John Martin has also responded to another of my previous posts (link to post, his comments are in the comment box there).
I had written: “The Christian position is that Christ is our substitute.”
JM responded: "If Christ is our substitute and we are impute a legal righteousness, even though the Father knows we are sinners, means"
Christ is our substitute, and we are imputed the righteousness of Christ ... let's examine the supposed implications:
"1 – Jesus has deceived the father and therefore the Father and Jesus are not God because God cannot be deceived, or sin."
No. The Father has graciously permitted the substitution.
"2 – The Father sent the son to do a sinful act to deceive the father into believing we are righteous even though we are not."
No. It's absurd to say that Father sent the Son to deceive the Father - how could that even be possible? More to the point, the Father sent the Son to die in the place of the elect, so it was known to the Father all along.
"3 – There is no need for faith, because a substitute is a substitute for all our sins. Yet the scriptures say we need faith to be justified."
Faith is the instrumental means of justification, not a meritorious cause of justification. Thus, faith does not satisfy divine justice, only Christ's work does that.
"4 – Nobody can go to hell, because Jesus has already taken the punishment for sin as a substitute."
None of the elect can go to hell (or the Romanist fiction of purgatory), because that would imply double payment.
"5 – The scriptures nowhere say Jesus was a substitute for our sins."
a) You've lost track of supposed implications. That isn't an implication of the doctrine.
b) It's also not a true allegation. The Scriptures do teach that Jesus was a substitute for the sins of his people. I can provide a more extensive discussion on this, if needed.
"6 – The Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son, after the Son has deceived the Father into thinking we are righteous, even though we are sinners. Therefore the Holy Spirit has been sent on a mission by a deceiver and the deceived, to guide the church into the truth of forensic imputation of righteousness, which is itself a deception. Evidently the Holy Spirit is also a deceiver and has been deceived."
This blasphemy is built in the previous false claim that forensic imputation is deception.
"7 – There is no precedent in the OT for a substitute atoning for a sinner and the sinner having the substitutes righteousness imputed to the sinner, therefore if penal substitution is correct, it is not base upon the OT, so Jesus cannot be the Messiah, because he didn’t fulfill the OT."
This simply shows JM's unfamilarity with the OT sacrificial system. Practically the whole system was one of substitution and imputation. Of course, it was in shadows and types, but Hebrews helps us to see the connection between the shadow and substance.
"8 – There is no need for repentance because the substitute has been made and the Father sees all men as righteous."
Repentance is not a meritorious cause of justification. See discussion of faith above.
"9 – According to Calvinism, the substitute only has limited value because it’s not applied to all men, even though it’s a perfect substitute. Somehow the father is deceived into thinking the substitute is only satisfactory for some men and not others, even though the Son was a perfect substitute. So the Father has been deceived in sending the Son as a substitute because the substitute didn’t work for some men even though Jesus was the perfect substitute. What’s a God got to do to be a substitute and perfect savior when not even an imputed exchange that is external to the sinner cannot cover all men’s sins?"
a) This misrepresentation of Calvinism is possibly the result of reading Dave Armstrong on Calvinism rather than reading Calvinists on Calvinism.
b) "the substitute only has limited value" That's not the Calvinist position. The Calvinist position is that the value of the substitute is limitless - sufficient for all.
c) "Somehow the father is deceived into thinking the substitute is only satisfactory for some men and not others, even though the Son was a perfect substitute."
The Son, as Priest, only offers himself (as sacrifice) for many (not all). That many is the elect.
"10 – The scriptures have deceived us into thinking we need to do something to be justified and pleasing to God, even though according to Calvinism, man is depraved and cannot do a good act in the eyes of God. Therefore we are told on one had to have faith and this is enough to be justified by a legal process, yet we are also told men cannot do an act pleasing to God, so God justifies man, even though He is not pleased with men’s acts. What’s a man to do to be justified after all? Does he have to do an act pleasing to God and if so, is this is a meritorious act? (Yep!) If not, then why does man have to do any act at all to receive justification, when the perfect sacrificial substitute has already been made?"
a) "we need to do something to be justified and pleasing to God"
Scripture's message is clear that we cannot do anything to be justified and pleasing to God. Justification is by grace, through the instrumental means of faith in Christ and His work.
b) "man is depraved and cannot do a good act in the eyes of God."
Until God's Holy Spirit regenerates him, right. As Jesus said, "Except a man be born again ... ."
c) "What’s a man to do to be justified after all?"
There is nothing a man can do to be justified. "In thy sight shall no flesh be justified."
Instead, man must place his hope in the works of another so that he may be vicariously justified.
d) "Does he have to do an act pleasing to God and if so, is this is a meritorious act? (Yep!)"
That is the alternative to the Christian view of the atonement. The alternative is that man merits justification by an act that is pleasing to God.
"11 – If God sends anyone to hell then He is being unjust, because Jesus has already taken the punishment for sin."
If God received Christ's payment for the sins of anyone and still punished them for those sins, there would be a double punishment. Thus, none of those for whom Christ was offered will go to hell.