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Assorted and general Bible questions that really don't fit any of the other categories

Unconditionality of forgiveness

Postby Igor Stravinsky » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:42 pm

God's forgiveness of the repentant should be unconditional. True forgiveness is unconditional, however God gave his only son for the redemption of mankind. From Hebrews 9: 19-22 we see that "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins". Jesus gives the parable of the prodigal son to demonstrate forgiveness among other things. Luke 15: 11-32 we see the father forgiving the errant but repentant son without imposing any conditions. Its therefore reasonable to say that christ's crucifixion, being God's way to save mankind, lacked merit because God required a sacrifice. Colossians 1: 21-22 shows that through His death man is made holy and blameless. So God giving his only begotten son for the salvation of mankind is as absurd as the father from the story of the prodigal son requiring that the obedient son be butchered so that he could forgive the errant son. Or worse still, since christ is also God, that the father have himself ostensibly killed.
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Re: Unconditionality of forgiveness

Postby jimwalton » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:42 pm

> God's forgiveness of the repentant should be unconditional.

God's forgiveness is not unconditional, nor should it be. God's forgiveness always but always is conditioned by repentance. The Scriptures are quite clear. Only those who repent of their sins and respond by faith will experience forgiveness.

So from where does the necessity of "God's forgiveness of the repentant should be unconditional" come? I contend it doesn't come from the Bible.

> Hebrews 9.19-22

Blood is the medium of atonement, but repentance is then necessary condition (Heb. 10.19-39).

> Luke 15: 11-32

There certainly was a condition. The prodigal son returned to the father, confessed and repented.

> Its therefore reasonable to say that christ's crucifixion, being God's way to save mankind, lacked merit because God required a sacrifice.

No, it's not reasonable to say this. Christ's death was a sacrifice (Heb. 10.10).

> Colossians 1: 21-22

You don't seem to be reading further than the verses you are cherry picking. Notice the condition of v. 22 in v. 23. The condition to the reconciliation is in Col. 2.20: we must die with Christ. Also Col. 3.5-10.

> So God giving his only begotten son for the salvation of mankind is as absurd as the father from the story of the prodigal son requiring that the obedient son be butchered so that he could forgive the errant son.

Not at all. God giving his only son for the world was the only means of saving the world: death for death, life for life.

> Or worse still, since christ is also God, that the father have himself ostensibly killed.

Not at all. Though the Father and Son are one in essence, they are distinct persons in action. In the Bible, the Trinity distinguishes between the principle of divine action and the subject of divine action. The principle of all divine action is the one undivided divine essence, but the subject of divine action is either Father, Son, or Holy Spirit. The Father can send the Son according to his power, and the Son can be incarnated according to his nature without dividing the divine essence. In other words, the Son died on the cross, but not the Father. And the Son did that willingly (Jn. 10.18).
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Re: Unconditionality of forgiveness

Postby Ralph76 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:44 pm

> There certainly was a condition. The prodigal son returned to the father, confessed and repented.

Without a sacrifice.

> God giving his only son for the world was the only means of saving the world: death for death, life for life.

Where does it say this in the Jewish Bible?

> In the Bible, the Trinity...

...isn't in the Bible.
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Re: Unconditionality of forgiveness

Postby jimwalton » Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:02 pm

> Without a sacrifice.

Of course. It's a parable, not an allegory or theology. It's a parable about the willingness of the father to take back the son despite his sin, and the joy he has when the son returns. You can't read every piece of theology into it, or claim something is not theologically accurate because it's not in the story. That's neither the purpose nor function of parables.

> Where does it say this in the Jewish Bible?

- Isaiah 53
- The Messiah will be rejected by people (Ps. 118.22-24)
- He will die but not decay (Ps. 16.10; Ps. 22 [ancient Jews regarded Ps. 22 as messianic]; Ps. 118.17)
- Daniel 9.24-27: put an end to sin, atone for wickedness, bring in everlasting righteousness.

> [The Trinity] ...isn't in the Bible.

Sure it is.

- Psalm 2
- Psalm 110
- Daniel 9.9-14

And, of course, it's all over the New Testament.

- John 1.1
- John 8.58
- John 10.30
- Colossians 1.15-17
- Hebrew 1.3
- 1 Cor. 12.4-6 mentions all three as equals.
- In 1 Cor. 12.1-3; Gal. 4.4; Rom. 1.3-4; 8.11 Paul sees the Spirit's identity as defined by how the Father and Christ have sent him, and likewise the identities of the Father and Christ as "in part" determined by the Spirit.
- Ephesians 2.18 shows that Jesus gives us access to the Father by means of the Spirit. So Jesus's blood is them means of access, but the Spirit is also the means of access. The result is that by reconciling people to Himself, Jesus reconciles people to God.
- For that matter, all throughout Paul's writings God and Christ and Spirit are mutually defining and reciprocally implicating. That is, God's identity is defined in/through/by his relationship to Christ/Son, and vice versa, and also with regard to the Spirit, as listed above.
- Romans 8 is infused with Father, Son, and Spirit working as equals and with equal authority, power, and presence. They are one undivided divine essence with different actions appropriate to their persons.
- Titus 3.3-8. All three Persons of the Trinity are present and cooperating in the act of grace. Each Person has His function in the salvation of our soul.
- There are also plenty of the places where the Father is equated with the Son, and the Son is equated with the Spirit. So if the principle holds that if A1 = A2 & A2 = A3, then A1 also equals A3.
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Re: Unconditionality of forgiveness

Postby Ridicule Christians » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:23 am

> Blood is the medium of atonement

Yes shedding blood through ritualistic sacrifices by priests on altars as offerings was quite common amongst the gods of the day. Further proof yours is just another one.
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Re: Unconditionality of forgiveness

Postby jimwalton » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:46 pm

Because something is common doesn't mean it's illegitimate. Cultic sacrifice seems to have been part of religious practice as far back as we know. No one knows its origin. It's just as possible that the ritualistic sacrifices of the pagan religions were just deviant distortions of God's true commands as it is vice versa. Its common practice, therefore, doesn't mean that every agent who practices blood atonement is false. It's certainly not a proof of the falseness of Judaism or Christianity.

Let me take a stab at an analogy. Instead of "blood is the medium of atonement," suppose the hypothesis were "sports victory is celebrated with parties." Well, you would argue, sports events and parties are quite common from from city to city, therefore there is no such thing as victory.


Last bumped by Anonymous on Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:46 pm.
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