WE BELIEVE that God’s answer to man’s sinful state is in the death of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross, whose sufferings and shed blood have made full atonement for the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and that there is no other ground for salvation – 2 Cor 5:18-21; Gal 1:4, Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Heb 9:25,26; 1 Peter 1:19-20.
It is in this subject, the atonement, that we find release from the curse. In our last study we saw the Fall of Man and how it brought in a curse upon the human race. That curse is anything negative that afflicts man, i.e., sin, depravity, separation from God, sickness, poverty, mental anguish. What we are now going to look at is God’s answer to the curse – “The Atonement”.
Atonement means to cover over. It means to cancel, pardon, to put off, to reconcile. The reconciliation is between a sinful man and a holy God. The Atonement is covering over that which separated man from God. It also includes the restoration to that place of favour with God.
I THE MEANS OF ATONEMENT.
1. God’s law requires a blood sacrifice in the place of sin.
Heb 9:22 says, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission”.
a. When Adam and Eve sinned, God made tunics of skin to clothe their nakedness. To make the skins, animals had to die. Their death and shedding of blood covered over Adam and Eve’s shame. Gen 3:21.
b. The correct sin offering.
Abel offered to God a pure lamb. The lamb’s life and blood covered over his sins. Gen 4:2-3.
c.The Atonement in the law.
Ex 29:36-37 says, “And you shall offer a bull every day as a sin offering for atonement”.
2. Animal blood was temporary.
a. Heb 10:4, “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins”.
b. Heb 10:11, “And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices which can never take away sins”.
3. God provides a permanent covering for sin.
Our permanent covering for sin is found in the work of Christ. His shed blood, His suffering and His death are all essential to our reconciliation to God.
a. The Blood of Jesus.
1. Heb 9:12, “Not with the blood of goats and calves but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all having obtained eternal redemption”.
2. Col 1:20, “Having made peace through the blood of His cross”.
3. 1 Peter 1:18,19, “Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things … but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
b. The Suffering of Jesus.
1. 1 Peter 1:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust that He might bring us to God”.
2. Is 53:5, “He was wounded, He was bruised, He was chastised, He was whipped.”
All this was on our behalf that we might be reconciled back into full relationship with God.
c. The Death of Jesus.
1. 2 Cor 5:15, “He died for all, that those who live, should live no longer for themselves but for Him who died for them and rose again”.
2. 1 Peter 2:24, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree”.
3. Rom 5:6, “For when we were still without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly”.
4. Rom 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Christ made His atonement for every single sin in the world, past, present and future. There is no sin too big for which Christ cannot atone. However, what is essential is the appropriation of that atonement into our lives. Potentially everyone can be saved. Practically, not everyone will be saved because some choose to remain in their sin.
II THE RESULTS OF THE ATONEMENT.
Col 2:13-14, “And you being dead in your trespasses …. He has made alive, having forgiven you all trespasses …And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”.
John 1:7, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin”.
3. Fellowship with God:
Tim 2:5, For there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all”.
Isaiah 53:5, “And by His stripes we are healed”.
2 Cor 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that through His poverty, you might become rich”.
6. A New Creation:
2 Cor 5:17, “If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation, old things have passed away, behold all things have become new”.
7. The Breaking of the Curse:
Gal. 3:13, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law having become a curse for us (for it is written, cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree).”
For a detailed account of the different types of curses under the law from which the atonement frees us, read Deut 28:15-68. It includes poverty, diseases, sorrow, and every negative thing imaginable.
The Fall of Man brought a curse on the world. Jesus Christ through His blood, suffering and death, brought freedom to the world. This freedom is called “The Atonement”. We can choose to live in the curses of the fall or the blessings of the atonement. Christians, let’s appropriate every blessing that Christ paid so dearly to get for us and stop groveling in the curses of sin, disease, poverty and separation from God. Jesus paid a high price to make us winners. Let’s show the world the difference.
Teaching Copyright (C) 1999 John Iuliano (M.A. Min). All rights reserved. Published here with permission.