atonement

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing #4

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:8-11 KJV).

The fourth verse of the classic Christmas carol highlights today’s Scripture.

“Come, Desire of nations come
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Oh, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart!
Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”

Angels can sing about God’s operations, but, unlike us humans, they cannot sing about salvation in Jesus Christ. When we read today’s Scripture, there should be leaping for joy! The God of creation, the God of the Holy Bible, the God of Christianity, has attempted to mend the broken relationship between Him and us. He has done everything to save us from our sinful selves and our utter foolishness. He can do no more than Calvary. Those merits of Christ’s finished crosswork cannot benefit us individually unless we individually appropriate them by faith. There is no merit in our faith, but there is immeasurable merit in what Jesus Christ did. We either agree with God by faith that Calvary’s finished crosswork is enough, or we ignore it and continue on our way to eternal hellfire. Simple indeed!

Reading from 2 Corinthians chapter 5: “[19] To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. [20] Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. [21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Do we agree with God by faith?

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing #4

Sunday, December 6, 2015

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:8-11 KJV).

The fourth verse of the classic Christmas carol highlights today’s Scripture.

“Come, Desire of nations come
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Oh, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart!
Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”

Angels can sing about God’s operations, but, unlike us humans, they cannot sing about salvation in Jesus Christ. When we read today’s Scripture, there should be leaping for joy! The God of creation, the God of the Holy Bible, the God of Christianity, has attempted to mend the broken relationship between Him and us. He has done everything to save us from our sinful selves and our utter foolishness. He can do no more than Calvary. Those merits of Christ’s finished crosswork cannot benefit us individually unless we individually appropriate them by faith. There is no merit in our faith, but there is immeasurable merit in what Jesus Christ did. We either agree with God by faith that Calvary’s finished crosswork is enough, or we ignore it and continue on our way to eternal hellfire. Simple indeed!

Reading from 2 Corinthians chapter 5: “[19] To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. [20] Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. [21] For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Do we agree with God by faith?

Christ’s Calvary Crucifixion Covers Christians

Monday, June 29, 2015

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7 KJV).

Certainly, Christ’s Calvary crucifixion covers Christians!

In and of ourselves, there is nothing special about us Christians. Who we are in Jesus Christ, now there is something special!! We have the privilege of standing before Father God in the manner Adam did before the Fall! In Christ, we have the same standing before Father God as Jesus Christ Himself! A very exciting truth, one that precious, precious, precious few believers are ever taught (sadly).

Denominations always instruct them to strain and strive to have a right standing before God. They fail to realize that God places them in Christ at the very top of the ladder. Instead, they become busy in religion, desperately trying to reach the top rung Jesus Christ already gave to them! When you consider it, it makes your head spin how far off religious tradition brings one from the Holy Bible rightly divided.

What Israel has to wait for at Jesus Christ’s Second Coming (Acts 3:19-21), we have now received the atonement (Romans 5:11). When we trust the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished crosswork, the Holy Spirit places us into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). We then share Jesus Christ’s identity (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are just as close to Father God as Jesus Christ is—unconditional acceptance (grace).

It is when we come to the Apostle Paul in the Bible that we learn that God’s salvation is available as a free gift to all men (1 Timothy 2:3-7; Titus 1:1-3). What was once reserved for Israel is now being offered to every person in every nation under heaven today. Rich or poor, black or white, male or female, Jesus Christ’s merits are available to all. Jesus Christ is “the Saviour of all men, specially those that believe” (1 Timothy 4:10). While it is unto all, salvation is only upon all them who believe (Romans 3:21-28). Lost people can come to Calvary’s cross by faith, and Father God will welcome them with open arms, no matter what they have done. There is nothing that Jesus Christ’s blood cannot cover.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is there ‘healing in the Atonement?’

He Gave Himself

Thursday, April 16, 2015

“I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35 KJV).

Greed says gain; grace says give!

On five occasions, the King James Bible says Jesus Christ “gave Himself:”

  • Galatians 1:4: “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:”
  • Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
  • Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;”
  • 1 Timothy 2:6: “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
  • Titus 2:14: “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

It is human nature to be selfish; it is godly nature to be altruistic. Man has the spiritual makeup of his spiritual father, Satan—he wants to do what he wants to do. What can I get out of life? How can I gratify my desires? Me, me, me!!! Take, take, take!!!

Jesus Christ has the spiritual makeup of His Heavenly Father—He wants to do what His Father wants Him to do. How can I best glorify My Father? What can He get out of My life? “Not my will, but Thine be done!”

In stark contrast to us sons and daughters of Adam, the Lord Jesus was not selfish. His Heavenly Father was not selfish either. Oh, how they both gave!!! Father God gave up His Son and His Son gave up His life! This is true love, seeking another’s highest good at your expense. When we walk by faith in God’s love to us, God’s love will cause us to give to others (2 Corinthians 12:15).

In Evil Long I Took Delight #6

Friday, February 13, 2015

“To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Romans 3:26 KJV).

The final verse of John Newton’s classic 1779 hymn “In Evil Long I Took Delight” highlights today’s Scripture.

“Thus, while His death my sin displays
In all its blackest hue,
Such is the mystery of grace,
It seals my pardon too.”

It is common today to see beautiful jewelry crosses hanging around people’s necks and arms. They give us a false impression of Calvary. It was not a pretty sight to see the Creator God hanging, suffering, and dying for people who hated Him with passion unspeakable. Calvary was a cruel hill where Father God’s wrath against our sin, was revealed. The same wrath that lost people are facing in hell right this moment, the wrath that they will experience throughout the endless ages to come, it was that wrath that was poured out on Jesus Christ at Calvary. There was no anesthetic or dilution. Yes, it was a dark, glum, terrible place, but in such circumstances of apparent weakness and defeat, there was the most amazing victory to ever “grace” the planet.

The glorious aspect of the doctrine of “vicarious atonement” is that Someone else made us “at-one-ment” with Almighty God. The God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, so graciously took our sin debt away because we had nothing with which to pay! Moreover, He did not merely get us out of spiritual debt (forgiveness), but His resurrection was the receipt that the debt was gone. There was not so much as one sin to hold Him in the grave. Hence, the Bible says He was “raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25). It was with Jesus Christ resurrected that we were raised again and declared righteous. Never again will God “impute sin” to us who trust Christ alone (verse 8; cf. today’s Scripture). Our spiritual debt has been paid! We are now alive “to walk in newness of life.” Now, instead of delighting in evil, we can joy in our identity in Christ! What a concept! 🙂

Iniquity Not Yet Full #2

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

“But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Genesis 15:16 KJV).

Today’s Scripture expressly declares why the God of the Bible “takes His time” when dealing with sinful mankind.

The God of the Bible is very orderly; He is organized and does not act on haphazard whims. On one hand, His justice demands that sin be punished in full, and His wrath inflicts a punishment to satisfy His offended righteousness (ultimately, everlasting hellfire, banished from His presence forever). On the other hand, His mercy, love, and grace provide a means so that the sinner can escape that wrath via substitutionary atonement (ultimately, the sinner can come by faith alone in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, where Christ suffered God’s wrath on our behalf, and be accepted of God). Whether operating in wrath or in grace, the God of the Bible is completely fair and wise in every deed.

Certain limits must be breached before God’s wrath falls on the sinner, and while only God Himself knows those parameters, the entire Bible’s canon demonstrates that this is how He deals with wicked humanity. For example, consider three major events of sin in the book of Genesis:

  • God could have destroyed Adam and Eve immediately after they sinned; however, He responded to them in mercy and grace, seeking them while they hid from Him, and then killing animals to cover them physically with those skins, as well as clothe them spiritually with animals’ blood (a type of Jesus’ blood which was shed millennia later) (Genesis 3:21).
  • Before the Great Flood of Noah’s Day, some 1,700 years after creation, God gave sinful mankind 120 years to straighten up (Genesis 6:3), and then His judgment came and swept them all away (excluding Noah and his family on the ark)!
  • It was not until Sodom and Gomorrah had reached their limit of sin that God finally sent two angels to destroy those two wicked cities (Genesis 18:20,21; Genesis 19:13).

Let us continue skimming the Scriptures for other instances of the longsuffering, yea, the patience, of God…

Reconciliation, Imputation, and Salvation #7

Sunday, June 23, 2013

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19 KJV).

Soul salvation from everlasting hellfire is the Holy Bible’s most important doctrine, so let us be particularly careful with today’s Scripture.

Sin has separated man from God, thus necessitating reconciliation. Actually, the Greek word usually translated “reconciliation” in our King James New Testament is once rendered “atonement” in Romans 5:11. “Reconciliation” means “atone-ment,” or “bringing two opposing parties together and making them one.”

When Jesus Christ died and shed His perfect blood, God the Father made Him a “propitiation” (Romans 3:25), a fully-satisfying payment for sin. Instead of punishing the world for their sins, God blamed Jesus Christ and made Him suffer God’s wrath instead (“not imputing their trespasses unto them;” today’s Scripture). “For he [God the Father] hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21a).

The Bible calls Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork and its merits the “atonement” (Romans 5:11), for they pay the sin debt that keeps man from fellowshipping with God. When the Bible says, “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (today’s Scripture), this reconciliation deals with the whole world, not just Christians—it involves all people, saved or lost.

Now, note verse 20: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” Notice “as though God did beseech you by us”—Paul is referring to the past (notice past tense “did”), to the time when the Corinthians were lost, when he first preached to them about Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork (verse 21). Here, Paul said that although God reconciled the world to Himself (verse 19), Paul urged the Corinthians to be “reconciled to God” (verse 20)—this is the reconciliation for Christians.

Again, reconciliation needed for soul salvation is two-fold, which brings us to the doctrine of imputation….