Question: You emphasize that salvation is based on the fact that Christ “paid the penalty for our sins.” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance has no entry for “penalty,” nor did Jesus or the apostles ever mention that a penalty for our sins was paid. If I ask fellow Christians where to find this view in the Bible, either they don’t know the answer or they imply that I’m not saved. I pose that question to you.
Response: Nor is the word “trinity” found in either the Bible or Strong’s, yet it’s a basic teaching of Scripture. Was not the casting of Adam and Eve out of the Garden a penalty for their sin? Isn’t the death that came upon Adam and Eve and all of their descendants to this day also a penalty for sin that would continue in eternal separation from God without His pardon? In declaring, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die (Eze:18:13, 20); sin bringeth forth death (Jas 1:15); the strength of sin is the law” (1 Cor:15:56), isn’t Scripture saying that death is the penalty for sin? Does not a penalty have to be paid? Granted, the Bible nowhere uses that exact terminology about Christ paying the penalty for sin. But isn’t that what’s implied when it says, “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Is 53:5), or “Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor:15:3), or “that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb:2:9), as well as in many similar verses? If death is the penalty for sin and Christ died for all, then surely He paid the penalty in full for all of us, or we would have to pay [it] ourselves. Our salvation is a matter of God’s justice, “that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man” (Heb:2:9), et al. Our salvation is a matter of God’s justice, “that he [God] might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom:3:26).
I don’t understand your objection to saying that the penalty was paid. Wasn’t the force of Christ’s triumphant cry from the cross, “It is finished [tetelestai]” (Jn:19:30), meaning “paid in full”? I am grateful that Christ paid the full penalty for my sins so that God can be just in pardoning me, the sinner! There is no other means of salvation.