Theories of the Atonement: What Happened on the Cross? | The Cripplegate

Theories of the Atonement: What Happened on the Cross? | The Cripplegate

via Theories of the Atonement: What Happened on the Cross? | The Cripplegate.

The above is an excellent summary concerning various theories of the atonement!

Advertisements

‘The Carl Hatch Squeeze’

What Evangelism Isn’t

It was mentioned in an earlier post that personal evangelism is not primarily leading someone to make a decision for Christ or pray the sinner’s prayer, although decisions are made for Christ and prayers are prayed. In the same post one of the definitions of evangelism was:

“To evangelize is to present Christ Jesus to sinful people in order that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they may come to put their trust in God through Him.” – Alistair Begg, Crossing the Barriers

I was listening to a radio interview recently in which I heard about something called ‘The Carl Hatch Squeeze’. I gathered from the interview I listened to that in certain evangelical circles, the Squeeze is considered an approved method for increasing one’s ‘soul count’. Without further ado, here’s the ‘The Carl Hatch Squeeze’.

When, in an evangelistic encounter, it was time to ‘close’ the deal and obtain a decision for Christ’ by asking ‘Do you want to pray the sinner’s prayer?’, and the answer was ‘no’ (and it happens a lot), Carl would ask if he could just pray with the person for a minute. In many cases a NO answers to the sinner’s prayer question turned into YES to a general prayer. Carl, with a hand on the person’s shoulder and a gentle squeeze, would then pray and ask God if He would help the person be a better husband, friend, worker, or a number of other ways we all want ‘be’ better. He would also include material blessings we all yearn for. The ‘mark’ (can I say that?) would be in total agreement with the ‘general’ prayer. Carl would then ask the sinner’s prayer question again. Many an initial NO became YES, Carl could claim another soul for the Kingdom, and all was well.

Or was it? I’ll let you be the judge.

What are your thoughts?

Redemption Accomplished

Redemption Accomplished

by Mike Riccardi

In case you’ve missed it, The Master’s Seminary has been doing an extended series of short videos outlining its key doctrinal distinctives and commitments. Topics have included commitments to the holiness and glory of God, 6-day creation, the inspiration and authority of Scripture, and the premillennial return of Christ. That series is continuing this week with key points of the doctrine of salvation, including man’s need, God’s plan of election, Christ’s atonement, and so on. You can find all of the videos (and more to come) at this link.

I had the privilege of giving voice to the Seminary’s commitment to the heart of the Gospel: redemption accomplished through the atonement of Christ. As an added bonus for the Cripplegate readers, I thought I’d publish the notes I prepared for the video. As can be expected, I had prepared more than made the final cut (my “gift” of long-windedness strikes again), so I thought this would be a good place to present the “excess fruit” of my preparation. I hope it’s a blessing to you.

I had the privilege of giving voice to the Seminary’s commitment to the heart of the Gospel: redemption accomplished through the atonement of Christ. As an added bonus for the Cripplegate readers, I thought I’d publish the notes I prepared for the video. As can be expected, I had prepared more than made the final cut (my “gift” of long-windedness strikes again), so I thought this would be a good place to present the “excess fruit” of my preparation. I hope it’s a blessing to you.

The Commitment

At The Master’s Seminary, the most fundamental of all of our commitments is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15 that at the very heart of the Gospel is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. While man’s depravity establishes the need for salvation, and the Father’s unconditional election forms the plan of salvation, the atonement of God the Son is what accomplishes that redemption in space and time. And so if we are going to be fundamentally committed to the Gospel, we must be committed to an accurate, robust, biblical understanding of the atonement. And we are committed to that at The Master’s Seminary

Penal Substitution

If I had to choose one phrase to capture the significance of the nature of the atonement, I would say that the best summary phrase would be “penal substitution.” That is to say that on the cross, Jesus received in Himself the penalty for our sins as a substitute for us. 1 Peter 2:24 says, “And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” Isaiah 53:5 says, “He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His [wounds] we are healed.”

This means that the cross is not merely an example for us to show us how to live, though it is that. It’s not merely a demonstration of God’s love for humanity, though it is that. Most fundamentally, the cross is the innocent Son of God, standing in the place of guilty sinners, bearing in His own Person the full exercise of the righteous wrath of His Father against the sins of His people.

Propitiation

You see, our sins justly earned us the penalty of hell—of consummate spiritual death, of eternal punishment. And because God is a holy and just God, He must punish sin. God can’t simply sweep our sin under the rug and say, “Well, kids are going to be kids!” No, if God is holy, righteous, and good, sin must be paid for.

The problem is: hell is a penalty that none of us can ever pay. No one can survive an eternity of God’s judgment. But on that cross 2,000 years ago, God the Son stood in my place, and experienced the unmixed fury of hell itself, due to me because of my sin, and rose from the grave on the third day. Every ounce of the wrath of God against my sin—the wrath that I was sure to experience in hell—was fully satisfied, because it was fully borne by my Substitute. And so—praise God!—there is no wrath left for me!

This is what the Bible calls propitiation, borrowing from the language of Old Testament sacrifice.  On the Day of Atonement in Israel, the high priest would sprinkle the sacrificial blood on the mercy seat in the holy of holies. And through that blood, God’s wrath against Israel’s sin would be satisfied, appeased. In the same way, the New Testament speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ as our High Priest, who sprinkles His own blood on the mercy seat of God’s heavenly altar, such that God’s wrath is propitiated against His people.

Most fundamentally, the cross is the innocent Son of God, standing in the place of guilty sinners, bearing in His own Person the full exercise of the righteous wrath of His Father against the sins of His people, so that we who are guilty may be justly declared righteous.

Pictures of Penal Substitution

And so Scripture speaks of Christ as the Passover Lamb of Exodus 12, who has been sacrificed in our place (cf. 1 Cor 5:7). He is the Scapegoat of Leviticus 16, who bears the sins of God’s people and is banished from God’s presence (Lev 16:10). He is the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53, who justifies the many by bearing their iniquities (Isa 53:11). Galatians 3:13 tells us that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. Mark 10:45: The Son of Man came to give His life as a ransom for many. Scripture is just shot through with imagery of penal substitutionary atonement! And that is because it is the very foundation of the Gospel itself.

And so on the cross, Christ paid the penalty for the sins of His people, bearing the fullness of the Father’s wrath against them, and thereby purchasing a people for His own possession.

Actual Atonement

And when that wrath was satisfied, Jesus cried out in triumph, “It is finished!” (John 19:30). In that moment, the work that the Father had given Him to do was completed. Redemption had been accomplished. The salvation of all those whom the Father had given to the Son (cf. John 6:37, 39; 17:9, 11, 24) was infallibly secured 2,000 years ago on Golgotha. And Jesus will lose none that the Father has given Him, but He will raise them up on the last day (John 6:39).

You see, this was not a nameless, faceless, potential atonement, whose benefits have to be activated by the sinner’s will. This is a particular, efficacious, actual atonement—sovereignly accomplished by the Son—the benefits of which are enjoyed by all whom the Father chose and whom the Spirit regenerates. Redemption is a divine work from beginning to end.

Atonement and Imputation

We can sum it all up this way: On the cross, the Father treated Jesus as if He lived my life of sin, and punished my sin in Him. And because He did, He can now treat me as if I lived Jesus’ life of righteousness, and receive me—a sinner!—into His holy presence to enjoy fellowship with Him. And this He does for everyone who repents of their sins, and trusts in Christ alone for righteousness.

Worthy-is-the-Lamb[1]

Conclusion: Worship

But we can’t end without saying this: An accurate theology of the atonement must lead to a transcendent doxology for the atonement. If all of what I just spoke about is just an academic exercise, or just intellectual jousting—if these truths don’t bow you down in worship—you’ve missed the entire point of theology.

Satan has an excellent theology of the atonement. The demons believe and shudder, James 2:19. The difference is: they are not beneficiaries of Christ’s atonement. But we His people are beneficiaries. And so we study not as dispassionate theorists, but as blood-bought, redeemed sinners. TMS aims to train our future pastors to do theology as worshipers, and not merely as analysts. Theology must lead to doxology. Analysis must lead to adoration.

And so our commitment to understanding the atonement must culminate in the song of the saints in Revelation 5: “Worthy are You,” O Christ, “for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

HT: The Cripplegagte

Make Your Life Count

We all know Christians who seem to have as their life’s ambition to do the bare minimum for Christ, and finish their race without breaking a sweat. Paul says we should run like we want to win. Make your life count.

Two London missionaries attempted to take the gospel to the New Hebrides Islands in 1839 but they were unceremoniously killed and eaten by cannibals only minutes after going ashore. Then in 1858 John G. Paton and his wife set sail to the islands, but not without some well-meaning opposition. On one occasion a respected elder warned, “You will be eaten by cannibals!” To which Paton responded with wry candidness,

“Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by Cannibals or by worms.”

Food for thought, right?

_______________________

Excerpted from

The Lore of Running | The Cripplegate.

WHY is Personal Evangelism (Sharing Christ) The Great Privilege?

The very first blog post here defined personal evangelism as the greatest privilege that God has bestowed upon his children. The second post, here, defined evangelism:

“To evangelize is to present Christ Jesus to sinful people in order that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they may come to put their trust in God through Him.”

Given the above, it’s quite natural to ask the question “WHY is personal evangelism such a great privilege?”

The answer is quite simple, actually. God, being God, doesn’t need us to save anyone! He can save anyone he wants, whenever & wherever he wants, and however he wants. God has not only decided (decreed) to save a remnant for himself out of fallen humanity, he has decided (decreed) the means by which that remnant would be saved. We know and have probably memorized the following passage:

“For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” “– Romans 10:13

In the next two passages, Paul shares with us what I like to call ‘The Golden Chain of Evangelism’:

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” – Romans 10:13-15

People who have believed the truth concerning Jesus Christ’s death for their sin (substitutionary atonement) call upon him for salvation. In order to first believe, they need to have been told what it is they are to believe, and those who do the telling do so because they have been sent to do exactly that – share Jesus.

That brings us to another question; “WHO are the ‘sent ones’, and WHO sends them”? Another good question, especially since you might be thinking that the ‘sent ones’ are pastors, Sunday school/Bible study teachers, or specially gifted evangelists like Billy Graham. That’s OK.

I would just like to propose to you that Jesus says that if you are a follower of Christ (disciple) YOU are a ‘sent one’! Listen to what Jesus had to say to his followers (disciples) when he appeared to them after his resurrection:

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” – John 20:19-21

There you have it. If we are followers of Christ, we are ‘sent ones’, commissioned by our Savior himself to share the good news!

Remember this though, that although we are sent to share the gospel message, when we do share Jesus we can in no way take any credit when someone actually believes the truth we share and ‘calls upon’ the Lord. How’s that for a lead in to another post!

What is Evangelism?

Posted on June 13, 2015 by Born4Battle

EvangelismI have on my bookshelf a number of works concerning personal evangelism and stored in my files I have more books in digital format, as well as articles and sermons concerning our subject. But rather than bore the reader with a long list of definitions gleaned from all of those sources, I would like to share something from a list of definitions that I think perfectly addresses both what evangelism is not, and what it is:

“Evangelism is not persuading people to make a decision; it is not proving that God exists, or making out a good case for the truth of Christianity; it is not inviting someone to a meeting; it is not exposing the contemporary dilemma, or arousing interest in Christianity; it is not wearing a badge saying, “Jesus Saves!” Some of these things may be right and good in their place, but none of them should be confused with evangelism. To evangelize is to declare on the authority of God what He has done to save sinners, to warn men of their lost condition, to direct them to repent, and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.” – John Cheeseman, Saving Grace, 1999 .p113, by permission Banner of truth, Carlisle, PA. 

I confess that I am well aware that the above statements of what evangelism isn’t might step on some toes and we can discuss some of those in future posts. For the time being note the definition of what evangelism is:

“To evangelize is to declare on the authority of God what He has done to save sinners, to warn men of their lost condition, to direct them to repent, and to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Lest you find the language of that definition a bit intimidating, here is a simpler definition:

“To evangelize is to present Christ Jesus to sinful people in order that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they may come to put their trust in God through Him.” – Alistair Begg, Crossing the Barriers

I really like those definitions, especially the second one because it tells me what I am to do (present Christ to), what God does (supplies the power behind the message), and because it defines the ultimate goal (that the listener would put his/her trust in God through Christ).

Think of it in terms of three ‘actors’ in a powerful drama. There’s you with an eternal message, a listener who needs the message, and God who is the drama’s producer/director.

Make sense? Stay tuned!

What IS the Great Privilege?

I’m so glad you asked!

For the believer in Christ, the child of God, the great privilege is to have been chosen by God to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost and dying world around us; our families, friends & co-workers, as well as other fellow travelers along this path we call life.   Some call it ‘personal evangelism’, which is a good an honorable ‘task’ statement, but one that also can be a bit intimidating,

One might also hear that the sharing of the gospel message is a ‘duty’, and indeed it is. Some would even say that this duty falls primarily to pastors, evangelists, and other specially gifted folks. I would suggest that the proclamation of the gospel is both a duty and a privilege of all who claim to be Christians.  I further suggest that the ‘privilege’ aspect of personal evangelism has been highly underrated, if recognized at all. And while I believe that to be true, I am also convinced that if/when the idea of personal evangelism as ‘the great privilege’ is incorporated into the regenerated mind and heart, the amount of personal evangelism taking place will increase exponentially.

Exactly how the sharing of the gospel message is transformed from just a duty (and a pleasant one at that) to the greatest privilege bestowed by God upon his children is, I think, a matter of understanding the message itself, the state of fallen man and his need for the message, and the sovereignty of God in the saving of fallen man.

Those are the topics we will attempt to explore and discuss at this site.  They will be addressed in the context of living in a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile to all things Godly.

Stay tuned, my friends!.

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”