Instead of writing an completely original piece I present this week’s entry resourced heavily from several theological works on the subject of the atonement. The atonement can be difficult for many people to understand, but to put it the most simply: The atonement is God’s solution to the problem of sin. Reformed theologian Wayne Grudem defines it by saying: “The atonement is the work Christ did in his life and death to earn our salvation” (Systematic Theology, Chapter 27, “The Atonement,” page 568).
Definitions and Need for Atonement
“The atonement is the act by which God restores a relationship of harmony and unity between Himself and human beings. The word can be broken into three parts that express this great truth in simple but profound terms ‘at-one-ment.’ Through God’s atoning grace and forgiveness, we are reinstated to a relationship of at-one-ment with God, in spite of our sin” (Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, page 139).
“The need for atonement is brought about by three things, the universality of sin, the seriousness of sin and man’s inability to deal with sin. The first point is attested in many places: ‘there is no man who does not sin’ (I Kings 8:46); ‘there is none that does good, no, not one’ (Psalm 14:3); ‘there is not a righteous man on earth, who does good and never sins’ (Ecclesiastes 7:20). Jesus told the rich young ruler, ‘No one is good but God alone’ (Mar 10:18), and Paul writes, ‘All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23)…