Contend Earnestly: Jesus Christ Became Our Sin

Monday, August 25, 2008

Jesus Christ Became Our Sin

My buddy Erik, over at Irish Calvinist, had a book review on Vintage Jesus a while back and brought up a theological question that I was a little perplexed on. The question come in the form of a rebuttal of Driscoll's thoughts on Christ becoming our sin. Here is the full quote from Erik, which includes Driscoll's thought on Christ's payment as well:

From a theological perspective I found the book to be pretty tight. It was your basic Protestant defense of biblical faith. However, I was shocked to find this quote in the middle of the book (I quote the context):

On the cross as our substitute, Jesus was made to be the worst of what we are. This does not mean that Jesus ever sinned. Rather, it means that he was made sin. As a result, in that moment when Jesus cried out that he had been forsaken by God the Father, Jesus became the most ugly, wicked, defiled, evil, corrupt, rebellious, and hideous thing in all creation. In that moment, Jesus became a homosexual, alcoholic, thief, glutton, addict, pervert, adulterer, coveter, idol worshiper, whore, pedophile, self-righteous religious prig—and whatever else we are.” (p. 114—emphasis mine).

Jesus became a whore? Jesus became an idol worshipper? Really? So now we have Jesus with a new nature? He is sinless human, perfect God and a pervert? This is not what the Scripture teaches. He became sin (that is he was imputed or charged with our sin) on the cross he did not become the sinner (2 Cor. 5.21). I realize that he says, “This does not mean that Jesus ever sinned.” But that is exactly what he says. He could have said Jesus was judged in our place, being charged with our sins. He was treated like the homosexual, alcoholic, thief, etc..should have been treated (though he was sinless). I do not believe this is theological semantics, but rather the heart of the gospel. The numerous endorsers and his co-author should have caught this error. It seems to me that Driscoll’s penchant for dramatic hyperbole got the best of him and unraveled his explanation of the gospel.

The reason I put this here is because I have been reading a book by Packer called, In My Place Condemned He Stood. The book is pretty good, although I would disagree with Packer on numerous occasions on his beliefs of faith being bought on the cross and then his misuse of both Bunyan and Edwards. But that is besides the point. Here is the real point. Packer quotes Luther on the very issue raised by Erik. It would seem that Luther would definitely back Driscoll on this note. Here are a couple of quotes that Packer uses by Luther:

This is that mystery which is rich in divine grace to sinners: wherein by a wonderful exchange our sins are no longer ours but Christ's: and the righteousness of Christ not Christ's but ours. He has emptied himself of his rightoeusness that he might clothe us with it, and fill us with it: and he has taken our evils upon himself that He might deliver us from the same manner as he grieved and suffered in our sins, and was confounded, in the same manner we rejoice and glory in his righteousness.
Luther's Exposition of Psalm 21

All the prophets did foresee in spirit, that Christ should become the greatest transgressor, murderer, adulterer, thief, rebel, blasphemer, etc. that ever was....for he being made a sacrifice, for the sins of the whole world, is not now an innocent person and without sins....Our most merciful Father...sent his only Son into the world and laid upon him the sins of all men, saying: Be thou Peter that denier; Paul that persecutor, blashphemer and cruel oppressor; David that adulterer; that sinner which did eat the apple in Paradise; that thief which hanged on the cross; and, briefly, be thou person which hath committed the sins of all men; see therefore that thou pay and satisfy for them. Here now cometh the law and saith: I find him a sinner...therefore let him die upon the cross.
Martin Luther
(found at Galatians, ed. Philip S. Watson (London: James Clarke, 1953), 269-271; on Gal 3:13)

So, any thoughts on Christ's death based on Luther and Driscoll vs. Erik's observation?

I also find it interesting on whom Luther says that Christ died for. It would seem to point to all men, not just some.



natamllc said...

I agree with Luther and Driscoll.

Maybe the "man" reading it cannot get his head around a woman being a whore?

But I remind us here this:

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

While I am a man and think solely from that point of view does not take away Christ's ability to think and know as a woman created in His image thinks and knows.

God's ways and thoughts are certainly coeducational while I might live with my wife, I just don't understand her way of thinking until I listen to her. I can understand it without understanding it. She thinks entirely differently than me or my buddies! :)

Christ became her sins and can know the depths of them, her feminine feelings, while I just have to take them at face value and not condemn her for them!

Another good article Seth!

Baptist Man said...

I find it Biblical that Jesus died for all men, not just some.

Seth McBee said...

Baptist Man.

You trying to pick a fight? :)

Because if you read this will notice that I also believe that Christ died for all, especially the elect.

I am a unlimited/limited atonement fellow.

To get a better idea of my views on this you can look up the atonement debate tags or read on the side bar "Must Reads"

Hope all is well.

David said...

Well Seth,

You know Luther didn't really mean the sins of all men. He only meant the sins of some men.



Seth McBee said...

Go read your bible...and this time more will notice that there are actual places in Scripture that use the term "all".

I know this is hard to accept, but it is there. And guess what "all" means in Greek?

It actually means...ALL

Crazy...I know...


Davd said...

Seth, dear Seth, my young young friend,

According to the just-about-inspired sub-canonical work Death of Death, page 197, All means "some of all sorts."


poopemerges said...

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

I see no substantive difference between what Erik is saying and what Driscoll said. It seems to me he went to the SJ Camp school of angry illogical posts on this one.

God poured out his wrath of Jesus...why because of his divine nature? Because of his sinlessness? No because those two things qualified him to take our sins upon himself. He is our passover lamb. He is our scapegoat. Our sins are placed on him and he is endures God's wrath for us. He became sin for us. What does this mean to Erik and from a philosophical position how can it possibly be any different than what Dricoll has said. Erik is saying that he was not "literally" those people...and well duh... But what does it mean that he "became sin" or God "made him to be sin." Especially when Erik used the term imputed. So he is not a whore, is he the whores act? He is not a homosexual, is he the homosexual act? What does it mean that he became sin "for us" We are the ones who sin are we not? He did die for us did he not? He was punished in the place of us was he not?

Eric wants to say he was judged in our place but then deny it in the same sentence... That is interesting to me. Judged in our place for what? And imputed what.

E.'s position is logically inconsistent I think.


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