Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Blast from the Past on the Atonement

There are those today who teach that both concern for personal salvation and the idea of substitutionary atonement were products of the Reformers. Mmm hmm...
"[God] sought to form a mind conscious of righteousness, so that being convinced in that time of our unworthiness of attaining life through our own works, it should now, through the kindness of God, be vouchsafed to us; and having made it manifest that in ourselves we were unable to enter into the kingdom of God, we might through the power of God be made able.

"But when our wickedness had reached its height, and it had been clearly shown that its reward, punishment and death, was impending over us; and when the time had come which God had before appointed for manifesting His own kindness and power, how the one love of God, through exceeding regard for men, did not regard us with hatred, nor thrust us away, nor remember our iniquity against us, but showed great long-suffering, and bore with us, He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the wicked, the righteous One for the unrighteous, the incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal One for them that are mortal. For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than His righteousness? By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God?

"O sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all expectation! that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors!"
-from the Epistle to Diognetus, Chapter IX.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

How blessed we are among all God's creation...that not only would He send His Son Jesus Christ to die for us...but also send His Holy Spirit to be with us and in us to eternally affect the preservation of His good word of redemption to us, so that those of us who followed many, many years after the gospel was delivered once and for all to the saints, would have that selfsame assurance given at the first...