Tag Archives: Anselm

“You REALLY Believe in HELL?! But WHY?” (Ten Reasons) (Reason 5) The Doctrine of SIN

Why in the world would someone believe in hell? And what exactly does it mean to “believe” in hell? These are a couple of the questions we want to answer in this ten-part series of posts. We’ve looked at REASON #1 — I got saved out of a fear of hell. We’ve also thought about REASON #2 – Hell makes sense. We’ve also considered REASON #3 — How does the doctrine of hell relate to the doctrine of God? We also touched on REASON #4 – How does the doctrine of eternal lostness relate to the doctrine of Man?

Let’s look at REASON #5 this morning — How does the doctrine of eternal hell relate to the doctrine of sin (hamartiology)? SIN explains a lot in life: our brokenness, the fractured condition of society and politics and governments, our sense of guilt that we try to cover up with entertainment or drugs or sports, our need to self-justify, our habit of favorably comparing ourselves to others less “sinful”, our need to euphemize the very concept of transgression or iniquity or rebellion, our empty hope that our good will outweigh our bad at the judgment of God, etc.

SIN cost the Son of God’s life on the cross! SIN plunged the whole universe into a fallen condition (creation “groans”, waiting for the New Heavens and the New Earth, Romans 8:19). To minimize our SIN must minimize the cross. Did Christ’s sacrificial death overpay to redeem us? No! He bore our sins in His own body on the tree, I Peter 2:24. The Second Person of the Divine Trinity took upon Himself a perfect human body for the express purpose of paying the SIN-debt that we owed! No other religion offers that kind of Savior.

J.C. Ryle’s justly famous volume, Holiness, begins with a statement to this effect: “He would make great strides in holiness must first consider the greatness of sin.” Ryle, writing at the end of nineteenth century was merely reflecting what Anselm of Canterbury had written in the early middle-ages. Attempting to answer the question, Why did God become man (Cur Deus Homo), Anselm has a famous line put to one character (aptly called Boso) which goes like this: Nondum considerasti quantum ponderis sit peccatum. Roughly translated that means, “You have not yet considered the gravity of sin.” Boso’s inability to see the necessity for the Lord Jesus Christ to become incarnate in order to save His people lay in his reluctance to place sufficient emphasis upon our need of salvation. Our problem is sin. It has been so since the Garden of Eden; and it remains so to this day.” (



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Posted by on February 15, 2020 in hell


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What Does It Really Mean to Be “Saved”? (A Study of Galatians 1:3-5) Part 2

What does it really mean to be saved? The Apostle Paul writes the following to the Galatian believers: “3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

There are five truths that jump out at me from this text. We’ve seen the first truth which is we are at peace with God! (v. 3).  The second truth in this text about being saved is we have been paid for (v. 4)! Jesus “gave himself for our sins”!  Our sins separated us from a holy God.  Jesus paid that debt for us.

The eleventh century scholar Anselm wrote a tract entitled Cur Deus Homo.  My Latin is lousy, but the translation is “Why the God-Man?” Anselm argues that we owed a debt to God that we could never pay.  Only God Himself could pay that debt.  But God didn’t owe Himself that debt.  However, out of love the Second Person of the Trinity became man specifically to pay that debt for us!  In presenting his argument Anselm dialogues with his friend named Boso (really).  At one point, Anselm says, “You have not realized how great a burden sin is.”  A discussion of Anselm’s brilliant argument is found here.

One last point from Anselm.  He says, “So, if, as I showed earlier, the heavenly kingdom must be filled with men, and if this cannot happen unless the satisfaction is made for sin — satisfaction which no one can make but God, and no one ought to make but man — then it is necessary for the God-man to make it.”  That’s precisely what Jesus did for us.  He made satisfaction for sin.  He paid the debt we could never pay.  He “gave himself for our sins.”

I heard about a motorist who took a certain toll road to work everyday.  One day he decided to pay the toll for the person behind him.  Just to be nice.  As he drove away, he noticed that the following driver was having to pay the toll collector a second time!  Infuriated, the first driver decided to confront the toll collector the next morning about charging the second driver.  The next morning, he asked, “Why did you collect a toll from that driver?  I paid his toll!”  The toll collector said, “I didn’t charge him for his car.  He volunteered and paid for the driver behind him.  And this went on for eight more cars!”

Glad that Jesus paid your toll?  Me too!






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Posted by on June 26, 2018 in being saved


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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 38)

Psalm 38

A psalm of David. A petition.Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 5.51.09 AM

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
    or discipline me in your wrath.
Your arrows have pierced me,
    and your hand has come down on me.
Because of your wrath there is no health in my body;
    there is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.
My guilt has overwhelmed me
    like a burden too heavy to bear.

My wounds fester and are loathsome
    because of my sinful folly.
I am bowed down and brought very low;
    all day long I go about mourning.
My back is filled with searing pain;
    there is no health in my body.
I am feeble and utterly crushed;
    I groan in anguish of heart.

All my longings lie open before you, Lord;
    my sighing is not hidden from you.
10 My heart pounds, my strength fails me;
    even the light has gone from my eyes.
11 My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds;
    my neighbors stay far away.
12 Those who want to kill me set their traps,
    those who would harm me talk of my ruin;
    all day long they scheme and lie.

13 I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,
    like the mute, who cannot speak;
14 I have become like one who does not hear,
    whose mouth can offer no reply.
15 Lord, I wait for you;
    you will answer, Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Do not let them gloat
    or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip.”

17 For I am about to fall,
    and my pain is ever with me.
18 I confess my iniquity;
    I am troubled by my sin.
19 Many have become my enemies without cause;
    those who hate me without reason are numerous.
20 Those who repay my good with evil
    lodge accusations against me,
    though I seek only to do what is good.

21 Lord, do not forsake me;
    do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
    my Lord and my Savior.

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Posted by on September 23, 2016 in the wrath of God


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