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HOW CAN ONE MAN PAY FOR THE SINS OF ANOTHER? ^ | July 10, 2011 | Samuel Green

Posted on 07/14/2011 5:36:29 PM PDT by wmfights

Christians teach that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and that his perfect sinless sacrifice is the only way to receive eternal forgiveness and life. Muslim leaders reject this idea. They say that even if Jesus did die on the cross it is not possible for him to bear our sin because the Qur'an says,

Every soul earns only to its own account; no soul laden bears the load of another. (Qur'an, 6:164, 17:15, 29:7, 53:38, Arberry) From verses like these Muslim leaders conclude that it is not possible for Jesus to bear our sin, instead each person can only bear their own load before God. They also point to verses in the Bible which teach a similar idea.

Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin. (Deuteronomy 24:16, NIV)

The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him. (Ezekiel 18:20, NIV)

Therefore, are Christians wrong to say that Jesus died for our sins?

I will answer this question in three stages:

What the Qur'an and Hadith actually say. Jesus Our Representative Jesus Our Substitute What the Qur'an and Hadith actually say.

It seems that Islamic leaders only show some of what the Qur'an and Hadith actually say about this subject. You may be surprised to learn that the Qur'an actually has verses which say that one person can bear the load of another.

That they may bear their loads complete on the Day of Resurrection, and some of the loads of those that they lead astray without any knowledge. O evil the load they bear! (Qur'an 16:25, Arberry)

They shall certainly carry their loads, and other loads along with their loads, and upon the Day of Resurrection they shall surely be questioned concerning that they were forging. (Qur'an 29:13, Arberry)

Both of these verses refer to bearing the sins of others that you have lead astray. This is not exactly what Christians are saying about Jesus, but it does show that the Qur'an does have some concept of bearing the sins of others.

In the Hadith we also see that a person can bear someone else's load.

Narrated Ibn Abbas: A man came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle! My mother died and she ought to have fasted one month (for her missed Ramadan). Shall I fast on her behalf?" The Prophet replied in the affirmative and said, "Allah's debts have more right to be paid. ... " (Sahih al-Bukhuri: vol. 3, bk. 31, no. 174, Khan)

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: A woman from the tribe of Juhaina came to the Prophet and said, "My mother had vowed to perform Hajj but she died before performing it. May I perform Hajj on my mother's behalf?" The Prophet replied, "Perform Hajj on her behalf. Had there been a debt on your mother, would you have paid it or not? So, pay Allah's debt as He has more right to be paid." (Sahih al-Bukhari: vol. 3, bk. 29, no. 77, Khan)

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The mother of Sad bin 'Ubada died in his absence. He said, "O Allah's Apostle! My mother died in my absence; will it be of any benefit for her if I give Sadaqa on her behalf?" The Prophet said, "Yes." Sad said, "I make you a witness that I gave my garden called Al Makhraf in charity on her behalf." (Sahih al-Bukhari: vol. 4, bk. 51, no. 19, Khan)

Here we see that a person can do a good deed and that this good deed is credited to another person's account before God. This teaching is actually quite similar to the Christian belief that Jesus' righteous life is credited to us.

Therefore, when we consider all of what the Qur'an and Hadith say we see that bearing the load of another is a part of their teaching. We should not exaggerate this and say it is exactly the same as in Christianity, but neither should we ignore the similarities. What is clear is that Islam does have a concept of bearing the load of others and to simply say, "each only bears his own load", is not the whole picture.

Jesus Our Representative

What Christians believe about Jesus comes from Law of Moses, the books of the Prophets, the Psalms and the Gospel.

The Bible Law of Moses (Torah) The Prophets (an-anbeea') The Psalms (Zabur) The Gospel (Injeel)

We will now consider some of what these books teach about how a person can bear the load of others.

Firstly, God deals with humanity in many ways. In the prophets we read that he deals with us as individuals, as families, as tribes, as nations and as an entire race. God relates to us in all these ways, not just one way.

So, how can one man bear the sins of others?

The answer is simple. Not all men are the same. God has willed that certain men represent others. Consider the former Prime Minister of Australia, Mr. Kevin Rudd. In 2008 he apologised to the indigenous people of Australia for how they had been treated. Many individual Australians had already said sorry but they could only say it for themselves. The Prime Minister, however, has a unique role and was able to apologise for 20 million Australians at once. No other Australian could do this but the Prime Minister could. The first man, Adam, had a unique representative role like this.

In the Law of Moses (Torah) we read about Adam.

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. ... The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:8-17, NIV)

God commanded Adam not to eat from a certain tree, but Adam disobeyed God and ate, and he was punished by being cast out of the garden to die.

So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. (Genesis 3:23, NIV) This punishment on Adam did not effect him alone. All of humanity is now out of the garden even though it was Adam who disobeyed. God's punishment on Adam affects us all because Adam is our representative and we are joined to him. What he did affected us individually. In the same way, but for the better, Jesus is our representative. Jesus' death can bear our sin and take our punishment because he represents those joined to him.

In the Gospel Jesus is born from Mary when she is a virgin. Jesus is connected to our humanity through Mary, yet is like Adam in that he had no human father. Jesus is the new Adam.

Adam ... was a pattern of the one to come (Jesus). (Romans 5:14, NIV)

(T)he result of one trespass (of Adam) was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man (Jesus) the many will be made righteous. (Roman 5:18-19, NIV)

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. (Roman 6:5, NIV)

So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam (Jesus), a life-giving spirit. (1 Corinthians 15:45, NIV)

This is how Jesus can pay for the sins of others. When Adam sinned the consequences came upon us all. He was our representative. Jesus is the new representative for God's people. If we are united to him then his death is our death. He can take the punishment that we deserve and pay for it on the cross.

We have already seen that there are verses in the Qur'an and Hadith which show that one person can bear the load of another, but does the Qur'an support the idea of representation? The answer is yes. Here are two examples of how Adam is our representative.

First, when the Qur'an wants to holds Jews to account it refers to the covenant of the Law of Moses and applies this covenant to them. When it wants to hold Christians to account it refers to the covenant of the Gospel and it applies this covenant to them. When the Qur'an wants to hold Muslims to account it refers to the covenant of the Qur'an and it applies this to Muslims. This is the main theme of Sura 5 (Al-Maa'idah). But when the Qur'an wants to hold everyone to account it uses the example and covenant of Adam and applies this to everyone. This is particularly seen in Sura 7:11-58 and 7:172-206. In the Qur'an Adam represents our common humanity and his failings represent the failings that are common to all of humanity.

Secondly, in the Qur'an we see that when Adam sins in the garden the punishment on him comes to us and that we are banished from the garden because of him.

And We said: O Adam! Dwell, you and your wife in the Garden, and eat freely (of the fruits) thereof where you will; but come not near this tree lest you become wrong-doers (Zalimun). (Qur'an, 2:35)

... (Allah said) And their Lord called them, (saying): Did I not forbid you from that tree and tell you: Lo! Satan is an open enemy to you? ... (Qur'an 7:22, Pickthall)

And verily We made a covenant of old with Adam, but he forgot, and We found no constancy in him. (Qur'an 20:115, Pitckthall)

He (God) said: Go down (from here), one of you a foe unto the other. There will be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a while. He said: There shall you live, and there shall you die, and thence shall you be brought forth. (Qur'an, 7:24-25, Pickthall)

This account demonstrates, like the Law of Moses, that what Adam did affected us; it is part of our history. It demonstrates that Adam was our representative.

Two Objections

Some Muslims have told me that Adam did not sin; he just innocently forgot, but this is not what the Qur'an says. The word in Arabic to describe Adam is Zalimun (2:35) which is the common Qur'anic word for sinner or wrong doer. This word is used 16 verses later to describe the idolatry of the Israelites as they worshipped the golden calf.

And when We appointed with Moses forty nights then you took to yourselves the Calf after him and you were evildoers (Zalimun) (Qur'an 2:51, Arberry) The Arabic is very clear, Adam disobeyed God and committed a serious sin, and the consequences of this sin came upon us.

Another common Islamic objection is to say that it was Adam's fate for him to sin, and so it was always God's will for us to be banished from the garden. Therefore we do not suffer the consequences of Adam's sin, instead it was always God's will to banish us from the garden. The problem with this objection is that it is a denial of what the Qur'an and all the prophets teach. The Qur'an always maintains that we are fully responsible for what we do and that God is in control of all things. The following verses shows that human responsibility and divine sovereignty go together and must not be separated.

And who does greater wrong than he who has been reminded of the revelations of his Lord, yet turns away from them and forgets what his hands send forward (to the Judgment)? Lo! on their hearts We have placed coverings so that they understand not, and in their ears a deafness. And though thou call them to the guidance, in that case they can never be led aright. (Qur'an 18:58, Pitckthall)

(on judgement day) Lest any soul should say: Alas, my grief that I was unmindful of Allah, and I was indeed among the scoffers! Or should say: If Allah had but guided me I should have been among the dutiful! (Qur'an 39:56-57, Pickthall)

These verses holds human responsibility and God's sovereignty together; you cannot separate them. We can never say, "I am not responsible for what I do because it was God's plan". Therefore, Adam is responsible for what he did and the consequences of what he did have come to us because we are united to him.

To conclude, it has been shown that God deals with us not only as individuals but also through our representatives. Adam was such a representative; what he did he did for us. Jesus is the new Adam; what he did he did for us. He represented us on the cross and took the punishment we deserve.

Jesus Our Substitute

Offering a sacrifice to God is a major theme in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms and the Gospel. The most important sacrifice is where the sacrifice is a substitute for someone else. We see this with Abraham.


God commanded Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice. Abraham obeyed God, and just as he was about to sacrifice his son God sent his angel who provided Abraham with a substitute.

(The angel said) "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. (Genesis 22:12-13, NIV) Abraham's son was saved from God's command of death by a substitute sacrifice.

The Passover

In the Law of Moses (Torah) we read how the Israelites were delivered from Egypt and Pharaoh. God sent nine plagues on Egypt but they refused to let the Israelites go. The tenth plague was the death of the firstborn son. God was going to send his destroying angel to kill the firstborn son of every family in Egypt. The Israelites were saved from this destroying angel only if they sacrificed a lamb and painted its blood on the doorposts of their homes. The death of this lamb would be a substitute for the death of the firstborn son.

The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I (God) see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. (Exodus 12:13, NIV)

Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. (Exodus 12:21-23, NIV)

The firstborn sons of Israel were saved from the wrath of God by the substitute sacrifice of the Passover lamb. The Israelites were instructed by God to remember this event by celebrating the Passover meal once a year.

The Day of Atonement

In the Law of Moses (Torah) we read that after God delivered Israel from Egypt he commanded them to make a special tent (the tabernacle). This tent was where God spoke to Moses and where the Israelites brought their sacrifices to God. However, the sin of the Israelites defiled this tent and its furniture and made it unclean. In fact the sin of Israel made their whole nation unclean. God provided another sacrifice for the Israelites to take away their sin and uncleanness. It was the Day of Atonement.

Two goats were the main sacrifices on the Day of Atonement. These sacrifices were substitutes for the sin of Israel. Here is what Aaron was instructed to do with the goats.

Then he (Aaron) is to take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. He is to cast lots for the two goats - one lot for the LORD and the other for the scapegoat. Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the LORD and sacrifice it for a sin offering. But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the LORD to be used for making atonement by sending it into the desert as a scapegoat. (Leviticus 16:7-10, NIV)

He (Aaron) shall then slaughter the goat for the sin offering for the people and take its blood behind the curtain and do with it as he did with the bull's blood: He shall sprinkle it on the atonement cover and in front of it. (Leviticus 16:15, NIV)

When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites - all their sins - and put them on the goat's head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert. (Leviticus 16:20-22, NIV)

Both of these goats were substitutes for sin. The first goat was killed as a sin offering. The second goat figuratively carried the sins far away. The Law of Moses demonstrates clearly that God accepts a substitute as a sacrifice for sin.

The Servant of the LORD

Hundreds of years after Moses, and hundreds of years before Jesus, God spoke to the prophet Isaiah. He said that he would provide a new sacrifice like he provided for Abraham. This sacrifice would turn away God's wrath like the Passover sacrifice. This sacrifice would remove sin like the the Day of Atonement. This new sacrifice would be a man, true servant of the LORD. This servant would be an individual person who would come and gather God's chosen people from the nation of Israel, and even more, he would bring God's salvation to all the nations of the world.

(God) says: "It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the nations, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth." (Isaiah 49:6, NIV) Please read this next prophecy very carefully. It was given to the prophet Isaiah hundreds of years before Jesus.

See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him - his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness, so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 52:12-53:12, NIV) Here we see that the servant of the LORD will offer himself as a sacrifice for sin; for our sin. What an amazing prophecy hundreds of years before Jesus.

John the Baptist

Hundreds of years after the prophet Isaiah, God sent the prophet John the Baptist. John lived at the time of Jesus and he spoke about Jesus.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29-31, NIV) The prophet John calls Jesus the, "lamb of God". When John says this he is referring to all the sacrifices that we have read about in the prophets.


In the Gospel Jesus often speaks about his death.

From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. (Matthew 16:21, NIV)

(Jesus said) ... "(T)he Son of Man (Jesus) did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:28, NIV)

When Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples he taught them that he was the new Passover lamb.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?" He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, `The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'" So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. ... While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body." Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 26:17-28, NIV) This is how Jesus understood himself. He said he was the fulfilment of the previous sacrifices. He was the servant of the LORD who gave his life as a sacrifice for the sins of others. This is how Jesus can pay for our sins. He is our substitute.

The disciples of Jesus taught the same message.

Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. (1 Peter 3:18, NIV)

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2, NIV)

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21, NIV)

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father - to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. (Revelation 1:5-6, NIV)

An Objection Muslims have told me that God does not need any sacrifice to pay for our sins because he can simply forgive. They say he is the God who forgives and nothing more is required than for him just to forgive. However, this is not what the Qur'an says. It says that God's forgiveness is based on him showing favouritism to Muslims on judgement day.

The Qur'an teaches that on judgement day our good and bad deeds will be weighed in the balance.

Then those whose scales are heavy, they are the successful. And those whose scales are light are those who lose their souls, in hell abiding. (Qur'an 23:102-103, Pickthall) The Muslim will be forgiven on judgement day because God will overlook their bad deeds and will multiple their good deeds by ten, thus in the scales they will have more good deeds.

(W)hoso bringeth a good deed will receive tenfold the like thereof, while whoso bringeth an ill-deed will be awarded but the like thereof; and they will not be wronged. (Qur'an 6:160/161, Pickthall)

Whoso bringeth a good deed will have better than its worth; and such are safe from fear that Day. (Qur'an 27:89, Pickthall)

Whoso bringeth a good deed, he will have better than the same; while as for him who bringeth an ill-deed, those who do ill-deeds will be requited only what they did. (Qur'an 28:84, Pickthall)

And as for those who believe and do good works, We shall remit from them their evil deeds and shall repay them the best that they did. (Qur'an 29:7, Pickthall)

Those are they from whom We accept the best of what they do, and overlook their evil deeds. (They are) among the owners of the Garden. This is the true promise which they were promised (in the world). (Qur'an 46:16, Pickthall)

... And whoso scoreth a good deed We add unto its good for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Responsive. (Qur'an 42:23, Pickthall)

Therefore, the Qur'an does not teach that God simply forgives our sins. Instead it says that he will show favouritism to the Muslims in judgement. He will multiple their good deeds by ten and ignore their bad deeds; he will have mercy without justice. This view of God is not taught in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms or the Gospel. They all teach that God has mercy with justice and that he will never corrupt his justice. This is why God has provided a sacrifice for us. The sacrifice pays for our sins. The sacrifice is a just payment. On judgement day, Christians are saved, not by God ignoring their sin or multiplying the good by ten, instead they are saved because God himself has paid for their bad deeds. This is just and the testimony of the Law of Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms and the Gospel.

God presented him (Jesus) as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished - he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:25-26, NIV) Forgiveness in Christianity is just and based on the perfect justice of God.

Conclusion We started this article by asking, "How can one man pay for the sins of another?" The Law of Moses, the Prophets, the Psalms and the Gospel answer this for us. They teach that Jesus is our representative like Adam. What Jesus did he did for us. His death was for us. He is the sinless one who took the punishment we deserve.

Secondly, Jesus is our sacrifice. God gave many sacrifices to save and forgive his people, but then he promised that his servant would come and be a sacrifice for sin and bring the true salvation. Jesus came and was the fulfilment of all that God had promised. This is how one man can pay for the sins of another.

Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? (Isaiah 53:1, NIV)



Arthur J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1955.

The Holy Bible - New International Version (NIV), London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1997

Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall, The Meaning of the Holy Qur'an, Delhi: Crescent Publishing House, 1985.

TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: animalsacrifice; islam; sacrfice
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To: editor-surveyor
Making the thread "about" an individual Freeper is also a form of "making it personal."

Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal,

81 posted on 07/17/2011 12:10:31 PM PDT by Religion Moderator
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To: RoadGumby


82 posted on 07/17/2011 12:59:27 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support
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To: Gamecock
Thank you.

There are many professing Christians who deny original sin.

That occurred to me as well.

Yet they are willing to accept the righteousness of one man. Or perhaps they really don’t get the imputation of Christ’s righteousness.

I think it's a source of the error in islam where they believe that the works of a person are what saves them.

83 posted on 07/17/2011 1:27:10 PM PDT by wmfights (If you want change support
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To: editor-surveyor; pgyanke

On the Cross, for whom did Christ pray?

Answer: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.”

As St, Stephen is being stoned, what does he say?

I don’t have the exact words but he prayed that their sin of killing him would be forgiven.

Just a couple of examples from the Bible for you.

Many martyrs pray for their persecutor’s forgiveness as they are being executed.

84 posted on 07/17/2011 1:50:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I do not deny any of that, but it is still not payment for another’s sin when a sinner prays for his fellow man. Its forgiveness of the highest order though.

85 posted on 07/17/2011 5:34:26 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Going 'EGYPT' - 2012!)
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To: pgyanke
What is a martyr?

A believer remaining in in fellowship with God through faith in Christ, regardless the situation, technically a 'witness' of His faith. Technically and simply a witness for Christ.

The word martyr, while a witness of faith in Christ, is frequently perceived from a soulish perspective as a believer who is subjected to torture and murder, though persevering in the faith. This is the perception of those who are not perceiving the human spirit or spiritual things, but instead only perceives mental and physical forces upon the 'martyr'.

86 posted on 07/17/2011 5:43:39 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: editor-surveyor; Cvengr; Salvation
A martyr is a witness of Christ. A person who, though he has never seen nor heard the Divine Founder of the Church, is yet so firmly convinced of the truths of the Christian religion, that he gladly suffers death rather than deny it. Definitionally, a martyr is a witness. In application, it has come to be synonymous with those who witness unto death. The term has also been applied to those who have given up the living of their lives (suffering, imprisonment, grave hardship) for the cause of Christianity.

For whom does a martyr sacrifice? Clearly, the martyr sacrifices for his faith in Jesus... but it is more than that. Faith in Jesus isn't simply trusting Who He Is... it is trusting in His Mission here on Earth. Jesus came to call all men to Himself. He opened the Gates of Heaven and sent us out to preach, teach and to Baptize in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In the martyr's witness is the reconciliation of sinners. As Salvation already pointed out to you, the martyr's prayer is for the salvation of his oppressors. What would it profit a martyr to desire the punishment of his punishers? Clearly, you can see the power of the martyr in this simple question. In living the second greatest commandment, the martyr doesn't desire that his oppressor lose Heaven but rather that his sacrifice might gain their salvation.

Earlier, editor-surveyor said that "Only a sinless man could pay for another’s sin. - That is the premise of the entire Bible." Is it? I read somewhere that we are the Body of Christ (1 Cor 12:12-14) and where He led is where we must also go. We are to take up our own crosses and follow Him (Matt 16:24). The resounding message of the Bible is that salvation is ongoing through the sacrifices of Christ's Body in the world... the Church. Christ is the Lamb of God offered as the Sacrifice of the New Covenant through which we have been reborn to God's Holy Family. There is no further sacrifice to reforge this bond. However, history shows that sacrifices continue in the sufferings of the martyrs... that is because, as the Body of Christ, the Church continues His Work in the salvation of souls! We participate in these sacrifices with our time, talent and treasures. In these sacrifices, we are participating in the life of the Church and furthering Her Mission. We give of our talents and treasure in what we can do and what we have. We give of our time in spending it with others, in study and in prayer.

What converted the Roman Empire? The blood of the martyrs. Throughout history, this is how those who persecuted the Church have come to join with Her. It is also how many great theologians have been formed (the sacrifices of St Monica for St Augustine). Indeed, from St Augustine's Confessions we read: "In place of a basket filled with fruits of the earth, she had learned to bring to the oratories of the martyrs a heart full of purer petitions, and to give all that she could to the poor - so that the communion of the Lord's body might be rightly celebrated in those places where, after the example of his passion, the martyrs had been sacrificed and crowned." - 6.2.2

In denying our ability to sacrifice for the sins of others, you deny our identity as the Body of Christ.

These thoughts are mine formed through my understanding of the teachings of the Church. I pray that any defects in my explanation or understanding may not lead any other to stumble.

"Let us rejoice then and give thanks that we have become not only Christians, but Christ himself. Do you understand and grasp, brethren, God's grace toward us? Marvel and rejoice: we have become Christ. For if he is the head, we are the members; he and we together are the whole man.... the fullness of Christ then is the head and the members. But what does 'head and members' mean? Christ and the Church."

-- St Augustine

87 posted on 07/18/2011 9:35:41 AM PDT by pgyanke (Republicans get in trouble when not living up to their principles. Democrats... when they do.)
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To: pgyanke

The Blood of Christ is sufficient for my faith, need to add any other’s to it.

88 posted on 07/18/2011 10:34:24 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr
May God bless you.

[Shaking the dust from my feet...]

89 posted on 07/18/2011 10:35:57 AM PDT by pgyanke (Republicans get in trouble when not living up to their principles. Democrats... when they do.)
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To: pgyanke

Thank you for the blessing.

I’ve never observed a situation where unbelievers insisting upon murdering believers manifests more glory for God, but I do testify that those who persevered, even unto death, manifest outstanding witness of their faith to God through Christ.

To me, their witness was their perseverance, remaining faithful in fellowship with God, not their ability to receive punishment, torture and murder.

I suspect too many will in the future encourage the torture and death of Christians based upon the faulty logic that such misery is what being a witness means. Nothing could be further from the truth.

90 posted on 07/18/2011 11:17:28 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr
I’ve never observed a situation where unbelievers insisting upon murdering believers manifests more glory for God, but I do testify that those who persevered, even unto death, manifest outstanding witness of their faith to God through Christ.

This is well stated... but the thought is incomplete. What is missing in the thought is the definition of faith. It is not enough to believe with simple knowledge... true belief is an action word. That belief will motivate the true believer. For example... we all believe that education is important. My children believe it too. This belief is manifest in their studies and decision to apply their schooling. There is no belief where there is no action (St James). Therefore, in the martyrs' faith is their trust in the Mission of Christ... to reconcile all men to God. These men die not just to 'show' their faith... they die to live their faith fully... and living it is carrying on Christ's Great Commission that all men may come to know Him.

I suspect too many will in the future encourage the torture and death of Christians based upon the faulty logic that such misery is what being a witness means.

Where does this come from? The Church does not rejoice that men suffer... She rejoices in God, Her Savior Whose Will is accomplished even through the suffering of His Faithful. No one desires martyrdom... but it would be a great folly for the believer to reject the opportunity.

91 posted on 07/18/2011 11:39:36 AM PDT by pgyanke (Republicans get in trouble when not living up to their principles. Democrats... when they do.)
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To: pgyanke; Cvengr; Salvation

Youe wordy reply twists and turns and runs through rabbit holes to god knows where, and turns God’s perfect word on its head.

Every human but Christ is a sinner, some forgiven, but none the less a sinner, and incapable of paying for their own sin, let alone others’.

92 posted on 07/18/2011 11:48:50 AM PDT by editor-surveyor (Going 'EGYPT' - 2012!)
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To: editor-surveyor

Are you part of the Body of Christ?

93 posted on 07/18/2011 12:37:35 PM PDT by pgyanke (Republicans get in trouble when not living up to their principles. Democrats... when they do.)
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To: pgyanke

I am part of the Bride of Christ.

94 posted on 07/18/2011 3:12:03 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Going 'EGYPT' - 2012!)
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To: editor-surveyor

Is that a yes or no in your view of the Gospel?

95 posted on 07/18/2011 5:54:01 PM PDT by pgyanke (Republicans get in trouble when not living up to their principles. Democrats... when they do.)
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To: pgyanke
Got Bible?

96 posted on 07/18/2011 5:56:46 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Going 'EGYPT' - 2012!)
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