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Atonement

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.

1 John 4:10

When God looks at a sinner who still loves his sin and rejects the mystery of the atonement, justice condemns him to die. When God looks at a sinner who has accepted the blood of the everlasting covenant, justice sentences him to live.

And God is just in doing both things.

- A W Tozer

Why is Jesus the ONLY way?

Because His perfect sacrifice is the

only way to satisfy infinite love with

infinite justice.

Love and justice (which includes judgement)

 are not opposites. A God that doesn't judge

wouldn't be more loving - but less so.

 

Love protects.

Love disciplines.

And where needed, love punishes

.

Only in and as Jesus could God find both His love

and His justice satisfied

In Jesus's perfect sacrifice He made

atonement for our sins, paid the price

of our sins. Justice has been fully

served, no cosmic crime (sin) has been

left unpunished - and yet, God gave

Himself as payment and took the

punishment for us.

 

That is not just love -

it's perfect, infinite, undeniable,

indescribable love!

 

Amazing grace!!!

watch;

https://youtube.com/shorts/yjZHLD4T2lA?feature=share

JESUS DIDN'T COME TO TEACH US - HE CAME TO DIE FOR US

Imagine needing to take a test for something you completely suck at.

You have taken the test many, many times, infinite times one could say, and you have failed every single time without fail. Your chances of passing this test seem beyond hopeless.

Now image your friend could take this test in your name.

Your friend who has mastered this subject and has passed the test

himself with flying colors.

Now imagine that the stakes of failing or passing this test is a

matter of (eternal) life or death...

 

This is what the atonement, the finished work of Jesus on the cross, did for us.

 

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John 1:29

 

 

The only cross in all of history that was turned into an altar was the cross on which Jesus Christ died. It was a Roman cross. They nailed Him on it, and God, in His majesty and mystery, turned it into an altar. The Lamb who was dying in the mystery and wonder of God was turned into the Priest who offered Himself. No one else was a worthy offering.
A W TOZER

IT'S THE CROSS THAT MADE THE CHANGE

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:18

All of history was leading up to the cross, and nothing has ever been the same since the cross. The cross is the pinnacle, the hinge on which all of history rests. Miss the cross - and you miss the point of all of this, of all of life.

WHAT HAPPENED ON THE CROSS??

But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

On that rugged cross, God, wrapped in human flesh and by the name of Jesus, offered Himself as the sacrifice for human sin, so that all who want to turn to God can do so. For them, sin will no longer be a barrier separating them from a holy holy holy God who cannot be anywhere near sin. The death, punishment, and curse that was our fate has been paid in full for us by the only One who did not deserve this, so that the glory and grace of God may be seen by all those who accept this free gift.

In other words... God gave himself for us!

"God destroys evil, ultimately not through coercive force but through suffering love." 

 

That, is the power of the cross...

PERFECT SACRIFICE

Jesus lived the perfect, sinless life that we failed to live due to our fallen nature. Jesus, as God in the flesh, was the perfect representation of God; of His glory, His holiness, His mercy and compassion, and all He did, taught, and said were expressions of the perfect truth of God.

As the perfect - sinless, spotless, blameless substitute, He could die for our sins rather than His own.

 

Though fully God, He also became fully man, and as a man, He was tempted like we all are. But, born of the Holy Spirit and led by the Spirit His whole life, He came to live a life fully devoted to the will of God the Father, seeking not His own glory but only to glorify God the Father. 

This is why Jesus is called 'the lamb of God' (referring to the Old Testament sacrificial system), it is the name given to represent His perfect sacrificial love.

ATONEMENT

Deep down - we all know something is 'off'.

The experiences of daily life testify that there is something wrong with mankind.

It's why the majority of people 'work on themselves', whether that be through therapy, meditation, inner work, micro-dosing, or one of the other infinite ways to do so.

 

The eastern model tells us that we need to work off karma and/or transcend our ego so that we may realize our inherent divinity/perfection/oneness...

The western model on the other hand, tells us that we basically need more self-esteem, change our thoughts and beliefs, and build better habits, and all will be right with us. That nagging feeling that something is off or missing? It's that feeling that we need to get rid of, not what that feeling is trying to point us towards....

WE CANNOT SAVE (ATONE) OURSELVES

However, in His word, God tells us something completely different. 

He reveals the true reason why humans look either inward or outward and see that change is needed.

That 'feeling' we all try and get rid of...

- is conviction of sin.

When the Spirit comes, He will convict the world concerning sin

John 16:8

God is light in Him there is no darkness (1 John 1:5). 

When 'we' sinned - His light left us and we became darkness,

so to speak. 

Darkness and light cannot coexist. Good and evil cannot coexist, holiness and sin cannot coexist. 

This means that the moment we sinned, we became wholly incompatible with a holy God, as incompatible as darkness

and light. 

Jesus was perfectly sinless, meaning there was no darkness

in Him. 

Yet - He took the sins of the world upon Him and died the death that we deserved (the wages (natural consequence) of sin is death..). 

A simplified way of understanding atonement is someone else paying off our debts. In this case, a spiritual debt.

For this reason, Jesus' last words on the cross were 'tetelestai', meaning 'it is finished' (the plan of redemption for mankind as foretold in the Old Testament), but also means something like 'paid in full'.

 

Jesus paid the debt we owe God for transgressing His created order - in full.

WHY IS ATONEMENT NEEDED?

The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished

Exodus 34:6-7

 

God is a merciful and forgiving God - and yet He does not, can not, let any sin go unpunished.

Just as any judge that would let the guilty walk free would be an unrighteous judge,

 

a God that lets evil go unpunished is a truly evil God.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, if you live in the 21st century, this may go against all your felt sensibilities.

That is because to our fallen human nature and unregenerate heart and mind - everything from the kingdom of God is completely upside down, or rather, right side up, from the way we are used to thinking of God, and right and wrong. A world in rebellion against God will have a skewed perspective and embrace an inverted sense of morality. 

 

The 'god of this age' (Satan) has whispered in our ears and told us; "a God that judges and punishes evil?

That sounds like a mean angry spiteful God. 

A truly good God is a God who exercises no judgement whatsoever and lets everybody do exactly as they please."

The enemy of our souls has got us believe that the punishment (eternal separation from God, or hell), is worse than the crime (rebellion against the God who created all), and that any God that has any judgement at all, would be the antithesis to a 'good and holy God'.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Justice cannot let evil go unpunished. Since God is a perfectly just God (thank God!), He must hate and punish all evil. Imagine you loving your child. Would it be 'loving' to not deal with someone who abuses your child?

In our current postmodern and pseudo-spiritual culture;

love is seen as tolerance of evil.

Love as a tolerance of evil is exactly the kind of counterfeit (fake) love that the enemy wants you to buy into.

 

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.

Isaiah 5:20

God will not let sin (evil) run amok and deteriorate His creation forever. However, He cannot destroy evil, without destroying all of us, since not a single person is perfectly selfless and spotless! God giving us the system of atonement (another Being or person taking our blame) is an expression of God's infinite wisdom and mercy and grace. With the atonement, God punishes evil.... by taking the punishment... upon Himself!

 

I don't know about you but I cannot imagine a more amazing God than this.

 

"When we have the true conception of the holiness of God, we will have the true conception of sin, and when we have the correct view of sin, we will have an adequate view of the Atonement. The only reason that men are offended at the preaching of the Cross is because they have no adequate sense of sin and the holiness of our Lord."

Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
John 6:29

RECEIVING GOD'S GIFT

Soooo... now what?

If Jesus died for my sins - I'm good to go right?

And since He died once for all sin, I can just keep on sinning, right?!

While Jesus died for the sins of all mankind (unlimited atonement), all are free to accept or reject this most gracious of God's gifts (limited salvation).

Salvation is what happens when, by faith, we accept what Christ did on the cross for us.

“If atonement was made for all men, why are not all saved? The answer is that before redemption becomes effective toward the individual man there is an act which that man must do. 

This act of appropriating salvation is one which only

man can do.”

A. W. Tozer

While only God can save us, and wishes all to be saved and reconciled to Him (2 Peter 3:9), only man, given the gift of free will, can decide to accept or reject the gift of forgiveness.

To not believe in Jesus, whom God send, is to reject the gift of salvation and to be accountable yourself for turning away from God and living life according to your own standards.

When we put our faith in Jesus, and no longer in ourselves or others or tools, paths, and methods, we enter into a covenant relationship with Jesus.

In a covenant relationship, like in marriage, we are counted as one entity; what's yours is mine and what's mine and yours.

When we enter into a covenant relationship with Jesus; our sins are counted to Him; and his righteousness (innocence & moral perfection) are counted to us.

The moment we put our faith in Jesus is when we are saved, receive the Holy Spirit (God's Spirit, as a guarantee for our future inheritence of heaven) and become born again - a new creation with a new nature!

Therefore He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Hebrews 9:15

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

Ephesians 2:8

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

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