Like Button

Monday, September 28, 2015

Big Concept in a Little Verse

Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. (1 Peter 3:18)
Just 35 words. Not much. And still, encapsulated in that single sentence, is the entire concept of Penal Substitutionary Atonement.

What's that? In its words, it refers to the penalty of sin ("penal") and a substitution ("substitutionary") that paid that penalty in order to reconnect us ("atonement") with God. I know, I know, it's not always the most popular idea. But I'm not looking for the most popular. I'm not even looking for the uncontested. (Good luck with that.) I'm looking for what the text says. So ...

"Christ also died for sins ..." That, dear readers, is paying the penalty of sin ("penal").

"... the just for the unjust ..." That is substitution ("substitutionary").

"... so that He might bring us to God ..." And that is atonement.

Sure, there have been other theories of the Atonement. Some agree and some disagree. The Ransom Theory, for instance, is not in conflict with this position. Nor is the Christus Victor notion. Other theories specifically and explicitly deny any such thing. So be it. I haven't argued that it is correct. I've simply pointed out an explicit concept in a single verse for all to see.

1 comment:

Bob said...

And how much more are we saved by his life?
because He lives, He is forever interceding on our behalf, to the Father.
this is wonderful. i used to focus upon the fact that Jesus died for me, but now i realize that because He lives, is always watching over us and praying to the Father on our behalf.
the death of Christ was necessary, but it is only the beginning.. yea...