The Sacrifice of Christ

          has accomplished two things

             1 Sin has been condemned

    2 The promises have been confirmed

                 Romans 8v3 & 15v8




    It  is  recommended to look under  'Index' or follow this  link  to   'devil' for

      No.1. And then to follow this link to 'promises' (also end of page) for No.2.   

      It will also be useful (after reading this page) to link to 'baptism' .

      When sin entered the world  and death by sin,  there  was  no way by which

      man could redeem himself.  God however  has revealed a plan whereby sin

      will  be taken away and righteousness established,     so that the human race

      will ultimately be restored to  the Divine favor.This involves providing His

      own Son, made of a woman by  His  holy  spirit power.     Jesus would be able

      to live a sinless life and become a sacrifice for sin.  Because He  did no sin,

      He  was  raised  from  the  dead  on  the third day. God  accepts  those who 

      identify themselves  with  this  representative man  by a belief of the Truth

      and baptism into Him (i.e. Jesus Christ).    See  under  'Index' or follow this

      link to  'judgment'  (page 2 -"in Adam" and "in Christ").  Cp Ephesians 1v

      10. Only in this way can we share in what God in Christ has achieved.


      Now that the way to eternal life has been made open,  the promises,  which

      involve  an eternal inheritance, can be fulfilled.  Jesus Christ, as the prom-

      ised "seed" in all 3 promises,  has,  by His sacrifice,  made their fulfilment

      sure. When He returns from heaven, He will select His co-inheritors. They

      will comprise all who have committed themselves totally to God in Christ,

      and who have remained faithful to their calling, whatever the cost.     

      The  Truth  is  made  up of various facets,  and the basic fundamentals that

      we highlight on this site are all  inter-related. It is impossible to reject any

      of these truths  without  undermining  the whole. It is  similar to a building

      where  one  or  more  of  the  foundations  may be missing, or  otherwise  is

      shown  to be inadequate.   The integrity of  the  whole structure  is compro-

      mised.    In  our  examination  of  various  false  ideas  on  the  Sacrifice  of

      Christ  this  will  be  found to be the case.   Should  we find that  the word of

      God teaches  something opposed to what may have been  previously learnt

      by  tradition,  let  us  accept  the words of the prophet-   "To the law  and to

      the testimony:  if they speak  not according to this word, it is because there

      is no light in them"- Isaiah 8v20.  The Apostle Paul  wrote- "the holy scrip-

      tures..ARE ABLE to make us  WISE  UNTO  SALVATION  through  faith

      which is  in  Christ  Jesus"-  2nd Timothy 3v15.  Concerning  the totality of

      basic doctrines, look under 'Index' or follow this link to 'statement'.


      It is our intention  to examine in more detail  some of the false ideas extant

      concerning  the Sacrifice of Christ.  As an  introduction to this examination

      we  look briefly here  at what effect  the  false  idea  of  "the  trinity" would

      have upon  the  truth  of that sacrifice.   It  will  also be useful to look under

      'Index' or  follow  these links to  'God''spirit' Let us  ask  the question,

      should we believe  in  a non-existent  Jesus,   a  person self-evidently NOT a

      representative  man,  but  a  superior  being,     can this  possibly be  accepta-

      ble?  Indeed, how  could  such  an  imaginary being fit the description of Je-

      sus  in Hebrews 4v15-"in  all  points  tempted  like  as  we are,      yet without

      sin"?    And  when  we  realise  that  this  horrible  caricature  of  the  Divine

      plan of salvation has its origin in paganism,  surely  the  sooner  we consign

      it to  the  dustbin of history,  the  sooner  we  individually  can  have hope of

      the  sanctification  for  which  Jesus  prayed -  "Sanctify  them  through  thy

      truth:  thy  word  is  truth"- John 17v17.  Part  of  that truth  is contained in

      v3-  "And this is life eternal,  that they might know thee  the only true God,

      and  Jesus  Christ,  whom  thou  hast  sent"  i.e. "sent  from God",  as  was

      John   the   Baptist,  John  1v6,    or  Isaiah   the   prophet,    Isaiah   6v5-10.

      See  also  the  words  of  Paul  re    "another Jesus",    2nd Corinthians 11v1-4.

      Below,  we  shall  examine  other      false teachings re  the Sacrifice of Christ,

      which also totally negate & destroy the truth of this vital subject.



      The hallmark of  all  heretical  teachings  is  that  in some way they

      present  the  Lord's  sacrificial  death  as  substitutionary,  and not

      representative.  The truth  is  that Jesus needed saving from the re-

      sults of sin at the beginning,  because  He  was  born  of a woman.

      His  sin-cursed nature,      equally with  the nature of those whom He

      came to save, needed  to  be  condemned by a sinless sacrifice.      It

      is however  equally important  to realise  that  no-one is accounted

      as  "guilty"  in  a moral or legal sense  because of  the sin in Eden-

      (the  "church"  teaching of 'original sin').  Contrast  Ezekiel 18v20.

      These  two  extremes  are  alike  error.  They illustrate the principle

      outlined  in our  'Appeal' letter–link  to  'appeal' or go via 'Index'.

      Because He was the Son of God,  Jesus  committed no sin, some-

      thing  which  no-one  born  of  two  human  parents could achieve. 

      God  therefore  raised  Him from the dead and He now is an imm-

      ortal man, and  a mediator through whom  we can  approach God.

             Romans 8v3; 2nd Corinthians 5v21; Colossians 2v15mg;

                                Hebrews 2v14, 7v27, 9v11, 12, 22-28, 13v20;

             1st Peter 2v24; Acts 2v22-36; Romans 3v19-28, 5v6-21;

            1st Corinthians 15v20-28; Hebrews 4v15; 1st Timothy 2v5.


      We shall now examine in more detail some erroneous teachings.

      These are additional to the "trinitarian" heresy above.


   1. 'The Sacrifice of  Christ  was a ransom, whereby the innocent was

       punished, allowing the guilty to go free'. THIS IS ERROR.

       The only way this could      be true  would  be  if  Jesus  remained  in

       the grave,  so that  others could live.        We know that is not true, &

       not what has happened!  Every one's justice  would baulk  at such

       an unrighteous idea-  and  Divine  justice  condemns  it.  The orig-

       inal words translated  "ransom"  carry  the  meanings  of       'a cover-

       ing',  'a  redemption  price',  and  'to loosen, or destroy'.  It  is not

       difficult to see how Jesus Christ as  "the  lamb  of  God" has pro-

       vided that covering for sin;  He  has  figuratively paid  the price of

       redemption  for  His  people, including  Himself    (but in reality we

       are "justified freely"),       and  He  has  loosed  the  bonds of sin and

       death. One writer (Robert Roberts) has summed it up thus-

       "(Christ's sacrifice) was righteously so done  because of  his phy-

       sical  participation  in  the results of Edenic transgression. His res-

       urrection  was  in  righteousness  also;  for  "he did no sin, neither

       was  guile  found  in his mouth". Forgiveness  on  this  basis is by

       grace (favour) and not of debt;       for the death of Christ  is  not      the

       payment of our debt  but  the declaration of  God's righteousness,

       on  our  recognition  and  submission  to  which,  He is pleased to

       pass by our sins of His own kindness and forbearance."

       It is vital that all legalistic/mechanical reasoning be discarded-

       only then is it possible to  fully comprehend   salvation in Christ.


   2. 'The  Sacrifice  of  Christ  was  of  benefit  for  Himself,  but  only

       because it involved His final act of obedience.     It  did  not involve

       a personal  need  for  purification  from    "sinful flesh"  by sacrifice

       & resurrection'. THIS IS ERROR.


       Books which promulgate this error include:

       'Echoes of  Past Controversies', 'Saved by His Life', 'Bible Basics',

       'The Real Devil', 'Understanding The Atonement',

       'The Relationship of Christ to His Death on the Cross'.

       'The Atonement - The Divine Balance'.

       'The Lampstand' magazine also promotes it, and tries to re-write

       Christadelphian history to suit its own nefarious ends.

       Judging by its web-site 'The Christadelphian' magazine has now

       also fallen from the sound teaching of its first editor Robert Roberts.

       The above publications circulate amongst 'Central Christadelphians'.

       Reflecting the prevailing belief of the large majority,'wikipedia' also

       now sets out the same heresy as the belief of "Christadelphians".

       Sound Christadelphians refer to this ghastly error as "clean flesh".


       Teachers of this heresy use the unscriptural terms (re human nature)

       "sin-prone" and "prone to sin" and "with its inclination to sin"  and

       "with the potential to sin" etc. instead of "sinful" (Romans 8v3).

       Contrast Romans 7v18 - "in my flesh dwelleth no good thing" -

       link to 'the Yahweh-Nissi altar' for a graphic illustration.

       In this way they deny the inherent sinfulness of human nature* - and

       therefore they also deny the essential truth of the Sacrifice of Christ

       - link to 'index' - 'committees' - 'love' - 'resolution'.

       (*a really horrible and disgraceful example of where this leads has

         recently come to our notice - thoughts are attributed to the Lord

         which would effectively make Him a sinner – details on request)      


       Again,  this  error     denies  the   truly  representative  nature  of  His

       sacrifice.  It  thus  does  away  with the fact that   "God..condemn-

       ed  sin  in  the  flesh"  and  "Jesus..through death..destroy(ed)..the

       devil".      What  was  the "sin"  and  "devil"  "condemned" and  "des-

       troyed"? The  proponents  of  this  heresy can   logically only  de-

       fine these terms  as  simply  active sin, or "the works of the devil".

       It is true that Jesus was provided as a Saviour,  but in the process

       He partook of    the same sin-cursed mortal nature as ourselves.

       Although He was sinless,  He  needed  salvation  as  we do from

       this condition. We thank God that"by his own blood he(Jesus)en-

       tered in once into the holy place,having obtained eternal redem-

       ption" (the  words  "for  us",  in  italics, should not appear,for the

       original  signifies something  which  one  does  for  oneself-"for

       us"  is  omitted  in  the  Revised version  etc) - Hebrews 9v12.

                                    As it has been aptly stated-

            "For  himself  that  it  might  be  for  us" (Robert Roberts, 'The

       Law of Moses'). Robert  Roberts  also  wrote -    "What  was  acc-

       omplished   was    ACCOMPLISHED    IN   HIM   ALONE. We

       come  onto  the  foundation  HE  LAID . It  does  not appear how

       the  Sacrifice  of   Christ   COULD   BE  SCRIPTURALLY  UN-

       DERSTOOD  without  this  being perceived.  Away from this, the

       heathen  notion  of  substitution is  THE ONLY IDEA THAT RE-

       MAINS"- 'The Christadelphian', April 1888, inside front cover.

       "It was A NECESSITY that he should offer up himself,FOR THE

       PURGING OF HIS OWN NATURE, first,    from the uncleanness

       of death, that  having  by  his  own blood OBTAINED ETERNAL

       REDEMPTION (Heb. ix. 12),   he might be able AFTERWARDS

       to save to the uttermost, them that come unto God by him -

       (Heb. vii. 25)" - 'The Christadelphian', October 1873, page 468.

       "Truly it was "for us"...but unfortunately perverted are  those who

       suppose that because God manifest in the flesh went through all
       these things "for us", therefore he was not  himself included in the
       entire operation...He offered for reason of his partici-

       pation in Adamic mortality" -

                                'The Christadelphian', December 1873, page 555.          

                         Another writer, W.F. Barling, has written the following-                           

       "It follows that Christ's death possessed an efficacy   for him-

       self also.  This  the  Apostle  established  by an interpretation

       of the Tabernacle ritual.  Atonement  had  to be made for the

       alter, "to cleanse it and hallow it from the uncleanness of the

       children of Israel"  Lev. 16:18-19.  Atonement  had  similarly

       to be made for the other vessels of the Tabernacle,  and even

       for  the  Tabernacle itself (verse 16),  because  it  was  in  the

       midst  of uncleanness (Heb. 9:21).    Thus where moral sin did

       not  exist,   uncleanness   necessitated  atonement   still.   But

       "without the shedding of blood"       such "remission" or "purg-

       ing"  was  not  possible (verse 22).  The Apostle tells us what

       this signified.  "It was  therefore  necessary that the patterns

       of things in the heavens   should be purified with these  (blood,

       water, hyssop, etc., verse 19);     but the heavenly things them-

       selves with better sacrifices than these" (verse 23).


       Let the parallelism be noted.

       (a) The  patterns  of things in the heavens were purified, with

             animal blood.


       (b) The  heavenly  things themselves had like wise to be puri-

             fied, but with better sacrifices.


       Such purification was not in either case a purification of mo-

       ral  sin, but  of  the  uncleanness  resulting from contact with

       sin. In the case of "the heavenly things themselves"  (i.e., the

       person of Jesus),  such  uncleanness  was  removed when  he

       "put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (verse 26). "By his

       own blood he entered in once into the holy place" (verse 12),

       that is, "into heaven itself" (verse 24).    Without  such  atone-

       ment,   his   physical  entry  into  God's  presence      (thanks to

       which alone "we have access unto the Father" — Eph. 2:18)

       would have been impossible"-

       'The Christadelphian', 1946.

       Later re-printed as 'Redemption in Christ Jesus'.


       Amongst other relevant quotations please note the following:        

         "The word sin is used in two principal acceptations in the scripture...It

         is that in the flesh "which has the power of death";  and it is called sin,

         because the development,  or fixation,  of this evil in the flesh,  was the

         result of transgression. Inasmuch as this evil principle  pervades every

         part of  the flesh,  the animal nature is called  "sinful flesh"..Sin, I say,

         is a synonym for human nature.  Hence,  the flesh is invariably regard-

         ed as unclean..Sin  could  not have been condemned in  the     body of Je-

         sus, if it  had not existed there..Sinful flesh being the hereditary nature

         of the Lord Jesus, he  was  a  fit and proper sacrifice for sin..The great

         principle to be compassed was        THE CONDEMNATION  OF  SIN IN


         - John Thomas, 'Elpis Israel'.


                "It  pleased  God  to  require  the ceremonial condemnation of this sin-

         nature in the person of  a righteous possessor  of it,   as the basis of our


         - Robert Roberts, 'The Blood of Christ'.

         "Heb. therefore a declaration that it was necessary that Christ

         should  first  of  all  be purified with better sacrifices than the Mosaic..

         There must,  therefore,  be a sense in which Christ..must not only have

         been  sanctified  by  the  action  of the antitypical oil of the Holy Spirit-

         but  purged        by  the  antitypical  blood  of  his  own  sacrifice..HE WAS



         DEATH TAINT".

         -Robert Roberts, 'The Law of Moses'.

         During a debate,  Robert  Roberts  was asked  the following questions,

         to which we add the answers which he gave.

         Q "Is it  not clear that Christ, as a necessity,  must offer up himself for

         the purging of his own sin nature?".

         A  "As a son of Adam, a son of Abraham, a son of David, yes".

       Q "First from  the uncleanness of death,      that having by his own blood

         obtained eternal life himself, he might be able to save others?".

         A "Certainly".

         Q "And  he  as  the  first  one  had  to undergo purification through his

         shed blood and resurrection?".

         A "Certainly, I have never called that in question in the least".

         - 'Resurrectional Responsibility Debate', Questions 711, 712, 719.       

              next page   return to home page-index    

                 go to promises   go to departure  

                           go to 2nd Timothy 2

                     go to the-angels-that-sinned

                         go to messages - page 3