Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Was Christ's Death Necessary for God to Forgive Sins?

I recently heard an mp3 file of sermon delivered in a church in the town that I live in. Within the sermon (not the key point), the preacher said that
the death of Jesus was not neccessary for the forgiveness of sins. God was able to forgive sins in the Old Testament times if the offerings were done the right way. This means that God could forgive sins without the death of Jesus. (NB: This is a summary, not an exact quote)
I was shocked to hear this come from the pulpit of an apparently Christian, protestant church. You may not have even come across the notion that the death of Christ was not necessary for God to forgive us our sins - I hadn't. Here are some verses to read that demonstrate that the Old Testament offerings didn't take away sin (but only pointed towards Christ), and that Jesus' death was the only way that God could reconcile sinners to himself:
  • Hebrews 9:23-26
  • Hebrews 10:1-4
  • Romans 3:21-26
  • Matthew 26:39
  • Luke 24:25-27

1 comment:

BW said...

I'm not too familiar with the WCF but the other great protestant confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, faithfully summarises scripture on this:

Question 40. Why was it necessary for Christ to humble himself even "unto death"?
Answer: Because with respect to the justice and truth of God, satisfaction for our sins could be made no otherwise than by the death of the Son of God.

Scripture says in Romans 8:3b ff:
"..By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us.."

The preachers position is at odds with Scripture. Hopefully this has been pointed out to him and he can be corrected.