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Lesson 12 The Atonement of Christ


Devotional Reading:   Isaiah 53.


Memory Verse:           John 3:16.


For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.




John 3:14, 15. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.


Matthew 20:28. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.


Hebrews 9:13, 14. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?


1 Peter 3:18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.


Hebrews 9:28. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.


Romans 3:24Ė26. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.


2 Corinthians 5:21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


1 John 4:10. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.


1 John 2:2. And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.




John 3:14, 15. Eternal life is brought to us through Christís death. Mosesí serpent is used as a type.

Matthew 20:28. Christís death paid a ransom price, not to Satan but to the claims of divine justice.

Romans 5:8. Christís death reveals Godís love for man. He died in our stead.

Hebrews 9:13, 14. The sacrifices of the Old Law effected only a ceremonial cleansing; these were types of Christís death which effects a real cleansing.

1 Peter 3:18. Christ died for the unjust to make their return to God possible.

Hebrews 9:28. The offering of Christ was complete and final. He comes again without sin.

Romans 3:24Ė26. We are redeemed through Christ which makes our justification possible. His death is propitious and at the same time justifies the sinner an upholds the justice of God.

2 Corinthians 5:21. Christ is our sin offering.

1 John 4:10, 2:2. Christ makes reconciliation for the sinner. This is universal.






1. There is a penalty for sin.


A) Is God too good to punish men? The Bible contains many threats of punishment for sin. God did punish the antediluvians and the Sodomites and he still punishes sinners. When he threatens punishment God means what he says. B) Godís holiness makes punishment necessary. No penalty results in no respect for law. The penalty can be remitted only after a satisfactory tribute to justice has been paid.


2. Man cannot pay his own penalty.


The sufferings of man do not satisfy. The idea is held that the sufferings of man here (with perhaps a little added after death) satisfy justice and will be followed by eternal bliss. This is universalism.


3. Repentance is not sufficient.


A) It does not satisfy justice. To release an offender who becomes sorry when caught breeds contempt for law. I may sin at will if I know I shall not be punished if I but say, ďLord forgive me.Ē Repentance does not make amends for outraged justice. B) Sinners unaided do not repent. The basis of repentance is found in godly sorrow. It is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance (Romans 2:4). A regret for sin for fear of or to avoid the penalty is not true repentance.




1. Moral influence theory.


This theory teaches that Christ died to provide Godís love for men and thus win their hearts.


A) This is true. But this theory does not go far enough. Such a death might restrain men from sin and cause sinners to reform but it cannot remit the penalty of sins committed. B) It is not a sufficient proof of love. An otherwise unnecessary death is not a proper proof of love. The death of Christ, being necessary to save us from sin, does truly reveal love.


2. Limited atonement.


This doctrine that Christ died for the elect only. His death guarantees their salvation but does not benefit others.

There is truth in this. Only the elect receive the full benefits of the atonement. Some will be lost in spite of the fact that Christ diedóbut who are the elect? God has chosen to save those that believe. The invitation is to whosoever will and whosoever believeth.


3. To procure the resurrection.


The Mormons say that the death of Christ secures our resurrection, but we are saved through the ordinances of the gospel.

A) We shall be resurrected through Christ. B) We are saved through his death. He bore our sins and was the propitiation for our sins. We are washed of our sins through his blood. (1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5)




1. The sacrifices were types of Christís atonement.


They are called types, shadows, figure, patterns, etc. John refers to Christ as the lamb of God; Paul calls him our passover.


2. The teaching of the sacrifices for sin.


A) Substitution. When an offender brings a beast to the priest this is a substitute. B) Imputation. Hands are laid on the beastís head and over it are confessed the sins. The sins are thus imputed to the beast. C) Vicarious suffering. The beast is then slain and its blood poured out at the altar. It dies instead of the sinner.




1. Christ died in our stead.


A) Our sins were imputed to him. ďThe Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.Ē (Isaiah 53:6) This would be unjust and impossible had he not willingly taken our place. B) He died for us. He gave himself a ransom for the whole world. (John 11:50; 2 Corinthians 5:14)


2. To save us from sin.


3. His death is the price of our redemption.


We are bought with a price. This price is the blood of Christ. (1 Corinthians 6:19Ė20)


4. His death vindicates Godís holiness.


The death of Christ is a sufficient tribute to Godís justice. It makes God propitious.