Were it not for Christ’s atoning sacrifice, there would be nothing in us in which God could delight. All the natural goodness of man is worthless in God’s sight. He does not take pleasure in any person who retains his or her old nature, and is not so renewed in knowledge and grace that they are a new creation in Christ. When Christ’s atoning sacrifice will be viewed correctly, the salvation of souls will be felt to be of infinite value. In comparison with the undertaking of everlasting life, every other sinks into insignificance. Christ is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto Him. The one who comes to Jesus is setting his or her feet upon a ladder that reaches from earth to heaven.
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25
Believing fully in the efficacy of His atoning sacrifice we shall be laborers together with God. Trusting in His merits, we will work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Philippians 2:12. For it is God that worketh in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13. Thus those who believe in Christ shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of His hand. John 10:28.
Christ’s atoning sacrifice – an essential truth for our salvation
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3
As the life of Christ and the character of His mission are dwelt upon, rays of light will shine forth more distinctly at every attempt to discover truth. Each fresh search will reveal something more deeply interesting than has yet been unfolded. The subject is inexhaustible. The study of the incarnation of Christ, His atoning sacrifice and mediator’s work, will employ the mind of the diligent student as long as time shall last. and looking to heaven with its unnumbered years one will exclaim: Great is the mystery of godliness. 1 Timothy 3:16.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.John 3:14,15.
All who have ever lived upon the earth have felt the deadly sting of that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan. Revelation 12:9. The fatal effects of sin can be removed only by the provision that God has made. The Israelites saved their lives by looking upon the uplifted serpent. That look implied faith. They lived because they believed God’s Word, and trusted in the means provided for their recovery. In the same manner the sinner may look to Christ and live. He or she receives pardon through faith in the atoning sacrifice. Unlike the inert and lifeless symbol, Christ has power and virtue in Himself to heal the repenting sinner.
Suffering and death of shame
By the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God mankind is:
- given a correct representation of the Father’s character
- acquainted with the infinite love of God
- set free from Satan’s power
- uplifted from the pit of ruin
- placed where, through connection with Christ, they may indeed become worthy of His name, “sons of God.”
Moreover, the justice and mercy of God and the immutability of His law, are vindicated before the universe.
Look at Jesus upon the cross
As you look at Him, believe and live. For by faith in the atoning sacrifice you may be justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:24. Believe that you are forgiven and justified, not in transgression and disobedience, but in submission to the will of God. If through faith you lay hold of the righteousness of Christ, then be not careless of your thoughts, words and works. Study and pray that as Christ has shown you the way, He may by His grace keep you in the way. For we are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. 1 Peter 1:5.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.Ephesians 2:8, 9.
In order to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Christ, it is essential that you meditate much upon the great themes of redemption. Ask yourself why Christ:
- has taken humanity upon himself
- suffered upon the cross
- bore the sins of men
- has made sin and righteousness for us
- ascended to heaven in the nature of man
- what is His work for us today?
Our building must be founded upon the Rock Christ Jesus or it will not stand the test of the tempest.
We must come to Christ
While the sinner cannot save himself, he or she still has something to do to secure salvation.
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:37.
We must come to Him. When we repent of our sins, we must believe that He accepts and pardons us. Faith is the gift of God, but the power to exercise it is ours. Faith is the hand by which the soul takes hold upon the divine offers of grace and mercy. Nothing but the righteousness of Christ can entitle us to one of the blessings of the covenant of grace. There are many who have long desired and tried to obtain these blessings, but have not received them, because they have cherished the idea that they could do something to make themselves worthy of them. They have not looked away from self, believing that Jesus is an all-sufficient Savior. For we must not think that our own merits will save us. Christ is our only hope of salvation.
For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12.
Justified by faith
The love of God to mankind breaks every barrier down. Sinner comes to the cross, which has been placed midway between Divinity and humanity, and repents of his or her sins of transgression, because Christ has been drawing them to Himself. They don’t expect the law to cleanse them from sin. For there is no pardoning quality in the law to save the transgressors of the law. Thus they look to the atoning Sacrifice as their only hope, through repentance toward God. Moreover they look by faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ as the One who can save and cleanse the sinners from every transgression.
Christ became sin for humans, that they might become the righteousness of God through Him who was one with the Father. Sinners can be justified by God when He:
- pardons their sins
- remits the punishment they deserve
- treats them as though they were really just and had not sinned
- receiving them into divine favor and treating them as if they were righteous.
They are justified alone through the imputed righteousness of Christ. The Father accepts the Son and through the atoning sacrifice of His Son accepts the sinner.
Spirituality of the law
No one who believes in Jesus Christ is under bondage to the law of God. For His law is a law of life, not of death, to those who obey its precepts. All who comprehend the spirituality of the law and realize its power as a detector of sin, are in just as helpless condition as is Satan himself. It is so unless they accept the atonement provided for them in the remedial sacrifice of Jesus. Through faith in Christ obedience to every principle of the law is made possible. Thus Paul learned that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Romans 7:12. For our benefit, he asked:
Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. Romans 7:13, 14.
We are without divine wisdom unless by faith we accept the infinite plan of salvation. Thus every one who:
- believes in Jesus
- relies on the keeping power of a risen Savior
- resists temptations
- in the midst of evil strives to copy the pattern given in the Christ’s life
will through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ might be partaker of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4
How have the counsels of salvation been despised
Christ can have no room in the hearts of many because of:
- selfish interests
- hypocrisy and pride
- malice and passion
- world’s devotion
- envy and gain.
Thus they have closed the door against the Son of God. He was eternally rich yet for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9. He was clothed with light and glory, surrounded with hosts of heavenly angels. Yet he put on our nature and came to sojourn among sinful mortals. Here is love that no language can express. It passes knowledge. Great is the mystery of godliness. For our souls should be more exited and elevated with the theme of the love of the Father and the Son to man.
The followers of Christ should learn here on earth to reflect back that mysterious love, preparing to join all the redeemed in ascribing: Blessing and honor and glory and power unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever. Revelation 5:13
Jesus is our atoning sacrifice. We can make no atonement for ourselves. By faith we can accept the atonement that has been made. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…1 Peter 3:18. “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1 Peter 1:18, 19. No man of earth, no angel of heaven, could have paid the penalty for sin. Jesus was the only one who could save rebellious man. In Him divinity and humanity are combined, and this was what gave efficacy to the offering on Calvary’s cross. At the cross, mercy and truth met together. Righteousness and peace kissed each other.
Many have closed their eyes lest they should see
There is as great peril now, in closing the eyes to light, and in walking apart from Christ. Furthermore, feeling need of nothing, as there was when He was upon earth. Those whose hearts have been hardened through criticism, jealousy, and evil conclusions, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. Revelation 3:17
Those who realize their need of repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, will have contrition of soul, will repent for their resistance of the Spirit of the Lord. They will confess their sin in refusing the light that Heaven has so graciously sent them, and they will forsake the sin that grieved and insulted the Spirit of the Lord. They will humble self, and accept the power and grace of Christ, acknowledging the messages of warning, reproof, and encouragement. Then their faith in the work of God will be made manifest, and they will rely upon the atoning sacrifice.
The human and the divine will co-operate every day, and the heart will well up in thanksgiving and praise to Christ. Heavenly inspiration will have a part in the Christian experience, and we shall grow to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus.
- COL 133; PP 431; ST, Dec, 1890; 8MR 355; PH169; RH, Aug, 1890; BTS, Dec, 1908 – The Ellen G. White Estate
- King James Version (KJV) Bible – BibleGateway
- Image courtesy – Pixabay
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