« Contemplative Responses to our World - Part 2 - Jeff Imbach | Main | West of Shinar - by Blindman at the Gate (Brian Zahnd) »

December 18, 2013



e. 2Cor 5:21 The correct translation and interpretation is: For He has made Him who knew no sin, to be sin because of / through / for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Jesus bore our sins in His body. If we see Him pierced and crushed, we see sin, what sin is, what it does, how evil, devilish and inexcusable it is – hurting and killing our own Father! On the cross we see sin to be the murderer of our God!! So the cross totally exposes and condemns sin in us – that we might confess it and die to it, that God can forgive and deliver us and that we can become righteous and holy in Jesus. It is in perfect harmony with everything else in the Scriptures and written in this article.

Werner Klotz

Brad, the same day as you posted this discussion on 1.Cor.5:21, I read and prayed over the same scripture. Here is what I can share. First a quote from someone a bit further ahead than myself:
'The word of God, Jesus Christ, on account of his great love for mankind, became what we are in order to make us what he is himself.' - Irenaeus

Christ's identity changed for that moment on the cross: he became the inherited sin. Until that time everyone had been living with the inherited sin (as Richard Rohr is calling it). From then on no one has to live with that inherited sin anymore. A new choice was give to be chosen: righteousness!
//1.Peter 2:24

My choice to identify myself with Christ in his death will seal that my life is no longer affected by inherited sin. 1.John 3:5b ...and in him is no sin. From now in I am in him, therefore there is no longer sin in me.

Ted Hill (@ptedward)

Thanks for this ... vs 21 is, I think, rightly spoken of as a creedal statement: I have often used it as such. I have used it too quickly and too often though. It is such a completeness of Christ's action - God's Grace; HIS activity and none of mine. This is at the very solid core of my faith. Christ Alone.

Having said that, I am realizing that I have poorly drawn the OT prophetic images into my hermeneutic of reading vs 21. As I am reading through Isaiah I am struggling immensely with navigating the flagrant judgment images that are violent and wrathful. I struggle because I refuse to simply say, "Well, that is the Old Testament God."

The Holy Spirit, I believe, is beginning to show me the starkness and the contrast of the images of judgment and salvation (which can easily, at first glance, make God to seem mentally unstable). Right now Isaiah 34 into 35 are key. Absolute and utter devastation is imaged in 34, i.e. - generation after generation of the desert screech owl and the home of generations of Jackals ... Could there be any hope whatsoever? Then Isaiah reveals the crocus - bursting into bloom in surprise fashion, unexpected (even before spring has come) --- this is God's grace!

So I wrestle to satisfy the images transferred from the Old Testament to the new without negating or misrepresenting truth ...

This discussion is extraordinarily helpful in this journey - thank you Brad and Michael and Andrew

Highlights: we assumed; He assumed ... thank-you for this!



Very quickly a facebook acquaintance who read this commented with surprise on Michael's statement that "God is not a record-keeper; there are no books in heaven where some angel is recording all the good and evil things of your life (*the Revelation of John 20:12 is dead wrong on this score*)."

I personally would have said 'Reading Rev 20:12 that way (literally) is dead wrong,' but I didn't edit Michael's wording because he doesn't have to agree with me. If I didn't want his unique perspective, I shouldn't have asked him to weigh in. The fact is that a good number of the Fathers would agree with him, even ascribing Revelation to the hand of Cerinthius the gnostic heresiarch. Those who received it as canonical did so conditionally, based on a symbolic reading. Michael's point: is there literally an angel writing all your sins down in a book? Love keeps no record of wrongs!

One such symbolic reading of this text is that the final judgment will require us to look into the book of our lives as in a mirror (this too is symbolic), such that we truly see and understand our sin without denial or self-deception, the harm that we have caused, and our need for mercy. In so doing, we experience this judgment as a kind of God-sponsored self-assessment by one's own conscience, magnifying the Gospel of Christ's all-forgiving love and welcoming us into the Father's embrace.

The comments to this entry are closed.