Studies on the Atonement

glory-of-god-in-the-death-of-christ.jpgOn Monday night the Keystone Men’s Seminar that I lead at New Hope Church began a weekly biblical and theological study of the atonement of Christ that will run from now until May 19th. I can’t express how excited I am about it. Ninety-one men attended the first night, and while we very well may settle in more around eighty or so, the thought of having that many men deeply focused on a study of what Christ accomplished on the cross on our behalf to bring us God for this many months is truly extraordinary.

I am trusting and hoping that something massive and impacting will happen in our church through this. I have to think that having a significant portion of the committed men of the church meditating on the cross for seven months has to change a church.

These are some of the central ideas we meditated upon in our first evening together:

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” (1 Cor. 15:3-4)

“Christ is to us just what his cross is. All that Christ was in heaven or on earth was put into what he did there. …Christ, I repeat, is to us just what his cross is. You do not understand Christ till you understand his cross” (P. T. Forsyth)

“The cross is the sign of the Christian faith, of the Christian Church, of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. …The whole struggle of the Reformation for the sola fide, the sola gratia, was simply the struggle for the right interpretation of the Cross. He who understands the Cross aright—this is the opinion of the Reformers—understands the Bible, he understands Jesus Christ” (Emil Brunner)

“There is blood on our hands. Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to faith and worship), we have to see it as something done by us (leading us to repentance). Indeed, ‘only the man who is prepared to own his share in the guilt of the cross…may claim his share in its grace’” (John Stott).

Here are our planned topics for the year:

Problem: We Were Cursed
Solution: Jesus Became a Curse for Us

Problem: We Were Unforgivable Sinners
Solution: Jesus Expiated Our Sin and Gave Us Access to the Father

Problem: God Hated Us As His Enemies
Solution: Jesus Propitiated God and Made Peace Between Us and Him

Excursus/Application: The Cross and Christmas

Problem: We Were in Slavery to Law, Sin, and Death
Solution: Jesus Redeemed and Ransomed Us from Slavery

Problem: We Were Guilty Before the Father
Solution: The Father Justified Us, Declaring Us Innocent in Jesus

Problem: We Were Unrighteous
Solution: The Father Imputed Jesus’ Perfect Righteousness to Us

Problem: We Deserved Eternal Punishment and Forsakenness
Solution: Jesus Was Punished and Forsaken In Our Place (Penal Substitution) I
Solution: Jesus Was Punished and Forsaken In Our Place (Penal Substitution) II
Solution: Jesus Was Punished and Forsaken In Our Place (Penal Substitution) III
Solution: Jesus Was Punished and Forsaken In Our Place (Penal Substitution) IV

Problem: We Were Under the Dominion of Satan and Death
Solution: Jesus Conquered Satan and Death and Transferred Us Into His Kingdom (Christus Victor)

Problem: We Were Faithless
Solution: Jesus Was Faithful On Our Behalf, Purchased Our Faith, and Taught Us Faithfulness (Christus Exemplar)

Problem: We Were Spiritual Orphans
Solution: The Father Adopted Us in Jesus and Reconciled All Things

Atonement Applied I: The Atonement in the Church and Worship
Atonement Applied II: Sanctification and Glorification


2 thoughts on “Studies on the Atonement”

  1. I’m envious of your group. The whole study looks amazing and unbelievably encouraging/challenging. Keep up the good fight!

    PS If you have notes/handouts, I’d be really interested.

  2. I can already tell this is going to be awesome! I ordered my track 1&2 books yesterday.

    When that many men show an interest in deep, meaty, sound doctrine, it has to mean the Spirit is already moving and working mightily.

    In Christ,

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