Summary: This sermon is about what we (Church of the Nazarene) believe about the doctrine of Atonement.
Larry C. Brincefield
Sunday Evening, February 2, 2003
Title: What We Believe....About Atonement
Text: Titus 2:11-14
I read about a small boy who was always late coming home from school.
His parents warned him one day that he must be home on time that afternoon,
but he arrived later than ever.
His mother met him at the door and said nothing.
At dinner that night, the boy looked at his plate.
There was a slice of bread and a glass of water.
He looked at his father’s plate full of meat and potatoes.
and then looked at his father,
but his father said nothing.
The boy was crushed.
The father waited for the full impact to sink in,
then he quietly took the boy’s plate and placed it in front of himself.
He took his own plate of meat and potatoes, and put it in front of the boy, and smiled at his son.
When that boy grew up, he said, "All my life I’ve known what God is like by what my father did that night."
We have been studying the different Articles of Faith on these Sunday Evenings. Tonight we come to Article 6...What we believe...about Atonement.
We believe that Jesus Christ, by His sufferings, by the shedding of His own blood, and by His death on the Cross, made a full atonement for all human sin, and that this Atonement is the only ground of 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 innocency but is efficacious for the salvation of those who reach the age of responsibility only when they repent and believe.—Nazarene Manual 2001-2005
Read Text: Titus 2:11-14
1. The History of Atonement
From the very beginning of time, we see the idea that a price must be paid in exchange for the forgiveness of sins.
Sacrifices would be brought to God ...
and animals would spill their blood to pay the price for the sins of the people.
This practice was carried out for thousands of years...
from the time of Cain and Abel.
And this practice continued until the time of Jesus Christ...
when animal sacrifices were no longer required.
Because Jesus became the ultimate sacrifice.
Romans 5:11 says, "we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received atonement"
Romans 3:25 says, "God presented Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement"
Hebrews 2:17, speaking about Jesus, says, "that he might make atonement for the sins of the people"
And our text says, "Jesus Christ, ... gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness" Titus 2:13-14 (NIV)
2. The Meaning of Atonement
Atonement basically means that someone must pay the price to bring reconciliation between two parties who are alienated from each other.
Mark 10:45 says, "the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many"
Jesus paid the price.
Jesus paid the ransom.
He paid the price so that we could live...
So we wouldn’t have to pay the price ourselves
And as a result, we can be receive the gift of eternal life.
As Paul says in our text, "we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ" Titus 2:13 (NIV)
Jesus died, so we could live...that’s the meaning of atonement.
In his book Written In Blood, Robert Coleman tells the story of a little boy named Johnny whose sister needed a blood transfusion.
The doctor explained that she had the same disease the boy had recovered from two years earlier.
Her only chance for recovery was a transfusion from someone who had previously conquered the disease.
Since the two children had the same rare blood type, Johnny was the ideal donor.
The doctor asked him "Johnny, would you give your blood to Mary?"
Johnny hesitated for a moment....His lower lip started to tremble.
Then he smiled and said, "Sure, for my sister."
Soon the two children were wheeled into the hospital room--
Mary was pale and thin from the disease;
Johnny looked like the picture of health.
Neither child spoke, but when their eyes met, Johnny grinned.
As the nurse put the needle into his arm, Johnny’s smile faded.
He watched the blood flow through the tube.
When the procedure was almost over, he said, "Doctor, when do I die?’
Only then did the doctor realize why Johnny had hesitated,
why his lip had quivvered when he had agreed to donate his blood.
He thought giving his blood to his sister meant giving up his life.
In that brief moment, he’d made his great decision.
He loved his sister so much...