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Condensed Theology

Condensed Theology A Primer in Systematic Theology

A Primer in Systematic Theology

Christology:

The Doctrine of Christ

What does the Bible teach about

Jesus Christ?

Christ’s Work:

The Atonement

The Atonement Defined

The atonement refers to the work Christ

did by dying for sinners on the cross • This is sometimes referred to as Christ’s passive obedience.

Phil 2:8: Being found in appearance as a

man, He humbled Himself by becoming

obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

The Cause of the Atonement

God

The Atonement’s Cause:

God’s Love & Justice

Love

Rom 5:8: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that He gave

His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Justice

Rom 3:25: …whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed.

The Atonement’s Cause

The Father inflicted the penalty for sin

upon his son

2 Cor 5:21: He [the Father] made Him who

knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that

we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Isa 53:6b, 10a: But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him…. 10 But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him

to grief.

The Necessity of the

Atonement

The Atonement’s Necessity

The atonement was not absolutely necessary in

the sense that it was not necessary for God to save any people at all;

Rather, it is a consequent absolute necessity in

that since God decreed to save sinners, the atonement is absolutely necessaryit is an

absolutely necessary consequence of God’s

determination to save sinners.

The Atonement’s Necessity

Matt 26:39: And He went a little beyond them,

and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me;

yet not as I will, but as You will.‖

Luke 24:25-26: And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the

prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for

the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into

His glory?"

The Atonement’s Necessity

Heb 2:17: Therefore, He had to be made

like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high

priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

Heb 10:4: For it is impossible for the blood

of bulls and goats to take away sins.

The Nature of the Atonement

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Sin

Bearing sin

At the very beginning of his ministry Jesus is referred to as ―the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!‖ (John 1:29). 1 Pet 2:24: ―[Jesus] Himself bore our sins in

His body on the cross, that we might die to sin

and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.‖

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Sin

Bearing sin

Isa 53:12: Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.

2 Cor 5:21: He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become

the righteousness of God in Him.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Being Abandoned

Being abandoned

John 17:5: Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. Matt 27:46: About the ninth hour Jesus cried

out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA

SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing the Wrath of God

Bearing the wrath of God

1 John 2:2: …and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins.

– The term ―propitiation‖ refers to a sacrifice that turns

away the wrath of God and makes his disposition favorable (propitious) toward those for whom the sacrifice was made.

But this does not mean that the Father grudgingly saves us.

– God’s love is the source, not the consequence of the atonement.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing the Wrath of God

Bearing the wrath of God

Heb 2:17: Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

1 John 4:10: 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.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing the Wrath of God

Bearing the wrath of God

Rom 3:25-26: …whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

• Bearing completely sin’s payment

Sometimes in popular preaching it is stated that Jesus suffered eternally on the cross for our sins; – But this is not precisely what happened…

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

• Bearing completely sin’s payment

While it is true that Jesus death for our sins means that we do not have to suffer an

eternity of torment in hell, Jesus suffered only

for a time.

What would have taken us eternity to bear, he

was able to bear in his body on the cross.

In fact, that Jesus suffered for a limited time on the cross demonstrates that his suffering

was the sufficient payment for sins.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

• Bearing completely sin’s payment

John 19:30: Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. Rom 8:1: Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

• Bearing completely sin’s payment

Heb 9:25-28: …nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested

to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. And

inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will

appear a second time for salvation without reference

to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

Did Christ descend into hell?

Acts 2:26-27: Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; moreover my flesh also will live in

hope; because you will not abandon my soul to

Hades, nor allow your holy one to undergo decay.

Rom 10:6-7: But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: "DO NOT SAY IN YOUR HEART,

'WHO WILL ASCEND INTO HEAVEN?' (that is, to bring Christ down), or 'WHO WILL DESCEND INTO THE ABYSS?' (that is, to bring Christ up from the

dead)."

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

Did Christ descend into hell?

Eph 4:8-9: Therefore it says, "WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN." (Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

Did Christ descend into hell?

1 Pet 3:18-20: For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put

to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; in which also He

went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who

once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.

1 Pet 1:11: …seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of

Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings

of Christ and the glories to follow.

2 Pet 2:5: …and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved

Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He

brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

Christ did not descend into hell

Luke 23:43: And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise."

Luke 23:46: And Jesus, crying out with a loud

voice, said, "Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I

COMMIT MY SPIRIT." Having said this, He breathed His last.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

Christ did not descend into hell

John 19:30: Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

1 Pet 2:24: …and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His

wounds you were healed.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

Christ did not descend into hell

– What, then, are we to make of the Apostles’ Creed: ―He descended into hell‖?

The following is the footnote from the Creeds and Confession of RBC, explaining the

matter:

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

• ―This phrase is the most controversial in the

creed. It was unknown in earlier versions of the Apostle’s Creed and did not appear in the Latin creeds until it appeared in one of two of Rufinus’

versions in AD 390. Even though he included

the phrase, he did not believe that it referred to hell, but understood it to mean ―buried.‖ In

harmony with the Greek form of the creed, he

took it to mean that Christ descended into the grave; for hadēs can simply mean ―grave.‖ It was not until AD 650 that the phrase was again

included.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

• ―Throughout the history of the church there have been

three dominant interpretations of the phrase: (1) it is to be identified as the place of the dead, both of the righteous and the wicked (Hebrew, sheōl; Greek, hadēs). Thus it means simply that Jesus continued in the real state of death until the resurrection; (2) it signifies the intensity of Christ’s sufferings on the cross, where he

tasted the pain of hell for sinners; and (3) it refers to an

actual self-manifestation of Christ to the dead between the time of his death and resurrection.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Bearing Completely Sin’s Payment

• ―RBC believes that the statement ought to be

understood in the first sense; for this creed was developed over and against Gnostic teaching

that suggested that the eternal son of God did

not truly become a man. This statement makes clear the point that Jesus died a real, human

death as any ordinary human being.‖

The Atonement’s Nature:

Reconciling Man to God, and God to Man

Romans 5:10-11: For if while we were

enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also

exult in God through our Lord Jesus

Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Reconciling Man to God, and God to Man

2 Cor 5:17-21: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a

new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us

the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in

Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their

trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are

ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an

appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be

sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Reconciling Man to God, and God to Man

Eph 2:14-17: For He Himself is our peace, who

made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of

commandments contained in ordinances, so that

in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might

reconcile them both in one body to God through

the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO

THOSE WHO WERE NEAR.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Reconciling Man to God, and God to Man

Col 1:19-22: For it was the Father's good

pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and

through Him to reconcile all things to Himself,

having made peace through the blood of His

cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind,

engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and

blameless and beyond reproach.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Redeeming Man

Mark 10:45: "For even the Son of Man did

not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.―

Matt 26:28: …for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for

forgiveness of sins.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Redeeming Man

1 Pet 1:18-19: …knowing that you were not

redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from

your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a

lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

Rev 5:9: And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.‖

The Atonement’s Nature:

Redeeming Man

Heb 9:12: …and not through the blood of goats

and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having

obtained eternal redemption.

Heb 9:15: For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has

taken place for the redemption of the

transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Redeeming Man

Titus 2:14: …who gave Himself for us to redeem us

from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Exodus 19:4-6: 'You yourselves have seen what I did to

the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and

brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.‖

The Atonement’s Nature:

Redeeming Man

Rom 3:24: …being justified as a gift by

His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

Eph 1:7: In Him we have redemption

through His blood, the forgiveness of our

trespasses, according to the riches of His

grace

Col 1:14: …in whom we have redemption,

the forgiveness of sins.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Redeeming Man

Acts 20:28: Be on guard for yourselves and for

all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of

God which He purchased with His own blood.

1 Cor 6:19-20: Or do you not know that your

body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,

whom you have from God, and that you are not

your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Cor 7:23: You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Redeeming Man

Gal 3:13: Christ redeemed us from the curse of

the Law, having become a curse for us-- for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO

HANGS ON A TREE "

Gal 4:4-5: But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman,

born under the Law, so that He might redeem

those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Vanquishing Satan

John 12:31: Now judgment is upon this world;

now the ruler of this world will be cast out.

John 16:11: …and concerning judgment,

because the ruler of this world has been judged.

Gen 3:15: And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Vanquishing Satan

Col 2:13-15: When you were dead in your

transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him,

having forgiven us all our transgressions, having

canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and

He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to

the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them,

having triumphed over them through Him.

The Atonement’s Nature:

Vanquishing Satan

Heb 2:14: Therefore, since the children

share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is,

the devil, and might free those who

through fear of death were subject to

slavery all their lives.

The Atonement’s Nature:

A Sacrificial Death for Sin

Sometimes the sacrificial death of Christ for sin

is couched in terms of Christ’s body

Rom 7:4: Therefore, my brethren, you also were

made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so

that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

Heb 10:10: By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

The Atonement’s Nature:

A Sacrificial Death for Sin

Sometimes the sacrificial death of Christ

for sin is couched in terms of Christ’s blood

Rom 5:9: Much more then, having now been

justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

1 John 1:7: …but if we walk in the Light as

He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His

Son cleanses us from all sin.

The Atonement’s Nature:

A Sacrificial Death for Sin

Sometimes the sacrificial death of Christ

for sin is couched in terms of Christ’s cross

Eph 2:16: …and might reconcile them both in

one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.

Col 1:20: …and through Him to reconcile all

things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say,

whether things on earth or things in heaven.

The Atonement’s Nature:

A Sacrificial Death for Sin

Sometimes the sacrificial death of Christ for sin

is couched in explicit terms

Heb 2:9-10: But we do see Him who was made for a

little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus,

because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

The Atonement’s Nature:

A Sacrificial Death for Sin

Sometimes the sacrificial death of Christ

for sin is couched in explicit terms

Rom 5:6: For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

1 Cor 15:3: For I delivered to you as of first

importance what I also received, that Christ

died for our sins according to the Scriptures.

The Extent of the Atonement

For whom did Christ die?

The Atonement’s Extent

I will not address this subject at this time,

as I do not want to spoil next week’s sermon…

• Sorry…

• Not really…