Faith in  Christ   leads to action


In penal substitution, then, the mercy and justice of God meet. God satisfies his perfect justice and holiness by punishing his Son—Jesus the Christ. At the same time, he extends mercy to sinners by forgiving the sins of those who trust in Christ. Penal substitution explains how God remains God in forgiving us of our sins, for God would deny his very being as God if he forgave us and violated his justice and holiness.[27]


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provision for the deliverance of those who otherwise were without hope.”[26] Apart from Christ, all humans are without hope, whether they realize it or not, for all have sinned. With Christ, we have assured hope; instead of banished by a guilty verdict, we can stand before God as not guilty.

            The penal substitution view illuminates unlimited atonement in that all humans are guilty of sin. “. . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV). Thus, the work of Christ made it possible for all to be viewed by God as not guilty. The justice of God is maintained; the love of God is never ending. The penalty (punishment) is lifted from humans.

            Each person is an ex-criminal (as it were), among other ex-criminals, in need of a home in the kingdom of God. God’s Spirit helps us find the way to new life. As our substitute, Jesus Christ made it possible. “There is no other way of salvation but by grace, and specifically, the death of Christ. It has an infinite value and thus covers the sins of all humanity for all time.”[28]


               Substitution reexamined. The penal substitution view has received some criticism in that it is based on the idea of Jesus taking our punishment or paying the penalty that we owe. This notion can lead to the conclusion that God the Father has taken out His wrath on His innocent Son instead of on us. This, in turn, may lead to a view which pits the Father against the Son. Such a view could not be biblical, since it would undermine the unity of the Godhead.

[26] Robert Letham, The Work of Christ, Contours of Christian Theology (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 138.
[27] Schreiner, “Penal Substitution,” 94.
[28] Erickson, Introducing, 265.

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