer of the gospel to

all people.


he Crucial Theological Issues Involved in the Debate.

The nature of the atonement: The issue of penal substitution.

The relationship of grace and the atonement.

The atonement and election.

The atonement and federal headship.

The atonement and the Trinity.


Emphasizes what Jesus did rather than who He was. He was someone who acted on behalf of God not someone who was God. The Bible makes only functional (not ontological) statements about Christ.

functional Christology


the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence or reality as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.

ontological christology


what Jesus did

functional christology


who Jesus is

ontological christology


involves what he reveals of himself and his understanding of himself by his actions, deeds and words.
is the implications of what his actions and deeds reveal about himself.

Implicit Christology


deals with what he reveals concerning his understanding of himself by the use of various titles.
So, when we're talking about his use of the word Christ or Lord or something like that to refer to himself, that's

Explicit Christology