Doctrine of Substitutionary Atonement
I. Introduction and definition:
A. Within the major doctrine of Soteriology, the study of salvation.
B. Atonement: To pay a ransom for someone or something.
C. Theological definition: The work of Christ dealing with the problem of the sin of man and bringing him into a right relationship with God.
D. Substitutionary Atonement: Christ died on our behalf, and paid the price of the penalty of our sins.
A. Man is a sinner.
Psa. 14:3 All have turned aside,
they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
Eccl. 7:20 ¶ There is not a righteous man on earth
who does what is right and never sins.
Rom. 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Also 1 Kgs. 8:46; Mk. 10:18
B. God is righteous and holy and cannot tolerate sin, which separates man from God.
Hab. 1:13 ¶ Your eyes are too pure to look on evil;
you cannot tolerate wrong.
¶ Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
Is. 59:2 ¶ But your iniquities have separated
you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Col. 1:21 ¶ Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
Also Prov. 15:29; Heb. 10:27
C. Since man is a sinner, man cannot close the sinful gap between a Holy God and a sinful man.
1. By mans own efforts.
Prov. 20:9 ¶ Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”?
Rom. 3:20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
2. By observing or keeping the law.
Gal. 2:16 know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified
III. Old Testament
A. The Old Testament taught through the sacrificial system that a sacrifice could atone for sin.
Lev. 17:11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.
1. The sacrifice death was the means by which atonement was attained. The sacrifice was to be perfect without blemish. Its blood was to be shed, which blood represented the animal’s life. It was poured out on the altar, representing the penalty is paid and forgiveness is granted.
2. The animal sacrifice was not in itself the payment but rather pictured the process of how the payment was to be made—by a sacrifice.
3. The Picture: Under the Old Testament sacrificial system, before the animal was slain and his blood poured out, the person(s) for whom the sacrifice was brought, placed his hands on the animal to be sacrificed. The picture of the the person placing his hand(s) on the sacrificial animal portrayed the transmission of the sins being placed upon the sacrifice. The animal was cut open, his blood spilled out and it died. A life was given, symbolized by the blood of the animal for the sin. God himself was satisfied with this price for the penalty.
B. The Old Testament taught that a future Savior would be the sacrifice given by God for mankind.
Is. 53 teaches us the principle of God providing a sacrifice for the sins of mankind and our sins being laid upon Christ.
Is. 53:4 ¶ Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
Is. 53:5 ¶ But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
Is. 53:6 ¶ We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Is. 53:12 ¶ Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
¶ For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
IV. New Testament
A. Christ came to be our substitute. The gospel passages are Christ’s own words.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Matt. 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” NIV84
2Cor. 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
B. Christ paid the redemption price.
Gal. 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
1Tim. 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
1Tim. 2:6 who gave himself as a ransom on behalf of all —the testimony given at the proper time.
C. Christ’s death closed the sinful gap between God and man.
1Pet. 3:18 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,
D. Christ received the penalty of our sins on the cross.
1Pet. 2:24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
When John the Baptist saw Jesus
John 1:29 ¶ The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
E. Christ is the fulfillment of what the Old Testament sacrifices pictured.
Heb. 9:6 ¶ When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry.
Heb. 9:7 But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year (Day of Atonement), and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.
Heb. 9:8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle (Mosaic system) was still standing.
Heb. 9:9 This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.
Heb. 9:10 They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order (New Covenant).
Heb. 9:11 ¶ When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle (in heaven) that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.
Heb. 9:12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.
Heb. 9:13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean.
Heb. 9:14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences (inwardly) from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Heb. 9:15 ¶ For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.
In Heb. 10, Christ is pictured as the high priest who offered the unblemished sacrifice of himself with his own blood.
Heb. 10:5 ¶ Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ¶ “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;
Heb. 10:6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
Heb. 10:7 ¶ Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—I have come to do your will, O God.’”
Heb. 10:8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made).
Heb. 10:9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first (sacrifices) to establish the second (Christ sacrifice).
Heb. 10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Heb. 10:11 ¶ Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
Heb. 10:12 But when this priest (Christ) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. (Work is finished).
Heb. 10:13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool,
Heb. 10:14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Heb. 10:15 ¶ The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
Heb. 10:16 ¶ “This is the (new) covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. ¶ I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”
Heb. 10:17 Then he adds: ¶ “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”
Heb. 10:18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. (Christ’s once and for all sacrifice).