This is a list of the article on this website that discusses the meaning of “atonement.” The question is, how did Christ atone for sin?
Atonement has come to mean to make amends to propitiate wrath. But when “atonement” was first put in the English Bible, it did not describe an activity but a state of unity: AT-ONE-MENT. It was the orthodox doctrine of an angry God that caused the meaning of the word “atonement” to change.
THEORIES OF THE ATONEMENT
A brief overview of the main theories – We agree that, if Jesus did not die, we cannot be saved. But there is much disagreement on HOW His death atoned for sin. To understand the solution, we first have to define the problem. Was God angry, or justice perverted, or did sin give Satan ownership of this world?
HOW CHRIST ATONED FOR SIN
Satan began sin in heaven and brought it to the earth. God did not reject mankind and sent prophets to turn people to Him. But God did condemn Satan. In response, Satan accused God of unfair judgment, pointing to the sins of God’s people. Satan is extremely talented, and the angels were unable to understand whether Satan was right. Christ’s sacrifice cleared up the confusion and showed the rightness of God’s judgments.
METAPHORS OF SALVATION
Paul used a very rich variety of metaphors and symbols for salvation, such as redeemed, reconciled, justified, reconciled and made alive. We must not interpret his metaphors literally.
WHY CHRIST HAD TO DIE
Why did Jesus have to die to save people? What problem did His death solve? Did He die to pacify an angry God? HOW did His death reconcile all things to God? To know why Jesus had to die, we need to understand the origin of evil, as well as Satan’s accusations.
REVELATION’S ATONEMENT THEORY
The sealed book in Revelation 5 symbolizes a lack of understanding in heaven over God’s judgments. Christ’s death opens the book by providing understanding: Firstly, by overcoming Satan’s ultimate temptation. Secondly, by demonstrating the worthiness of God’s elect. But the book is not yet fully open.
RELATED ARTICLES AND TALKS
- For an explanation of how the Cross validated God’s judgments, see the Disarmed the rulers and authorities in heavenly places (Col 2:15).
- The discussion of the Seven Seals explains why are we still at war; even after the cross made peace.
- War in Heaven – Revelation 12
- Origin of Evil – Where and How
- Listen to Graham Maxwell’s view of Atonement, Justification and why Christ had to die from the letter to the Galatians.