Friday, June 15, 2012

The Essentials: Part IV - Jesus Christ: His Atoning Work

Jesus’ death on the Cross was the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world. In this act of obedience to God’s will and love for humankind, Jesus acted as the divine agent for the salvation of the world. In his death he perfectly fulfilled the office of High Priest and was also the perfect sacrifice for sins - “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.”[1] The Cross became an altar on which his life was sacrificed as a substitute for ours, and satisfaction and expiation for sins were completely accomplished. On the sole basis of the finished work of Christ on the Cross, sinners may now be reconciled to a holy God and set free from their bondage to sin and death to live for God in holiness and joy.[2]

Because no other part or person in all creation can fill this role, there is no other means for salvation than that which is contained in and through the person and work of Jesus Christ. Therefore and theology, even though claimed as Christian, which adds to or takes away from the work of Christ on the Cross and in the resurrection is no theology at all and has no power to save or restore humankind to its original relationship with its creator.

This means -

·         We do not affirm any theology that does not affirm as biblical and true the death and resurrection of Christ as the central saving act of our Christian faith.

·         We do not affirm any theology that rejects these teachings – atonement, substitutionary sacrifice, expiation for sins on the basis of Christ’s death – as obsolete, unworthy, unessential, or irrelevant.

·         We do not affirm any theology that seeks to substitute human effort or promote some more “culturally relevant” paradigm for our salvation, justification, and reconciliation with God than Christ’s death on the Cross for us.

In spate of whatever things we may not affirm, we rejoice in the glorious mercy and compassion of our Creator, who sent Jesus Christ to work and provide for all things that are necessary for our eternal salvation and deliverance from every sin, regardless how grave it, or those sins may be, and prepare a place at this feast in places of glory now and forever. AMEN!

Pastor Craig

[1] John 1:29
[2] The Essentials Tenets – An Explanation by the Presbytery of Santa Barbara p. 7