"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

The At-One-Ment of Jesus the Anointed One

William Tyndale himself coined the English word atonement to help get over translation difficulties of the Hebrew word kipper and the Greek word hilasterion. Tyndale's understanding of the words kipper and hilasterion was that they pointed to a full and entire work of the triune God in making a total satisfaction for sin by providing a complete substitution, which was a once-and-for-all act procuring everlasting salvation for His people. This "moment" of becoming "at one" with sinners He chose to redeem Tyndale called an "at- one- moment."

My friend George Ella writes about why Tyndale intentionally coined the word "atonement" in order to translate the Bible into English:

The Roman Catholic Church, in the days of Tyndale, viewed the atonement as reconciliation being made to God for man’s guilt or original sin but not for the penalty of sin which had to be worked off by works of special merit and penance. This left the reconciled without true union with Christ and with Christ’s work only half done. This error led Tyndale to realise that the entire Biblical teaching was concerned with man becoming fully accepted in the Beloved, and thus becoming one with God. Christ’s reconciling death, he therefore saw, was an at-one-ment with God and promptly used the word to express both the Old and New Testament words to do with a sinner becoming right with God through an expiatory sacrifice at God’s initiative.
I agree with Tyndale's view of the atonement. At Calvary, the blood of Christ became an at-one-moment when God united Himself with His people -at His initiative - through the blood of Jesus Christ. The holy, righteous and just anger of our Creator against our sins was propitiated (i.e. "satisfied and poured out") through His Son, Jesus the Anointed One.

This is the Good News. It is the gospel. Proclaimers of the gospel simply broadcast what God has done. The atonement is so powerful, so efficacious, so accomplished that every one for whom the blood of Christ was shed is at one with God. Were it not for the teaching of Scripture that Christ died for a particular people (i.e. "the church," "the elect," "the sheep," "the bride of Christ," "believers"), then one would have to be a Christian universalist; for that which covers sin and propitiates the wrath of God for sinners is Christ's at-one-ment.

Interestingly, some Baptist Identity writers have taken me to task for asking William Paul Young speak at our church. They say that Paul Young has a faulty view of the atonement. They say he denies the substitutionary, penal death of Jesus. It will be a privilege to discuss with Paul issues surrounding the atonement, and I may find there is disagreement between us - but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be allowed to speak at Emmanuel. For heaven's sake, many of my Baptist Identity friends are just as shaky in their understanding of the atonement. They actually believe that union with God requires something more than Christ's at-one-ment! Ironically, I would let them preach at Emmanuel too, though their view of the at-one-ment is as powerless as that which they claim Paul Young holds.

Jesus saves. Our faulty understanding of the atonement is not a hindrance to what Christ actually accomplished.


Wade

212 comments:

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Rex Ray said...

To Anonymous that said:
“Rex - That's why I don't read a paraphrased bible. I think even Lo might agree with me here.”

When my twin brother. Hez, and I were ten years old, we felt the Holy Spirit calling us. I know Hez felt Him because he said, “Don’t go—there’s only one more verse.”

I went and said yes to the preacher’s questions, but I was crying because I felt sorry for me not being a Christian.

I was baptized but I was not saved until three months later. During that time the Holy Spirit knocked on my heart it seemed like every moment lost…lost…lost.

Two years went by before Hez was saved. I don’t know how many times he rejected the Holy Spirit.

But just supposed he or I was killed before Jesus saved us.

1. Did God want us to be saved?
2. Did he send the Holy Spirit to us for that purpose?
3. Did you accept Jesus the first time your were called?
4. How many people have died after being ‘called’ but never accepted him?

Would your answer be ‘God didn’t choose them to be saved’?

Would you agree it’s not important what the Bible says, but what the Bible means?

That’s why I believe the paraphrased Living Bible hit the nail on the head in Acts 13: 48:

“When the Gentiles heard this, they were very glad and rejoiced in Paul’s message, and as many as wanted eternal life, believed.”

Rex Ray said...

“Then Agrippa said unto Paul. Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”

As Paul preached his heart out, does anyone believe the Holy Spirit was not present?

Was it Paul’s preaching or the Holy Spirit that moved Agrippa to say “Almost”?

Do you think God said, ‘Oops, changed my mind. Stop Holy Spirit, I decided not to choose the king’?

Anonymous said...

Rex,

If you're asking why doesn't God save everyone, I don't have an answer for you my friend.

If I were God, I think I would throw my saving grace and mercy all around for everyone to have...no one goes to hell on my watch.

But the Creator of the universe and all that's in it has a greater plan. One that I don't fully understand yet.

My prayer is one of thankfulness that He chose to save me even though I don't deserve it. And I pray everyday for Him to save family and friends that are "almost" saved, even though they don't deserve it.

I certainly don't pray for them to simply wise up, snap out of it, and get smart like me.

Have a great day today.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,
Thanks for calling me friend.

I believe the answer why God doesn’t save everyone is “For whosoever believes”.

He does not force his will but gives us a ‘free will’. God did not make robots.

“There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents…” (Luke 15:7)

I don’t believe people in heaven are the ones rejoicing because when their tears are wiped away they could not be happy knowing the sins of the world as God does. Only He and the angels are rejoicing.

So is God rejoicing what He has done, or because someone believes in his Son?

If you don’t understand God’s plan, then you don’t understand the Great Commission.

The best kinds of prayers are the ones with feet.

Anonymous said...

Your words "For whosoever believes" has caused us to go full circle with John 3:16. :)

Good last words for this post Rex.

Have a great week ahead.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,
How can you say we’ve gone full circle when there’s been no response on Luke 15:7 or Acts 26:28?

I’d be interested on your take on those verses.

Bob Cleveland said...

For anyone concerned that the word "Predestinate" isn't in the Bible, I just checked the NIV, NASV, and KJV, and can report that the word "Bible" isn't in there, either. But I doubt we're going to stop calling it that.

Anonymous said...

Rex, I just meant that we are now going to start talking again about John 3:16...which is what started it all.

I'll take the more difficult of the two verses so as to not leave you hanging, but then let's call it a stream.

Acts 26 - King Agrippa says to the apostle Paul, "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." Note the archaic English: "Almost thou persuadest me...". It's from the old King James Version of the Bible (1611).

Actually, the meaning of the Greek text underlying the English is ambiguous. Every modern translation therefore reads it quite differently.

Look at the Revised Standard Version, for instance: "In a short time you think to make me a Christian."

The sense here is entirely different, for there is no suggestion here that Agrippa is "almost persuaded". On the contrary, he sounds defiant, intransigent, and perhaps even slightly mocking: "What makes you think you are going to make a Christian of me?"

The background to the text is this. Paul is on trial before Festus, the Roman Governor. Paul defends himself before Festus, telling the governor of his vocation and his mission to the Gentiles. Paul includes his seizure at God's hand on the road to Damascus. When Festus hears all this -- especially the Damascus road episode -- he says, "Paul, you are mad." Paul then turns to King Agrippa, the puppet Jewish ruler in the Roman province. In his exposition of the gospel (which Agrippa has overheard) Paul has argued that Jesus of Nazareth is the fulfilment of the Hebrew prophets. Now Paul says to Agrippa, "Do you believe the prophets?" Agrippa knows that Paul has backed him into a corner. If Agrippa says, "No, I don't believe the prophets", Paul will reply, "You don't? You are a Jew and you don't believe the prophets? What kind of a Jew are you?" On the other hand, if Agrippa says that he does believe the prophets, Paul will reply, "You tell me you believe the prophets and you have heard my reasoning as to why Jesus is the fulfilment of the prophets; so you too must believe in Jesus too. Then why am I on trial?" Agrippa knows he's been cornered. Wearily, even slightly mockingly, he says to Paul, "In a short time you think to make me a Christian."

We must remember that context is king. All of us say this, but most of us rarely heed it.

On another note, Bob has given this post a much better ending.

Rex Ray said...

Anonymous,
“Are you going to persuade me to become a Christian so easily?”
“I wish before God…that whether easily or with difficulty, not only you but all who listen to me today might become as I am...” (Holman)

“With trivial proofs like these, you expect me to become a Christian?”
“Would to God that whether my arguments are trivial or strong, both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am…” (Living)

You said the king was “defiant, intransigent, and perhaps mocking”, but I think he believed Paul and was almost persuaded as the king said, “This man could have been released if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

If the king had been defiant, he might have said, ‘Paul talks too much—keep a gag in his mouth.’

Who knows how much the Holy Spirit touched the king and others who heard Paul speak?

You said you “took the more difficult of the two verses.” How about explaining the easy verse about rejoicing in heaven?

Anonymous said...

Hi Rex,

I hear what you are saying and I am not mad or upset that you are viewing scripture that way. Honestly, Im not.

Regardless of how scripture is interpreted, I just can't view God as trying as hard as he can to save people and yet coming away from the effort disappointed most of the time.

However, I respect your position and I know that after 70 something years of believing like you do you are not going to change.

I also know that with my attitude toward scripture and my insistance upon a sovereign God even in salvation, there is no way I'm going to change.

How about that word of faith movement in the new post? Let's move over there and let me hear what your thoughts are there?

Rex Ray said...

Hi Anonymous,
I hear what you are saying and I am not mad or upset that you are viewing scripture that way. Honestly, I’m not. :)

To blame my age (77) for not accepting your interpretation is a cop-out. Reading Wade’s post and comments have changed my views on several things. For instance:

‘You shall desire your husband’ to ‘You shall desire to control your husband’ changed my view completely.

I don’t want you to change your attitude that God is a sovereign God because that is also my attitude…but to state it the way you did implied that I had a different attitude.

God doesn’t try anything and fail. God did not fail that it took forty years in the wilderness because it was man that failed.

God cannot/will not break his law: “If you eat any fruit from that tree, you will die before the day is over.” (Genesis 2:15 Contemporary English)

“My Father! If it is possible…” (Matthew 26:39)
“Father! All things are possible for you…” (Mark14:36)
“Father… please take away this cup of Horror from me…” (Luke 22:42)

God did not fail his Son’s request because the answer was NO. The will of Jesus was not to die for man but to do the will of his Father.

You said, “I just can’t view God as trying as hard as he can to save people and yet coming away from the effort disappointed most of the time.”

Think about what you said. That’s exactly what I’m saying! If God was choosing only one out of a thousand being saved, then He would be failing. Since God does not fail, then it’s man that’s failing.

You want to move to a new post? What happened to all your help? It’s usually those that are loosing that want to quit. :)

Anonymous said...

Rex,

I did not mean to insult you about your age. I meant it in the best possible way.

I pray I live to 77 my brother.

It was just my feeble attempt at trying to move on. I can tell you are not going to move from your position simply by knowing where you are coming from.

I also know I am not going to change my position because I know where I came from.

I don't feel like I am loosing, or even losing. :)

I have no interest in your theology becoming reformed.

I pride myself on being reformed (Calvinistic) while at the same time not being mad about it.

I know of those that cannot be reformed without being mad about it.

Moving on.

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