Atonement: An effective act


In seeking to understand the atonement, we must recognise that everything depended on Christs’ obedience to the Father’s will. His obedience, unlike that of a lamb involved His will. As we think of Jesus being the Servant king, we come to understand that He is God’s Servant and He came not to be served by us, but to serve God by fulfilling His will. He became obedient unto to death, even death on a cross. When He came to seek and save the lost, He did so in obedience to the will God, therefore, we see again and again that Jesus is God’s servant. For it is God who makes peace with the world through Christ Jesus, by Jesus being obedient to the Father’s will, “that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (2:5:19).

The Word of the Cross

The Cross is an effective act of redemption. With Christ exchanging His righteousness for our sin, in order to receive the judgement of God in our place, we are changed, born again into a new and living hope. The old has gone and the new has come, we are not what we were. In hearing the word of the Cross, God’s living word reproduces itself in us as a living act. God enables us to be followers of Christ, not mere listeners, believers alone, but followers of Christ. When the word is preached we should recognise by faith the divine act behind the proclaimer of God’s word, the word of God does the work of God, it accomplishes that for which it was given.

Communicating the benefits of redemption

In the Westminster Shorter Catechism we find the following question, “What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption?”. The answer provided in the catechism is the following “the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of redemption, are His ordinances, especially the Word, Sacraments and Prayer; all of which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.” By faith, we see that as we participate in the Word of God, the Lord’s Table and Prayer.  God is communicating to us, the bride of Christ the benefits of redemption. These are the means by which God directs those blessing to us. The Cross of Christ is an effective act of redemption

By Daniel Ralph

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