Thursday, March 3, 2022

Need for Atonement (1 John 4)

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10).

At the core of Christianity stands the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. His atoning work is central to every doctrine and teaching in Scripture. The Old Testament prophecies foreshadowed this climactic event, and the New Testament expounds on the fulfillment and meaning of Christ’s sacrifice in the life of believers and in the judgment of the world. For one to understand the Christian faith, one must grasp the meaning of the Cross. Therefore, we will spend the next six days examining the atonement and why it is the heart of our faith.

While many may accept the truth of the Christian message as they understand it, some people refuse to embrace the Christian faith because they see no need in their lives for it. They accept that Jesus died on a cross in Jerusalem nearly 2,000 years ago, but they reject that this historical event carries any meaning for them personally.

To atone means to make amends or to repair. The atonement of Christ repaired or amended the broken relationship that exists between God and sinners. But why was this reconciliation needed? Many people falsely believe they have a good relationship with God, but Scripture maintains that because of sin, this relationship has been broken. Without the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, no man can come into the presence of God. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Because our sin has severed that precious communion mankind once shared with God, we can no longer dwell in His holy presence. Only those who are covered by the sacrifice of Christ can come into His holy sanctuary and obtain eternal life.

In coming days, we will examine more thoroughly the implications of sin and how it relates to our relationship with God in a personal sense as well as a legal sense. For now, suffice it to say that all men need the atoning work of Christ because all have sinned, are separated from God, and need reconciliation. Christ purchased that reconciliation on the Cross for those that believe in Him. Without His mediation, we have no hope of eternal life but only eternal judgment and separation from God.

Homework: Why do people say they do not need atonement? write a brief response to someone who does not understand the atoning work of Christ or see the need for it. Look and pray for an opportunity to tell someone this Good News either in your church or in your community.