Sunday, June 28, 2015

For whose sins did Jesus die?


You are cautioned that this post may be termed as “controversial”, “heretical”, “blasphemous” … and so on.

We keep seeing memes that say: “speak the truth even if your voice shakes”, but, unfortunately, many do not do much beyond lip service to the truth. I am sure this post would offend many and portions of it would be quoted out of context to prove that it is a false teaching. It may even be claimed that this post promote sinful living.

It is a harsh fact that most of the Christians do write themselves into the Bible, especially so, while it comes to blessings and positive things. Whenever first person pronouns like: I, me, my, mine, we, our, ours, and us appear in the scriptures, if they point to human beings and have no negative connotations, the tendency is to (mis)appropriate them.

Haven't you seen Christians thumping their chest and screaming “Jesus died for my sins” or “Jesus died for our sins”? Ask them for scriptures and I am sure that they will point to passages like:
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
Gal 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father

Now, the first assumption is that these scriptures are written to us, who live in the 21st century and beyond and have nothing to do with the first century Christians of Judea, Corinth or Galatia.

What were your sins at the time (circa 33 AD) Jesus died for your sins?

This is a question Christian theologians had to answer. So, St. Augustine (a Roman Catholic priest) came up with a solution named original sin. They found passages like Rom 5:12 to be supporting this view. Since Adam sinned all became sinners, no matter whether one has committed sin or not, no matter one is capable of committing sin or not (example: those who are born mentally challenged and stillborn kids). Later on, Calvinists made the Protestant version of the same theory and named it as total depravity.

If the theory is correct, one simple act of Adam (eating a fruit) is of immediate, lasting and far-reaching consequence than the sacrifice of Jesus Christ! You can make a theology out of any scripture that is taken out of its context. For instance, Rom 5:12, when read in context, gives a totally different picture than the one portrayed by the theories of original sin and total depravity. Please read the following passage, focusing on each of the capitalized words:
Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by ONE MAN sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon ALL MEN, for that ALL have sinned:
Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of ONE MANY be dead, MUCH more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by ONE MAN, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto MANY.
Rom 5:16 And not as it was by ONE that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by ONE to condemnation, but the free gift is of MANY offences unto justification.
Rom 5:17 For if by ONE man's offence death reigned by ONE; MUCH more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by ONE, Jesus Christ.
Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of ONE judgment came upon ALL MEN to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of ONE the free gift came upon ALL MEN unto justification of life.
Rom 5:19 For as by ONE MAN’s disobedience MANY were made sinners, so by the obedience of ONE shall MANY be made righteous.
If Adam's offense made MANY as sinners, Jesus's righteousness made AS MANY as righteous. If Adam's disobedience made ALL MEN as sinners, Jesus' obedience made ALL MEN as righteous. Jesus' obedience and righteousness has completely and comprehensively undone the damage caused by Adam's disobedience. There is none excluded from being justified. In the context there is no difference between MANY and ALL.

Jesus' one act of obedience and righteousness has completely and comprehensively undone Adam's one act of disobedience.

In simpler terms: you are not born with original sin. You are not born in total depravity. Adamic sin is not in you. Jesus did not die for the sins you have actually, personally committed. You were born 19, 20 or more centuries after Jesus took away sins.

You were in the loins of Adam while he committed his offense, so, you inherited Adamic sin. While Jesus undid or reversed what Adam did, you ceased to be in the loins anyone with sin in them.

Sins that are not imputed.

We have come across some sins being classified as cardinal sins or deadly sins. How often do we hear about sins that are not imputed to the sinner?

You may have noticed that we have not covered Rom 5:13, 14 in the previous section. Let us see what those scriptures tell us about sin.
Rom 5:13 For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Read the passage a few times, till you grasp the power of it.

  • Sin was in the world, even before the Law came.
  • But, sin is not imputed to (OR put in the account of - Phm 1:18) the sinner when there is no law.
  • This is true, even if the sin was much more grievous than that of Adam.
So, all the sins that were committed from Adam till the time the Law was given is not imputed to the respective sinners. (Please do read the passage in various versions.)

If the sins are not imputed to the sinner, does it not mean that the Law is taken away?

According to Rom 5:13, sins should not be imputed to (put in the account of) the sinner if the Law is not in force. Though preachers who want to control you and fleece your money will say that the Law is still in force, a thorough study of the scriptures with proper application of common sense would prove that the Law is no more in force. For a short discussion on the topic, click here, and for a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation, click here.

You are back to the state in which Adam was before his sinning is proved by the following passage:
2Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
It appears from the scriptures that trespasses are much more grievous than sins. By or through Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, without imputing their trespasses to them. So, our trespasses are not imputed to us. God has done act of reconciling the world to Himself, 2000± years back. So, your trespasses are not reckoned by God.

Just as the sins committed before the Law are not imputed to the respective sinners, the sins committed after God's reconciling the world to Himself is not imputed to the sinners. This implies that the Law is no more in force. It also implies that the sins of those whom the Law was not given also are not imputed to themselves.

Why does scriptures talk about “our sins”?

Thus far we have seen that sins are not imputed:
  • those who existed before the Law was given - from Adam till Moses
  • after God has reconciled the world to himself through Christ - everyone after Christ.
  • everyone to whom the Law is not given.
This leaves behind only one group's sin that is imputed to themselves - those to whom the Law was given, Israelites or the Jews.

Please read the following scripture, carefully:
1Jn 2:2 And He [Christ] is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
The author clearly differentiates between “our sins” and that of the rest of the world. Most of the readers write themselves into the Bible and conclude that they are part of the group mentioned as “our”.

Let us not forget that the authors of the New Testament were first century Jews. Let me suggest to you that while the authors of the New Testament used the term “our sins”, they meant the sins of their own people, Jews.

He shall save His people from their sins (Mat 1:21)

Ask a typical Christian who “His people” are, and it is more than likely their answer would be: Christians or those who accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. If you ask them who are “His own” in John 1:11, they will say it is the Jews. Double standards, Eh?
Joh 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
If His own people are the Jews, His people are also Jews, there are no two ways about it.

For whom was Jesus sent?

In Jesus's own words: "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Mat 15:24)

You may say that you are spiritual Israel of God, but you do not qualify as the house of Israel, as we have discussed elsewhere.

For whose transgression did Jesus die?

Read this scripture, carefully:
Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Read again and again, till you have grasped the power of the scripture: the death of Jesus was for the redemption of transgressions under the Old Covenant. Let me show you the same passage from a few more versions:
[ASV] Heb 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

[Darby] Heb 9:15 And for this reason he is mediator of a new covenant, so that, death having taken place for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, the called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Another passage:

Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the lawthat we might receive the adoption of sons...
There are two different groups of people mentioned here:
  • Those who are to be redeemed (those who were under the law)
  • Those who have to receive adoption as sons.
The adoption as sons of the second group is consequent to the redemption of those who were under the Law or the Old Covenant. The fact that we have received the adoption, which entitles us to call God as Abba, Father (Gal 4:6), is the proof that they have obtained redemption.

Some may object that the entire Israel has not obtained redemption, based on their understanding of Rom 11:26. Since it is beyond the scope of this post, I restrain myself by quoting Paul: "For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel" (Rom 9:6). If it be the will of God, we will write study that topic at a later date.


  • Though not highlighted by theologians and preachers, Jesus' death was for the sins under the Old Covenant.
  • By the death of Jesus, He redeemed those who were under law and undid the damage caused by Adam.
  • With Jesus' death you ceased to be under Adamic sin, or original sin.
  • Your sins are not imputed to you anymore.
Finally, my incompetence as a writer will no way affect the scriptural truth that is stated. If anyone thinks that sins not being imputed to themselves as the license to sin, it is their lack of understanding of the love of God.

In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal

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