be a suffering Messiah. For the very reason of his humanity he must bear in his own person all the guilt of humanity and must be ?the Lamb of God who? takes, and so ?takes away, the sin of the world? ( <430129>John 1:29).
Guilt and depravity are not only distinguishable in thought, they are also separable in fact. The convicted murderer might repent and become pure, yet he might still be under obligation to suffer the punishment of his crime. The Christian is freed from guilt ( <450801>Romans 8:1), but he is not yet freed from depravity ( <450723>Romans 7:23). Christ, on the other hand, was under obligation to suffer ( <422426>Luke 24:26; <440318>Acts 3:18; 26:23), while yet he was without sin ( <580726>Hebrews 7:26). In the book entitled Modern Religious Thought, 3-29, R. S. Campbell has an essay on The Atonement, with which, apart from its view as to the origin of moral evil in God, we are in substantial agreement. He holds that ?to relieve men from their sense of guilt, objective atonement is necessary, we would say: to relieve men from guilt itself ? the obligation to suffer. ?If Christ is the eternal Son of God, that side of the divine nature that has gone forth in creation, if he contains humanity and is present in every article and act of human experience, then he is associated with the existence of the primordial evil. He and only he can sever the entail between man and his responsibility for personal sin. Christ has not sinned in man, but he takes responsibility for that experience of evil into which humanity is born and the yielding to which constitutes sin. He goes forth to suffer, and actually does suffer, in man. The eternal Son in whom humanity is contained is therefore a sufferer since creation began. This mysterious passion of Deity must continue until redemption is consummated and humanity restored to God. Thus every consequence of human ill is felt in the experience of Christ. Thus Christ not only assumes the guilt but bears the punishment of every human soul.? We claim however that the necessity of this suffering lies, not in the needs of man, but in the holiness of God.
C. Guilt moreover, as an objective result of sin, is not to be confounded with the subjective consciousness of guilt ( <030517>Leviticus 5:17). In the condemnation of conscience, God?s condemnation partially and prophetically manifests itself ( <620320>1 John 3:20). But guilt is primarily a relation to God and only secondarily a relation to conscience. Progress in sin is marked by diminished sensitiveness of moral insight and feeling. As ?the greatest of sins is to be conscious of none,? so guilt may be great, just in proportion to the absence of consciousness of it ( <191912>Psalm 19:12; 51:6; <490418> Ephesians 4:18, 19 ? ajphlghko>tev ). There is no evidence, however, that the voice of conscience can be completely or finally silenced. The time for repentance may pass but not the time for remorse. Progress in holiness,
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