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What the Bible says about Christ Paid Penalty for Our Sins
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Luke 24:46-47

It is by the Father's plan (Romans 8:3-4) that Christ's sacrifice has rendered Him propitious toward all men, converted and unconverted (I John 2:2). We can thank God that the penalty that would prevent us from receiving salvation has now been paid for all sinners. However, a person must repent, accept Jesus Christ as his or her personal Savior, and be baptized in order to receive the benefit of His propitiatory sacrifice (Acts 2:38; Luke 13:3).

Martin G. Collins
What Is Propitiation? (Part One)

Romans 3:25

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia states, “Propitiation needs to be studied in connection with reconciliation.” Easton's Bible Dictionary defines it as “that by which God is rendered propitious, i.e., by which it becomes consistent with His character and government to pardon and bless the sinner.” Propitiation signifies what Christ became for all mankind—a sacrifice capable of bearing and absorbing God's judgment while turning His justifiable wrath to favor (Romans 5:8-9). It expresses the idea that Jesus endured His crucifixion to pay the price for sin that a holy God demands from the sinner (Genesis 2:17; Romans 1:32).

Propitiation is necessary because humanity's sinful nature stands in defiance of God's sacred law and holiness (Romans 8:7), separating people from God (Isaiah 59:2) and earning them the death penalty (Romans 6:23). God does not cause the separation; the breach is squarely the fault of humanity. Therefore, someone—sinless and of perfect nature and held by God in the highest regard (Colossians 1:19; Matthew 3:17)—is required to intercede for mankind, to atone for human sin and guilt and alter humanity's standing before God—and in turn—to alter God's disposition toward mankind.

This “someone” is Jesus Christ (Hebrews 2:17; Romans 3:24-25).

Martin G. Collins
What Is Propitiation? (Part One)

Hebrews 4:15

Our Savior's perfect, sacrificial life and death were not merely displays of His righteous prowess. God the Father required Christ's unblemished life and death so that the law's legal requirement—that there is a price for every person's sins—could be satisfied once for all by His shed blood (II Corinthians 5:15; Hebrews 9:28).

Furthermore, only a sinless Jesus Christ, as the antitype of the unblemished sin offering (I Peter 1:19; Leviticus 9:3; John 1:29), could appeal to God the Father as our Advocate without compromising His righteousness or law (Job 8:3; Deuteronomy 32:4), thereby atoning for the repentant person's sins and reconciling him or her to God (Psalm 51:1-4; Romans 3:25-26; I John 2:1-2).

Martin G. Collins
What Is Propitiation? (Part One)

Hebrews 9:27

Everybody dies this death, including believers. At first, a person may think this says that Satan has supreme rule—because he has the power of death (Hebrews 2:15)—and every human loses. However, we cannot forget Christ's death on the cross. His death wiped out the curse of death hanging over us due to our sins, and He remains our faithful High Priest. Thus, more remains to be understood about this verse.

How does this verse affect us? Paul writes in Colossians 2:11-14:

In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

The apostle explains that a Christian is free from the bondage of death because Christ's death has removed the charges of sin against us. Jesus, in Revelation 1:18, adds another factor in our favor: “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”

Christ, because He paid the penalty for our sins and simultaneously defeated Satan, now holds the power of life and death for the converted. At this point, matters become clear. For Hebrews 9:27 to be true, Christ's blood does not cover the first death, which everybody faces, but it indeed covers the seconddeath, eternal death of the Lake of Fire. Revelation 20:14 confirms a second death: “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 adds detail: “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Paul offers us assurance in Romans 8:37-39:

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

At this time, the unconverted face both the first and second deaths. They are still held eternally in Satan's slavery unless converted between now and the igniting of the Lake of Fire.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Ecclesiastes and Christian Living (Part Eight): Death

Hebrews 10:19

Justification, by grace through faith in Christ's blood, secures for us access into the very presence of God and more of God's grace. The emphasis here is upon the word "access." The Israelites' relationship with the Tabernacle and the Temple pictured this: They were denied access to the Holy of Holies. In fact, the law also forbade them entry into the Holy Place, the first room inside the Tabernacle and the Temple. Only the priests could go into the Holy Place, and they could enter it only in performing their duties. Whenever David organized them into courses, the ordinary priests could only enter it a few times during the year.

So what about ordinary Israelites? They never got in there—not at all. So, no sacrifice (no single sacrifice or multitude of sacrifices)—no quantity of good works of the law or of any kind—gained them entrance into where God lived, into His presence. God completely shut them off from any direct access to Him. Only the high priest—once a year, on the Day of Atonement—was allowed in, but only after he offered a sacrifice for sin, underwent ritual purification through washing, and donned special clothing.

God is illustrating for us that we are not righteous enough to be in His presence. (Nowhere does the Bible say that justification does away with the law. It is not a property of justification to do so.) Justification brings us into alignment with a standard. With God, justification is a gift; on our part, it is unearned. We cannot earn it because our works are flawed and thus unacceptable. We are unacceptable. Justification—by God's grace, through faith in Christ's blood—brings us into alignment with God's standard and therefore into the status of "righteous" in His eyes. Then we have access to God.

In principle, this does not differ from breaking a law of man (committing a crime) and going to jail. Once the penalty has been paid, and we are squared away with the law we have broken, we are released from prison. Once again, we have free access to the public. But the major difference between that scenario and what God does is that we cannot pay the penalty and still have His purpose continue in our lives because we would be dead.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Four)


 




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