TEXT: Leviticus 17:11; Romans 5:11
SUBJ: THE ATONEMENT FOR SIN
INTRODUCTION: The word "Atonement" is used 81 times in the Bible. Although, the term itself is only used once in the New Testament, the principle of the "Atonement" is set forth throughout. Other terms express the same idea. In the Old Testament, the word "Atonement" appears mostly in the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. The Doctrine of the "Atonement" holds a supreme place in true Christianity. Without the teaching of the "Atonement," Christianity would be reduced to the same level as all the other religions of the world. Take away the "Blood Atonement" and the Bible would not be worth carrying home. Christ's Birth would lose its special significance. His death would be meaningless and no member of Adam's fallen race would have any kind of hope for the future.
I. THE REVEALED FACT OF THE ATONEMENT.
A. The "Atonement" is set forth by types and symbols.
1. The coats of skin for Adam and Eve, which covered their nakedness and shame, enabled them to stand in the presence of God, typifying the principle of the Atonement. It was provided through the sacrifice of Christ a covering for our sins enabling us to come peaceably into God's presence - Genesis 3:21.
2. Abel's sacrifice that he brought to God gave him acceptance with God and set forth the principle that we are only accepted by the Lord because of the atoning death of Christ - Genesis 4:4; Hebrews 11:4; Ephesians 1:6.
3. The ram offered in Isaac's place on Mount Moriah symbolized the Lord Jesus Christ being sacrificed in our stead - Genesis 22:13; 1 Corinthians 15:3.
4. The Passover Lamb and the other animal sacrifices under the Levitical system foreshadowed how Christ's shed blood would shield us from Divine judgment - Exodus 12:13; 1 Corinthians 5:7.
B. The Atonement was foretold by Old Testament prophesies - Isaiah 53:5.
C. The Atonement is plainly proclaimed in the New Testament - Revelation 5:9.
II. THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF THE ATONEMENT.
A. Divine principles required an Atonement - Hebrews 9:22.
B. God's perfect nature made the Atonement necessary - Romans 3:26.
C. The righteousness of the law demanded the Atonement - Romans 10:4; Galatians 3:13.
D. The condition and need of man made the Atonement essential.
1. Man's guilty conscience could find no relief without the Atonement
2. God's righteous judgment could not be averted except through the Atonement - Romans 5:9.
III. THE EXCLUSIVE MEANS OF THE ATONEMENT.
A. The Atonement was accomplished through the death of Christ - Hebrews 2:9, 14.
B. Christ shed blood before His death on the Cross by the Roman scourge and by the crown of thorns, yet it was absolutely necessary that Christ die for us to Atone for our sins.
C. The Atonement was accomplished through the shedding of blood - 1 Peter 1:18, 19; Acts 20:28.
D. Just any kind of death would not have sufficed. Drowning, suffocation, or poisoning can cause death; But, it had to be the kind of death in which His blood was shed.
IV. THE UNIQUE NATURE OF THE ATONEMENT.
A. The Atonement was substitutionary (vicarious) in its character - Isaiah 53:6; Romans 5:6.
B. The wages of sin is death, but Christ did not die for His own sins. Our sins were transferred to Him and He took our place, suffering our just punishment.
C. The Atonement was voluntary in its execution - John 10:17, 18; Hebrews 9:14.
D. No one forced Christ to die. He voluntarily offered Himself in sacrifice for our sins.
E. The Atonement was sufficient in its scope - Hebrews 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:6; 1 John 2:2.
F. Anyone can come to Christ by faith and be assured that Christ died for him.
G. The Atonement is personal in its appropriation - 1 Timothy 4:10; Romans 5:11; John 3:16.
H. Although Christ made Atonement for you, the benefits are not conferred upon you until the Atonement is applied personally.
I. The Atonement is permanent in its effect - Hebrews 9:12; 10:12.
V. THE MANIFOLD RESULTS OF THE ATONEMENT.
A. Propitiation - Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2.
B. The Atonement turns away God's wrath from us and obtains God's favor for us. The word "propitiation" means to appease God's righteous anger!
C. Remission - Acts 10:43; Romans 4:6, 7.
D. The Atonement releases us from our guilt and gives us a righteous standing in God's sight.
E. Reconciliation - 2 Corinthians 5:18.
F. The Atonement provides the basis for us to be restored to fellowship and harmony with God.
G. Redemption - Romans 3:24; Titus 2:14.
H. The Atonement purchased us from the bondage of sin and provided for the restoration of all the things that were lost in the fall of man.
CONCLUSION: The Atonement is the work of God because of His love, mercy, and grace. There is no other way to explain why God would go to such extremes to make a way for fallen man to have fellowship with Him again. We may not be able to understand or comprehend the why of it, but we need to be thankful that He did!