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The Atonement


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#1 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:21 AM

The saving power of the atonement required Christ to be wholly and utterly human, without any ‘Divinity of nature’, and without any ‘Deity’ which God alone possesses.
It was predicated on Christ's life of perfect obedience, and on his bearing a nature identical to our own.

This fundamental principle of the atonement is dealt with no less than six times in the apostolic writings, and the exposition they give on each and every occasion, whether speaking to Jews or Gentiles, is exactly the same:

Hebrews 2:14
14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
15And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.


Christ was made of the very same flesh and blood as ourselves, in order that through his death he might destroy the power of death, and deliver those subject to bondage.

So, according to Paul here, it was imperative that Christ be of the same flesh and blood as we ourselves, in order to effect the atonement.

Thus we see that the deliverance of those subject to bondage was predicated on Christ's mortality. Of his 'Divinity', nothing is said...

#2 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:21 AM

Hebrews 10:
10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,  
20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;


Here Paul says that Christ, through the offering of his body of flesh, and by his blood, enabled our sanctification, and the entering in of a new and living way, which he consecrated for us.

Obviously, according to Paul, it was imperative that Christ be of the same flesh and blood as we ourselves, in order to effect the atonement.

Thus we see that the sanctification and entering in to the holiest, was predicated on Christ's mortality. Of his 'Divinity', nothing is said...

#3 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:21 AM

Romans 8:
3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  
4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us...


Here Paul says that Christ was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, in order that he might condemn sin in the flesh, so that we might have access to righteousness.
It is clear that Paul is telling us that it was imperative Christ be of the same flesh and blood of we ourselves, in order to effect the atonement.

Thus we see that this fulfillment of righteousness was predicated on Christ's mortality.
Of his 'Divinity', nothing is said...

#4 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:22 AM

Ephesians 2:
15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:


Here Paul tells us that the enmity between God and man was abolished in the flesh of Christ, who, by his death on the cross, slew the enmity, so making peace and reconciling us to God.

Again, according to Paul here, it was imperative that Christ be of the same flesh and blood as we ourselves, in order to effect the atonement.

Thus we see that the peace and reconciliation was predicated on Christ's mortality.
Of his 'Divinity', nothing is said...

#5 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:22 AM

Colossians 1:
20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.  
21And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:


Here Paul says that Christ, in the body of his flesh through death, by means of the blood of his cross, was able to reconcile us, and make peace.
Again, according to Paul here, it was imperative that Christ be of the same flesh and blood as we ourselves, in order to effect the atonement.

Thus we see that the peace and reconciliation was predicated on Christ's mortality.
Of his 'Divinity', nothing is said...

#6 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:22 AM

1 Peter 2:
24Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.


Here Peter says that Christ, his own self, bare our sins in his own body on the tree, and thus ensured we may live unto righteousness, our stripes being healed.

Again, according to Paul here, it was imperative that Christ be of the same flesh and blood as we ourselves, in order to effect the atonement.

Thus we see that the righteousness and healing was predicated on Christ's mortality.
Of his 'Divinity', nothing is said...

#7 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:23 AM

I argue that every time the apostles expound the atonement, they demonstrate without possibility of dispute that its salvic efficacy was predicated on Christ's absolute mortality, and not on any 'divine-nature-added-to-human-nature' in whatever form you choose to describe it.

Paul tells us that Christ had to be man in order to effect the atonement. Not once does he tell us Christ had to be God. Not once.

Now a list of quotes which prove that Christ had exactly the same nature as we ourselves:

Hebrews 2:14
14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;


It doesn't get much stronger than 'He', also', himself', likewise', 'partook of the same'.
Our human nature is biased towards sin. Hebrews says of Christ that he, himself, likewise, partook of the same.
His human nature was no different to ours.

Romans 8:
3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  
4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us...


Well, Paul tells us quite clearly that Christ was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh'.

Hebrews 3:
15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.


Christ was tempted in every way that we are - because he was made of the same sin-biased human nature. The only difference between his life and ours was that he did not sin.

#8 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:23 AM

In order to support his claim of the substitutionary nature of the atonement, and that the saving power of the atonement required the Divinity of Christ, the trinitarian must provide:

- Quotes saying that the saving power of the atonement was required the Divinity of Christ
- Quotes saying that the human nature which Christ bore was different to that which we bore, and specifically, unbiased towards sin

The incredible witness which the apostles give to the fundamental truth of the atonement cannot be denied.

In fact, so powerful is this witness to the truth of the atonement, that it can be used to combat the errors of the substitutionary atonement and the trinity simultaneously.

Every trinitarian will tell you that the atonement was substitutionary - Christ died instead of us.
The substitutionary atonement is built on the concept of ‘retribution’, of a wrathful Deity whose sanguinous fury can only be satisfied with a blood sacrifice.

The issue is that modern trinitarians make it a fundamental fellowship issue that Christ was both 100% man and 100% God. If this was truly the apostolic understanding, and if this was truly one of the apostolic predicates of fellowship, then it would have been articulated as such.

Edited by Fortigurn, 11 November 2003 - 05:48 AM.


#9 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:23 AM

Trinitarians object to Christ being described as 'only man' as pertaining to his nature - the apostles insisted on it. The fact of the matter is that the trinitarian of today emphasises Christ's alleged 'Divinity'. The apostles emphasised his humanity.

- The trinitarian makes the 'Deity' of Christ a fellowship issue - the apostles made the humanity of Christ a fellowship issue.

- The trinitarian predicates the saving power of the atonement on the 'Deity' of Christ - the apostles predicate the saving power of the atonement on the humanity of Christ.

- The trinitarian's doctrine, dogma, and teaching are all focussed on proving that Christ was God -
the apostles' doctrine, dogma, and teaching, are all focussed on proving that Christ was a man, the son of God

There is a profound and obvious difference here.
It is vital to understand the manner in which the substitutionary atonement and the doctrine of the trinity are intimately related.

The subsititutionary atonement requires the payment of a penalty for all the sins of all mankind, and the only sacrifice considered capable of fulfilling such a demand is God Himself - the sacrifice of no mere mortal, it is argued, could satisfy the Divine wrath. To deny the substitutionary atonement is to deny a fundamental reason for the Deity of Christ.

This vulnerability of the trinitarian theology is very quickly revealed when the subject of the atonement is discussed. The trinitarian position rapidly descends into a question begging farce - Christ had to be God because he had to make a substitutionary atonement, a substitutionary atonement necessitated the sacrifice of a God, Christ was sacrificed to make the atonement, therefore Christ had to be God.

Typically, the approach is to prove that the atonement was not substitutionary, but the passages used by the Christadelphian to advance the true nature of Christ’s representative sacrifice are inevitably the same as those used by the trinitarian to support the substitutionary sacrifice - the debate frequently breaks down into a semantic argument, a trifiling over the various subtle shades of meaning a word may have.

The eloquence and force of the argument founded on the apostolic exposition of the atonement, however, is unassailable.

#10 Fortigurn

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Posted 13 June 2003 - 02:23 AM

The simple fact that the apostles insist that the saving power of the atonement [/b]absolutely necessitated the complete and utter mortality of Christ[/b], is enough to annihilate the substitutionary atonement, and to strike a critical mortal blow into the heart of the trinitiarian dogma:

1) If the saving power of the atonement absolutely necessitated the complete and utter mortality of Christ, then his ‘Deity’ was not required at all.

2) If the ‘Deity’ of Christ was not required for the saving power of the atonement, then the atonement itself could not possibly have been substitutionary, by definition - no man, it is argued, could pay the price for all the sins of mankind, past, present, and future.

3) If the saving power of the atonement absolutely necessitated the complete and utter mortality of Christ, and if it did not require his ‘Deity’ at all, then not only does the doctrine of the atonement provide no support for the trinity whatsoever, it becomes evident that the doctrine of the trinity is utterly irrelevant to the atonement.

The result is that the illogical circular reasoning of the trinitarian, which attempts to use the substitutionary atonement to prove the Deity of Christ, whilst attempting to use the Deity of Christ to prove the subsititutionary atonement, breaks down immediately.




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