Paul does not say that God was reconciled to man, but that God did something in order to reconcile man to Himself. This act of reconciliation is a finished work; it is a work that has been done in the interests of men so that in the sight of God the entire world is already reconciled. It remains for the evangelist to proclaim it and the individual to receive it. Christ’s death has made the reconciliation of all mankind possible; each individual must make it actual.
By Ralph Vincent Reynolds
- THE ATONEMENT:
Hebrews 9: 22 “Without shedding of blood is no remission.”
The whole doctrine of salvation is built upon the atonement which is accomplished in the sacrificial death of Christ. If man could have been saved in any other way Christ would never have died the atoning death on Calvary. IN UNIT SEVEN we shall study what God did in providing salvation for fallen man. The account of what He did, the incarnation, the ministry of Christ on earth, the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, is found in the four Gospels.
- THE ORIGIN OF THE ATONEMENT:
(a) ORDAINED IN HEAVEN:
Rev. 13:8 “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
1 Peter 1:19-20 “Blood of Christ…foreordained before the foundation of the world.”
In the plan and mind of God Calvary was from the very beginning.
(b) INSTITUTED ON EARTH:
Genesis 3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins and clothed them.”
When God clothed Adam and Eve blood was shed© This was the beginning of the crimson line of sacrifice that runs through the entire Bible.
- THE NECESSITY OF THE ATONEMENT:
(a) GOD’S HOLINESS AND MAN’S SINFULNESS:
The necessity of the atonement is based upon the facts of God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness. The reaction of God’s holiness against man’s sinfulness is known as His WRATH, which may be averted by the atonement.
Sin is violence done to the constitution,so as to speak,under which God and man live, just as unfaithfulness does violence to the covenant under which man and wife live. Sin is essentially an attack on God’s honor and holiness. It is rebellion against God; for in willfully sinning man chooses his own will rather than God’s, and for the time being becomes a law unto himself. But should God permit His honor to be attacked He would then cease to be God. His honor calls for the destruction of the one resisting Him; His righteousness demands satisfaction of the violated law; and His holiness reacts against sin, this reaction being described as WRATH. God’s wrath is governed by personal considerations; He is not hasty to destroy the work of His hands. He pleads with man; He waits to be gracious. He delays judgment in the hope that His goodness shall lead man to repentance. However man misunderstands the Divine, delays and scoffs at the thought of judgment.