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Heb. 9:22? Why?


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#1 jamo0001

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 12:00 AM

"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." -Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)

This has been one of the most unsettling questions in my mind as I've grown up in the church. I have had trouble both reconciling it with reason (cause:effect) and believing it to be congruent with the nature of God.

Example: Why did God require the Hebrews to make burnt sacrifices? Why such a wasteful practice? Why not alms or tithes in order both to feed the Levites and to benefit the poor? Why not gifts of their time? Why only particular animals? How could a metaphysical God be "pleased" by such a smell? (Lev. 1:9) How does God "smell" something? If he does, then why not "smell" something else instead of a living thing being burned? If this is simply an arbitrary requirement, then that is fine when you're living in Old Testament times. However, when an arbitrary requirement requires a human being to be tortured and murdered, then suddenly its rational basis becomes more relevant.


In essence, I do not understand why a sacrifice (whether on the part of the offender or the offended) is required for forgiveness, much less the sacrifice of a third party. I am able to forgive without needing a physical sacrifice on the part of my offender, much less the shedding of his/someone else's blood, and I am made in the image of God. Why doesn't He do the same? Furthermore, if the purpose of a burnt offering/shedding of blood is merely to make the offender "give up" something, then why does Jesus' blood accomplish this? How can such a sacrifice be transferred like a bank deposit to a different individual (the sinner)?

Respectfully, I ask that you not simply quote Paul or other NT theologians about this issue unless they explain WHY such things are logical. I'm asking for a rational basis for this doctrine in an effort to make it seem like more than a square peg being pounded into a round hole.

#2 ChrisCarlascio

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 05:47 AM

"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." -Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)

This has been one of the most unsettling questions in my mind as I've grown up in the church. I have had trouble both reconciling it with reason (cause:effect) and believing it to be congruent with the nature of God.

Example: Why did God require the Hebrews to make burnt sacrifices? Why such a wasteful practice? Why not alms or tithes in order both to feed the Levites and to benefit the poor? Why not gifts of their time? Why only particular animals? How could a metaphysical God be "pleased" by such a smell? (Lev. 1:9) How does God "smell" something? If he does, then why not "smell" something else instead of a living thing being burned? If this is simply an arbitrary requirement, then that is fine when you're living in Old Testament times. However, when an arbitrary requirement requires a human being to be tortured and murdered, then suddenly its rational basis becomes more relevant.

In essence, I do not understand why a sacrifice (whether on the part of the offender or the offended) is required for forgiveness, much less the sacrifice of a third party. I am able to forgive without needing a physical sacrifice on the part of my offender, much less the shedding of his/someone else's blood, and I am made in the image of God. Why doesn't He do the same? Furthermore, if the purpose of a burnt offering/shedding of blood is merely to make the offender "give up" something, then why does Jesus' blood accomplish this? How can such a sacrifice be transferred like a bank deposit to a different individual (the sinner)?

Respectfully, I ask that you not simply quote Paul or other NT theologians about this issue unless they explain WHY such things are logical. I'm asking for a rational basis for this doctrine in an effort to make it seem like more than a square peg being pounded into a round hole.


Its to make you realize how serious and sad your own sin is. That a perfectly innocent creature that had no involvement with your sin had to suffer for it. The word for sin offering can actually be translated sin. When you see that innocent creature or God's son dieing for you, you see your own sin for what it is. Disgusting, gruesome, and violent. When I think about God's sinless son dieing for our sins, thats what really makes me want to turn around and stop acting wrong.

#3 jamo0001

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 06:45 AM

That a perfectly innocent creature that had no involvement with your sin had to suffer for it.


Then how does this align with God being a just God? Isaiah 45:19

And if making us realize the filthiness and sadness of our sin is the goal, then why not sacrifice family pets? Or babies? Perhaps a slave's child who can cry for mercy?

#4 rico

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 07:43 AM

Then how does this align with God being a just God? Isaiah 45:19

And if making us realize the filthiness and sadness of our sin is the goal, then why not sacrifice family pets? Or babies? Perhaps a slave's child who can cry for mercy?

I'd like to add this verse,
"For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6 KJV
We had a sermon at church and it dealt with some of the thoughts of this issue. I think God wants a relationship more than religion, (rules vs. relationships)I hope someone can explain further though (I'll try to look into it as well)... We had a sermon about a similar topic... Update: Here is a post from a blogger:
"Dr. Claude Mariottini said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your comment. Animal sacrifice was a part of the cultural heritage of the Ancient Near East. I agree with your comment. All the sacrifices in the Old Testament were either designed to repair the relationship broken because of sin or to express gratitude for a gift received. As you said, all sacrifices point to the death of Christ."
old blog--[Why Did God Ask for Animal Sacrifice? - A Rejoinder; Tuesday, May 4, 2006; http://doctor.claude...sacrifice.html]

#5 MamaElephant

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 10:52 AM

Don't take this wrong or scold me. I am a brand new Christian.

I would like to add that God is teaching us in everything He does. He was showing the Israelites that they were sinners, yet they could be cleansed of sin. We needed that lesson first. In making the ultimate sacrifice of his own blood for our sins he is teaching us that forgiveness of sins is a gift.

#6 jamo0001

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 11:13 AM

Don't take this wrong or scold me. I am a brand new Christian.

I would like to add that God is teaching us in everything He does. He was showing the Israelites that they were sinners, yet they could be cleansed of sin. We needed that lesson first. In making the ultimate sacrifice of his own blood for our sins he is teaching us that forgiveness of sins is a gift.


No, I'm most certainly with you on that part. That is what I've been taught (and have believed) my entire life. My question is "Why blood?" It's a simple question. There are so many forms of sacrifice that don't involve killing an animal (or human!). I also find it odd that all of the OT was filled with God forbidding human sacrifice, yet his ultimate "teachable moment"/"act of forgiveness" was exactly that.

Again, why not sacrifices of time or money or pride or desires? Why any sacrifice at all? If I am able to forgive my nephew when he breaks a prized possession of mine, whether he apologizes or not, then why can God not do the same? Why DOESN'T he do the same?

This might seem like a useless question, but it does become important when it leads us to the killing of animals and even a human.

#7 MamaElephant

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 11:54 AM

This might seem like a useless question,

No it is important. It is also important that you know that it is okay to question God. His people have questioned Him since the beginning of time and He is patient with us. I have my own questions concerning blood and I think that your question may help me to work through them.

Maybe the ramblings of a baby Christian will or won't help, and you may take quite a bit of time to come to an understanding or a peace on this thought, but this comes to mind...

For the life of the flesh is in the blood:

For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof

The wages sin pays is death...

Here is an article about blood and in this link is a link to the whole series: http://www.christian...y/7-7-46.0.html

You aren't silly and I pray that God grants you peace in this matter.

#8 ChrisCarlascio

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 02:20 PM

Then how does this align with God being a just God? Isaiah 45:19

How could he be just if he allowed the sin to stand? You probably believe that animal will be gone forever, but one day God will raise all the dead (1 Cor. 15:26). I don't like just linking books and articles because I don't know if you'll read them or how effective they'll be, but this book really helped me to understand these things in relation to the scripture and I'm just not as good as explaining or wording things as someone else may be.
The Problem of Evil

Here is a chapter from the book discussing this topic of sin:
Sin for Sin

And if making us realize the filthiness and sadness of our sin is the goal, then why not sacrifice family pets? Or babies? Perhaps a slave's child who can cry for mercy?

Perhaps some of the animals the Israelites sacrificed were creatures the human had grown particularly attached to, but God clearly forbid the sacrifice of children and humans (which makes him very different from alot of the false religions throughout the world). We're made in his image, thats why it was such a dramatic event when he sent his own son who is his is very image that we are made in. (Col. 1:15)

No, I'm most certainly with you on that part. That is what I've been taught (and have believed) my entire life. My question is "Why blood?" It's a simple question. There are so many forms of sacrifice that don't involve killing an animal (or human!). I also find it odd that all of the OT was filled with God forbidding human sacrifice, yet his ultimate "teachable moment"/"act of forgiveness" was exactly that.

The animals were innocent and didn't sin, just as God's son. Sacrificing people wouldn't have had the same effect. I have a friend who dosen't really read the Bible or would consider himself a "Christian" (I don't know if he believes God's son died for our sins, was buried, and roused the third day), but he seems to get extremely upset when he sees someone beating a dog or animal, but he loves watching gruesome videos of people getting killed or hurt and I find the whole logic behind it very weird, but I don't judge him or say anything about it, but its obvious to see that sacrificing humans would for some people who see them as mean and horrible things, be a great honor or justice. All of us are sinners and so would not be able to produce that guilt like God's sinless son or an innocent animal would. I hope I worded this understandably.

Again, why not sacrifices of time or money or pride or desires? Why any sacrifice at all? If I am able to forgive my nephew when he breaks a prized possession of mine, whether he apologizes or not, then why can God not do the same? Why DOESN'T he do the same?

You don't have to apologize to God, he already did the work so that you can fall freely into his arms. He has done it through Christ.

This might seem like a useless question, but it does become important when it leads us to the killing of animals and even a human.

We no longer have to kill animals and never had to kill humans, it was God working through the Jews and Romans to accomplish his purpose of a sin offering for us. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice.

#9 jamo0001

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 02:47 PM

How could he be just if he allowed the sin to stand?

I'm not saying he has to let the sin stand in order to be "just". I'm saying that justice, by anyone's measure, does not involve punishment falling on an innocent, whether animal or human.


Perhaps some of the animals the Israelites sacrificed were creatures the human had grown particularly attached to

Is this ever mentioned in Leviticus? In my readings of the book, it has almost always involved animals that could be used to feed the Levites and NEVER included "unclean" animals such as dogs or cats.



We no longer have to kill animals and never had to kill humans, it was God working through the Jews and Romans to accomplish his purpose of a sin offering for us. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice.

By "we" I mean the human species. Imagine we were the first Christians (Jew or Gentile) who stood by and let Christ be murdered. Same argument arises. What if I were a Roman soldier participating in the sacrifice? Is the atonement not meant for me, as well? Am I not, therefore, sacrificing a human for my own forgiveness?

#10 ChrisCarlascio

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 03:13 PM

I'm not saying he has to let the sin stand in order to be "just". I'm saying that justice, by anyone's measure, does not involve punishment falling on an innocent, whether animal or human.

Your judging things by "anyone's" measure or human measurement, not the way God deals with things, which is the suffering of the innocent. I hope you give that book a glimpse.

Is this ever mentioned in Leviticus? In my readings of the book, it has almost always involved animals that could be used to feed the Levites and NEVER included "unclean" animals such as dogs or cats.

I didn't mean dogs or cats. I meant the animals they sacrificed in the Hebrew and Chaldean scriptures. I'm sure they got attached to some of them.

By "we" I mean the human species. Imagine we were the first Christians (Jew or Gentile) who stood by and let Christ be murdered. Same argument arises. What if I were a Roman soldier participating in the sacrifice? Is the atonement not meant for me, as well? Am I not, therefore, sacrificing a human for my own forgiveness?

Our human intellect would probably try to stop Christ from being sacrificed, but this is exactly what Peter tried to do when Jesus told him that he'd be sacrificed:

Thenceforth begins Jesus to show His disciples that He must be coming away into Jerusalem and to be suffering much from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and to be killed, and the third day to be roused. And, taking Him to him, Peter begins to rebuke Him, saying, "Propitious be it to Thee, Lord! By no means shall this be for Thee!" Now, being turned, He said to Peter, "Go away behind Me, satan! A snare are you to Me, for you are not disposed to that which is of God, but that which is of men." (Matthew 16:21-23)

He wasn't talking about Satan the serpent, but calling Peter a satan (an adversary) to God's plan, for him to be sacrificed. Jesus knew what he had to do and why God wanted it to be so, but Peter did not because he was not disposed to that which is of God, so Jesus was correcting him for attempting to halt God's plan by being a snare.

This sacrifice is meant for everybody, even the Roman soldier who was participating. They weren't making a sacrifice, but trying to kill God's son. It was God who was making a sacrifice for everyone in his wisdom. When they thought they were simply killing Jesus, God was working out the most glorious display of his grace, by sacrificing his son, so that he could justify them all and us all from our sins and conciliate them and us to himself.

#11 jamo0001

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 03:30 PM

They weren't making a sacrifice, but trying to kill God's son. It was God who was making a sacrifice for everyone in his wisdom. When they thought they were simply killing Jesus, God was working out the most glorious display of his grace, by sacrificing his son, so that he could justify them all and us all from our sins and conciliate them and us to himself.


So at best, God forced humans to commit murder and break one of his laws. At worst, he forced humans to participate in human sacrifice.

Considering God specifically sent Christ to earth for these ends, I don't think we can dismiss it as "Satan was causing the killing", etc.

#12 MamaElephant

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 04:08 PM

So at best, God forced humans to commit murder and break one of his laws. At worst, he forced humans to participate in human sacrifice.

Considering God specifically sent Christ to earth for these ends, I don't think we can dismiss it as "Satan was causing the killing", etc.

God did not cause the people to act that way. He knew that they would. Those are two very different things.

#13 ChrisCarlascio

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 04:36 PM

So at best, God forced humans to commit murder and break one of his laws.

"Former of light and Creator of darkness,
Maker of good and Creator of evil,
I Yahweh, make all these things."
(Isaiah 45:7)

"'Indeed should we receive good from the One, Elohim, and should we not receive evil?' In all this, Job did not sin with his lips." (Job 2:10)

God is "the One Who is operating all in accord with the counsel of His will". (Ephesians 1:11)

That is, everything that happens. All things. Is what God is operating. So yes, MamaElephant, can't you see that he did cause the people to act that way?

"For God locks up all together in stubbornness, that He should be merciful to all." (Romans 11:32)

He does it to be merciful to everyone so that they will know how much he loves them and that he was willing to sacrifice (his son [imagine sacrificing your own son if you had one, especially a perfectly obedient one]) for us.

"For to vanity was the creation subjected, not voluntarily, but because of Him Who subjects it, in expectation that the creation itself, also, shall be freed from the slavery of corruption into the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we are aware that the entire creation is groaning and travailing together until now." (Romans 8:20-21)

God subjected his creation to vanity, so that we could be freed from it by his grace in his son's sacrifice and learn about the true depths of God's love.

"O, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How inscrutable are His judgments, and untraceable His ways! For, who knew the mind of the Lord? or, who became His adviser? or, who gives to Him first, and it will be repaid Him? seeing that out of Him and through Him and for Him is all: to Him be the glory for the eons! Amen!" (Romans 11:33-36)

All things, including events and circumstances, come out of, through, and for God.

Romans 8:28 reads, “Now we are aware that God is working all together for the good of those who are loving God. . . . ” Though this rendering is certainly in accord with the truth, the thought presented in the Greek text is an even wider and more glorious one. It is not only that God is working all together for the good of those individuals who are loving Him, but that those who are loving God know that he is working all together for good (even for those who don't love him). Period. His operations for good are not confined to matters of our own welfare, but concern the best interests of all. They encompass all that exists and all that occurs.

If this is true, why dosen't he save everyone? Well he does. The idea that he dosen't is in not found in scripture and the idea that he does is in fact found in scripture.

"Faithful is the saying and worthy of all welcome (for for this are we toiling and being reproached), that we rely on the living God, Who is the Saviour of all mankind, especially of believers. These things be charging and teaching." (1 Timothy 4:9-11)

Especially of believers does not mean, exclusively for believers. For the believers:

"For this we are saying to you by the word of the Lord, that we, the living, who are surviving to the presence of the Lord, should by no means outstrip those who are put to repose, for the Lord Himself will be descending from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the Chief Messenger, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall be rising first. Thereupon we, the living who are surviving, shall at the same time be snatched away together with them in clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And thus shall we always be together with the Lord. So that, console one another with these words." (1 Thess. 4:15-18)

Jesus Christ dieing for our sins, being entombed, and roused the third day will save everyone. Even the unbelievers, when they come face to face with him and can no longer disbelieve. There is no eternal torment or never ending fire.

"soil are you, and to soil are you returning" (Genesis 3:19)

Just the death and sin that Christ saved us from which will one day be fully destroyed.

"The last enemy is being abolished: death." (1 Corinthians 15:26)

So at best, God forced humans to commit murder and break one of his laws.

His laws were to show how high is standard of righteousness is and that we are unable to reach that. Christ wasn't unable. He fulfilled the law and died for all our sins, so that the law wouldn't be reckoned against us.

At worst, he forced humans to participate in human sacrifice.

The humans weren't trying to sacrifice anything or get forgiveness or anything out of out it. They were trying to hatefully murder Jesus. It was God who was doing the sacrifice out of his love for everyone in their attempts to murder his own son.

Considering God specifically sent Christ to earth for these ends, I don't think we can dismiss it as "Satan was causing the killing", etc.

Satan is still a part of the "all" things that God operates for his own will to glorify himself. Whatever part Satan played (moving Judas to betray Jesus) was still a part of God's wisdom to have his son sacrificed.

"from the beginning is the Adversary (Satan) sinning. For this was the Son of God manifested, that He should be annulling the acts of the Adversary." (1 John 3:8)

God made Satan a sinner so that he could demonstrate his love by the manifestation of his son and the death, burial, and resurrection of his son, so that the acts of Satan could be annulled and God's true power over the little Satan could be perceived.

About Judas:
"These things saying, Jesus was disturbed in spirit, and testifies and said, "Verily, verily, I am saying to you that one of you will be giving Me up." The disciples, then, looked at one another, being perplexed concerning whom He is speaking. Now one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying back in the bosom of Jesus. Simon Peter, then, is nodding to this one to ascertain whoever he may be, concerning whom He said it, and is saying to him, "Tell us whoever it is concerning whom He is saying this."
That one, then, leaning back thus on the chest of Jesus, is saying to Him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus, then, is answering and saying, "He it is to whom I, dipping in the morsel, shall be handing it." Dipping in the morsel, then, He is taking it and giving it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. And after the morsel, then, Satan entered into that man (Judas). Jesus, then, is saying to him, "What you are doing, do more quickly."
(John 13:21-27)

Jesus actually told Judas after Satan entered into him to hurry up and go betray him. To do it more quickly so he could die for our sins, be entombed, and rise three days later.

#14 Air-run

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 06:18 PM

Great questions! I hope I can shed some light on it for you.

"And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." -Hebrews 9:22 (KJV)

This has been one of the most unsettling questions in my mind as I've grown up in the church. I have had trouble both reconciling it with reason (cause:effect) and believing it to be congruent with the nature of God.

Example: Why did God require the Hebrews to make burnt sacrifices? Why such a wasteful practice? Why not alms or tithes in order both to feed the Levites and to benefit the poor? Why not gifts of their time? Why only particular animals? How could a metaphysical God be "pleased" by such a smell? (Lev. 1:9) How does God "smell" something? If he does, then why not "smell" something else instead of a living thing being burned?


I don't think God "smells" like you and me. It was the death of the animal that was most important.

In essence, I do not understand why a sacrifice (whether on the part of the offender or the offended) is required for forgiveness, much less the sacrifice of a third party. I am able to forgive without needing a physical sacrifice on the part of my offender, much less the shedding of his/someone else's blood, and I am made in the image of God. Why doesn't He do the same? Furthermore, if the purpose of a burnt offering/shedding of blood is merely to make the offender "give up" something, then why does Jesus' blood accomplish this? How can such a sacrifice be transferred like a bank deposit to a different individual (the sinner)?


As MamaElephant said, the penalty for sin is death. This is the most central part of all your questions. Some people don't understand why God would punish "little" sins with death. This mistaken idea focuses completely on what you have done and not on who you have done it too. All sin is ultimately rebellion against God's perfect will. The penalty for sin must be on par with the worth of God. If you slap your dog, you might get a scolding. If you slap the President, you might get a couple years in jail. If you "slap" God through rebellion, you deserve a penalty infinitely greater than if you slapped the President because God is infinitely more worthy than the President.

So, whenever an Iraelite sinned, he incurred the death penalty. Sometimes the death was immediate. Sometimes the death wasn't enforced til after the person died - in terms of an infinity in "jail." God set up the sacrifice system as a means of transferring the death penalty from the people to an innocent animal. This system was all a system of grace. It's not as if the blood of the bull was a proper substitute for the blood of the person. Hebrews 10:4 says that "it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." The bull wasn't an adequate substitute, but God in his mercy received this act of obedience and forgave the sins. In many ways, the sacrificed bull was symbolic of God's attitude towards sin - also pointing towards the substitutionary blood of Jesus.

So why was Jesus sacrifice necessary? Romans 3:24-26 says that God was forgiving sins for a long long time before Jesus came (God forgave Abraham without any sacrifices), but in reality, God wasn't "justly" forgiving sins. God would not be a good judge if he just let the penalty for all our accumulated sins slide. If a judge just forgave a murderer and let him go free, we would say that the judge is corrupt. The murderer might be happy, but justice wasn't truly served. The family of the murdered person haven't received justice. In order for God to truly forgive sins, the penalty for our sins must be paid - otherwise, it would be like the corrupt judge who just turns his head and looks the other way. Up til Jesus, nobody was capable of paying the penalty for theirs or our sins. Since the punishment for the sins of the world is equivalent to an infinite debt times billions of people, the substitute must have value equivalent to the debt. Since Jesus possess the value of God, he was able to pay the debt. Jesus' infinite value was wrapped up in his physical body - so when his physical body died, his infinite worth paid our infinite debt.

The key word in Romans 3:26 is that God ordained this sacrifice so that "he might be just" - or that he might lawfully forgive our unrighteousness. The benefit of this is that now it's not that God just overlooks our sins, He makes it as if we never committed the sin in the first place.

The reason you can forgive someone without their shedding blood is because they haven't done anything to you worthy of death. It's a different story though if that person murders your loved one. In that case, the death penalty is necessary. Why? Because they must pay a debt equal to their crime. One life taken = one life given. If a person kills 5 people, they are typically given 5 life sentences. It's sort of silly, but it highlights our innate understanding of punishment equivalent to the crime.

#15 MamaElephant

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 07:11 PM

There is no eternal torment or never ending fire.

:off_topic:

#16 jamo0001

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:36 AM

Great questions! I hope I can shed some light on it for you.

I don't think God "smells" like you and me. It was the death of the animal that was most important.

As MamaElephant said, the penalty for sin is death. This is the most central part of all your questions. Some people don't understand why God would punish "little" sins with death. This mistaken idea focuses completely on what you have done and not on who you have done it too. All sin is ultimately rebellion against God's perfect will. The penalty for sin must be on par with the worth of God. If you slap your dog, you might get a scolding. If you slap the President, you might get a couple years in jail. If you "slap" God through rebellion, you deserve a penalty infinitely greater than if you slapped the President because God is infinitely more worthy than the President.

So, whenever an Iraelite sinned, he incurred the death penalty. Sometimes the death was immediate. Sometimes the death wasn't enforced til after the person died - in terms of an infinity in "jail." God set up the sacrifice system as a means of transferring the death penalty from the people to an innocent animal. This system was all a system of grace. It's not as if the blood of the bull was a proper substitute for the blood of the person. Hebrews 10:4 says that "it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." The bull wasn't an adequate substitute, but God in his mercy received this act of obedience and forgave the sins. In many ways, the sacrificed bull was symbolic of God's attitude towards sin - also pointing towards the substitutionary blood of Jesus.


I'm with you so far, but I have one issue. If God can simply say "Well, I'm going to be nice here and let you pass the penalty on to another individual", then why couldn't he just say he won't require the penalty period?

So why was Jesus sacrifice necessary? Romans 3:24-26 says that God was forgiving sins for a long long time before Jesus came (God forgave Abraham without any sacrifices), but in reality, God wasn't "justly" forgiving sins. God would not be a good judge if he just let the penalty for all our accumulated sins slide.

My question is this: Isn't he being even less of a good judge by forcing an innocent being (be it Jesus or some animal) to accept the punishment? It's one thing to let the guilty go free, it's another thing to do that AND punish an innocent.

If a judge just forgave a murderer and let him go free, we would say that the judge is corrupt. The murderer might be happy, but justice wasn't truly served. The family of the murdered person haven't received justice. In order for God to truly forgive sins, the penalty for our sins must be paid - otherwise, it would be like the corrupt judge who just turns his head and looks the other way. Up til Jesus, nobody was capable of paying the penalty for theirs or our sins. Since the punishment for the sins of the world is equivalent to an infinite debt times billions of people, the substitute must have value equivalent to the debt. Since Jesus possess the value of God, he was able to pay the debt. Jesus' infinite value was wrapped up in his physical body - so when his physical body died, his infinite worth paid our infinite debt.

The key word in Romans 3:26 is that God ordained this sacrifice so that "he might be just" - or that he might lawfully forgive our unrighteousness. The benefit of this is that now it's not that God just overlooks our sins, He makes it as if we never committed the sin in the first place.

The reason you can forgive someone without their shedding blood is because they haven't done anything to you worthy of death. It's a different story though if that person murders your loved one. In that case, the death penalty is necessary. Why? Because they must pay a debt equal to their crime. One life taken = one life given. If a person kills 5 people, they are typically given 5 life sentences. It's sort of silly, but it highlights our innate understanding of punishment equivalent to the crime.

I'd say:
"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those etc etc"
Romans 12:17-21
Matthew 6:14-15 <-red letters
Matthew 18:21-22 <-red letters
Ephesians 4:32
(and numerous others)
None of these verses commanding forgiveness mentions any exception for murderers.

#17 MamaElephant

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 07:20 AM

The wages sin pays is death. I was supposed to pay that. Someone else paid for me.

#18 chipwag64

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 05:34 PM

How would anyone ever be restrained from sinning if it's just to be forgiven without any type of payment? That is what Romans 6 is about Jam!!. In other words, If God is just going to be gracious, then lets all sin like it's going out of style!!...NO!!..the point is that a terrible price was paid, someone had to DIE that I might live!!

#19 jamo0001

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 06:49 PM

How would anyone ever be restrained from sinning if it's just to be forgiven without any type of payment? That is what Romans 6 is about Jam!!. In other words, If God is just going to be gracious, then lets all sin like it's going out of style!!...NO!!..the point is that a terrible price was paid, someone had to DIE that I might live!!


Really? You would do whatever you want even if Jesus had not come to Earth?

#20 Air-run

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 10:43 PM

I'm with you so far, but I have one issue. If God can simply say "Well, I'm going to be nice here and let you pass the penalty on to another individual", then why couldn't he just say he won't require the penalty period?


My question is this: Isn't he being even less of a good judge by forcing an innocent being (be it Jesus or some animal) to accept the punishment? It's one thing to let the guilty go free, it's another thing to do that AND punish an innocent.

I'd say:
"Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those etc etc"
Romans 12:17-21
Matthew 6:14-15 <-red letters
Matthew 18:21-22 <-red letters
Ephesians 4:32
(and numerous others)
None of these verses commanding forgiveness mentions any exception for murderers.


Jesus' death gave God the legal grounds to be "nice." So, even in the OT when God was forgiving sins, He was looking to the future sacrifice of Jesus as the legal standard for forgiving sins. Jesus' actual physical death was the fulfillment of the plan of God formed from the world's beginning. It's important to remember that God is the perfect balance of holiness and mercy, justice and love. If nobody pays the penalty, than God actually lets injustice rule. There would be a host of sins that would not be accounted for. Romans 3 is clear that the death of Jesus allowed God to justly justify the unrighteous.

It's not that God just let the penalty pass to another individual, as if God said "eenie meenie mo - you're the one." Jesus was the only one capable of bearing the penalty for all mankind. It would be like if the earth was going to be destroyed unless someone stopped the speeding comet heading towards it - and only superman had the power to do it - yet he would die in the process. Sure, you'd feel bad for superman and be grateful for his sacrifice, but you certainly wouldn't cry "injustice! why should superman have to die to save us?!" especially if superman willfully chooses to give up his life.

I hope that's not how you see Jesus sacrifice as God "forcing" Jesus to die. Jesus willfully came to earth to die. He knew he would die all along - and he affirmed in the garden that sacrifice was the only way (if there is another way, let this cup pass...)

God doesn't force Jesus to do anything. If God did that, He would be violating his nature of love. Of course, the Father and Jesus are both God, so they are of one will. (I am curious if you subscribe to the traditional doctrine of the trinity)

In regard to your forgiveness verses - this is correct - God commands us to forgive those who hurt us. However, you must not confuse forgiveness with removal of legal obligations. If someone raped a loved one of yours would you seek legal ramifications or would you say "I'm supposed to forgive you, so I won't press charges." These are separate issues. You can forgive them AND seek legal ramifications.

Romans 13 affirms the role of the state in executing judgement on criminal behavior. Paul's stance is that one shouldn't seek vigilante justice, but let the state perform its ordained role.

"But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil."

Paul even acknowledges that some offenses are worthy of death: "If, then, I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not refuse to die; but if none of those things is true of which these men accuse me, no one can hand me over to them."(Acts 25:11)




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