Posts Tagged ‘Atonement’

…The biblical gospel of atonement is of God satisfying himself by substituting himself for us.

The concept of substitution may be said, then, to lie at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accept penalties which belong to man alone (John Stott, The Cross of Christ, page 159).

Atonement comes down to simple terms: God himself in the person of Jesus Christ hung and suffered in my place.  He took my sins upon himself.  And he died my death.  Essentially, he stood in the shoes I would have otherwise been required to wear.  Atonement simply means my redemption. 

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5, ESV).

I’m not sure why we have all the debate about the nature of atonement because it seems to me harder than the side of a barn to miss.


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Cross Theology

321317386_85de127cb3_bBut far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.   -The Apostle Paul, Galatians 6:14, ESV       

The cross emphatically says that I am entirely whole, I am unconditionally loved, I am unequivocally forgiven, and I am unashamedly righteous. 

As a card carrying Protestant and proponent of a biblical and reformed theology—I easily relate to the notion that I am a sinner saved by grace, so, I get the total depravity part (after all, it is the first leg under the five legged stool called Calvinism).

However, it would be the aforementioned I struggle with.  I don’t feel very whole, or forgiven, or loved, or righteous.  I much more readily feel like a sinner, so it is not uncommon for me to revert back to my being just that I suppose.  Call me holy or call me a saint and I am liable to call you crazy.  And so, when I consider the Cross I immediately see my need for it—what I don’t see so quickly, are it’s far reaching and irreversible accomplishments that impact me and change all of what I have defined myself by.

Within the theology of the Cross resides the confidence that I am God’s own.  It is by virtue of the Cross I am not my own; I have been bought with a steep payment.

The Cross changes everything—and on a personal note, the Cross changes me.

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