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Sir, Mr. Greave's letter seems to me to raise two questions: ( I ) Could not God have forgiven us without the necessity of
Christ's death for us? (2) If Christ's death was necessary, does Christ in fact intercede (a) on behalf of men who have not
accepted Him; (b) on behalf of those who have accepted Him? The first question is implied in the statement that God can
on no account be angry because of our sin. The second is implied by the allegation that God does not require anyone to
intercede with Him on man's behalf as He loves man. Let us consider these two guestions: (I) Amongst the characteristics
of God are those of infinite holiness and infinite justice. Now, being infinitely holy and just God can not let sin go unpunished.
To do so would be to condone sin and to become an accessory after the past, which would make God a sinner which He
can NOT be. Thus God must punish sin. Now, God's holiness being infinite, sin (even sin that may be accounted small by man)
is so abhorrent to Him that it deserves eternal death. To assert otherwise is to assert that God is not infinitely holy. But God
being infinitely holy, has decreed that 'The soul that sinneth it shall die' (Ezekiel 18:20), that the penalty for sin is 'everlasting punishment' (Matthew 25:46). Now, God so loved man that He wished to save man from the penalty which through His holiness
and justice He had to impose. Forgiveness without sacrifice was impossible. God's holiness and justice would not allow it; no,
not even if a man only committed one sin in his lifetime and was sorry for it. That one sin would so mar that man's character
that to God's absolute holiness it would be repulsive. This holiness demands the law that 'The soul that sinneth it shall die.' It.
is admitted that the chapter in which this decree is found states that if a soul sin and turn from his sin and live righteously he
shall live. But God's word teaches that such a remission of penalty and such a turning from sin to righteousness is only pos-
sible on account of Christ's sacrifice. To assert otherwise would make the chapter contradict itself. The law thus demands
death. God's justice demands that the penalty of the law be put into effect. How then was God to be just and the justifier of mankind? In the pre-determinate counsel of God it was decided that the law should have its full effect, but that a substitute bear
the penalty for man. Now, the number of sinners (the whole world from man's creation till the consummation of the ages) and
the penalty to be borne by each one of them (eternal death) required the substitute to be equal in number to that of the sinners
and for his death to be eternal. Now Christ being both infinite and eternal (or in other words God) more than supplied this need. Moreover the substitute had to be God, or else God would have been unjust in punishing the innocent for the guilty. As the substitute who voluntarily suffered our penalty is part of the Godhead, no creature can accuse of injustice. But it may be argued
that if a, man who was the maker of a law, and at the same time the judge of a criminal who had broken that law, died voluntarily
as a substitute for the prisoner, that such an act would neither be holy nor just. For it denied the foundation of all justice that of personal responsibility. 'The soul that sinneth IT' (i.e., that particular soul) 'shall die.' But if the lawmaker Judge were able in
some mysterious way to make himself the same man as the criminal and yet not to be a criminal, and to die as the criminal,
and if through that death for the criminal the criminal were to become a new man not the old man reformed but a new
creation, and for the old criminal to have died in the judge, then the law of personal responsibility is abrogated, for the judge
and the criminal became identical. The criminal, however, is released, but not the old criminal, nor a reformed criminal, but a
new man, a new creation. This is what in effect- Christ did. He became altogether man, yet at the same time He was altogether God if He had been but a mere man, He could not have been a sufficient substitute. He had to become man to be a substitute. Moreover, His humanity and His divinity were perfectly combined in one nature. He was not God one moment and but a man the next. His nature was not divided He was not two Christs in one person, but one Christ, and yet this Christ had in perfect undivided nature two natures human and divine. It was necessary for Him so to be or else He could not have been a sufficient substitute. Moreover, God's word teaches the necessity not only for Christ's incarnation and sufferings for us, but that we, if we
are to benefit there from, have to identify ourselves with Christ, that our lives should 'be hid with Christ in God' (Col. 3:3), that
Christ be in us (John 17:23), that His life becomes our life (John 15; Col. 3: 4)), that we 'put off the old man' and his works (Eph. 4:22), and 'be crucified with Christ' (Gal. 2:20) and 'become buried with Him through baptism unto death' (Rom 6:4) should rise a 'new man,' a 'new creation' (2 Cor. 5:17), 'be born again' (John 3:3), and begin life afresh as a little child (Mat. 18:3). It is then and only then that Christ's death becomes of any benefit to us. If we do not this, the law  demanding our death must be put into
effect on us for we have rejected our substitute. Thus 'except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God' (John 3:3), 'He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on hence' (John 3:36). (2) In regard to the, second question I would like to point out that whether or not a thing is or is not necessary does not prove whether a thing is or is not existing. The existence of anything is proved not by evidence of its necessity, but by evidence of the thing itself. Thus, although
we may argue that it was necessary for man's salvation that the Son of .God should be incarnate and die for man, yet the
necessity does not prove that it happened. The fact that it happened is proved only by evidence of the fact itself. This is done in
the statement of facts contained in the New Testament. Some of these facts were set forth in my prior letter. Even so the fact that God may. or may not require anyone to remind Him of what Christ has done for mankind proves neither whether there is nor
whether there is not such an one. The question is not of God's requirements, but rather one of fact is there or is there not such
a mediator? I submit that the f act that Christ who was and is one with the Father, died and rose again, and sitteth on the right
hand of God the Father Almighty, is evidence that there is such a mediator who ever liveth to make intercession for us. The
mere fact of Christ being there must perpetually plead with God. A returned soldier needs not a wound to remind him that he
fought for his country, but would not a wound if received be an unmovable reminder that he had done so? Even so the crucified
and Risen Christ is a perpetual reminder to God that God's Holy Law has been vindicated, that Christ died in our stead 'that
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.' Moreover, the fact that Christ is alive for evermore and that He and
His Father are one, by the very nature of the case is evidence that there is eternal communion between the Father and the Son. Would not Christ in such communion speak of what He has done? Now the fact that Christ is with God, and His communion
with Him would remind God (a) of the need of those who have not identified themselves with Christ and are so still under the condemnation of the law, that God's spirit may work upon them to bring them to Christ. (b) of the fact that 'there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus' (Romans 8). Moreover, Christ's intercession for us is more than a continued reminder of what He has done. For in the communion that exists between the Father and the Son, both loving us with an ever-lasting love, must always (of course amongst an infinite number of other things) as God is not finite like we are, and so can
think of more than one thing at a time, be brooding over the life of each Christian. Is it reasonable then to assume that Christ
never asks anything on our behalf? To assert so is like saying that the heart of a mother never intercedes with the mother on
behalf of her child. In like manner, as Christ prays for us, the Spirit also prayeth for us 'with groanings that cannot be uttered.
But in view of the peculiar work of the Son (it being the Son's work to die for us, and the Spirit's function to work in our hearts
so that we may appropriate the Son's work on our behalf), the Son is primarily our advocate with the Father, and the Spirit
God's advocate within us. Yet it must always be remembered that there is eternal, intimate and indissoluble unity in the God
head, and that therefore God must of necessity act in unity (John 5:19). The tenor of Mr. Greave's letters seem to show that
he has not grasped this truth, but rather thinks that the doctrine of a mediator implies that the Father loves not man, and that
the Son must plead with Him to make Him alter His mind. Yet within the Divine Unity there are personal distinctions, and this
in some manner separates the work of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Thus the Father loves and sends the
Son; the Son leaves and returns to the Father, loves, intercedes with and prays to the Father; so the Father and Son send the Spirit, the Spirit intercedes with the Father the Spirit takes Christ's place' (Banks 'Manual of Christian Doctrine). Moreover,
the nature of, the personal distinctions makes it quite natural for the different persons so to act, and for Christ to intercede with
the Father. 'For the Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding, the Son is eternally begotten of the Father (and thus
Christ can do nothing of Himself but what He seeth the Father do (John 5:19), which seeing and doing is eternal and sponta-
neous and not mimicry. (See Wesley's notes to the New Testament), the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father and the Son.
The above relationship of the Son to the Father is not one of imperfection in the Son, but is the Son's glory, resulting from His eternal, intimate, indissoluble unity with the Father (see Wesley's Notes). Yours, etc., H. M. WEDGE. (The Methodist.
January 2, 1943.)