Faith in  Christ   leads to action

 

            “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10 NIV). The atonement was God’s initiative, an act of love through His Son Jesus Christ, to restore the relationship with humans, who were separated from God because of human sin.  The atonement refers to the work of Jesus Christ, benefiting humankind in certain ways. “The doctrine of the work of Christ, sometimes called in the English-speaking world the doctrine of the “atonement,” has been primarily concerned to interpret the saving significance of the death of Jesus, coupled with his resurrection and related to his life.”[1] The concept and potential benefits of atonement are universal. “The word atonement comes from an old English term for ‘at-one-ment’ – reconciliation between God and people.”[2]

          The cross of Christ and His resurrection from the tomb lie at the center of the Gospel message and Christian faith. Thus, it is no wonder that deep meaning emanates in a multitude of ways from the death and resurrection of Christ. “The many strands of human experience run through the cross-roads of the cross. The Christian doctrine of atonement affirms this extraordinary significance of one particular event. . . . The quest for salvation is the search for authentic life, and many people hope for it beyond death as well as here and now. The idea of ‘atonement’, however, has a narrower focus. It insists that salvation depends upon the restoring of a relationship between human beings and God, who are estranged from each other.”[3]


[1] James Leo Garrett, Jr., Systematic Theology: Biblical, Historical, and Evangelical (North Richland Hills, TX: BIBAL Press, 2007), 1:607
[2] Don Thorsen, An Exploration of Christian Theology  (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2008), 204.
[3] Paul S Fiddes, Past Event and Present Salvation: The Christian Idea of Atonement (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1989,3

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.

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Atonement page 2 of 14

The Atonement