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As a kid I was a Scout. Actually I was a puddle pirate (Sea Scout). I remember the pride of donning my fancy blue uniform and wearing a ridiculous white sailor cap. I loved it! It was absolutely fantastic! We patrolled the waters in sailboats and tied knots; we rigged tents and started fires; we played games and sang songs. Even now, as an adult, the Scout Motto is etched in my mind: “Be Prepared!”
In my last post I asked myself the question, “So Mark, fundamentally, what do you believe?” Why? Why would I bother? Well, because the Bible tells us to bother; to be able to defend what we believe; to “Be Prepared!”
For example 1 Peter 3:15 says:
I found the truths of the Virgin Birth quite easy to articulate. Right now I’m thinking of something a bit more complex: Substitutionary Atonement. If it’s complex why bother at all? Well because the Substitutionary Atonement of Christ forms part of the hope that is in me; and because, like all other fundamentals of the Christian faith, the Substitutionary Atonement of Christ is under attack.
Maybe a short definition first? If substitute means “in place of” and atone means “to make amends for” then Substitutionary Atonement is Jesus Christ’s act of dying in place of sinners. It’s clearly taught in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” and Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Who’d attack that? It seems so Protestant. Every read The Shack? I’m referring to it by way of an example of the teaching that has infiltrated the Church. This is a quote from page 119, “At that, Papa stopped her preparations and turned toward Mack. He could see a deep sadness in her eyes. ‘I am not who you think I am, Mackenzie. I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It is not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it’.”
Get that? “Sin is its own punishment.” In a widely publicized radio show the author, William P. Young, made further statements regarding his Biblically incorrect view of Substitutionary Atonement. But he’s not alone. Many are now teaching a Gospel message which removes sin from the equation, belittling the work of Christ on the cross and cheapening His sacrifice.
Here’s the thing: Without Substitutionary Atonement we have no hope. You see if Christ’s death on the cross wasn’t enough or if it wasn’t for our sins, then there’s still a debt to be paid, an amount owning, an outstanding balance. But because it was a penalty paid in place of me I know that it’s done; it’s finished; my soul is won.
1 Peter 2:24 says:
Ever wonder throughout history people have consistently demanded more human responsibility in God’s marvelous scheme of salvation?
- GotQuestions.org has some good answers on this subject. Click here to read the article.
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