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The Doctrine of Definite Atonement (Part 1)

The Bible teaches that Jesus died in the place of His people in order to obtain their salvation. Jesus (whose name means, 'God saves') came to earth in order to endure the penalty and guilt of men's sins. His cross-work provides a way for those chosen by the Father to be saved from sin and its effects.

Some Initial Thoughts:

Jesus Himself appears to have limited the application of His saving cross-work, doesn't He?

Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."


The word "atone" means: to wash away; to cover

We use the word "atonement" to summarize the Bible's teaching on what the death of Jesus accomplished.

New Testament Words That Describe Aspects of the Atonement:

"sacrifice" - to make an offering for sin in order to erase our guilt

· Hebrews 9:11-14 "But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God."

"purchase" - buying us to bring us to God and out of the clutches of Satan

· 1 Corinthians 6:19b-20 "You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."

· Revelation 5:9-10 "And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth."

"redeem" - set free from our bondage to sin by the paying of a price

· Titus 2:13-14 ".waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works."

· 1 Peter 1:17-19 "And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot."

· Ephesians 1:7 "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace."

"propitiation" - removing God's rightful and just wrath toward us

· Hebrews 2:17 "Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people."

· 1 John 4:10 "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

· Romans 3:23-25a "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith."

"reconcile" - removing our alienation from God and replacing it with love

· Romans 5:10,11 "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation."

· 2 Corinthians 5:18 "All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation"

Some Other Important Little Words:

"in exchange for" (the Greek preposition anti)

· Mark 10:45 "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

"on behalf of" (the Greek preposition hyper)

· John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."

· Ephesians 5:1, 2, 25 "Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."

Christ's Atonement is a Work of Substitution:

· Isaiah 53:11 "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

· 1 Peter 2:24 "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls."

· 2 Corinthians 5:21 "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Summary of Part One

· Jesus atonement fully satisfied God's JUSTICE

· Jesus atonement fully PAID the debt of sin

· Jesus' atonement fully SAVED those He died for

Hebrews 9:22 "...without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins."