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According to the Order of Nature


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He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

—2 Corinthians 5:21

On the cross, Christ said, “It is finished”; but the cross is not where he began to bear our sin.

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He did not first take sin upon Him, or was first made sin, upon the cross. He was not first a man, and at a subsequent period the sin-bearer or the curse-bearer. What has been truly and correctly said as to the assumption of humanity may be equally applied to this. He was not first a man, and then incarnate, or assumed into the personality of the Son; for the humanity never existed but in that personal union. In like manner we may say that the humanity never was without this imputation of sin; for that assumption of sin by which He became the sin-bearer, was in, with, by, and under the assumption of our nature, though the sin is separable and distinguishable from the humanity. Nay, we should rather say that, according to the order of nature, the sin was imputed and assumed simultaneously with His mission, and therefore, in a certain sense, prior to the actual incarnation; though it became His, in point of fact, only with the possession of a common nature. They who limit the sin-bearing to the three hours on the cross—a too widely diffused notion—have far diverged from biblical language and ideas.

—George Smeaton, Christ’s Doctrine of the Atonement (Banner of Truth, 2009), 122–123.



Posted 2018·05·10 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Atonement · Christ’s Doctrine of the Atonement · George Smeaton · Imputation · Substitution

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