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Living In Grace

A Christ inspired work dealing with American Christian Culture in the New Century.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Christ the Victor

Christus Victor????   Absolutely

Christus Victor is a view of the Atonement as a divine conflict and victory over the hostile powers that hold humanity in subjection.  But what truly holds us in subjection?
Our wills and lust? Of course ( James 1:4 ) but also the entire curse placed upon Creation at the time of the fall ( Genesis 3 ) and spiritual forces operating around us ( Ephesians 6:12 , Daniel 10:12-13, 2 Corinthians 10:4 ) that we are usually oblivious to.  So a very good question that must be asked is just what exactly was Christ victorious over and how does that victory apply to us.





“You have broken the law because it is impossible to keep it, and so you must have broken it. And because you cannot keep this impossible to keep law you will be charged with death because "the penalty for sin is death" and those are just the rules. God must have blood because the law requires it; there must be a penalty paid. The only payment that would have been enough is sacrificing someone who was the "perfect law-keeper", someone who could live a perfect life without sin. So God decided to kill his own Son on the cross to appease his legal need for blood. Now that Jesus has been sacrificed God is no longer mad at us for not doing what we can't do anyway, so we can now come and live with him forever - as long as we are grateful to him for his "mercy" to us.



The above quote is a mischaracterization of the Love that a Holy God manifests to His children through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ with regards to the Satisfaction Doctrine.  To set Christ’s victory against His mercy is something that none of us should consciously do. 

You have broken the law because it is impossible to keep it, and so you must have broken it. And because you cannot keep this impossible to keep law….. “

Are we guilty of the whole Law? Has sin bound us all under God’s judgment as we trudge through this life sometimes blissfully unaware of what has befallen us?  We are all guilty as Scripture demonstrates  and aware of our failings before God  ( Romans 1:18-23 ).  We are all guilty because we have broken the Law, not just a few small inconsequential ones but the  Law in its entirety, and this transgression of the Law is called sin, which  is an affront to the very nature of God.  This is evidenced by two very plain texts found in the New Testament as it relates to our law keeping and to whom we are accountable. 

James 2:10  For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

  Rom 3:19-20  Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
  For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

The Law very much had its purpose in redemptive history and it is still fulfilling it even today. The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ that we may be justified by faith ( Galatians 3:23-29 )
But if we are accountable to God because of the Law and the Law’s purpose was to bring us to Christ, who was to pay this insurmountable debt that had been accrued?

“God must have blood because the law requires it; there must be a penalty paid. The only payment that would have been enough is sacrificing someone who was the "perfect law-keeper", someone who could live a perfect life without sin.


Since the wages of sin is death there is a blood sacrifice required for the remission of sins and the blood of bulls and goats can no more atone for the aforementioned transgression of the Law. Hebrews 9:22 says this explicitly.  Christ is our sacrifice ( Ephesians 5:2) and our offering to God who put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself ( Hebrews 9:26 ), who sat down at the right hand of God perfecting them that are sanctified
( Hebrews 10:12-14 ). 


So God decided to kill his own Son on the cross to appease his legal need for blood. “

Mat 26:28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

God does not have a legal need for blood as the above quote tries to suggest but rather we are reconciled to God by the death of His Son ( Romans 5:10 ).  It is only by and through His death that we can have a right relationship with a Holy God.  Jesus Christ shed His blood on the cross so that through that act God could reconcile us sinners unto Himself.

“ Satisfaction Doctrine takes the love out of the cross, and turns it into a calculated legal transaction.”

“ The way that God brings about justice and leads it to victory is through acts of compassion “


What were these acts of compassion that the proponents of this doctrine say brought us victory?  The single greatest act of love and compassion that the World has ever witnessed is Calvary, the Cross, which until associated with Christ would never have been associated with mercy.  God the Father poured out His wrath, remember the cup that Christ prayed would be removed from Him, on Jesus and by doing so was able to impute our sins to Christ and His righteousness to us.  There was no other means for God to satisfy both His Justice and His mercy other than to pour His wrath out on Himself.


How did God break the cycle of sin and death that had plagued humanity since the Garden?  By granting grace and repentance through faith in Jesus Christ and by commending His love to us while we were yet sinners ( Ephesians 2:8, Romans 5:8 ).  We were dead in our sins and trespasses ( Ephesians 2:1 ) but God has made us alive together with Christ ( Ephesians 2:5 ). 


Man’s picture of justice is to put people in prison: Jesus’ vision of justice was to release the captives from their prison ( Luke 4:18 )


Who or what was captive in Luke 4:18?  We are, the people He came to seek and to save, but how did Christ release us captives from our prisons?  He did so by suffering the punishment we deserved and winning the victory over death and hell.  No one within orthodox Christianity doubts or argues against Christ being supreme and the divine Son of God.  He won that victory by satisfying the righteous demands of the Law and giving Himself for us.  This was an act of love and because of this great love by which He has loved us we no longer have to fear the threat of the darkness because our King is the conqueror who has redeemed us from the curse.  So I guess in a sense we can all agree…..Christ won the victory and He paid the penalty breaking the curse of the Law.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Lynn said...

Good post, Luther. Very insightful.

February 7, 2011 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Luther said...

Thanks Lynn, I am partial to the old song " victory in Jesus "

March 11, 2011 at 12:33 PM  

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