|FAQ ID # 79|
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|Question / Issue|
|What is Atonement?|
|Answer / Solution|
The doctrine of the death of Jesus for the sins of mankind is central to the Christian faith. It is this feature that separates Christianity from all other world religions. All other religions say that you must atone for your own sins, or earn your own forgiveness. The Bible and the Gospel say that this is impossible, and that is why Jesus died for us. The death of Jesus for the sins of mankind is the fundamental belief of Christianity. Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:1-3:
“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures…”
· Man is a sinner and atonement for his sins need to be made.
· God is holy, and sinful man will not be able to approach God until justification is complete.
The Bible states that man is a sinner (Romans 3:23). This simply means that we are not perfect, we have all made mistakes, and we all fall short of the perfect standard of God. This sin is what separates us from God and hinders us from ever spending eternity with Him.
The Bible also says that the wages of this sin is death (Romans 6:23). In other words, in order for reconciliation with God to be possible, the price of a death needs to be paid. Obviously, if we were to try and pay that price ourselves, it would be our end. Not only that, but since we are sinners, our sacrifice would be insufficient and imperfect.
Some have stated that Jesus came to show us how to overcome and correct our sins. Actually, Scriptures teach the opposite. It shares how it is impossible for man to change himself. Jeremiah 13:23 says:
" Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.”
So if we can’t achieve salvation on our own, and cannot pay the price on our own, we run into a dilemma on how will we be able to attain salvation?
This might be a dilemma for us, but not for God. Romans 5:6-8 states:
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Therefore, Scriptures teach that Jesus came and took the penalty of our sin in order for us to receive forgiveness and be free from the consequences of sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).
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