The Justification of Jesus?

On pg. 174 of RINE, Wilson makes a somewhat passing reference to the justification of Jesus, quoting Leithart, who references Gaffin. This is a much vexed question. I believe that great care must be taken here.

In Romans 4:25, I believe that the text does say that Christ’s resurrection is the ground of our justification. After all, if Christ is not risen, then we are still in our sins, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15. However, we must carefully qualify such statements. Jesus was not justified in the same way that we are justified. Jesus was not justified by faith alone. Indeed, Jesus was justified by works, as Philippians 2:8 tells us (obedient up to the point of death…therefore). He did the law: He now lives. And it is not salvation that we are talking about, either. Jesus had no need of saving in the same way we do. He had need of being resurrected, yes. But not saving. Indeed, it is blasphemous to think that Jesus needed saving by faith alone as we do. Jesus did what He did in order that we might be saved. He was under no obligation whatsoever to save even one of us. It is not guarded enough merely to speak of Jesus’ justification and our justification, therefore. Such statements need careful and full qualification. Such qualification is lacking in RINE.

Secondly, Leithart’s essay has been answered here. It is probably not answered to Wilson’s and Leithart’s satisfaction. However, it is there, and I refer the reader to those posts to answer what Wilson says on pp. 174-175.

72 Comments

  1. February 14, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Lane, just a quick note — I will do something more detailed in reply on my blog. But in the Pauline vocabulary, faith and works are antithetical — one displaces the other. Otherwise, works are no longer works. But faith and obedience are not like that. Obedience depends upon faith. If it doesn’t depend upon faith, then it is disobedience.

  2. greenbaggins said,

    February 14, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Doug, I am confused by your comment in several ways. Why is “works” and “obedience” not the same thing? Secondly, surely we both agree that works/obedience plays zero part in our justification, even though they must necessarily follow. Thirdly, my point about Jesus is that He was justified by works/obedience. Faith and works are antithetical in Pauline vocabulary with regard to justification. But in sanctification, which is also an act of God’s free grace, faith works through love. Do you agree with this? I say this only in order that we might be talking about the same thing.

  3. pduggie said,

    February 14, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Works are done to earn wages (romans 4)

    Obedience is done because it is ones duty.

  4. Towne said,

    February 14, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Lane:

    I would strongly differ with you in this–that the resurrection is not the ground of our justification. Christ’s death upon the cross as sacrifice is the ground of our justification. The resurrection is the proof of our justification. If our sins had not been paid for, Christ would not have risen from the grave. The Son came in willing sacrifice because of our sin, paid the debt, and His resurrection is the convincing proof that satisfaction of the debt was fully accomplished.

  5. Mark said,

    February 14, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    But it not just “proof,” it is also the verdict, the declaration that Jesus is righteous. And it is a verdict that it reckoned as ours in Christ, if we believe.

    I don’t know whether ground is the best word to use. But whatever it is, it should communicate that Christ suffered a death he didn’t deserve so that we could get a verdict we didn’t deserve.

  6. greenbaggins said,

    February 14, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Towne, I would point you to Calvin’s thesis that any reference to the death of Christ is synechdochic, also including the resurrection. Furthermore, the resurrection being mentioned is also synechdochic, including the death of Christ. The death and resurrection of Christ are one salvific act. So, in saying that Christ’s justification is the ground of our justification, I am by no means excluding the death of Christ from that equation. But Christ’s death would not have any saving efficacy whatsoever without the resurrection. As Paul says, if Christ has not been raised, then we are still in our sins. Would you be able to agree with this formulation of it?

  7. February 14, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Lane, the explanation Berkhof gave for Romans 4:25 was that the resurrection was necessary in order for Jesus to mediate the already-purchased blessings of salvation procured at the Cross and during his life (since a dead Mediator can’t mediate). So it was “for” our justification in that sense. Is this the sense of “ground” we are talking about?

  8. greenbaggins said,

    February 14, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    David, I am perfectly happy with that explanation. I am not sure whether it wouild exhaust the meaning of Rom 4:25, but I would certainly agree with Berkhof.

  9. thomasgoodwin said,

    February 14, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    And, of course, 1 Tim. 3:16 is bound to come up in this conversation …

  10. Jesse Pirschel said,

    February 14, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Lane,

    So you seem to be saying that Wilson et. al. didn’t say “enough” when they said the above. But then you go on to state the other side, namely Jesus didn’t need saving “like” ours. Yet, you don’t feel the need to state the positive aspect of His need for saving. He needed to be redeemed from death. Gaffin considers this “necessary” yet you dont state it. It just goes to show, you cant say it all every time you speak. Finitude is such a burden!

    David,

    Jesus pays the price for our sins in death, but what blessings does it “procure” if the suffering one remains in the grave? Are not the blessings granted to us, the blessings of resurrection/eschatological life? Could we expect such blessings (namely death no longer having mastery over us) if Christ does not rise from the dead, if he is not vindicated? Is that given at the cross sans the resurrection? Or how about this, how does the “for” in “death for trespasses” relate to the “for” in “raised for our justification”?

    “It is, then, not only meaningful but necessary to speak of the resurrection as the redemption of Christ…[Paul] does not confuse the ransom price, no matter how sublime and precious, with what is secured by its payment. To Paul’s way of thinking, as long as Christ remains dead, Satan and sin are triumphant.” – Gaffin

  11. Jesse Pirschel said,

    February 14, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    David,

    Maybe it would be easier to ask it this way, “What declaration of justification are we taking part in at present if not the eschatological one? And if the eschatological one who has received it already that we are being viewed in solidarity with? And when precisely did he receive this declaration/verdict?”

  12. greenbaggins said,

    February 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Jesse, did you bleep over this line in my post when you were writing your post: “He had need of being resurrected, yes?”

  13. Jesse Pirschel said,

    February 14, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    You mean the one that comes right before, “But not saving.” Nope, I saw it. It read as if you were saying the resurrection was in no way a saving/redemption/deliverance etc. How should I have read it?

  14. greenbaggins said,

    February 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that Jesus had no actual sin, but only imputed sin. The penalty for that imputed sin was eternal death, which Christ suffered on the cross. Christ did not go to hell after His death, but rather before. Hell was the cross. Therefore, in his state of death, He was not under condemnation, but rather His soul was in the hands of His Father. Christ’s resurrection was in order to achieve that new Spiritual body of which 1 Cor 15 speaks, and to be the first-born among the final resurrection harvest.

  15. Jesse Pirschel said,

    February 14, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    Lane,

    I get your point about Christ’s salvation and ours, dont get me wrong. But do you think Doug and Peter really believe Jesus was a sinner in need of salvation like ours? Do you think they really believe that he was looking outside of himself and trusting in a Savior like we need to? Or do you think they believe we should look to ourselves and be saved?

    My only point is when you are writing or saying anything you are always limited in what you can express. So, if your focusing on Jesus’ justification and you don’t add all the qualifications of what it is and is not and how it is similiar and dissimiliar to our etc., I don’t think one should be faulted. It’s the nature of finite discourse. I would just expect we read everyone that way. I was reading your statement above in a way analogical to your reading of Wilson’s comments (or at least that was my attempt).

    As one of my profs liked to say, “you cant say everything when you say anything, for if you try to say everything when you say anything, you’ll be so busy trying to say everything that you will never say anything at all.”

  16. Jesse Pirschel said,

    February 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Lane,

    Your view above is “not” the confessions view. “Remaining under the power of death for a time” is the WCF descensus clause (crucified, died, buried, remained under the power of death for a time 8.4).

    And being in the state of death, under its power for a time, is not a neutral state, that is to be sure.

  17. greenbaggins said,

    February 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I acknowledge (and agree with) the point about not being able to say everything. However, in a statement about justification, such qualifications are necessary. Of course, it is always difficult knowing just how much to say to avoid misunderstanding. However, I have seen FV guys basically say that Jesus was saved by grace through faith like we are. To me that is blasphemous. I would hope that neither Wilson nor Leithart would say any such thing.

  18. greenbaggins said,

    February 14, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Jesse, my position is precisely that of the confession’s: Christ’s body was under the power of death, but His soul was with His Father. The reference to the descension is a reference to the grave, not to hell.

  19. Jesse Pirschel said,

    February 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Yes, the grave. But the grave is not the cross. The grave is the abode of the dead, Hades/hell.

  20. Jesse Pirschel said,

    February 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    I am using abode of the dead to mean “the common grave” like the OT uses Hades.

  21. Towne said,

    February 14, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Lane (#6):

    Yes, I can certainly agree with that formulation. And in a spirit of exhibiting a teachable attitude, I will also search out and consider the references you provided by way of vague allusion. (insert smiley face here)

  22. Jesse Pirschel said,

    February 14, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    All that to say Lane, your view “hell is the cross” is not precisely the way the confession views it (the three forms yes, but not the WCF). Van Dixhorn has good material on this that I would highly recommend.

  23. greenbaggins said,

    February 14, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    I deny that the grave is the same as Hell/Hades. The grave is only the resting place for the body. The soul is either in heaven or in hell immediately upon death.

  24. Jesse Pirschel said,

    February 14, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Well, so do I, but then again it comes down to what sense is being used.

    I am saying our confession translates descended into hell, as “remained under the power of death for a time”. This is clear in both the order of the wording and in the debates we have record of.

  25. February 14, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Jesse, I haven’t seen VanDixhoorn’s article you refer to.

    I can, however, recommend Danny Hyde’s article on the descendit in the current issue of the Confessional Presbyterian, if you have access to it.

  26. greenbaggins said,

    February 14, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Yes, that article was echoing through my mind as I was writing. The “power of death” does not mean the power of Hell.

  27. Jesse Pirschel said,

    February 14, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    David,

    I am familiar with the article, but then it is coming at the issue from a different confessional tradition. I believe the overlap between our confessions is great, but this is not one of the places of identity.

    Lane,

    Say what you will, the framers of our confession had just that clause in mind when they wrote the “power of death”. It was their take on what has surely been a controversial clause since its addition to the creed. But what the WCF has going for it is temporal succession, (crucified, died, buried) unlike the continental take (crucified, died, and underwent hellish torments).

    So again, the confession is taken “hell/hades” as an equivalent to the common grave that all bodies lie in at death until the second resurrection. So really, power of death does mean power of hell to them.

  28. Jesse Pirschel said,

    February 14, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    David,

    What is your take on 10 & 11 above.

  29. February 14, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Pduggie said,

    “Works are done to earn wages (romans 4)

    Obedience is done because it is ones duty.”

    Would you clarify for me how a “work” is not a duty? Works and wages in Romans 4:4 are in contrast to the “gift” not to each other.

    Some want to make this idea of upholding the law to refer to the righteous manner in which Christians are motivated to keep and obey the law after having been justified.
    IMHO that is not the point in Romans 4. That may be the point somewhere else, just not in Romans 4. That would mean his focus was in sanctification and clearly his point in Romans 4 is to discuss the glory of justification.

    Gage Browning
    Post Tenebras Lux

  30. Mark said,

    February 14, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    According to Romans 4.12 justification is for those “who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.” You can see that described in Hebrews 11 and Genesis 12-16. It isn’t abstracted from obedience.

  31. February 14, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Mark,
    Are you saying that the footsteps of faith is obedience? The promise was realized through faith, not obedience. We need a real Law and Gospel distinction here I think.

  32. Roger Mann said,

    February 14, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    30: Mark wrote,

    According to Romans 4.12 justification is for those “who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.” You can see that described in Hebrews 11 and Genesis 12-16. It isn’t abstracted from obedience.

    You’ve got to be kidding! Right? If this is what you call responsible exegesis, then you have no business teaching Scripture to anybody. You FV guys never cease to amaze me!

  33. GLW Johnson said,

    February 15, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Gage, Roger
    Your eyes do not decieve you ; you did not misread or misunderstand and Mark is not kidding. Please read Martin Downes ‘ Against Heresies’ entry for today and the quote from James Buchanan. Very apropos.

  34. Roger Mann said,

    February 15, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Yes, Gary, the James Buchanan quote is quite apropos:

    It has been justly said that, in controversies of faith, the difference between antagonist systems is often reduced to a line sharp as a razor’s edge, yet on one side of that line there is God’s truth, and on the other a departure from it. — James Buchanan, The Doctrine of Justification, p. 136

    By the way, Mark, in Romans 4 “faith” and “works” of obedience are opposed to one another in the matter of justification, with circumcision being set forth as a prime example of a “work” of obedience. Calvin provides us with a responsible exegesis of Romans 4:12.

    The other thing, which was the chief matter, they [“the carnal descendants of Abraham”] neglected; for the faith of Abraham, by which alone he obtained salvation, they did not imitate. It hence appears, how carefully he distinguished between faith and the sacrament; not only that no one might be satisfied with the one without the other, as though it were sufficient for justifying; but also that faith alone might be set forth as accomplishing everything: for while he allows the circumcised Jews to be justified, he expressly makes this exception — provided in true faith they followed the example of Abraham; for why does he mention faith while in uncircumcision, except to show, that it is alone sufficient, without the aid of anything else? Let us then beware, lest any of us, by halving things, blend together the two modes of justification.

    What we have stated disproves also the scholastic dogma respecting the difference between the sacraments of the Old and those of the New Testament; for they deny the power of justifying to the former, and assign it to the latter. But if Paul reasons correctly, when he argues that circumcision does not justify, because Abraham was justified by faith, the same reason holds good for us, while we deny that men are justified by baptism, inasmuch as they are justified by the same faith with that of Abraham.

    Just in case you missed it, when Calvin says by “faith alone,” he means apart from acts of “obedience” of any kind — by simple belief in God’s covenantal promise alone!

  35. pduggie said,

    February 15, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    What’s the difference between saying Christ had imputed sin, and saying Christ took the penalty due for sin?

  36. kjsulli said,

    February 15, 2008 at 3:07 pm

    pduggie,

    It’s the same difference between saying that we are justified by the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and saying that we shall be glorified in Christ. The former is the basis for the latter.

  37. Roger Mann said,

    February 15, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    And, of course, Jesus couldn’t have “took the penalty due for sin” unless God had first “imputed sin” — the sin of His elect people alone — to Him. God doesn’t inflict the penalty due for sin on a legally innocent person.

  38. pduggie said,

    February 15, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    29:

    Obedience as duty is the overarching concept. Its useless to argue that when God says “believe in Jesus” you aren’t obeying when you believe and its your duty so to do. But you don’t merit anything by doing that (unless you’re Kline, inadvertently)

    All works done for wages are dutiful obedience, but not all dutiful obediences are works for wages. Obedience for inheritance is not, for instance. of course, I agree that in Romans 4 works and wages are linked not contrasted. And they are contrasted with becoming a heir by trusting, in faith, in the one to whom the promises given to Abraham came.

    Adam had a duty to obey his creator quite APART from the gracious covenant (not covenant of grace) God made with him.

  39. pduggie said,

    February 15, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    “God doesn’t inflict the penalty due for sin on a legally innocent person.”

    Wow really? he doesn’t?

    Jesus was guilty?

    “Legally innocent” is different from “innocent”? Innocent is a legal term in the first place.

  40. February 15, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I have a question that was prompted by what Mark wrote above:

    “… the declaration [is] that Jesus is righteous. And it is a verdict that it reckoned as ours in Christ, if we believe.”

    If what Rom. 4:25 is all about is our getting Jesus’ resurrection verdict by virtue of our union with the risen Christ, on what is the verdict that “Jesus is righteous” based?

    I would think that the answer would be that his resurrection demonstrates his righteousness, but that his righteousness itself is not his inherent, natural righteousness, but rather is due to his being a faithful covenant servant (pardon the expletive) who always did those things that please the Father.

    So what I’m asking is: Is there room in the FV’s interpretation of Rom. 4:25 for Jesus’ law-keeping to be imputed to us by faith?

  41. Roger Mann said,

    February 15, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Sorry, Kyle. I read your post too fast and didn’t notice “The former is the basis for the latter.” I didn’t mean to simply repeat what you said.

  42. February 15, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Jason,

    Worth noting (I’m sure you’ve noticed yourself) is the fact that FV makes a shift which *seems* subtle but is, in reality, not so subtle. Romans 4:5 changes from having Christ’s righteousness imputed to us and instead they say that Christ’s *verdict* is transferred or imputed to us. This puts them in the awkward position of saying that we have a righteous verdict without having the corresponding righteousness to base it on (if we follow this through to its logical end). Their union model ends up producing some pretty kooky ideas.

    On a different issue, regarding Romans 4:5, you may also remember that Norm Shepherd applied this to Christ in his Call of Grace. Jesus’ faith was credited to him as/for righteousness. Further proof that FV is monocovenantal to the core, and couldn’t distinguish between law and gospel to save its life.

  43. Roger Mann said,

    February 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    39: Paul wrote,

    “God doesn’t inflict the penalty due for sin on a legally innocent person.” Wow really? he doesn’t? Jesus was guilty?

    Absolutely! Jesus was legally guilty by way of “imputation” — the “imputation” of His elect people’s sin. This is Reformed theology 101, not some novel “TR” aberration of Scripture. Here’s another Calvin quote as proof (you guys should really try reading him from time to time — he’s much better than James Jordan!).

    Sin is here contrasted with righteousness, when Paul teaches us, that we were made the righteousness of God, on the ground of Christ’s having been made sin. Righteousness, here, is not taken to denote a quality or habit, but by way of imputation, on the ground of Christ’s righteousness being reckoned to have been received by us. What, on the other hand, is denoted by sin? It is the guilt, on account of which we are arraigned at the bar of God. As, however, the curse of the individual was of old cast upon the victim, so Christ’s condemnation was our absolution, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5.)…

    Let us now return to the contrast between righteousness and sin How are we righteous in the sight of God? It is assuredly in the same respect in which Christ was a sinner [i.e., imputation]. For he assumed in a manner our place, that he might be a criminal in our room, and might be dealt with as a sinner, not for his own offenses, but for those of others, inasmuch as he was pure and exempt from every fault, and might endure the punishment that was due to us — not to himself. It is in the same manner, assuredly, that we are now righteous in him — not in respect of our rendering satisfaction to the justice of God by our own works, but because we are judged of in connection with Christ’s righteousness, which we have put on by faith, that it might become ours. (Calvin’s Commentary, 2 Cor. 5:21)

  44. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    Pduggie (#35):

    What’s the difference between saying Christ had imputed sin, and saying Christ took the penalty due for sin?

    At first, I thought, “not much.” But actually, there is on reflection. The governmental theory of atonement holds that Christ satisfied the requirements of God’s justice (allowing for hypothetical universal atonement) but denies that he had the sins of any one individual imputed to him.

    So there’s at least one difference.

    Jeff Cagle

  45. pduggie said,

    February 15, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    The sacrificial system was all about sacrifices taking on themselves penalties the people owed. Their blood cleanses the flesh, and Christ’s blood cleanses the soul.

  46. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 15, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Roger (#43):

    Paul wrote,


    “God doesn’t inflict the penalty due for sin on a legally innocent person.” Wow really? he doesn’t? Jesus was guilty?

    Roger wrote:

    Absolutely! Jesus was legally guilty by way of “imputation” — the “imputation” of His elect people’s sin.

    Difference senses of the term. Jesus is factually and legally innocent until the Father visits the guilt and wrath of sin upon him at the cross.

    So yes, Jesus was legally guilty, and yes, that is the grounds for his punishment. But yes, the Father did visit the penalty for sin on a person who had been legally innocent (else Is. 53.11 makes no sense).

    Jeff Cagle

  47. February 15, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    David,

    Well, they would say that we have the verdict because we have Christ, being united with him. I would agree that it is better to say that Jesus’ obedience and satisfaction are imputed to us, and not just his verdict given through a union that may be lost.

    But my question is more about Jesus’ righteousness, which his resurrection demonstrates. Does the FV say it is his inherent, natural righteousness as the Son of God, or his righteousness that he gained as our Mediator who filfilled the law on our behalf?

  48. pduggie said,

    February 15, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    I thought Christ was legally guilty by way of dying on a cross.

  49. Roger Mann said,

    February 15, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    46: Jeff C. wrote,

    Difference senses of the term. Jesus is factually and legally innocent until the Father visits the guilt and wrath of sin upon him at the cross.

    Ummm, that was precisely my point. Jesus was both “factually” and “legally” innocent prior to the cross. But He wasn’t “legally” innocent at the moment God poured out His wrath upon Him on the cross. That’s why I wrote:

    Jesus couldn’t have “took the penalty due for sin” unless God had first “imputed sin” — the sin of His elect people alone — to Him. God doesn’t inflict the penalty due for sin on a legally innocent person.

  50. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 15, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Doug (#1), Paul (#3):

    But in the Pauline vocabulary, faith and works are antithetical — one displaces the other. Otherwise, works are no longer works. But faith and obedience are not like that. Obedience depends upon faith. If it doesn’t depend upon faith, then it is disobedience.

    AND

    Works are done to earn wages (romans 4)

    Obedience is done because it is ones duty.

    I wonder whether Paul the apostle would have granted such a distinction. It strikes me that at least one respectable reading of Rom 2 – 4 treats obedience to the Law as synonymous with “working the law.”

    And the linch-pin of that reading is Rom 3.19-22:

    Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

    οιδαμεν δε οτι οσα ο νομος λεγει τοις εν τω νομω λαλει ινα παν στομα φραγη και υποδικος γενηται πας ο κοσμος τω θεω

    διοτι εξ εργων νομου ου δικαιωθησεται πασα σαρξ ενωπιον αυτου δια γαρ νομου επιγνωσις αμαρτιας

    νυνι δε χωρις νομου δικαιοσυνη θεου πεφανερωται μαρτυρουμενη υπο του νομου και των προφητων

    Granted that the NIV translation somewhat prejudices the issue with “observing.” But still and all, there is no distinction made here between works of the law and simply obeying it. Rather, the reason given that no-one will be justified through works of the law is that the function of the law is to make one conscious of sin.

    Nowhere does Paul stipulate that there is a “right way to obey the Law, leading to justification” and a “wrong way to commit works of the Law in exchange for wages, leading to condemnation.” Instead, following the Law is simply unable to make us righteous.

    Now, I realize that some readings of Romans 2 want to upend that. But I think those readings need to be vigorously argued for rather than assumed, yes?

    Its useless to argue that when God says “believe in Jesus” you aren’t obeying when you believe and its your duty so to do.

    Not every NT presentation of the Gospel comes in the form of a command. Certainly, they often do. But in some cases, it is presented as “whosoever believes…” So why insist on the centrality of obedience as a part of justifying faith? Could it not be a necessary consequence of faith instead?

    I mean, think again about Hebrews 11. It says that the saints there obeyed “by faith.” That is to say, faith was the means by which they obeyed. Surely this assumes some kind of distinction between faith and obedience (since X cannot be a means to accomplishing X).

    So how far does that distinction go? I would suggest it goes this far: in terms of the mechanism by which we obey, faith itself is not obedience, but instead is that which receives the promises of God. And those promises lead inevitably to obedience.

    To my mind, this model makes sense of “obeying the command to believe”, but also makes sense of Paul’s distinction between faith and works of the Law without introducing an artificial distinction between works of the law and obedience to the Law.

    Jeff Cagle

  51. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 15, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Roger (#49):

    Ummm, that was precisely my point.

    Right. I was agreeing with your point. Just as regeneration is logically prior to faith, so also Jesus’ legal guilt is logically prior to his punishment.

    I just thought you were talking past Paul.

    After all, chronologically, it’s doubtful that there was a millisecond’s worth of difference between the attribution of sin and the punishment for it.

    And so Jesus was, chronologically, the innocent lamb who took on our sins. And that’s an important point to stress as well, as in Heb. 9.14.

    Jeff Cagle

  52. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Pduggie (#48):

    I thought Christ was legally guilty by way of dying on a cross.

    You’re deriving that from “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”, I guess? That’s an odd reading to me: someone becomes guilty by means of the way he is punished … for … what, exactly? I’ve never read Gal. 3 that way.

    Say more.

    Jeff Cagle

  53. pduggie said,

    February 15, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    Calvin “Moreover, it was especially necessary for this cause also that he who was to be our Redeemer should be truly God and man. It was his to swallow up death: who but Life could do so? It was his to conquer sin: who could do so save Righteousness itself? It was his to put to flight the powers of the air and the world: who could do so but the mighty power superior to both? But who possesses life and righteousness, and the dominion and government of heaven, but God alone? Therefore, God, in his infinite mercy, having determined to redeem us, became himself our Redeemer in the person of his only begotten Son.”

    He did more than fulfill the law on our behalf. He did the work of fulfilling the law on our behalf, and shared that righteousness with us too. He fulfilled the law, but eschewed the blessings the law promised to those who obeyed (‘do this and live”) and took up his cross. He kept the law from his youth, but he also sold all that he had. He did the work of God, and the centurion recognized it in his dying, not in his “doing.”

  54. pduggie said,

    February 15, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    “So why insist on the centrality of obedience as a part of justifying faith?”

    I don’t. its not central, its perhiperhal. I just think linguistically, asserting the contrary is special pleading and makes one sound like you’re trying to construct a hermetic system where none is required.

  55. pduggie said,

    February 15, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    I can’t say much more than Galatians 3. the mode of Jesus death is necessary for salvation to work. God couldn’t say, impute sin to Jesus and then kill him with a meteor.

    Jesus followed Torah perfectly. But torah contained a provision that cursed someone for how they might die. Jesus died under that provision, thus was accounted cursed, even though he was otherwise innocent of Torah-breaking.

    Through the law, Jesus died to the law.

    I’m basically much more interested in, in Gaffin’s words, the “de facto” events that signaled Jesus was our substitute, accounted as sinful though innocent, and paid for our sins. They’re more important than a “trick of thought” (its NOT a trick of thought, right??) in God’s mind.

  56. February 15, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Here is some other passage to consider.

    Acts 2:22ff “Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know…ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain…Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.”

    It seems the guilt or guilty verdict was from the leaders of this world and is being contrasted with the verdict of righteous/approval by the Father. Jesus’ obedience seems then to be glossed in terms of his faithfulness to his confession, even to the point of death, rather than in any strictly legal observance. This seems to me anyhow to fit well with the Pauline insistence on faith as a superior way over works of the law and Abraham as a chief example.

    Jesus is then vindicated or justified by God over against the powers of the world in that God reverses the charge in his resurrection, precisely because he is innocent. Death only has a claim on the guilty and so Christ descends into death to remove its power. He bursts it from the inside out.

  57. Roger Mann said,

    February 16, 2008 at 12:03 am

    48: Paul wrote,

    I thought Christ was legally guilty by way of dying on a cross.

    Not quite. Jesus was “legally” guilty by means of imputation (2 Cor. 5:21), and was thus “cursed” by dying on the cross four our sins (Gal. 3:13). The “curse of the law” is only due to those who are “guilty” of breaking the law. Therefore, Jesus could not have “become a curse for us” on the cross unless our sins had already been imputed to him.

    55:

    I’m basically much more interested in, in Gaffin’s words, the “de facto” events that signaled Jesus was our substitute, accounted as sinful though innocent, and paid for our sins. They’re more important than a “trick of thought” (its NOT a trick of thought, right??) in God’s mind.

    Yes, “accounted as sinful…and paid for our sins” is correct. The terms “account,” “ascribe,” “attribute,” “assign,” “credit,” “reckon,” etc. are all synonyms for “impute.” Jesus “paid for our sins” on the cross because God had “imputed” our sins to Him and “accounted” Him guilty in our stead.

  58. February 16, 2008 at 1:58 am

    Roger,

    That is one way to understand 2 cor 5, but not the only way. The language is there of being made, and ot explicilty of forensic imputation. So, one way to read it is the following. God made Jesus inarnate, taking on our corrupt nature, even though in his divine person, Jesus never committed any sinful acts.

    As for gal 3, I thought the curse was being hung on a tree, rather than one is cursed and so is therefore hung. Being crucified buck naked seems like a curse.

  59. Kyle said,

    February 16, 2008 at 2:07 am

    Perry Robinson, re: 58,

    God made Jesus inarnate, taking on our corrupt nature, even though in his divine person, Jesus never committed any sinful acts.

    This implies that Jesus has a sinful human nature. You may wish to rethink your wording…

  60. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 16, 2008 at 8:30 am

    Pduggie (#55):

    I can’t say much more than Galatians 3. the mode of Jesus death is necessary for salvation to work. God couldn’t say, impute sin to Jesus and then kill him with a meteor.

    Jesus followed Torah perfectly. But torah contained a provision that cursed someone for how they might die. Jesus died under that provision, thus was accounted cursed, even though he was otherwise innocent of Torah-breaking.

    Through the law, Jesus died to the law.

    Huh. I’ve never read it that way at all. I always took

    Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

    as emblematic: Christ became a curse, and we see that in the manner of his death.

    Out of curiosity, what factors in the text would cause you to read it your way as opposed to my way?

    Also, would you say that all those who were hung in OT times were automatically accursed?

    Thanks,
    Jeff

  61. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 16, 2008 at 8:36 am

    Pduggie (#53):

    He did more than fulfill the law on our behalf. He did the work of fulfilling the law on our behalf, and shared that righteousness with us too.

    That sounds exactly like what I mean by “Imputation of Active Obedience.”

    JRC

  62. February 16, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Kyle,

    No it does not imply that Jesus had a sinful nature for a few simple reaosns. Nature’s don’t sin, persons do. This is why I used the term corruption. The distinction between person and nature is findamental to all Christian theology. To speak of a “sinful nature” conflates and confuses them, making a wreck of Christian theology. Added to this I think my view fits well with Heb 4:15 as well.

  63. Roger Mann said,

    February 16, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    58: Perry wrote,

    God made Jesus incarnate, taking on our corrupt nature, even though in his divine person, Jesus never committed any sinful acts.

    Perry, the text quite clearly states that God “made him to be sin who knew no sin.” So, we are left with only two interpretive options here. 1) God either “made” Jesus sin by way of imputation, while He remained holy and righteous, or 2) God “made” Jesus sin in actual fact, causing Him to become corrupt and sinful. The first option is true and biblical, the second option is blasphemous and heretical! Stick with it at your own peril.

    Also, since the text plainly states that Jesus Himself “was made sin who knew no sin,” the false distinction you try to make between a “sinful nature” and a “corrupt nature” in post #62 stands in flat contradiction to the text. It wasn’t Jesus’ mere nature that was made “corrupt,” as you claim. It was Jesus Himself who was made “sin” (by “imputation”) on our behalf.

    Moreover, Scripture unambiguously teaches that Jesus was both “Holy” in His nature and “Righteous” in His person (in “actual fact”) from the very moment of His incarnation: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy — the Son of God” (Luke 1:35); “But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you” (Acts 3:14). So either way you slice it, your “interpretation” is blasphemous.

    As for gal 3, I thought the curse was being hung on a tree, rather than one is cursed and so is therefore hung. Being crucified buck naked seems like a curse.

    I never claimed that “one is cursed and so is therefore hung.” I wrote:

    Jesus was “legally” guilty by means of imputation (2 Cor. 5:21), and was thus “cursed” by dying on the cross for our sins (Gal. 3:13). The “curse of the law” is only due to those who are “guilty” of breaking the law. Therefore, Jesus could not have “become a curse for us” on the cross unless our sins had already been imputed to him.

  64. February 16, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Roger,

    Sure, “made” doesn’t seem to imply imputation. It is not the language of accreditation. I simply reject that those are the only two options. I think there is a tertium quid, namely glossing sin in a wide and a narrow sense in the passage. The wide usage would be in reference to corruption but not necessarily a personal action. Jesus inherits our carnal disordered desires, but he personally never sins because he never gives into them. There seems to be a contrast between sin in the first part of the passage and in the second part, which even the imputation view admits. I think this makes better sense of Heb 4 and the temptation of Christ. Christ our head as a divine person overcomes our distorted desires and so he knows what it is like. So he can sympathize with us. On your view, I can’t see how that could be true.

    Your two options turn on conflating the categories of natural states with personal actions, thereby conflating the categories of person and nature. That will work wonders in Christology, not to mention implying Pelagianism, that righteousness is natural. “Stick with it at your own peril.”

    I agree that that text plainly says that Jesus was *made* sin, but I disagree that the text plainly *means* imputation. The requirements of your system may impose on you to interpret the passage that way, but can you give a reason to think the language implies forensic imputation? I don’t think so.
    If you think there is such a thing as a “sinful nature” which better Reformed theologians reject at least in my reading, can you explain how natures sin? What then is the difference between nature and person? Isn’t sin act that persons perform?

    Properties of each nature are predicable to the one divine person and so I think Jesus was “made” sin in that he was incarnated in a weak/corrupted human nature, which he repaired from the inside out and so he struggled with its ill disposed powers/faculties, setting them right, reconciling it to himself.

    I agree that Jesus was holy and never sinned and my view doesn’t compromise that fact since Jesus never acts on distorted/disordered desires. I don’t conflate personal actions with natural states as Pelagianism does. Holiness/righteousness is personal.

    Oh I think Gal 3 is compatible with the gloss I gave it. Jesus was for our sake, wrongly judged and cursed by dying a shameful death, even though he rejected its shame (heb 12:2) This seems to be the contrast in Acts 2 that I pointed out. Otherwise, your reading of gal 3 runs up Acts a seemingly clear contrast in Acts 2, which would be strange given that Luke was an associate of Paul.

    In any case, I am only offering a different way of understanding 2 cor 5:21.

  65. kjsulli said,

    February 16, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    Perry, re: 62,

    No it does not imply that Jesus had a sinful nature for a few simple reaosns.

    The text reads in Greek, ton mh gnonta amartian uper hmwn amartian epoihsin: “The one who never knew sin, on behalf of us, sin [God] made [him] to be.” The way your statement reads in #58, amartia “sin” is equated to “our corrupt nature.” So connect the dots. This is why I suggested you may wish to rethink your wording.

    I’ll try to get back to this later.

  66. February 16, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Kjsulli,

    I know what the Greek text says, but the question is the scope of usage of harmatia that would ground the contrast.

    My proposal would fit well with the vindication/justification of Jesus as well via the resurrection.

  67. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 16, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    If you think there is such a thing as a “sinful nature” which better Reformed theologians reject at least in my reading, can you explain how natures sin?

    So if Paul doesn’t mean something like “sinful nature” when he refers to “the flesh”, then what does he mean?

  68. February 16, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Jeff,

    I think Paul refers to the flesh and by that I don’t think he thinks of the physical body per se, but of its current disordered state where is desires are misdirected and out of whack. So I think the NIV translation is a very bad one and I am hardly alone on that score.

    If memory serves Hodge, Turretin and others are careful to not claim that human nature is intrinsically or per se sinful on pain of Manicheanism.

  69. Kyle said,

    February 16, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Perry,

    I know what the Greek text says, but the question is the scope of usage of harmatia that would ground the contrast.

    I cannot see anywhere in the New Testament, nevermind the Corinthian epistles, where amartia does not indicate sin. Never once does it refer to “corruption” without sin. So I don’t know on what exegetical basis you ground your unique interpretation of II Cor. 5:21.

    By the way, you ought to know that generally when Protestants speak of the “sinful nature,” they mean human nature as we inherit it from Adam: fallen and corrupt because of sin. It would be heretical, and with referrence to Christ extraordinarily blasphemous, to claim that human nature is intrinsically sinful.

  70. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 17, 2008 at 7:58 am

    Perry (#68):

    I see several difficulties with your position as I understand it.

    I appreciate the desire to separate “being tempted” from “actual sin”; I would affirm that impulse and also affirm that Jesus was genuinely tempted (as Adam was … see below …) yet without sin.

    When I teach my ethics students about sin, the model I use is that outside stimuli resonate with our own desires to produce temptation, which (if followed through with) leads to sin.

    But now,

    (1) You say, I think Paul refers to the flesh and by that I don’t think he thinks of the physical body per se, but of its current disordered state where is desires are misdirected and out of whack.

    Alright, but that description seems to me scarcely different from “sin nature.” So it’s unclear what prize you are pursuing. The whole project of denying a sin nature while affirming that we have misdirected and out-of-whack desires seems like a distinction without a difference.

    (2) Paul affirms not merely that we have misdirected desires, but that we are enslaved to these desires (Rom 6, 7) and are effectively “dead in sin” (Eph 2). I trust that you would not affirm that Jesus partakes of these aspects of our misdirected and out-of-whack desires (MOD hereafter)?

    (3) Further, Paul identifies the MOD with an “old self” that is being corrupted (Eph 4, Col 3, Rom 7) and practices sinful actions. Again, we would not affirm that Jesus partakes of MOD in this way, either, yes?

    (4) Your two options turn on conflating the categories of natural states with personal actions, thereby conflating the categories of person and nature. That will work wonders in Christology, not to mention implying Pelagianism, that righteousness is natural.

    This struck me as very odd. Historically, Augustine refuted Pelagius by appealing to the idea of an inherent, natural tendency to sin over against Pelagius’ teaching that we are made good by the exercise of our wills. So it appears that you have it backwards?

    (5) The historic position is that Christ was tempted without having a sin nature. That is, that he was tempted exactly as Adam was. I think at the back of your position is a concern to avoid docetism, which is well and good. But there is more than one way to accomplish that goal. Hear the words of Calvin, one of the “better Reformed theologians”:

    Then the whole discourse of the Apostle refers to what is apprehended by faith, for he does not speak of what Christ is in himself, but shows what he is to us. By the likeness, he understands that of nature, by which he intimates that Christ has put on our flesh, and also its feelings or affections, so that he not only paroled himself to be real man, but had also been taught by his own experience to help the miserable; not because the Son of God had need of such a training, but because we could not otherwise comprehend the care he feels for our salvation. Whenever, then, we labor under the infirmities of our flesh, let us remember that the Son of God experienced the same, in order that he might by his power raise us up, so that we may not be overwhelmed by them.

    But it may be asked, What does he mean by infirmities? The word is indeed taken in various senses. Some understand by it cold and heat; hunger and other wants of the body; and also contempt, poverty, and other things of this mind, as in many places in the writings of Paul, especially in 2 Corinthians 12:10. But their opinion is more correct who include, together with external evils, the feelings of the souls such as fear, sorrow, the dread of death, and similar things.

    And doubtless the restriction, without sin, would not have been added, except he had been speaking of the inward feelings, which in us are always sinful on account of the depravity of our nature; but in Christ, who possessed the highest rectitude and perfect purity, they were free from everything vicious. Poverty, indeed, and diseases, and those things which are without us, are not to be counted as sinful. Since, therefore, he speaks of infirmities akin to sin, there is no doubt but that he refers to the feelings or affections of the mind, to which our nature is liable, and that on account of its infirmity. For the condition of the angels is in this respect better than ours; for they sorrow not, nor fear, nor are they harassed by variety of cares, nor by the dread of death. These infirmities Christ of his own accord undertook, and he willingly contended with them, not only that he might attain a victory over them for us, but also that we may feel assured that he is present with us whenever we are tried by them.

    Thus he not only really became a man, but he also assumed all the qualities of human nature. There is, however, a limitation added, without sin; for we must ever remember this difference between Christ’s feelings or affections and ours, that his feelings were always regulated according to the strict rule of justice, while ours flow from a turbid fountain, and always partake of the nature of their source, for they are turbulent and unbridled. — Calv Comm. Heb. 4

    In light of these difficulties, I give a double-raised-eyebrow to the notion that we don’t have a sin nature.

    Jeff Cagle

  71. Jeff Cagle said,

    February 17, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I forgot to mention (6):

    What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? — James 4.1

    But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’ “ — Matt. 15.18-20

    Both of these are consistent with either “sin nature” or MOD, but they cut across the rhetorical questions

    can you explain how natures sin? What then is the difference between nature and person? Isn’t sin act that persons perform?

    The answer, according to Jesus and James, is that people sin when acting according to their natures.

    JRC

  72. Roger Mann said,

    February 17, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    64: Perry wrote,

    Sure, “made” doesn’t seem to imply imputation. It is not the language of accreditation.

    How does “made” not imply imputation, when “imputation” is a primary subject of the passage?

    “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them… For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” — 2 Cor. 5:19, 21

    The whole point of the passage is that God does not impute our sins to us (“not imputing their trespasses to them”), for He has “imputed” them to Christ (“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us”), and thus imputes His righteousness to us who believe (“that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”).

    Furthermore, we have numerous other passages of Scripture which clearly teach that God “imputed” our sins to Christ on the cross:

    “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” — Isaiah 53:6

    “He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:11-12

    “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” — 1 Peter 2:21-24

    God “laid” our iniquities on Christ, and Christ “bore” our sins in His own body on the tree! If this doesn’t mean that God “imputed” the guilt of our sins to Christ, then language has lost all meaning and you can twist Scripture to mean anything!

    Jesus inherits our carnal disordered desires, but he personally never sins because he never gives into them.

    That makes absolutely no sense at all. A “carnal disordered desire” is itself a sinful act. The last time I checked “You shall not covet” (Ex. 20:17) — which is solely a “carnal disordered desire” — was still a sin. The last time I checked “lust” (Matt. 5:28) — which is solely a “carnal disordered desire” — was still a sin. You seem to be confusing a “carnal disordered desire” with “temptation.” But they are not the same thing. Having a neighbor with a smokin hot wife would be a “temptation”; coveting or lusting after her would be a “carnal disordered desire.” The fact is, if Jesus inherited our “carnal disordered desires,” then He would have been a sinner and could not have redeemed anyone — even Himself!

    I think this makes better sense of Heb 4 and the temptation of Christ. Christ our head as a divine person overcomes our distorted desires and so he knows what it is like. So he can sympathize with us. On your view, I can’t see how that could be true.

    It’s very easy to understand on “my” view, which is the biblical and historic Christian view. Christ “was in all points tempted as we are [like having “smokin hot” married women around Him], yet without sin [He never “coveted” or “lusted” after them]” (Heb. 4:15). How is that difficult to understand? And how is that contrary to anything I’ve written so far? In fact, it is your view that is contrary to the “without sin” part, for Jesus could not have inherited our “carnal disordered desires” without having corrupt or sinful desires Himself.

    Your two options turn on conflating the categories of natural states with personal actions, thereby conflating the categories of person and nature. That will work wonders in Christology, not to mention implying Pelagianism, that righteousness is natural. “Stick with it at your own peril.”

    Huh? Why do I feel like I have just entered the Twilight Zone? Jeff’s comment, “it appears that you have it backwards” (post # 70), is surely an understatement!

    If you think there is such a thing as a “sinful nature” which better Reformed theologians reject at least in my reading, can you explain how natures sin?

    A “sinful nature” does not sin. A “sinful nature” is a corruption of our original uprightness (think Adam prior to the Fall) that necessarily leads to sinful desires and deeds. It is no different than saying a “corrupt” or “fallen nature.” As Paul explains:

    “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature [our corrupt, fallen nature] children of wrath, just as the others.” — Eph. 2:1-3

    What then is the difference between nature and person? Isn’t sin act that persons perform?

    Yes, sin — the transgression of God’s law — is an act that persons perform. I never claimed otherwise, so I’m not quite sure what you are trying to get at.

    Properties of each nature are predicable to the one divine person and so I think Jesus was “made” sin in that he was incarnated in a weak/corrupted human nature, which he repaired from the inside out and so he struggled with its ill disposed powers/faculties, setting them right, reconciling it to himself.

    If Jesus was “incarnated in a weak/corrupted human nature,” then He would have been “by nature” a child of wrath, just as the rest of corrupt, depraved, fallen sons of Adam (Eph. 2:1-3). But rather Jesus was the “last Adam” and “second Man” (1 Cor. 15:45, 47), uncorrupt, holy, and righteous, who remained faithful to the end and earned for us righteousness and eternal life: “For as by the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19)!

    I agree that Jesus was holy and never sinned and my view doesn’t compromise that fact since Jesus never acts on distorted/disordered desires.

    As I mentioned above, a “carnal disordered desire” is itself a sinful act. So your view makes Jesus a sinner. I pray that you will repent for publicly advocating such blasphemous position!

    Oh I think Gal 3 is compatible with the gloss I gave it. Jesus was for our sake, wrongly judged and cursed by dying a shameful death, even though he rejected its shame (heb 12:2)

    God “wrongly” judged and cursed Jesus on the cross? You’ve got to be kidding me? Is that really your position? Remember, it was the LORD Himself who “has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6):

    “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” — Isaiah 53:10-12


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