Fundamental Doctrines of the Bible - Atonement
There is just one place in the word of God that the word "Atonement" is used, and it is as follows:
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received THE ATONEMENT." Romans 5:10-11
Although the word appears only once; the doctrine of the Atonement, is explored throughout the scriptures. Like a number of words in our English Bible, the word "Atonement" was coined by translator and subsequent Protestant martyr, William Tyndale. To atone means to make reparations, to make amends. It has come to mean the work of Christ. Particularly, with regard to the benefits Christ gained for believers by His Crucifixion and resurrection.
The doctrine is often broken down into two points that deal with Christ's active and passive obedience to the Father.
Active Obedience - All that He did to observe the Law on behalf of sinners, which was a condition for obtaining eternal life.
Passive Obedience - All that He suffered in paying the penalty for sin and therefore removing that debt from those who have faith in Him.
"For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 2 Corinthians 5:21
The Atonement is founded on the love and justice of God. The love of God, because He is benevolent and His mercy is an expression of that love. (Eph1: 6-9)
It is founded on justice, because God is holy and righteous. It would therefore be unrighteous and inconsistent for Him to simply overlook, or excuse sin, for this would make a mockery of His own commandments. Psalm 5:5 says, "The foolish shall not stand in Thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity." Romans 1:18 states: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness." Nevertheless, it is also founded on love because God has wrought a satisfactory reconciliation, an atoning sacrifice, which allows God to uphold His righteousness, whilst simultaneously permitting Him to offer mercy to the sinner. This is the work of the Atonement.
"For it pleased the Father in Him all fullness should dwell; and having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself, by Him, I say whether things in earth, or things in heaven." Colossians 1:19-20
Verses for Memorizing and Meditating Upon:
2 Corinthians 5:21