Questions and Answers
By Joe Keim
March 1, 2012
The following letter was sent in response to an article I wrote in the fall of 2011.
Kentucky: Greetings in Jesus name. Hope this finds you well. I have been reading the Amish Voice for some time. And at times I have questions. For example: In the September issue on "Salvation: Event or Process?" I understand you to say that Jesus' death on the cross paid for all of our sins. My question is, were our sins paid for or are/were they forgiven?
Joe: The term "paid for" is not used in scripture, however, I don't think we are wrong in using the term when considering the following scriptures passages:
1 Cor 6:20-For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Cor 7:23-Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
2 Peter 2:1-...even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
Bought means "to purchase," or "to redeem out of the marketplace.
The phrase who bought them fits Peter's reasoning perfectly. He is referring to the master of a house who would purchase slaves and put them in charge of various household tasks. Because they were now regarded as the master's personal property, they owed their complete allegiance (duty) to him.
As far as forgiven goes, the Bible says: Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.-Romans 4:7
Kentucky: You wrote Jesus took God's wrath upon himself. Are you saying that God was mad at mankind, so He beat up on His Son instead of us? Wasn't it more like God was pleased with His Son that was able to endure all that was brought against Him? My understanding is that this Satisfaction Theory of God's wrath on Jesus wasn't taught until the tenth century by the Roman Catholic Archbishop, Anselm.
Joe: Most of us prefer to view God as a loving, patient, kind and forgiving God, however, as much as He is loving and patient and kind and forgiving, the Bible also says, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness"-Romans 1:18
God's anger at sinners is so severe that the Bible says He hates them (Ps. 5:5; Hos. 9:15; Amos 5:21; Mal. 1:3; Rom. 9:13; Rev. 2:6). Additionally, God's wrath is mentioned nearly 600 times in the Old Testament by some 20 different words, and these concepts are also found in the New Testament, though less frequently (e.g., John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; 5:9; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6; 1 Thess. 1:10).
According to (Rom 3:10-12, 23; 5:12) every human being since Adam has taken on the sinful nature and, therefore, stands before a Holy and Righteous God as condemned and headed for the Lake of fire. But the Bible goes on to say in Rom 5:8-9, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."
Going back to my article, It may have been better if I said, "Jesus delivered us from God's wrath", rather then, "Jesus took God's wrath upon Himself"
Kentucky: I don't mean to be critical because I can agree with most of what's in the Amish Voice. But here I go again, because the way Isaiah 64:6 is used now a days troubles me very much. It should be quite clear that the prophet is talking about a backslidden people. It certainly wasn't Jesus talking to His disciples. Or the angel saying this to Cornelius (who wasn't even a Christian at the time) Or God saying such to the Jews who had reached their limitations in the Old Covenant. I've had different people quote 64:6 to me and when we get in a discussion about it, I find they don't truly believe what they said. I think we should be very, very careful when, where, and how we use that passage. Or perhaps like Jesus and the Apostles, not use it at all.
Joe: I do not feel a critical spirit coming from your letter at all. In fact, I am thankful that you took the time to share your heart and are willing to discuss the Scriptures with others. I am sorry it took me so long to respond.
I appreciate the fact that you brought out Isaiah 64:6 and how some have misinterpreted its meaning. Let's bring it out for others to see; it reads... For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.
Now let's go to the New Testament and read 1 Cor 2:9, and as you will see, the Apostle Paul borrowed Isaiah's thoughts when he wrote: "as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. -1 Cor 2:9
For years, I was taught and believed that both prophet and apostle were talking about a time when Christians would open their eyes in eternity, and for the first time see and experience what God had been preparing for them. But then one day, I realized, my interpretation was wrong-1 Cor 2:9 is not a stand alone verse; we have to include verse 10 also. It says, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. -1 Cor 2:10
John MacAurthur writes: To illustrate the Holy Spirit's unique qualification for revealing the Word, Paul compares the Spirit's knowledge of God's mind to a human being's knowledge of his own mind. No person can know another person as well as he knows himself. Even husbands and wives who have lived together for dozens of years, and have freely shared their thoughts and dreams and problems and joys, never come to know their mates as intimately as they know themselves. Our innermost thoughts, the deep recesses of our hearts and minds, are known only to ourselves.
In a similar way, only God's own Spirit can know Him intimately. And, wonder of wonders, it is the Spirit of God, the One who intimately knows the depths of God and the thoughts of God, whom God has sent to reveal His own wisdom to those who believe-to us.
For those who have been born again in the Spirit, the truth which 1 Cor 2:9-10 describes, is happening right now. God through His Spirit is revealing great and mighty truths that were never revealed before the new birth took affect.
Kentucky: I'm not asking you to answer my questions if you're busy and don't have time. I can imagine you don't have time to contend with just anybody. Although I would appreciate a reply.
Joe: I hope you found this response encouraging. There is no greater fellowship than this. Journey on, dear brother!
-- Joe Keim
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