Substitution

Substitution is not a Biblical term (cf. Trinity, incarnation, etc.), but a Biblical doctrine nonetheless.

1. Old Testament Type. a. In general, every animal sacrifice offered during Old Testament times substituted for the offender. All this was accordingly a type of Christ dying in the room and stead of the sinner.

b. The sweet savor and non-sweet savor offerings of Leviticus, chapters 1-5, indicate that two accomplishments are to be noticed in Christ's substitution:

(1) The non-sweet savor oblations were, first, the sin offering and, second, the trespass offering. In these the perfection of the offering itself had to be insisted upon since Christ the Antitype is perfect in Himself, but of course, at the same time, the offering is invested with the sin of the offerer. They are called non-sweet savor offerings since God cannot look upon sin with allowance whatsoever. In fulfilling this type of sacrifice Christ cried, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46).

(2) Sweet savor offerings were three in number: first, the burnt offering, second, the meal offering, and third, the peace offering. In these were depicted an aspect of Christ's death which was a delight to His Father, as it has been suggested in Hebrews 9:14: He "offered himself without spot to God." Here is substitution in the sense that God requires of the believer, not merely that he should have no sins (as typified by the non-sweet savor offerings), but that he indeed should have done all good. These three offerings, consequently, suggest how the perfection of Christ may be accepted of God for a Christian. They are sweet to God since only Christ's perfections are in view, and manifestly as such they could apply to the elect alone.

2. New Testment Doctrine. Again the same twofold conception obtains. The Scriptures state the doctrine fully.

b. Non-sweet savor (Rom. 3:23-26; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18; cf. Ps. 22:1; Matt. 27:46).

3. Determining Prepositions. a. The Greek unep often has a restricted meaning, as for another's good, in another's behalf (cf. Luke 22:19-20; John 10:15; Rom. 5:8; Gal. 3:13; 1 Tim. 2:6; Titus 2:14; Heb. 2:9; 1 Pet. 2:21; 3:18; 4:1) . Actual substitution is not included at bottom in the word, but from usage it doubtless came to be so intended anyway.

b. ocvri. Here the thought of substitution is clear (Matt. 20:28; Rom. 12:17; 1 Thess. 5:15; 1 Tim. 6:2; Heb. 12:2, 16; 1 Pet. 3:9).

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