To make atonement means to avert punishment especially divine anger, by the payment of a ransom, which may be money or which may be of life. Throughout the OT sin is serious; it was punished unless atonement was sought in the way God had provided.
It means “a making at one”, and points to a process of bringing those who are estranged into a unity. Its use in the Bible to denote the work of Christ in dealing with the problem posed by the sin of man, and in bringing sinners into right relation with God.
Atonement signifies a harmonious relationship or that which brings about such a relationship, i.e., a reconciliation. It is principally used of the reconciliation between God and man effected by the work of Christ. The necessity for such reconciliation is the breach in the primal relationship between the Creator and the creature occasioned by man’s sinful rebellion.
That aspect of the work of Christ, particularly His death, that makes possible the restoration of fellowship between God and man. The need for reconciliation between God and mankind is clear from the fact that people are sinners separated from God (Romans 3:9-23). The doctrine of atonement states that Christ died, or “atoned,” for our sins, making reconciliation with God the Father possible. Atonement is effective because Christ bore the punishment justly due all sinners. Christ’s dying on behalf of sinners is known as “vicarious” or “substitutionary” atonement.
The Greek words that are translated “forgiveness” mean to deal graciously with, to send away, to loose, to release, a passing by and remission.
When a person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior his or her sins are wiped clean, forgiven by God, never to be held against him or her again (Hebrews 10:17). Jesus’ death on the cross was God’s gracious gift whereby our sins are forgiven. That promise is sealed in the further gift of eternal life. Just as Jesus rose form the dead, so we too will live eternally (Romans 6:1-11). We are told that because God forgave us, we should also forgive others.
Forgiveness rests basically, then, on the atoning work of Christ. That is to say, it is an act of grace. The means by which we appropriate the grace of God for forgiveness are faith and repentance.
From the Greek pistis, “firm persuasion.” Biblical faith has two essential components: (1) Trust or acceptance, belief that Jesus is Lord with acknowledgement of His resurrection, and (2) intellectual content, the revealed truth that is firmly believed and is reflected in the life of a believer. Faith may also be defined as a conscious mental desire to do the will of the God of Scripture.
From the Anglo-Saxon god-spell, “God-Story,” a translation of the Greek euangelion, “good news” The Gospel is the good news of the message of salvation offered by God to all who believe in His Son, Jesus, as Lord and Savior.
The Gospel is the joyous proclamation of God’s redemptive activity in Christ Jesus on behalf of man enslaved by sin. The “good news” is that Christ died and was raised again for us so that we, through faith in Him, might be delivered from eternal condemnation and might live eternally in His presence. The incredible and radical story of God is that he loves the world so much that he enters into the suffering of the world so that through his death, sin is defeated, death is overcome, hell is conquered. And in his resurrection, life, the true life of the Spirit is recovered and man and the world is made new.
All men are guilty of sin before God. The penalty for sin is death- eternal separation from God. But because of His great love for us, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to take the penalty of our sin on Himself when He died on the cross. Three days later He was resurrected from the dead and is alive today and forever. If a person will repent of his sinful way of life and have faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and able to save him from eternal death, he will be saved.
From the Greek charis, “graceful,” “agreeable.” The gift of God, the unmerited favor of forgiveness or mercy given to sinners. An outpouring of God’s love and mercy. See John 3:16-21; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; 8:9; Ephesians 2:8
A covenant is a legal agreement or contract between two people or parties that binds them to the terms of the arrangement. Another usage of the word is as a last will and testament that goes into effect once the one who made it dies.
In the OT God made a covenant with His chosen people in which He promised to bless those who accepted and committed themselves to Him by living according to the terms of the covenant given through Moses. This was a covenant of works.
The “New Covenant” was prophesied about by Jeremiah (31:31-34). In his prophecy he said that a better covenant would come to replace the old temporary one. The term “New Covenant” is a synonym for the gospel of Christ. It is also referred to as the “covenant of grace”.
This covenant has been made by God with all of mankind and not just the Jews. In it He offers life and salvation through Christ to all who believe. On them He will give the grace they need to confess His name and live with Him forever; in humble dependence on Him for their every need, they will live in trustful obedience from day to day. This latter, called faith in the Scripture, is the sole condition of the covenant, and even it is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is the most important part of the forming of the new covenant. See Luke 22:20; 2 Corinthians 3:4-18; Hebrews 8-10;
From the Greek hilaskomai, hilasterion, and hilasmos. (Hebrews 2:17; Romans 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10) and the Latin propitus, “favorable.” The sacrifice of Christ—the atonement—satisfies God’s wrath and was the “propitiation” for our sins. See Isaiah 53:10; Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34; John 10:17-18; Romans 1:18, 24, 28; 3:25.
From the Latin redemption, from redimere, “to redeem,” “to buy back again.” In theology, the idea that Christ “redeemed” or “bought back” mankind by delivering us from sin and its punishment, therefore making salvation possible. Jesus came to redeem all of fallen creation and to pay the price for human sin. See Mark 10:45; Luke2:38; 24:21; Romans 3:24; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Galatians 3:13; 4:5).
From the Greek metanoia, “to change one’s mind,” “to regret,” and “to feel remorse”. In general usage, repentance is a feeling of sorrow for what one has done. In the NT, however, it refers to a turning round (to convert or conversion) which means to turn away from sin and turn toward God and His will as a result of the sorrow that comes from realizing that one has sinned against God.
Repentance is the inward change of mind, affections, convictions, and commitment rooted in the fear of God and sorrow for offenses committed against Him, which when accompanied by faith in Jesus Christ, results in an inward (the heart) and outward turning from sin to God and seeking to do His will rather than one’s own.
See: Ezekiel 18:30-32; Matthew 4:17; Luke 1:16; 24:47; Acts 2:38, 3:19; 8:22; 9:35; 11:21; 14:15; 15:19; 17:30; 26:18-21; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Peter 2:25.
The general meaning of the several Hebrew and Greek words translated into English as “salvation” is “safety” and “deliverance.” In the OT salvation refers to deliverance, both physically (Psalm 37:40; 59:2; 106:4) and spiritually (Psalm 51:12; 79:9). OT prophecies focus on the complete salvation of God’s people by the coming Messiah (Job 19:25-27); the NT teaches that these prophecies are fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Jesus brought salvation through forgiveness of sins (Matthew 1:21) and the gift of eternal life (Hebrews 5:9). See Acts 4:12; Hebrews 2:10.
A falling away or missing the mark. The NT describes sin as actions contrary to God’s expressed will (James 4:12, 17). The word used most often in the NT, hamartia, means to transgress, to do wrong, to sin against God. It requires forgiving (Mark 2:5) and cleansing (Hebrews 1:3)
Descriptive Titles for the Gospel/Good News in the Bible
The Gospel/Good News of: God; Jesus Christ, the Son of God; the kingdom of God; peace through Jesus Christ; the way of salvation; the grace of God; the glory of Christ; salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory; salvation through faith in Christ Jesus and the salvation of your souls.
Possible Outlines of the Gospel Message
1. Holiness of God
2. Sinfulness of Man
3. Redemption through the cross
4. Forgiveness of sin
5. Restoration of fellowship with God
6. Eternal life
Image of God
1. The creation story: humans as Eikons of God.
2. The fall story: humans as cracked Eikons (fallen).
3. The story of God with his people: Israel’s history and the Church’s history. 4. The Cross: where the story of God’s work finds its focus, 5. The Resurrection: where the story of God’s work is unleashed with power. 6. Pentecost: where the story of God’s work is spiritually empowered.
Donald Miller – Blue Like Jazz
1. Setting - who we are, where we live, what we like, our personal history, our social history, etc. 2. Conflict - rebellion against God and original sin
3. Climax - decision
4. Resolution - forgiveness and heaven, or the alternative
9 Marks Web Site
Six Saving Acts of God in Christ
The Epic – John Eldredge
1. Eternal Love (a personal God creating a personal universe) 2. The Entrance of Evil (Satan the villain)
3. The Battle for the Heart (God's calling humans to love him) 4. The Kingdom Is Restored (God, through Christ, makes all things new).
1. Starting Point – Understanding the Bad New
a. our separation from God and what caused it
b. the consequences of that separation for us
2. The Message of the Good News – Understanding It
a. that we can be reconciled to God because God loves us and desires a relationship b. how we are reconciled to God by Jesus and His death on the cross and His resurrection c. what we need to do to be reconciled to God – faith and repentance d. understanding the costs and results
3. Call for action – to respond to believe, repent and receive Jesus as Lord and Savior 4. Future News – the second coming of Jesus, new bodies and heaven
Peace with God
1. God’s plan – peace, love and life
God loves you and wants you to experience His peace and life. (John 3:16)
2. Man’s problem – separation
Being at peace with God is not automatic because you by nature are separated from God. (Romans 3:23)
3. God’s Remedy – The Cross
4. God’s love bridges the gap of separation between God and you. When Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the grave, He paid the penalty for you sins. ((1 Peter 2:24)
5. Man’s Response – Receive Christ
You cross the bridge into God’s family when you receive Christ by personal invitation. (John 1:12)
6. Steps you need to take to find your own peace with God
a. ADMIT your spiritual need. “I am a sinner.”
b. REPENT and be willing to turn from your sin
c. BELIEVE that Jesus Christ died for you on the cross d. RECEIVE, through prayer, Jesus Christ into your heart and life.
What to pray: Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I believe you died for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life. I receive you as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you for saving me. Amen.
Verses Related to the Gospel
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns."
And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
Then he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for "'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, "'For we are indeed his offspring.' Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, "We will hear you again about this." So Paul went out from their midst. But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:21-25
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1 Corinthians 2:1-2
And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 9:12
If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:1-8
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word 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 in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
2 Corinthians 9:13
By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission flowing from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others,
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man's gospel. For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1:13-14 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,
For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
1 Thessalonians 1:4-10
For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 3:2
and we sent Timothy, our brother and God's coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith,
2 Thessalonians 1:8-12
since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 1:10-11 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher,
Hebrews 4:2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 1 Peter 2:22-24
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
1 John 5:11-13
And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
Romans – Sin, Law, Judgment, Wrath
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Rest of chapter 1 - Details the sin and wickedness of people
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God will give to each according to what he has done.
Now we know that whatever the law says, “it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing law; rather through the law we become conscious of sin.
Romans – The Good News
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets (Old Testament) testify. This righteousness from God comes from faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
"...The wages of sin is death..."
"...But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
"God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!"
"...If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!"
More from Romans
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.