๐Ÿ’ก๐Ÿ‘‘ In What Sense Did Christ Atone?

โ€œPaul states in Romans 5:11: โ€˜And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.โ€™ In what sense did Christ atone for our sins?โ€

This passage is one of many in our English translation ofย the Scriptures where it is necessary to consult the original languageย to ensure we have the proper sense of what the apostleย was seeking to convey. When we do so, we find that the Greekย word katallage or โ€œreconciliationโ€ is used. It is understandableย that the KJV translators used the term atonement because inย their day the term meant โ€œagreement, concord, or reconciliationย after enmity or controversy.โ€

For the sake of clarification, in contemporary language theย word atonement obscures the meaning of the passage. Theย emphasis of Paulโ€™s special revelation here is on reconciliation,ย not atonement, as confirmed by the Greek text. The Hebrewย word kaphar, translated โ€œatonementโ€ in the Old Testamentย meant โ€œto cover.โ€ Hence, the blood of bulls and goats merelyย covered the sins of those in Old Testament times; it didnโ€™t haveย the efficacy to remove them.

โ€œAnd every priest standeth daily ministering and offeringย oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take awayย sinsโ€ (Heb. 10:11).

Through the forbearance of God those sins that were atonedย for in time past are now removed on the basis of the shedย blood of Christ (Rom. 3:25). Today, Paul teaches us that weย are freely justified and forgiven by the blood of Christ: โ€œMuchย more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be savedย from wrath through Himโ€ (Rom. 5:9). In other words, the bloodย of Christ doesnโ€™t atone for our sins, it actually cleanses themย forevermore.

In the context of the above passage, the apostle was instructingย the Romans that it is a source of joy to know that we areย at peace with God (Rom. 5:1), seeing that we have acceptedย His gracious offer of reconciliation (II Cor. 5:18). The subjectย of Romans 5:11 is reconciliation, not atonement. source

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  1. […] And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonementโ€ (Rom.5: […]

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