Latest

On Today’s Truth Factor Discussion

Good morning folks!

On today’s Truth Factor Discussion we will continue with 2 Corinthians, chapter 1, verse 8 where the apostle Paul talks about his sufferings and his willingness to trust “God who raises the dead.”  You can join today’s Bible discussion beginning at 11:00 AM CT (4:00 PM UTC) by going to:  live.truthfacor.com.    We have a chat room for you comments and questions.

We hope you can join us today as we factor the Truth of God’s word into our daily lives.

Have a wonderful day!

2 Corinthians, Chapter 1 Discussion Notes

Discussion Notes for 2 Corinthians

Chapter 1

 

Opening – 2 Corinthians 1:1-2

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia:

  • Discuss the significance of Paul calling himself an Apostle.

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Comfort and Consolation – 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

  • Discuss the qualities of God which the apostle Paul emphasized.
  • [TT]  In vs. 3-7, Paul uses the word comfort/consolation some 10 times.  As JD notes, the 2 words are related to each other.  Could this be tied to the theme of his book?
  • [ER] He returns to the theme of comfort in 2 Corinthians 7:5-9 as he describes his relief at hearing the good report about them from Titus. That seems to explain his emphasis on comfort in chapter 1.

4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

  • Definition:  Comfort
    • “parakaleo (παρακαλέω, 3870), the most frequent word with this meaning, lit. denotes ‘to call to one’s side,’ hence, ‘to call to one’s aid.’”  (Vine’s)
  • [JD] Discuss how God comforts us.
    • [ER] Interesting to note that God comforts us “in” our affliction, not by removing it. Paul continued to “share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings” (vs. 5).   
  • [JD] Discuss how we can comfort those who “are in any trouble.” Sometime we may get caught up in our own suffering and anguish so much so we are blind to the sufferings of others.  Some people find a sense of relief from their own suffering when they are able to help others in their suffering.
    • [ER] In order to comfort others, we must have the Word in our hearts and on our tongues. From a Messianic prophecy: “The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.” (Isa. 50:4, ESV)

5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

  • Definition:  Consolation
    1. “paraklesis (παράκλησις, 3874), means ‘a calling to one’s side’ (para, ‘beside,’ kaleo, ‘to call’); hence, either ‘an exhortation, or consolation, comfort,’”  (Vine’s)
  • [JD] Discuss how the sufferings of Christ abound in us.
    1. [JD] Is Paul talking about the righteousness, which comes as a result of the suffering of Christ, abounding within us?
    2. [JD] Or is Paul talking about us suffering with Christ as a result of our righteous obedience unto Him?
    3. [JD] Since the verse points towards consolation abounding through Christ, our suffering with Christ may be what Paul is referencing.  Verse 7 would also confirm this.  [ER] Gary Kerr used to have this quote as his e-mail signature: “Christ suffered, not that we might not suffer, but that our suffering might be like his.” 
    4. [JD] Consider . . .
      • How did the sufferings of Christ abound in the Corinthians (vs 7)?
      • How could the suffering of Christ abound in us today?  
  • [JD] Discuss how “our consolation also abounds through Christ.”  
    1. [JD] Romans 8:35-39 brings to light the reason for our consolation through Christ.

6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

  • ESV – If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
  • [JD] “If we are afflicted . . .”  Compare this to Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 6:4-10.
  • [JD] Consider what modern day situations under which our (elders, preachers, teachers, etc.)  affliction and comfort may be for the “comfort and salvation” of others.

7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.

  • Discuss Paul’s hope for the Corinthians?

Difficulties in Asia –  2 Corinthians 1:8-11

8 For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia:that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.

  • [JD] The scriptures are not specific regarding the troubles which Paul and others faced in Asia.  However, in 1 Corinthians 15:32, Paul referenced fighting with “beasts at Ephesus.”  [ER] Riot in Ephesus in Acts 19 would fit into the timeline of 2 Corinthians. “About that time there arose no little disturbance concerning the Way” (Acts 19:23, ESV).
  • [JD] The mentioning of these troubles points toward Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 4:7-18.
    1. Verse 8:  “We are hard- pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;”
    2. Verse 17:  “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,”
  • [PDA]  I thought is was notable that here we see an apostle saying that the trouble was so severe he “despaired even of life”.   It seems we all have stronger and weaker moments.  That is why we need comfort and consolation from God, His word, and one another.

9 Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead,

  • [JD] This verse shows the apostle’s trust in the Lord in being able to raise them from the dead.  It is likely Paul is referencing the resurrection at judgment. However, it may point towards a belief in God to literally restore them to life if He so chose.
  • [PDA] Paul seems at peace with this “sentence”.  He trusts in God’s care and wisdom.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,

  • [JD] The Lord had delivered Paul and others from the “sentence of death” seen in verse 9.  They had faith God would continue to deliver them.

11 you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.

  • Discuss some troubles we may face and the help that can be provided for us.
  • [PDA] Sometimes we say/think … well, I can’t do anything else, so I’ll just pray.”  Praying is doing something!  

Paul’s Boast – 2 Corinthians 1:12-14

12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.

  • Definition:  Boast
    1. kauchesis (καύχησις, 2746) denotes ‘the act of boasting,’”  (Vine’s)
  • Discuss how Paul uses the word “boast” in this context.
  • [ER] I just noticed that boasting is a recurring theme in this letter. It occurs 23 times (in the ESV). He often clarifies what he does boast in and what he doesn’t, and compares his boasting to that of the false apostles.
  • [PDA]  I was thinking about how everyone can understand what it takes to be saved.  Those with limited education or a PHD can be saved, simple thinkers of philosophers.

13 For we are not writing any other things to you than what you read or understand. Now I trust you will understand, even to the end

  • [PDA] When Paul wrote, the recipients could understand.  “… when you read, you may understand …” (Ephesians 3:4)

14 (as also you have understood us in part), that we are your boast as you also are ours, in the day of the Lord Jesus.

  • [PDA] There seems to be an emphasis on mutual appreciation in being one another’s boast.  We need one another – a reality to appreciate.

Paul’s Confidence – 2 Corinthians 1:15-20

15 And in this confidence I intended to come to you before, that you might have a second benefit—

16 to pass by way of you to Macedonia, to come again from Macedonia to you, and be helped by you on my way to Judea.

  • Discuss how the brethren could have helped Paul.

17 Therefore, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be Yes, Yes, and No, No?

18 But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No.

19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes.

20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

Established By Faith – 2 Corinthians 1:21-24

21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God,

  • Definition:  Established
  • Definition:  Anointed

22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

  • Discuss how the Spirit is given in our hearts as a guarantee.

23 Moreover I call God as witness against my soul, that to spare you I came no more to Corinth.

24 Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.

Episode 108 – Study through 2 Corinthians

On today’s Truth Factor Discussion, we talked about suffering with Christ and finding comfort and consolation.  Today, we covered 2 Corinthians, chapter 1, verses 3-7. This study took take place on May 13, 2015.

On Today’s Truth Factor Discussion

Good morning folks!

The apostle Paul wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, ESV).

On today’s Truth Factor Discussion, we will continue our study through 2 Corinthians, beginning in chapter 1, verse 3.  (Click here to view last week’s study.)  You can join today’s Bible study beginning at 11:00 AM CT (4:00 PM UTC) by going to:  live.truthfactor.com.  We have a chat room for your comments and questions.  Click here to access our discussion in a separate browsing window.

We hope you can join us today as we factor 2 Corinthians, chapter 1 into our daily lives.

Have a wonderful day!

Episode 107 – Study thru 2 Corinthians

Today we began our study through 2 Corinthians.  After spending most of our time on an introductory look at 2 Corinthians, we discussed verses 1 and 2 of chapter one.

**A technical glitch caused by an unexpected power outage interrupted the last eight minutes of our study.  Therefore, I have cut out our incomplete discussion of the group Recovering from Religion.**

On Today’s Truth Factor Discussion

Greetings!

The apostle Paul wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).  On today’s Truth Factor Discussion we will begin our study through 2 Corinthians, beginning with an introductory look.

Time permitting, we will spend a few minutes talking about a recent article published at www.salon.com, titled, “I just don’t believe this anymore”: Why I abandoned my faith.  The article highlights the non-profit group Recovering from Religion.  Clearly, we do not endorse this group Recovering from Religion. However, while the “religion” spoken of throughout this article is not the true faith and service found within the pages of the Bible, I am afraid it could exist within the hearts and minds of Christians who are influenced by the “religious” world.

Our discussion will begin today at 11:00 AM CT (4:00 PM UTC).  You can participate in our study by going to: live.truthfactor.com.  We have a chat room for your comments and questions.  If your internet connection is limited, then consider using our audio only page.

We hope you can join us today as we factor the Truth into our daily lives.

Have a wonderful day!

 

Introductory Notes for 2 Corinthians

Discussion Notes for 2 Corinthians

Introduction to Second Corinthians  (Prepared by Paul Adams)

  1. Review the background of the city of Corinth.
    • Largest city in southern Greece (Achaia).
    • Major crossroads, military center, and a seaport.
    • Center of idolatrous and immoral worship of Venus (Aphrodite) and other mythological gods.
    • Well known for ornate temples to idols, architecture and the arts. e. It was a center for athletic games.
    • [ER]: interestingly, according to Merriam-Webster online, “Corinthian” means 1) a resident of Corinth, and 2) a merry, profligate man (source)
  2. The Authorship
    • Paul, the Apostle (2 Corinthians 1:1. 10:1)
    • Written during the fall of 57 A.D.
    • Written from Macedonia
  3. Timeline (dates approximate) 
    • A.D. 50-51 – Paul established the church in Corinth  (Acts 18) while on his 2nd journey.  ([ER]: Possible point to “factor” here: in spite of what we know about Corinth as a worldly city, the Lord revealed to Paul, “I have many in this city who are my people.” [Acts 18:10] Indeed, the church included those who had been converted out the “Corinthian” lifestyle [1 Cor. 6:9-11]. The Lord sees what we cannot.)
    • A.D. 54-57 – Paul stays in Ephesus (Acts 19), has correspondence with the Corinthians, and writes First Corinthians near the end of the stay.  (Paul may have made a very brief visit to Corinth while at Ephesus).  [TT] He stayed in Ephesus for 2 years (19:10, 20:31- 3 years).  Point – he had plenty of time for the various interactions with Corinth while there (perhaps other letters and visitors, etc.)
    • [ER]: During this time Paul heard about the problems in the church there and wrote to correct them. He then anxiously awaited news of their response (2 Cor. 7:5-9)
    • A.D 57 (fall) – Paul departs for Macedonia (Acts 20), meets Titus and receives a report about the progress of the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 7:5-16).  [ER] This was apparently a change of plans. Paul had initially intended to go straight to Corinth, but decided to come to them after going through Macedonia. [1:16].  Paul then writes Second Corinthians and sends Titus back to them (2 Corinthians 8:6, 17).
    • A.D. 57 (winter) – Paul arrives and spends the winter (3 months) in Corinth (Acts 20:2-3).  Paul writes to the Romans from Corinth.
  4. Basic Outline of Second Corinthians (Mark A. Copeland)
    1. SALUTATION (1:1-11)
    2. PAUL EXPLAINS HIS MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION (Chapters 1-7)
      • HE DEFENDS HIS INTEGRITY (1:12-2:11)
      • HE DESCRIBES HIS APOSTOLIC MINISTRY (2:12-6:10)
      • HE MAKES HIS APPEAL TO THEM (6:11-7:16)
    3. THE COLLECTION FOR THE SAINTS IN JERUSALEM (Chapters 8-9)
      • THE EXAMPLE OF MACEDONIA (8:1-5)
      • THE BASIS FOR HIS EXHORTATION (8:6-15)
      • THE MESSENGERS FOR THIS MINISTRY (8:16-9:5)
      • THE ENCOURAGEMENT TO GIVE LIBERALLY (9:6-15)
    4. PAUL DEFENDS HIS APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY (Chapters 10-13)
      • EXPLANATION CONCERNING HIS CONDUCT (10:1-18)
      • SOME FOOLISH BOASTING (11:1-12:13)
      • HIS FINAL WARNINGS (12:14-13:10)
    5. CONCLUDING EXHORTATIONS (13:11-14)
  5. Some Observations
    • This epistle is very personal.  Paul spends time speaking to them concerning the trial and joys of his work.  [TT] – (2 Cor. 6:11 – Our heart is wide open)   [ER: Perhaps it is the personal nature of this letter that causes it to not be preached from as much. It seems overlooked to me.]
    • We must never forget that these are words of inspiration.
    • There are some unique challenges when you are involved with people with so many problems and you are calling on them to change.
    • We will see more room for improvement and commendations.
    • Worldly influences are hard to resist, but it is essential that we do.
    • Wherever Paul is spreading the gospel there are Jews and Judaizing teachers who are making his work more difficult.
    • Paul’s care and deep concern for them becomes even more evident.

On Today’s Truth Factor Discussion

Good morning folks!

Well, today’s Truth Factor Discussion should be quite interesting.  The topic for today’s Truth Factor Discussion will be, “Was Jesus’ Death a Substitute Punishment for Our Punishment?”  Our greatest challenge today will be time.  There are many different thoughts on this subject as well as different view points.  While we will not be able to consider the subject from all angles and positions, we will attempt to consider some of the basic arguments for and against the subject.

We have made our forum notes for this study available at this link.  We will be updating the forum notes as we grow closer to tomorrow’s study.

We hope you can join us TODAY beginning at 11:00 AM CT (4:00 PM UTC) at: live.truthfactor.com.  We have a chat room for your comments and questions. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the changes to the website.

Have a wonderful day!

Open Forum Notes for April 29, 2015

The following are the notes for the Open Forum scheduled for April 29, 2015, at 11:00 AM CT.  We may be making adjustments to these notes.  Please keep checking back.  Feel free to leave comments below the post which you feel would help us in our study on April 29, 2015.  

*Update I have incorporated Wayne Welsh comments into these forum notes.*


Open Forum Notes for April 29, 2015

Question:  Was Jesus’ Death a Substitute Punishment for Our Punishment?

Discussion Notes:

Explanation of the Penal Substitutionary Atonement theory:

  1. “Penal substitutionary atonement refers to the doctrine that Christ died on the cross as a substitute for sinners. God imputed the guilt of our sins to Christ, and he, in our place, bore the punishment that we deserve. This was a full payment for sins, which satisfied both the wrath and the righteousness of God, so that He could forgive sinners without compromising His own holy standard.”  (http://www.theopedia.com/Penal_substitutionary_atonement)
  2. Time for Bob Myhan and Bryan Garlock to go into a somewhat brief explanation of the theory.
    • Explain meaning of substitution.  Bob: To “substitute” for someone is to do or be something in that someone’s place. e.g., the designated hitter bats instead of the pitcher so that the pitcher never bats.  [I think the trouble you run into [similar to Wayne’s question later] is that “substitution” does not naturally carry an idea of permanence or being an eternal state, i.e. your use of “never bats”; further it does not naturally demand an identical exchange, e.g. apples in place of apples. It could be a nonidentical exchange, e.g. apples in place of oranges.]
    • [[WW] Is the question under discussion specifically the “penal substitution” model, or is it all substitution models in general? If the issue is the latter, then Theopedia’s definition seems oversimplified. Wikipedia (to refer to an equally credible source) notes that there are many different models of “substitutionary atonement,” of which penal substitution is just one. For instance, there is the “satisfaction theory” where Christ pays God an honor he is due in our place (since we cannot). This is distinct from “penal substitution,” where Christ is specifically being punished for sins in our place. Both are forms of substitution, but only one involves vicarious punishment. There is also a less technical use of the term ‘substitution’ in discussion about atonement when it is used in ‘the sense that [Jesus, through his death,] did for us that which we can never do for ourselves’(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substitutionary_atonement).]
    • [JD]  Wayne, the subject under question is specifically “penal substitution.”  (See definition in subpoint 1, found above.  It is not “all substitution models in general.”  Thanks for the clarifying question.

God’s Punishment for Sin.

  1. The quote above reads, “God imputed the guilt of our sins to Christ, and he, in our place, bore the punishment that we deserve.”
  2. Consider the following questions?
    • According to scriptures, what punishment did mankind deserve because of his guilt of sin?
      1. Romans 6:23 – wages of sin is death
      2. 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 – Those who do not “know God” and who “do not obey the gospel” will “suffer the punishment of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord”.
  3. Did Jesus bear the same punishment we deserved?
  4. How did God impute the “guilt of our sins to Christ” when God requires each person to bear the guilt of their own sin?
    • Ezekiel 18:20 – the soul who sins will die
    • James 1:17 – God does not change
    • Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus does not change.  Jesus is the Word.  (John 1)

Did Jesus bear the same punishment we deserve?

Discussion of passages used to support this theory.

  1. Isaiah 53:6 – “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.”
  2. Isaiah 53:12 – “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.”
  3. Matthew 20:28 – “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Could be translated as “in place of many,” depending on how one takes the preposition ἀντὶ)  (Wayne Welsh) (cf. 1 Timothy 2:6; the background for “ransom” is a substitutionary payment is made in order for a slave/prisoner to be set free; “in place of” can be used for either substitution or exchange language. -DD)
  4. Romans 3:25 – “whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,”
  5. Romans 8:1-4 – “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”  (Wayne Welsh)
  6. 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (In verse 14, a substitutionary sense is implied, “therefore all died”. The death of Christ was the death of all human beings. “Yper” carries the idea of “on behalf of” and “in the place of” here, Harris’ preposition reference work; Wallace’s grammar; Trench’s synonyms book; BDAG lexicon. Sin is a synonym for guilt. For our sake Jesus who was not guilty was treated as guilty. -DD)  Bob Myhan: F.F. Bruce wrote “this remarkable expression…can best be understood on the assumption that Paul had in mind the Hebrew idiom in which certain words for sin…mean not only sin but ‘sin-offering’; in this case we have a parallel here to Rom. 8:3, where God is said to have sent his Son ‘as a sin offering’”. He also relates this verse to Isaiah 53:10. Also “…if one has died for all, certainly all have died; and that he has died for all, that they who live should no longer live to themselves, but to him who has died and rose again for them…. And all these things of God, who has reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation – namely, that God was, by Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not counting to them their trespasses, and has committed to us the word of the reconciliation. We, therefore, execute the office of ambassadors for Christ, as of God beseeching you by us; we pray you, in behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For he has made him, who knew no sin, a sin-offering for us; that we might become the justified of God, by him.” (The Living Oracles, 1826)  (1- apart from this “disputed” meaning, hamartia does not mean “sin offering” in any other NT book except Hebrews. – DD)
  7. Galatians 3:10, 13 – “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them. . . Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us — for it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.”  (“Yper” or “for” is both “in our place” and “for our benefit” Wallace’s grammar; Trench’s synonyms book; Harris’ preposition work, which interestingly rebukes A.T. Robertson for going too far with his substitutionary imagery in Robertson’s grammar.)
  8. 1 Peter 3:18 – “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit”  (Wayne Welsh)
  9. Hebrews 10:1-4 – “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”

Questions Pertinent to the Discussion.

  • Question:  Is there a difference between a sacrifice and a substitutionary punishment?
    1. Jesus was the one sacrifice, the one offering, for sins forever.  (Hebrews 10:1-14)
    2. Jesus’ sacrifice was an antitype of the sacrifices instituted under the Law of Moses.
    3. Is there evidence God considered the the sin offering (Leviticus 4:1 – 5:13), the guilt offering (Leviticus 5:14 – 6:7) , and the yearly atonement offerings, to be substitutionary punishment for the sins of the people?  In other words, were the bulls and the rams punished for the sins of the people or sacrificed for the sins of the people?
    4. The sin and guilt offerings (and more importantly the yearly atonement offerings) were shadows of something better to come.  The offering of Jesus is the antitype or the real image which cast the shadows which were those Old Testament sacrifices.  (cf. Hebrews 8:1-6; 10:1-4)
    5. Therefore, . . .
      • if the sin and guilt offerings under the Law of Moses served as substitutionary punishment, then the death of Jesus served as a substitutionary punishment.
      • However, if the sin and guilt offerings under the Law of Moses were sacrifices seeking God’s forgiveness for the people, then the death of Jesus was a sacrifice seeking God’s forgiveness for those who would come to Him.
    6. In other words, . . .
      • If the bulls and rams were punished and not sacrificed, then so was Jesus.
      • However, if the bulls and rams were sacrificed, then so was Jesus.
    7. *Comment from Wayne Welsh:  To points 5 and 6 under the second listed question, why can’t it be “both/and” rather than “either/or”? Even if there is a difference between sacrifice and substitutionary punishment, are they necessarily mutually incompatible ideas? If so, why?
      • [JD] The challenge for me is this:  The Bible clearly calls Jesus a sacrifice, an offering for sins.  However saying Jesus suffered substitutionary punishment is man’s explanation of the passages relating to Jesus’ death. (Under Galatians 3, I am proposing the language chosen is language that is substitutionary in nature. Therefore, it’s not something read into the text, but from the very language choice of the Holy Spirit- DD)
  • Question:  Is there a Bible passage which clearly says Jesus was punished as a substitute for my punishment?
    1. If so, then we can view all the Bible passages which speak of Jesus’ death with the understanding they are describing He who was a substitute for our punishment.
    2. If not, then all passages which speak of Jesus’ death should be viewed in the context an offering for our sins.
  1. *Comment from Wayne Welsh:  I think the two listed responses present a false dichotomy. Just because one passage says that Jesus’ death was a “substitute” and / or “sacrifice” does not necessitate that we read the image of substitution and / or sacrifice into every passage that discusses the death of Jesus. I have seen this mistake made on both sides of the debate, where someone picks a dominant metaphor for the atonement and magnifies it to the point where it subjugates all of the others and drowns them out. One can become so fixated on substitution and / or sacrifice language to the point where one misses other equally prominent purposes for the death of Jesus (such as his triumph over Satan and the forces of evil; John 12:30-33; 16:7-11; Col. 2:15; Heb. 2:14-15; 1 Pet. 3:18-22; 1 John 3:8)
    • [JD]  Wayne, I agree there are many passages which offer different purposes for Jesus’ death.  However, allow me to illustrate my point with Isaiah 53.  The following statements are made regarding Jesus:
      1. vs 3 – He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
      2. vs 4 – He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
      3. vs 5a – He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;
      4. vs 5b – The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
      5. vs 6b – the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all
      6. vs 7 – He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
      7. vs 8 – For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken {killed, jmd}
      8. vs 10a – it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.
    • For me, verse 10 appears to summarizes everything which happened to Jesus, all the way from Him being despised, rejected, and wounded all the way to Him being “cut off from the land of the living” by saying, “When You make His soul an offering for sin, . . .”
      1. (In verse 11, the thought of a judicial “accounted righteous” substitution “bear” is combined with the idea of an offering. Scripture combines the ideas we are trying to separate- DD)
    • All the statements regarding how Jesus was to be treated seem to be summed up in the Father’s decision to make Jesus an offering for sin.  What I do not see in this text is the suggestion or implication that Jesus would be punished as a substitute for the people’s punishment.

Additional or Submitted Thoughts . . .

  1. Submitted by Wayne Welsh:  Second, the OT sacrificial system isn’t the only background to the death of Jesus. If there is time, it would be good to see discussion of the numerous precedent examples of “substitution” in the OT.
    • The substitution of the ram for Isaac (Gen 22), which was clearly a type of Jesus. Isaac was supposed to die, but the ram died in his place. (The typology is turned on its head a little bit in the NT, where Jesus is both the beloved son, and the ram provided for replacement death). (In 22:13, Abraham offers a ram instead of Isaac. The exchange is the ram’s life instead of Isaac’s life. Is this an exact exchange? No. A ram’s life is not the same as a human life. Jesus’ human life being taken instead of our spiritual life being taken is not an exact exchange either. Identical replacement is not required for substitution.- DD)
    • The substitution of the Passover Lamb for the firstborn (Exod 12), which was clearly a type of Jesus. The firstborn were supposed to die, but the lamb died in their place.
    • The substitution of the Levites for the firstborn (Num 3:12, 41, 45; 8:16, 18), so that they could “bear guilt” in connection with the sanctuary (Num 18:1, 22).
    • The atonement “scapegoat” (if such a translation is appropriate) bore the sins of the people (Lev 16:22), when the people would have ordinarily borne their own sins (Lev 5:1, 17; 7:18; 17:16; 19:8; 20:17, 19, 20; 22:15-16; 24:15).
  2. Submitted by Wayne Welsh:  Third, I want to add two pertinent questions that I think need answering:
    • Why are we forced to the conclusion that a substitutionary view of atonement and the literal “forsaking” of Jesus on the cross are really the same issue? Brian stated last week that the removal of this idea makes PSA “fall apart,” and I notice this assumption throughout both Donahue’s and Myhan’s debate charts, but I do not see how this is necessarily the case. I know plenty of brethren (myself included) who affirm the former and deny the latter. Is there a reason why this linkage between the two is absolutely demanded?
      • [JD] – For me, this is how I have understood the two subjects to be intertwined:
        1. Jesus took on the guilt of every sin committed by everyman who has lived, who is living, and who will ever lived.  God cannot be in the presence of sin.  Therefore, God turned His back on Jesus, leaving Jesus all alone while He died upon the cross.
        2. Jesus, by taking on the guilt of every sin committed by everyone, of necessity had to take on the punishment of those sins for which He had taken on the guilt.
      • However, I can see a way where in someone may separate the two, embracing one and rejecting the other.  [WW – I guess the question I would have here is the same I have for the Calvinist: does taking on our punishment (or even some aspect of our punishment) necessarily require the imputation of our guilt to Christ? If a death was provided where death was demanded (substitution), does it necessarily follow that Jesus was literally guilty of our sins?]
    • Should substitution be taken to mean that Jesus’ punishment was like ours in every respect? Or is this pressing the legal / forensic language of the Bible too far? I’m not convinced that just because a substitute “life for life” transaction takes place that this would automatically let us “off the hook.” I agree that many have erred in pressing the metaphor of substitution beyond what the text allows, but is it possible that the logic that is used to outright deny PSA is sometimes guilty of the same kind of “pressing”? (There is at least one OT example I can think of where an animal and its substitute are both sacrificed because of man’s improper motives (Lev 27:10, 33). Couldn’t that have also been the case with Jesus’ sacrifice?)

Changes to the Website

Good morning!

As you can tell, I have decided to make some changes to the Truth Factor website.  The changes are primarily cosmetic in nature.  However my purpose is more than cosmetic.  With many people viewing the internet on their mobile phones and tablets, it has become necessary to make this site responsive. That way, no matter what type of device you are using to look at the Truth Factor website, the site and the menus will function properly.

Here are the three new logos currently under consideration:

Truth Factor

Truth Factor Logo - Oval - for Website Logo 2 Truth Factor Discussion Logo - Oval

While I’m still making changes, any thoughts or comments you have will be greatly appreciated.

Have a wonderful day!

John

On Today’s Truth Factor Discussion

Good morning folks!

On today’s Truth Factor Discussion, we will have our first of two open forums.  On today’s open forum, we are going to address the question, “According to Jesus’ use of Psalms 22, did God forsake Jesus when Jesus hung on the cross?”.  We have published the notes for today’s open forum.  We would encourage you to take the time to familiarize yourself with the forum notes before today’s discussion.  Our primary goal in today’s study is to consider Psalms 22 and how it relates to Jesus’ suffering on the cross.

You can join today’s Bible study beginning at 11:00 AM CT (4:00 PM UTC) by going to: live.truthfactor.com. We have a chat room for your comments and questions.  For this special open forum, feel free to submit comments in the comment section located beneath the forum notes.  We will do our best to incorporate comments and questions into today’s study.

We hope you can join us today as we factor the Truth into our daily lives.

Have a wonderful day!

Open Forum Notes for April 22, 2015

The following are the notes for the Open Forum scheduled for April 22, 2015, at 11:00 AM CT.  We may be making adjustments to these notes.  Please keep checking back.  Feel free to leave comments below the post which you feel would help us in our study on April 22, 2015.  Updates were made on April 21, 2015.  (JD)


Open Forum Notes for April 22, 2015

Question:  According to Jesus’ use of Psalms 22, did God forsake Jesus when Jesus hung on the cross?   (JD) I have added “According to Jesus’ use of Psalms 22” to be a bit more clear regarding our purpose for examining Psalms 22.

Discussion Notes:

“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”  (Matthew 27:45-50)

  1. Jesus appears to asked God why God had forsaken Him.  And from the outset, it appears this is what Jesus felt.
    • There are some who hold strongly to this belief and use various Bible passages to support their assertion that God forsook Jesus.
    • We will address those passages in this open forum scheduled for April 29, 2015.
    • There are some who believe God forsook Jesus and uses Jesus’ question (and other Bible passages) to support their assertion that God forsook Jesus. (We will address those other passages in the open forum scheduled for April 29, 2015.)  (Edits by JD)
    • (JD) – Addition:  Is it possible that due to the extreme agony and pain (such as what Jesus went through in the garden), that Jesus felt forsaken at that moment, resulting in a fulfillment of prophecy?  (ER: For what it’s worth, this is how I understand it–that Jesus was employing this quotation from psalm 22 to express the anguish he was experiencing.) (I would be in the middle. I don’t think he’s quoting Psalm 22:1 with no application to himself. On the other hand, I don’t believe he has become oblivious due to the pain he is experiencing. I don’t believe he needs any clarity, so I believe it is rhetorical; taking into account the rest of Psalm 22:1 it would be something like, “You have given me up to death that people might live.” -DD)
  2. Jesus was quoting from Psalms 22:1.
    • To better understand Jesus’ statement, it is prudent to examine Psalms 22 and see if it sheds light on why Jesus said, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”.
    • This examination will be in two parts:
      1. We will consider the psalm as reflecting David’s immediate and personal struggles and as an expression of what he felt.
      2. We will consider the psalm as a Messianic prophecy.

Psalm 22 – A Psalm of David.

  1. Verses 1-2 — David appears to question the Lord as to why the Lord has forsaken him.
    • It has been suggested that we discuss the word “forsaken” and how it is used.
    • [Daniel Duvall]  (I think we get bogged down in the term “forsaken” automatically meaning spiritual disfellowship and disunity. I don’t think that is a necessary definition. When you think of its use in Hebrews 10:25, it’s about someone who has the ability to assemble and doesn’t. So, in general the term can simply refer to having the ability to do something but choosing not to act on that ability. The Father had the ability to stop the Son’s suffering, but chose not to act in stopping it. The Father let it continue. In that way, he “forsook” Jesus. When “everyone forsook” Paul in 2 Timothy 4:16, did Paul lose spiritual fellowship and unity with all Christians? No. Simply, he was by himself. The Father didn’t die on the cross; the Holy Spirit didn’t die on the cross; Jesus died by himself which does not imply any more loss of unity than it did for Paul in 2 Timothy 4:16.- DD)
    • Verses 3-5 — David acknowledges God’s watchful care over the “fathers.”  David writes, “. . . they trusted in You, and were not ashamed.”
  2. Verses 6-8 — David questions his own worthiness.  People are ridiculing David saying, “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him.”
  3. Verses 9-10 — David acknowledges his being reared to trust in the Lord.  Even from his birth, God has been David’s God.
  4. Verses 11-13 — David prays to God for help because there are none who will help David.
  5. Verses 14-15 – David’s despair is truly great, feeling he is near the point of death.
  6. Verses 16-18 – Not only is no one willing to help David, he also states he is surrounded by his enemies who seek to abuse and consume David.
  7. Verses 19-21 – David appeals to the Lord for help.  David then acknowledges the Lord has answered his pleas by saying, “You have answered me.”
  8. Verses 22-26 – David praises the Lord and acknowledges why the Lord should be praised.
    • David will declare the name of the Lord.
    • Those who fear the Lord are to praise the Lord.
    • The descendants of Jacob are to glorify the Lord.
    • The offspring of Israel is to fear the Lord.
    • God has NOT despised the afflicted.
    • God has NOT hidden His face from the afflicted.
    • God HAS heard the cry of the afflicted.
    • David will praise the Lord in the “great assembly.”
    • Those who seek the Lord will praise Him.
  9. Verses 27-31 – David closes the psalm by proclaiming the rule of God and the glory of God.  David ends by saying, “They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born, that He has done this.”

Psalm 22 – A Messianic Psalm.

  1. The Messianic aspect of this psalm is fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ.  (The following information was provided by Seth McDonald.)
    • verse 1 – “My God, My God” — seen in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34.
    • verse 7 – Enemies Sneer with Wagging Heads — seen in Matthew 27:39.
    • verse 8 – Words of the Enemies — seen in Matthew 27:43.
    • verse 15 – Concept of Thirst — seen in Matthew 27:48 and John 19:29.
    • verse 16 – Piercing of Hands and Feet Foretold (Centuries before Crucifixion was Common) — seen in John 20:25.
    • verse 18 – Divided Garments and Cast Lots for Vesture — seen in Mark 15:24 and Luke 23:34 and John 19:23.
    • verse 22 – Praising God In The Midst of The Assembly — seen in Hebrews 2:12.
    • verses 24, 31 – God Strengthens When He Cries For Help — seen in Luke 22:43-44 and Hebrews 5:7.
    • verse 31 – “It is finish” or “He Has Performed It” — seen in John 19:30.
  2. [Seth McDonald] – Notice all of the prophecies in Psalm 22 that are fulfilled on that exact same day. While on the cross, Jesus did not have the time nor the breath to preach a 30 minute sermon about what was happening. He quotes the first verse and the last verse and expects us to know everything in between.
    • Additional thought:  Jesus referencing this psalm with such brevity should not be too surprising.  Consider the simplicity of the parables and yet many refused to hear what Jesus was teaching.
  3. [Seth McDonald] Here is the two main and only questions for me:  If Jesus had not quoted the first verse of Psalm 22, then . . .
    • Would the idea of “God forsaking Jesus on the cross” even exist?  (ER – Perhaps not, but Jesus did quote it.)
    • If we study Psalm 22 without knowledge of Jesus quoting it, would we have considered the Psalmist to be truly forsaken by God?
    • It seems to me the point of the Psalm is that not only does God NEVER forsakes the righteous, but Him suffers along side of them.  (ER: Where does David mention God suffering with him?)
  4. [Bob Myhan] It seems to me that God’s general promise is that He will not forsake the faithful (cf. Josh. 1:5, et al) though He might from time to time “bear long with them” (Luke 18:1-7) (for clarity on the NKJV rendering, “bear long with them” means “have patience with them”- DD). If we forsake Him, He will cast us off forever. (1 Chron. 28.9)

Two Opposing Views:

  1. God did forsake Jesus, “turning His back” to Jesus.
    • One key reason for God forsaking Jesus is as follows:  Jesus took on (bore) the guilt of mankind’s sin. As a result, Jesus became sin, the very thing God hated. Therefore, in the moments prior to Jesus’ death, God turned His back on Jesus.  Once Jesus died, the price for sin having been paid, God turned back towards Jesus and raised Him from the dead.
    • Resulting questions:
      1. Did Jesus become the only person to bear the full guilt of another man’s sins?
      2. Is Jesus the only person to bear the guilt of sin without taking the necessary steps to be forgiven of those sins?
      3. When Jesus died for man’s sins, did He also die for the guilt of those sins He had taken on?
  2. God did not forsake Jesus.
    • Jesus’ death, and subsequent resurrection and victory was the fulfillment of Psalms 22, the beginning of which is the passage quoted by Jesus on the cross.
    • Jesus paid the price for mankind’s sins by being the perfect sacrifice.  He was persecuted.  He suffered a humiliating death, giving His life as a sin offering for mankind’s sins.  He was the perfect sacrifice because He was sinless.  (Is this point relevant to whether or not he was forsaken? ER)  (JD – Good point.  This point is more relevant to next week’s discussion and will be discussed then.  I will strike this point.)
  3. (ER) Another interpretation. In psalm 22 David begins by expressing anguish at being abandoned to suffer. He then calls for God to not be far away, but to come to his rescue. In the end, God hears his cry for help and delivers him. David praises God. When Jesus quotes verse 1, he is in the midst of suffering. It was not yet over. He had not yet been delivered. I believe he was expressing the extreme pain, humiliation, sadness, etc., that he was feeling in that moment. To think of it another way, all the negative things Jesus experienced on the cross are not found in the presence of God (Rev. 21:3-4).

Final Question:

  1. “Will believing either position jeopardize a Christian’s soul?”  Yes believing error will jeopardize a Christian’s soul (BG)
    • (JD) So, if incorrect, then the one who understands from Jesus statement that God forsook Jesus will lose his soul if he does not correct his belief?
    • (JD) So, if incorrect, then the one who believes God did not forsake Jesus will lose his soul if he does not correct his belief?  
    • (JD) When will believing error separate one from fellowship with God? 
      1. Keep in mind one’s soul cannot be in jeopardy unless that one is out of fellowship with God, a result of sin?
      2. Keep in mind any misunderstanding or incorrect understanding would have to qualify as error when compared to the correct understanding of a given passage.
      3. I would suggest believing error jeopardizes a person’s soul when that error leads that person into a sinful decision or path.
    • (ER) Perhaps even more important than our interpretation is having the right attitude toward the word. Jesus said “why have you forsaken me,” therefore I would rather say I am not sure what Jesus meant by this than to say “Jesus was not forsaken.” Remember Jesus’ rebuke to Peter when Peter flatly contradicted what Jesus said would happen to him (Matt. 16:22-23).
  2. (JD) The following has been removed  due to lack of relevance to this open forum. Could this be a subject wherein God has not given us enough information to truly understand what took place, thereby leaving us to accept what we do have, neither adding to nor taking away from God’s word?

Additional Material for Consideration.

  1. While the goal of this open forum was to see whether or not Jesus was claiming to have been forsaken by God based upon His use of Psalms 22, some additional material on the question of whether or not God forsook Jesus has been provided below by Bryan Garlock and Bobby Myhan.
  2. Additional Notes (BG & BM)
    • The Father and the Son are ONE: John 8.28-29; 16.32; 18.4; John 10.30; cf. Deut. 6.4  (JD) How are the Father and Son ONE?  This may be a good question to answer at this point.
    • Did Jesus keep His own Word? John 8.51
    • Jesus knew from eternity past that this moment would come: John 12.27 Jesus forgot the Father would have to forsake Him and why. Jesus was a confused, bewildered sinner – not knowing what was going on or why!
      1. (JD) BG writes, “Jesus forgot the Father would have to forsake Him and why. Jesus was a confused, bewildered sinner – not knowing what was going on or why!”
      2. (JD) I think BG is stating what would have had to have been the case if truly God forsook Jesus because Jesus was guilty of all the sins of mankind.  BG, correct me if I’m wrong.
    • The Father always hears His Son: John 11.42; Heb. 5.7
    • “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily…” (Col 2.9 NKJV) When Jesus was full of sin, did He still have the fullness of the Godhead bodily? Christ is God (John 1.1). Did God impute sin to God?
    • Was the Godhead fractured? If yes, did Jesus cease to be God? If no, God was full of sin (1 John 1.5). Incidentally, what was the role of the Holy Spirit in this alleged separation? Did He also separate FROM Christ? Whose side did He take?
    • He CANNOT be God AND sin AT THE SAME TIME: 1 John 1.5; John 8.12
    • Every question Jesus asked was to teach or provoke thought because He knew the answer already!
    • Did Jesus have this promise? Deut. 31.6; Josh. 1.5; Psalm 37.28; 1 Chron. 28.9; Heb. 13.5
    • Was Jesus forsaken from the foundation of the world? Rev. 13.8 Has the Son has always been separated from His Father since He had always been sacrificed in the Father’s mind? (Obviously, Revelation 13:8 does not mean Jesus was literally and actually slain 4,000 years prior but speaking of the death of Christ as a redemptive sacrifice decreed in the counsels of eternity- DD)
    • Is to bear to possess? Did Jesus grieve as a result of “bearing” the griefs of others? Did he become sorrowful as a result of “carrying” the sorrows of others? Did Jesus get a fever when he cured Peter’s mother-in-law? Did demons possess Jesus when he cast them out of others? Did Jesus get sick as a result of healing those who were sick? Matt. 8.17
    • Imputation of sins: When man’s sins were imputed TO Christ, were they not imputed FROM man? Would this not leave man SINLESS? How did Jesus get rid of the sins? Did the sins that were imputed to Christ disappear?
    • If the Father had literally imputed all human sin to Christ: At what point were all humans without sin (righteous)? At what point did the Father impute righteousness again to Christ? At what point did the Father impute sin again to humans? How is the imputation of sin consistent with divine justice? What is the purpose of God imputing our sins TO Jesus IF they were going to be imputed BACK to us? If they were not imputed back to us, why the need for forgiveness?
    • 1 Peter 2.24: The meaning is that Jesus REMOVED our sins in His own body. He TOOK our sins by His sacrifice: John 1.29
    • Who lied? John or Peter? 1 Peter 2.24; 1 John 3.5
    • Who punished/killed Jesus? God or man? “He was despised and rejected by men…” “…as one from whom men hide their faces…” “…he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”   (ER: “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief” Isa. 53:10. Jesus asked the Father to let the cup pass from him because he knew that only the Father could do so. It was the Father’s will that the Son suffer and die.)  (2nd ER’s comment: Yahweh put him to grief and desired to crush him; John 3:16; Romans 8:32, God gave his Son, not man took his soon-DD)
    • Jesus was not forsaken according to Psalm 34.15-22 and John 19.32-37
    • Sinless sacrifice or sinful substitute? Can He be both? Simultaneously?  (Can Paul be both child, mother, and father in the same chapter in 1 Thessalonians 2? Yes. Metaphors are not meant to necessarily be merged- DD)
    • Why did Jesus quote Psalm 22.1? He knew about Psalm 22 long before He came to earth. He inspired David to write Psalm 22. How could He have been surprised at His Father’s actions at any time? How could He have been unsure of His Father’s motives at any time?

On Today’s Truth Factor Discussion

Good morning everyone!

On today’s Truth Factor Discussion we will continue our study through 1 Corinthians, beginning with chapter 16, verse 5, where Paul reviews some of his upcoming personal plans and desires.  You can participate in today’s Bible study beginning at 11:00 AM CT (4:00 PM UTC) by going to: live.truthfactor.com.  We have a chat room for your comments and questions.

Since we are coming to the close of 1 Corinthians, allow me to share with you our plans for the upcoming three weeks:

  • April 22, 2015 — If we complete 1 Corinthians during today’s study, then next week, we will engage in an open forum.  The topic for this open forum is tentatively set to be a discussion of Psalms 22 and Jesus’ reference to the psalm as He hung on the cross.
  • April 29, 2015 — We are planning to have an open forum looking at the question, “Was Jesus’ Death a Substitute Punishment for Our Punishment?”.  (In theological circles, this topic is known as Penal Substitutionary Atonement.)  We are planning to have Bob Myhan and Bryan Garlock as guests as we look at this teaching.
    • Both open forums will allow comments and questions in the chat room.
  • May 6, 2015 — We will begin our study through 2 Corinthians.

We hope you can join us today as we factor the Truth into our daily lives.

Have a wonderful day!

On Today’s Truth Factor Discussion

Greetings folks!

On today’s Truth Factor Discussion we will continue our study through 1 Corinthians, beginning with chapter 15, verse 58.  We will finish chapter 15 and transition into chapter 16.

You can participate in today’s Bible study using our live chatroom by going to: live.truthfactor.com beginning at 11:00 AM CT (4:00 PM UTC).

We hope you can join us today as we factor the Truth into our daily lives.

Have a wonderful day!