Summary: This is a sermon about what the Church of the Nazarene believes about the Atonement. This is one in a series of sermons covering are basic tenents.
Last Sunday you heard a message from Pastor Ron about what we believe about the Holy Scriptures, this week I am going to cover a very important statement of faith… from our Articles of Faith.. Article number 6 - The Atonement . So let’s get started this morning.
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
2CO 5:16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor. 5:14-21
Article number 6 - Atonement
“We believe that Jesus Christ, by His sufferings, by the shedding of His blood, and by His meritorious death on the Cross, made a full atonement for all human sin, and that this atonement is the only ground for salvation, and that it is sufficient for every individual of Adam’s race. The atonement is graciously efficacious for the salvation of the irresponsible and for the children in innocence, but is efficacious for the salvation of those who reach the age of responsibility only when they repent and believe.” Manual, pg. 27
I pray this morning that I can emphasize how important it is today that you understand what God has done for you through His Son Jesus Christ… in providing Atonement for our sins… without the Atonement through Christ we would all be lost with no hope for heaven… all that would wait for us when we died would be the Wrath of a Holy God upon a disobedient and sinful people…….. But Thank God for having a plan for our Salvation.. Amen?
Let’s look at the meaning of Atonement.. The word “atonement” translates the Hebrew OT word Kippur, but there is no Greek NT word for atonement. The OT word’s basic meaning is “to cover”. This basic meaning of the OT word means that our sins are covered over as a wound is covered when it heals and new flesh takes the place of, say; an infected cut. Psalms 32:1 says, “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.”
Rom. 8:3-4 tells us… 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”
Do you know what the righteous requirements of the law were for sin? There had to be atonement for that sin… there had to be a shedding of blood… doesn’t this speak to us today about how serious God is about sin? There are a couple of important things I want you to catch about God as we talk about the Atonement.
First, the Atonement speaks to us about God’s Holiness. He is Holy. In Him there is no Sin. In His Holiness He cannot, will not condone sin.. It goes against His very nature… who he is… we are learning all about this on Sunday nights… if your missing it… your really are missing it…. So know this.. God is Holy and He wants us to live Holy lives…. That brings us to the second part….because of our sin, we are totally unable to live a Holy life.. So God, who is Holy and wants us to be like Him in every way… made a plan from the very beginning so that we could be Holy…
Second, the Atonement speaks to us about God’s great love for us. God knew that because of sin, we would be unable to meet his requirement… so He sent His own Son as a lamb to be slain on our behalf… to make atonement for our sins… for all mankinds sins.. This atonement was for every single person.. Not just some elect group as some might teach today… This atonement is for you. Do you realize how much God loves you to do what He has done? Think about it.