THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST THE MOST IMPORTANT AND SIGNIFICANT EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD WAS THE CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST
Most people know that Jesus was crucified almost 2000 years ago in Palestine. Some people even have an idea as to why Jesus was crucified, or at least what Christians say He was crucified. They seem to know that his death on the cross had something to do with ones salvation, and going to Heaven.
When you question folks regarding the biblical, theological significance of Jesus's person and work most people are quite ignorance of God's Word.
Terms like "atonement" and "substitutionary work" and "reconciliation" are unknown to most people today.
I am not sure that as a youth I understood those terms. As a fundamental Baptist those terms were way too big. I think I was in college before I heard those terms. Yet the library that dad had was filled with theological books, and Charles Spurgeons books were on the front row. I even read Spurgeon a lot, and used his outlines as study tools to teach the Psalms, and other sermons I would preached.
The word "atonement" is a theological term that is used to describe the substitutionary work of Christ. The word occurs in the KJV in Romans 5:11, and the basic meaning of the term is "reconciliation." (another big word).
The word "atonement" is takes on the meaning of Christ's work of redemption on behalf of His people. From Genesis 3:15 to the New Testament, the theme was about Christ and His need to become the Savior.
THE DEATH OF CHRIST ON THE CROSS
- Romans 3:25
- Romans 5:9
- I Corinthians 10:16
- Ephesians 1:7, 2:13
- Colossians 1:20
- Hebrews 9:12,14
- I Peter 1:2, 19
- 1 John 1:7, 5:6-8
Now this whole topic would take a book or two to fully address. People have a number of ideas as to why Christ died on the Cross. And a number of reasons are giving as to what happen as a result of Christ dying on the Cross. Why was it necessary for Christ to die? Why did God require Himself to die on the Cross? And what did the shedding of his blood have to do with salvation? And many can't figure out all that went on in the Old Testament with the blood, the killing of animals. And why was it necessary to redeem people as a result of what Adam did in the garden?
Most of us were saved as a youth, and had no idea of the atonement. Many of us couldn't understand why we would even go to Hell and not to Heaven. Why would God let any of us go to Hell? Why we needed to be "saved?? Saved from what we would ask? And that term "sin", we were "sinners" where did that come from? I knew that I had taken some candy from across the street, but that was'n real bad, besides I got caught and punish by Dad, but I didn't think it would cause me to go to Hell. You know?
I had a hard time knowing who Jesus Christ was! Of course I must say I slept a lot in church. Thank goodness Mom was a good Sunday School teacher. But I didn't get a whole lot out of preaching (sorry Dad). But I did learn about sin, and Heaven, and Hell, and the need to "get saved." I knew if I didn't do something I was really in trouble about getting to Heaven. I wasn't really ready to go to Heaven at five or seven.
Now when Evangelist Bob Obton came to our church, and the preached, the old fashioned way, and he did some really neat stuff to get our attention. He would bend a two penny nail and would get into a bag and have it locked, and we would escape. That was impressive.
At the end of his sermon, he would ask, "WHO WANTS TO GO TO HEAVEN?" Well of course who wouldn't, right? So I went to the front of the church to see how I could get to Heaven from Roanoke, Virginia. (had to do that,sorry).
Here is what I remember: "Charles do you know John 3:16?" "No." I said. "And you are a preachers son and you do not know John 3:16?" I really felt bad about that. So I went back into the back room to learn that verse. Then I believe someone help me to learn the verse and what they believed the verse meant. We are sinners, and need to be saved, and Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, and if we had faith to believe that by Jesus dying on the cross He made it possible for us to be saved. I believed that for sure. That is about all I remember.
Was I saved that Sunday Morning? Good question. I didn't understand the "atonement." I really didn't know why it was necessary for God to have His Son Jesus to be born, and live and die for me in the first place. But you know, something happen in my life that day, that really changed my ability to understand all this about Jesus Christ. And when Mom would teach and Dad would preach, I got it. Of course, not theologically.
Looking back, knowing what I know now, theologically, I believe I was saved then. Because of God's grace, He saved me the moment my heart was open to His grace, and the faith to believe was not mind but Christ.
Part Two later: