Faith in Christ leads to action
And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased’” (Luke 3:22 NIV). Jesus is the mediator between God and humankind—even now (1 Timothy 2:5).
Through the atonement, Christ has reconciled us to God—not only us, but the world to God. In turn, we Christians are called to share this message of good news with others. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18-19 NIV).
To help understand the atonement in relation to salvation, let us consider the words of a gospel song “It Is Finished” by Bill and Gloria Gaither. Its lyrical theology, I believe, brilliantly expresses the atonement and the salvation of humans made possible by Jesus. Although this song presents the atonement from the ransom viewpoint, which holds that Jesus won the victory over the forces of sin and evil, it does not preclude the views of sacrifice or substitution, which I believe are also relevant to our understanding of the atonement and salvation. Even though Jesus has won the victory over sin and death, each human must come to that realization. Salvation comes by grace through faith in Jesus, “the author and perfecter of faith” (Heb. 12:2 NASB).
“There’s a line that’s been drawn through the ages.
On that line stands an old rugged cross.
On that cross, a battle is raging
For the gain of man’s soul or his loss.
On one side march the forces of evil – all the demons and devils of hell.
On the other, the angels of glory, and they meet on Golgotha’s hill.
The earth shakes with the force of the conflict, and the sun refuses to shine.
For there hangs God’s Son in the balance.
And then through the darkness, He cries:
“It is finished” – the battle is over.
It is finished – there’ll be no more war.
It is finished – the end of the conflict.
It is finished – and Jesus is Lord.”
Atonement page 6 of 7
2Co 5:18-19 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 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.
The Atonement: Biblical Basis