Three wonderful truths about the Atonement

?????????Do we really understand the significance of the Atonement of Christ? Do we understand all the benefits of this great salvation?

There are three wonderful truths about the atoning work of Jesus Christ that I want to briefly look at here.

Before I continue, it’s helpful to understand that faith has its anchor in the past. All of these things were done 2,000 years ago, so they cannot be undone. We just need to “believe the report.” (Isa.53:1).

Passionchrist_whipped1.) We were healed by His beating.

The first thing we need to see is that Jesus was beaten before He went to the Cross so that we would be healed–physically, spiritually, and emotionally. This means that all sickness and disease and oppression was dealt with when Christ was beaten on the whipping post.

The prophet Isaiah looks forward to this event, Peter looks backward…

“And by His stripes we are healed…” (Isa.53:5)

“…by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Pet.2:24)

There is controversy in the body of Christ over what type of healing is in the atonement, but there really shouldn’t be. Matthew gives us the divine commentary on what Isaiah meant. We see deliverance from demonic oppression and physical healing in view here.

“When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick,
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“He Himself took our infirmities
And bore our sicknesses.” ((Matt.8:16-17; cf.Isa.53:4)

I often tell people when I teach on healing to watch the Mel Gibson movie, “The Passion of the Christ” and not look away when it so graphically portrays His brutal beating. That beating–all of it–was for our complete healing. So let’s not rob Him of His reward by denying it.

We appropriate this historical fact by faith in His name. In this case, the name Adonai Rapha – Lord, our healer (Exod.15:22-26)

passion-of-the-christ32.) We were completely forgiven–forever–by Jesus’ blood.

 The second wonderful fact is that Jesus’ blood shed on the cross was for complete forgiveness for ALL mankind (1 John 2:2), and we’ve been cleansed from ALL sin (Eph.1:7; Col.1:14).

This means all sin–past, present or future. Hebrews tells us that He did it once and for all–forever.

“But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever,
sat down at the right hand of God” (Heb.10:12)

Because of Christ’s sacrifice, God is not holding our sins against us anymore. Beloved, do you understand this? Paul says it this way…

For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself,
no longer counting people’s sins against them
…” (2 Cor.5:19 NLT)

Now, He is dealing with our new nature. It’s about forming Christ in us (Gal.4:19; Eph.4:15). Paul says later, it’s not about penance or any other form of sin-management anymore, it’s about a new creation (Gal.6:15).

Welcome to the New Covenant!

The sad fact is, even though every human being that lives has God’s complete forgiveness for their sins, many will not receive this free gift. They will go into eternity separated from God, separated from all that’s good, even though they’ve been totally forgiven. Another sad fact, too many Christians live bound up in condemnation and shame because they think God is still angry with them about their sins. More on that another time.

PassionMovie_NailHand3.) Our sin nature was nailed to the Cross.

The third wonderful historical fact of Christ’s atoning work is that our sinful nature was nailed to the Cross almost 2,000 years ago (Rom.6:1-14; Gal.2:20; Col.3:3).

As I said here, quoting the coroner of Oz, you’re “not only merely dead, you’re really most sincerely dead” to your old sin nature. Actually, I’ve written about this a lot on this blog so I’ll only briefly cover it here.

I also said here: our problem is not that we don’t understand Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. It’s that we don’t see ourselves dead, buried, and resurrected with Him.

Jesus seemed to think that your past is gone…

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.
The old life is gone
; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor.5:17 NLT)

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. (Rom.6:6-7 NLT)

Beloved, do you know this?

What’s sad here, partly because of bad theology, is that too many Christians don’t know this.  They’ve been taught they still have a sin nature and a new nature (I  call “spiritual schizophrenia”!) They still see themselves as sinners so they sin by faith!  Why do we keep grave robbing for Christ? Going back to the graveyard in a pathetic attempt to find freedom. YOU’RE DEAD TO THAT PERSON. Let your old self rest in peace! Stop acting, confessing, believing that your old nature is still alive.

Finally, we must also understand that the Bible sees these three aspects of the atonement inextricably linked together. For example, you cannot biblically separate physical healing from forgiveness of sin or from deliverance from our old nature. And all of them are appropriated by faith. Here’s how Peter tied them together…

“who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree,
that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness
—by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Pet.2:24)

So…forget not ALL His benefits!

Beloved, ALL of these wonderful things are available to you by faith. All the promises of God are to you, yes and amen, in Christ (2 Cor.1:20). The psalmist sums it up beautifully, telling us not to forget any of these benefits available to us by faith in Christ’s atoning work.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
Who satisfies your mouth with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:2-5)

What do you need today? Freedom from guilt and shame? Physical or emotional Healing? Deliverance from oppression? Fulfillment? Renewal? Don’t empower what Jesus has disempowered on the Cross another day. Believe the promises!  It’s already done in Christ!

He is risen!

We have been raised with Him!

We have been given all things in Him!

Hallelujah!

It’s really GOOD news!

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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18 Responses to Three wonderful truths about the Atonement

  1. bullroarin says:

    Good post Mel…a lot of things to digest here, and nothing that I disagree with but sometimes I wonder why we don’t see people walking in the full freedom Christ paid for us at the cross. In theory many know this, in practice many fall short.
    You mention we’ve been taught bad teaching and theology in the past…couldn’t agree more. I’ve spent the better part of the last five years rethinking everything I’ve been taught over the last thirty five years.
    I’m just wondering, (been having this debate with myself over the years, ha!) would you say that if we are dead to trespasses and sins from the past, is it necessary to keep looking to the past (as some people do) to try and find out why we might be stuck in our Christian growth? Are ministries (like SOZO) that pray and look into ones past to find out where an offense or something has happened (to bring revelation) of where the enemy has gained a foothold, or to reveal where someone has been deceived, and then pray into that situation…are these ministries valid?
    I have some trouble with this type of thinking because it seems that people are always looking to the past, (taking peels of the onion so to speak) that they never seem to get over some areas in their life. Its almost like they are captured and can’t move on and they deal with the same problem over and over again. I guess what I’m asking is, are we truly set free from the past once and for all by the work on the cross?
    My sense is that we have already been forgiven…believe it, and move on. Am I wrong or have I missed something?
    Would really like to know what you think, Mel.
    Thanks ~ Dave

    • Mel Wild says:

      You bring up some good questions, Dave. First, what you’re talking about is the difference between who you are (“complete in Him”) and where you are (current experience). We traverse this gap by exercising faith, renewing our mind and through fellowship with God. Our heavenly Father is relentless about making us like His Son. As we abide in Him, we become more like Him–meaning, we start actually believing Him about who we already are in Christ. It goes from faith to experience.

      And what you’re saying about going into your past can be an endless mind trip. God owns our past, and trying to hang on to it is carrying around stolen property! Having said that, we can’t be dismissive about how our past effects our relationship with God and others. I’ve been involved in lots of different types of deliverance ministries in the last three decades, including Theophostic and SOZO. I think SOZO is probably the best because it’s not about digging up your past as much as it’s about connecting you with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit at a deep heart level.

      But Paul had a very simple counseling program. You’re dead, your new life is Christ’s life…now learn how to live there in the Spirit. Any questions? 🙂 So, I can either spend the rest of my life trying to figure out the 99 and a half million things wrong with the old me, or I can take the same amount of time and energy to learn how to believe what God believes about me and live empowered by the Spirit. I think the second option is more productive.

      Thanks for your comments and questions. Always appreciated.

  2. Michael says:

    Amen! Good stuff, Mel!

    • bullroarin says:

      Thanks Mel…if I understand you correctly, you’re saying in essence that the journey is part of the process of reaching your destiny…the journey is important but keep moving toward the goal. I can totally get that…although I must confess, I sometimes forget the journey part because I’m in a rush to just get there!!

      Thanks a ton! ~ dave

      • Mel Wild says:

        You’re very welcome. You bring up another important point.
        Yes, it is a journey, but that journey can be unnecessarily long if we believe the wrong things. It’s the Truth that makes us free (John 8:31-32). That’s why knowing what we have been given in Christ is so important. A classic example: If I still believe I’m a dirty sinner saved by grace (instead of, I WAS a dirty sinner, but now I’m a saint), that journey will be infinitely long! If I believe I’m a helpless victim to all my circumstances, I will be always be a victim of my circumstances. We get pretty much receive what we believe. The only way forward is exercising faith, which means, it’s NOT in your experience now but you believe it could be.

        So we must be about bringing our experience up to what God actually says about us in His Word, not dumb down His Word to our experience. This is what a lot of commentary does. It’s an intellectualized dumbing down of God’s Word to what a particular scholar can believe is true. And this is why revelation is so important. It helps us walk off our map, if you will. This happened to Peter in Acts 10 when He received a Gentile, which would not have ever happened by logic or reason. He had to have a supernatural encounter with God to change His paradigm.

        Faith in what God says always comes first, before our understanding or our experience. This is the fastest way to reach God’s best for us–which is, “as Jesus is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). Anything less than this is a humanistic invention of man contradicting God’s design for His people.

        • bullroarin says:

          Mel…it seems to me you are like a voice calling in the wilderness. I’ve never heard anyone, in just a few short sentences, raise the standard of our Christian calling to something worthy of the One who has called us.
          The word of God and revelation verses scholarly knowledge and opinion…the choice should be simple.

          I don’t know you that well, Mel, but, I definitely think you have a gift for teaching, and I thank you for sharing. This has certainly been encouraging for me.

          Blessings, ~ Dave

          • Mel Wild says:

            Thanks. Much appreciated. You should see the way my congregation stares at me sometimes! 🙂 But seriously, I believe God is raising up an army of sons in this hour, not arrogant but confident in who they are, no longer victims but more than conquerors in Christ. Most of all, lovers of God, full of His passion, who know and represent the Father’s heart. These are exciting times to be living in. We’re starting to wake up!

  3. jodiwoody says:

    Reblogged this on authorjodiwoody and commented:
    Great word for this Resurrection week!

  4. jodiwoody says:

    Great! It pains me to see Christians struggle with who they really are, and what they really have. Sometimes I even find myself doing just that! He did it all. Period. We just have to accept it with thanksgiving. Thanks, Mel.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen, Jodi. Same here. We need to learn how to receive more of what He’s already given us with thanksgiving and not accept those alien identities we have believed about ourselves.
      And thanks for the re-blog. Much appreciated. 🙂

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  6. Thanks for this post, Mel. I added a link in my post to this article because it helps lay groundwork for what I had to say. I appreciate that!

    God is beginning to reveal to me more of what we receive through the death and resurrection of Jesus, and more of His intentions for us. There’s so much to digest as I discard old, incorrect beliefs for the truth.

    God is good!
    \o/

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks for the link and your comments are much appreciated. I will definitely check out your post today. God is waking up His beloved bride. So hang on! We’re starting to really understand just how exceedingly, “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” is! Blessings.

  7. Cindy Powell says:

    “So let’s not rob Him of His reward by denying it.” Amen!! “May the Lamb that was slain receive the (full) reward of His suffering!” How I long for the day we are collectively awakened to the fact that we do not honor His sacrifice by living so far beneath all it cost Him so dearly to purchase. Thanks for always pointing us all in that direction. Awesome truths here. Awesome gospel. Amazingly awesome God 🙂

    • Mel Wild says:

      Amen. That’s what I want too. That’s how we actually honor Him. Not by calling ourselves “dirty worms” or any other way that we try to sound humble while totally contradicting what He says about us in Christ. That’s just religious nonsense.

      But most importantly, that we may understand WHY He came, so that we could have fellowship with Him forever (John 17:21-26). For, even with all these wonderful things about the atonement, it’s most important to know the fellowship in His embrace, more than what we can do for Him in Christ. I think God invented the “family FIRST, then ministry after…” concept. He’s THE Family God, first and last! 🙂

      Have a blessed Resurrection Weekend, Cindy. Your encouraging comments and spiritual insights are always appreciated.

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