Vocation of Man- Forgiveness

July 14, 2020

  • God’s message is intended to be understood
  • Christ does not hold us to a higher or different standard

What Jesus Said about the Cross

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” – Matthew 26:28

“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;  for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,o give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,”- Luke 1:76-77

“He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” -Luke 3:3

“and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” – Luke 24:47

*You cannot understand the cross of Jesus without understanding what Jesus taught about Forgiveness

*You cannot understand the degree of forgiveness (or our trespass) without the cross

Doctrines of the Cross

Moral Influence Theory

The Cross acts as a catalyst by which his moral example is observed as so extreme in our contrast. As such, Christ is the first martyr of the moral reform. He proves Himself innocent, and because we killed Him, proves our own guilt.

  • Considerations
    • Primary view of Augustine
    • Emphasizes Christ’s life
    • Emphasizes Morality
  • Problems
    • Morality acts as the primary mission of Christ
      • Not glory
      • Lacks definition of sin…idols
      • The meaning of the cross becomes less necessary

Ransom Theory

  • “Essentially, this theory claimed that Adam and Eve sold humanity over to the Devil at the time of the Fall’ hence, justice required that God pay the Devil a ransom, for the Devil did not realize that Christ could not be held in the bonds of death. Once the Devil accepted Christ’s death as a ransom, this theory concluded, justice was satisfied and God was able to free us from Satan’s grip.
  • Considerations
    • Requires Original Sin
      • Consequence
      • Deficiency
      • Guilt
    • Held by Origen of Alexandria
    • Satan accepts the Ransom of Christ’s death (not knowing he would be raised again)
  • Problems
    • God owes Satan nothing
    • Removes responsibility from humanity (places sin and offense on Satan)
    • If not Satan, then Ransom is to God
      • God ransom’s man for sin, so God pays a ransom to Himself to release man from His bondage so man could be in relationship with Himself

Christus Victor (Classic Theory)

Christ defeated the evil Powers on the cross (sin, death, and Satan)

  • Oldest held view
  • Problems
    • No problem, but the theory doesn’t emphasize HOW this happens, only THAT it happened

Satisfaction Theory

God’s wrath had to be satisfied due to his anger with man’s sin. IN Love, Christ satisfied God’s anger by receiving His wrath, therefore, man is free from God’s wrath because it has been satisfied

  • Made popular by Anslem of Canterberry
  • Problems
    • Justice becomes synonymous with God’s wrath
      • Wrath is descriptive for God’s power demonstrated in judgment
        • Love is descriptive of God’s power demonstrated in a beneficial way
      • There is no clear judicial law other then God’s emotion
    • Christ’s death doesn’t satisfy God’s Wrath
      • John 3:36
      • All of Romans

Magnetic Theory

The cross, as a demonstration of love draws men to Himself. Various theories, but in our context we have spoken about that through the cross it turns man to turn away from idols and worship Him

  • Problems
    • Doesn’t explain the cross
      • God could draw men to Himself through His life
      • God could have simply shown His glory like second-coming
      • Does not explain Forgiveness of Sin

Penal Substitution

Man broke the cosmic judicial Law and therefore requires the penal/punishment of the offense. Christ steps in and substitutes Himself to pay the penalty for our offense; hence, mankind is forgiven of their offense since Christ substituted Himself

  • Considerations
    • Most commonly held view within modern Protestantism and Evangelical churches
    • Came from Luther and Calvin in response to the problems of Anslem’s Satisfaction Theory
  • Problems
    • Can justice be substituted?
    • Treats justice as something separate than God
    • Forgets the triune nature of God

Covenant (Dowry) Theory

Much like Ransom, however, instead of paying a ransom for captives its paying dowry for His bride

Governmental Theory

Scapegoat Theory


Forgiveness is the second, owed blow

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[h] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” – Matthew 5:38-42

  • Forgiveness
    • Penal “Absorption” – Literally God turning the other cheek

Forgiveness is from the Expected Blow

    • Ransom
      • Mark 10:45 / Matthew 20:28
      • Hebrews 9:15
      • 1 Timothy 2:6

God’s Entire Character was in Forgiveness

    • Satisfaction Theory
      • God’s character was satisfied…not just wrath

*Forgiveness is not forgetting and not letting it bother you, but absorbing the blow (not that your angry, but you absorb the anger)

*Man was held ransom to the returned blow, Christ freed us from the anticipated blow.

*God was Satisfied in it. Love did not just win. God won. Justice won. Wrath won.

*We know we are Forgiven because Christ was raised from dead

  • “Which is easier, to say you are forgiven or get up and walk”
  • God says, “Which is easier, to say your sins are forgiven or tell the dead body of Christ to get up and walk”?

Forgiveness is for those who (Demonstration of Forgiveness lead to Repentance)

  • Repentance
    • Moral Theory
      • We are drawn to repentance in recognition of we killed an innocent man
    • Magnetic Theory
      • We are drawn to Christ in His demonstration of Love on the cross
        • (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. – Hebrews 7:19
        • Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All ] The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. – Heberews 10:1

*In order for us to experience forgiveness, we must recognize and admit the sin we need forgiveness of

*In seeing Christ’s love/forgiveness on the cross, we are drawn not just to repentance but to HIM!

*Forgiveness is for the Repentant so we can be Restored to vocation and Reconciled in Covenant.

Forgiveness s us in Relationship

  • Covenant
    • Dowry Theory
      • Bridegroom/bride relationship mentioned in all gospels, Paul, and Revelation
      • The dowry was not neccesarrily death, but forgiveness
      • God said, “If you want them as your bride, you must absorb the blow of forgiveness”
        • Christ on the cross, “It is finished”
    • Christus Victor
      • “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
      • But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:57
      • for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. – 1 John 5:4

*The Victory over sin is Christ tore down the idols and returned us to worship

*The Victory over death is that Christ reconciled us from exile to relationship

*The Victory over Satan is that he held a power over our idols, but God overpowered/overcame his power over us by drawing us

Beams of Forgiveness

  1. Absorption
  2. Release
  3. Satisfaction

That leads to…..

  1. Repentance
  2. Reconcilation to Relationship owith God


  1. Restoration to our Vocation


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