De Moor on God's Essential Vindicatory Righteousness: The Satisfaction of Christ, Part 2



And indeed, all these things manifestly argue that the Divine Righteousness is so inexorable that it is not able to pardon the sinner, unless it be fully satisfied by a sufficient price of redemption. For, except a Necessity of this sort come between, both His Goodness, and His Wisdom, would appear to be injured through this means of salvation, which means God revealed to us as singular. And indeed, if God had been able to redeem us by a word or nod alone, as that Great CALVIN appears rashly to have asserted; how had the Divine Wisdom admitted, that heaven and earth be moved, as it were, and a work of such greatness be instituted, and that without any necessity? But the Goodness of God appears even more incompatible; which is not ever able to be conceived to be consistent with this, that the Son, ἀγαπητὸς/beloved, ἐν ᾧ εὐδόκησε, in whom the Father is well pleased,[1] and who was possessing such great glory in the presence of the Father before the speaking forth of the world, that οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσηται τὸ εἶναι ἶσα Θεῷ, He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, would descend, leaving heaven behind, into these lower parts of the earth, be exposed for our sake to such a number of so various and dire sufferings of soul and body, indeed, be made a curse for us, so that He might redeem us from the curse of the Law, Galatians 3:13, unless, with the Divine will of saving some of the fallen human race posited, the inevitable necessity of Righteousness demanding vengeance had driven God to it, lest He be compelled to deny Himself. And rightly did Socinus write (if only he had thus been led to acknowledge the Righteousness of God!), part III de Servatore, chapter IV, But if…you should say…that whatever slightest punishment of Christ is able to be equal with whatever most grievous punishment of us; I answer that, if that be true, it was not necessary for Christ to suffer so many grievous torments and so frightful a death: that God is tacitly accused of injustice and cruelty by you, who, since any slightest punishment exacted of Christ could satisfy His justice, would will that He be tortured so savagely. Therefore, only for the gravest of reasons, as one may gather from the reasoning of Socinus himself, was Christ, both as God and as the most innocent man of all, able to be pressed with such calamities.

[1] See Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; 9:7; Luke 3:22; 9:35; 2 Peter 1:17.

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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