In many versions, the word atonement is translated ‘reconciliation’. The basic idea is that we are brought back into harmony with someone else. The only way reconciliation can occur is if the one who has been offended is willing to forgive. GOD is willing, but our debt of sin must be paid to bring us back to HIM. This is the debt that JESUS paid on the cross.

Consider the following verses. Romans 5:11 “And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

However, two obstacles stop many people from being reconciled to GOD. 1) Some people don’t realize their own sinfulness. They don’t understand that their sin has separated them from GOD. 2) Some people seek to be reconciled by following human doctrines/opinions. My friends, common sense dictates that to be reconciled you must please the offended party. In this case that is GOD. We must please GOD and HE tells us how. All true believers will trust GOD’s word in this and in all matters.

So, we can only be reconciled to GOD by doing it HIS way. In 2 Corinthians 5, (above), HE says Christians are a new creation because they are in CHRIST. Interestingly, the Bible only teaches one way to get into CHRIST and that is by being baptized in water. Romans 6:3-4 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” This is when we begin to walk in a new life. This is when the old man of sin is crucified (Romans 6:6), i.e., we are born again and become a new creature.

We can all be reconciled to GOD if we simply obey HIS commands related to this subject.

Consider these verses related to aspects of being reconciled to GOD by having our sins washed away:

Leviticus 6:1-19 (The atonement CHRIST offers is typified in the Old Testament sacrifices)

Isaiah 52:1-12 (HIS sacrificial atonement is foretold in this passage and others.)

HIS atonement was necessary. Hebrews 9:22-24 “According to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. 23Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”

At the point of baptism our sins are washed away. This is how we call on the name of the LORD. Acts 22:16 “Now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”

HIS atonement for us was made on the cross. John 19:30, 34 “So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. …34But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.”

HIS sacrifice was accepted in heaven as the atonement for our sins. Hebrews 10:12-14 “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.”

HIS atonement was attested by HIS resurrection and HIS righteousness credited to us. Romans 4:24-25 “It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.”

The HOLY SPIRIT was witness to the atonement of those who obey HIM. Acts 5:32 “We are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

HIS atonement was preached in the Gospel. Acts 13:38 “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins.”

HIS atonement was symbolized by our obedience in baptism. Romans 6:4 “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Colossians 2:12-13 (You were) “buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,”

HIS atonement was commemorated in the LORD’s supper. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.”

HIS atoning blood purchased HIS church. Acts 20:28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to 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.”

HIS atonement brings us to Ephesians 2:13 “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

HIS atonement reconciles us to GOD. Romans 5:10-11 “For if when 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. 11And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

HIS Atonement justifies us. Romans 3:23-24 “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

HIS atonement allows access, i.e., entrance into the presence of GOD. Hebrews 10:19 “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.”

HIS atonement sanctifies us. It makes us saints. Hebrews 10:10 “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Hebrews 13:12 “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.”

HIS atonement cleanses us. 1 John 1:7-9 “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Revelation 1:5 “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”

HIS atonement brings us peace. Ephesians 2:13-17 “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.”

HIS atonement brings us all spiritual blessings in Christ. Ephesians 1:3-7 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

HIS atonement allows and enables us to live for CHRIST. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.”

HIS atonement brings victory and glory. Revelation 12:11 “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

Revelation 7:13-17 “Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” 14And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. 16They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

From these scriptures we can see that atonement is a marvelous gift of GOD. 2 Peter 1:10 “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble.”

Dr. J. L. Edwards

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