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Did Jesus Take Our Place on the Cross?

We received this note:

I just happened upon your site, & haven’t studied much of it yet, but it didn’t take me long to see that we both have a similar approach to our faith……the common sense, man will mess anything at all up given an opportunity approach! I just wanted to say thank you for your time & efforts, the content is quite extensive. I look forward to reading through it.

Sincerely……….Jeff

Paul’s reply:

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your note of appreciation. The only way we aren’t messing up here is because God is doing the work. It’s His calling and doing, not ours, for which we’re very thankful. We’re just as big screw-ups as anyone else, but His grace has made us what we are in Christ, to live as Him and to do His will. That’s what we’re preaching and teaching others at The Path of Truth.

We’d like to hear more from you. Don’t be put off by doctrine or teachings you don’t agree with, but know that it’s about following the Lord, obeying Him in what is required of us both generally and specifically. Read Obedience. …

Paul Cohen

Jeff’s response:

…the only doctrine I abide by is that I’m separated from God through original sin, but reconciled & adopted through the birth, teachings, death & resurrection of Christ Jesus, who was blameless & sinless, & who took my place on the cross. I don’t believe in denominations, I think they divide the church, however I don’t condemn them either.

Paul’s reply:

Hi Jeff,

Jesus didn’t take your place on the cross. This is a common erroneous teaching, not found in the Bible. Two things render it impossible and a third, totally unsatisfactory.

One, no sinner can atone for his sins by offering himself as sacrifice. The sinner is already dead in his sins and has nothing acceptable to offer God.

Two, aside from atonement, physical execution isn’t a sentence commensurate with our sins. We have all committed many sins worthy of death. A single act of capital punishment doesn’t begin to address the multitude of a sinner’s transgressions.

We see that being hung on a cross doesn’t reconcile you to God or suffice as a penalty for your transgressions. So while Christ died for you, He didn’t die in your place. There’s a world of difference between the two.

Which brings us to point number three, making the notion of Christ taking your place on the cross totally unsatisfactory: The salvation of God isn’t nearly complete if it only addresses past sins. Our salvation is secure only when we’re delivered from a perpetual state of sinning. As it is written:

“He who practices sin is of the Devil, for the Devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might undo the works of the Devil. Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:8-9 MKJV).

How do we come to this state of blessedness? That’s the critical question. Nominal Christianity, as preached in the denominations you don’t condemn, has no answer except to say Christ has taken our place on the cross and we’ll enter Heaven in the by-and-by. True Christianity, on the other hand, preaches repentance from all sin, with us taking our rightful place on the cross, thereby entering eternal life now:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 KJV).

“Jesus said to her, I am the Resurrection and the Life! He who believes in Me, though he die, yet he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 MKJV)

The only way to enter the resurrection life of Jesus Christ is by believing in Him, which is synonymous with taking up the cross. Depending on the teaching that “Christ has taken our place” is the graveyard of many sincere religious professors. Read The Cross – Only the Death Sentence Will Avail.

Finally, Jeff, when you take up the cross, you’ll be of the same mind and spirit as the Lord. Then you will condemn denominations, as does brother Paul:

“For you are yet carnal. For in that there is among you envyings and strife and divisions, are you not carnal, and do you not walk according to men? For while one says, ‘I am of Paul’; and another, ‘I am of Apollos’; are you not carnal?” (1 Corinthians 3:3-4 MKJV)

“But I say this, that every one of you says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and ‘I of Apollos,’ and ‘I of Cephas,’ and ‘I of Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you, or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:12-13 MKJV)

But Paul was speaking to believers with the faith of Christ. What we have today in denominations are primarily tares who have never known the Lord. We’re careful not to come against the bundling of these together, as Jesus said must be: “First gather together the tares, and bind them into bundles to burn them…” (Matthew 13:30 EMTV).

As His servants, we are calling on God’s people to repent of their sins and come out of these condemned places, before it’s too late:

“And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, My people, that you may not be partakers of her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues. For her sins joined together, even up to Heaven, and God has remembered her unjust deeds’” (Revelation 18:4-5 MKJV).

We see the judgment of God on these ungodly works, Jeff, which will continue in force with great momentum until all evil is put away. It is the Day of the Lord.

Paul

– December 3, 2012

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