|Chapter 9: THE LIFE, DEATH,
AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
Seventh-day Adventists Believe...
In Christ's life of perfect obedience to God's will, His
suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only
means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith
accept this atonement may have eternal life, and the whole
creation may better understand the infinite and holy love of
the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the
righteousness of God's law and the graciousness of His
character; for it both condemns our sin and provides for our
forgiveness. The death of Christ is substitutionary and
expiatory, reconciling and transforming. The resurrection of
Christ proclaims God's triumph over the forces of evil, and
for those who accept the atonement assures their final
victory over sin and death. It declares the Lordship of
Jesus Christ, before whom every knee in heaven and on earth
will bow.--Fundamental Beliefs,9
THE LIFE, DEATH, AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
An open door leads into the center of the universe,
heaven. A voice calls "Come in and see what goes on here!"
In the Spirit, the apostle John looks into the throne room
A dazzling emerald rainbow encircles the central throne,
and lightning, thunder, and voices issue from it.
Dignitaries--arrayed in white garments and wearing golden
crowns--are seated on lesser thrones. As a doxology fills
the air, the elders prostrate themselves in adoration,
casting their golden crowns before the throne.
An angel, bearing a scroll sealed with seven seals,
cries: "`Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its
seals?'" (Rev. 5:2). With dismay John sees that no one in
heaven or earth is worthy to open the scroll. His dismay
turns to weeping until one of the elders consoles: "`Do not
weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of
David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its
seven seals'" (Rev. 5:5).
Looking again to the majestic throne, John sees a Lamb
that had been slain but now is alive and empowered with the
Spirit. As this lowly Lamb takes the scroll the living
creatures and elders strike up a new anthem: "`You are
worthy to take the scroll and to break open its seals. For
you were killed, and by your sacrificial death you bought
for God people from every tribe, language, nation, and race.
You have made them a kingdom of priests to serve our God,
and they shall rule on the earth'" (Rev. 5:9,10, TEV). Every
created being in heaven and on earth joins their song:
"`Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits
on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!'"
What is so important about this scroll? It records the
rescue of the human race from its enslavement to Satan and
portrays the ultimate victory of God over sin. It reveals a
salvation so perfect that those captive to sin can be
released from their prison house of doom simply through
their choice. Long before His birth in Bethlehem the Lamb
cried out: "`Behold, I come; in the scroll of the Book it is
written of me. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your
law is within my heart'" (Ps. 40:7,8; cf. Heb. 10:7). It was
the coming of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the
world that effected the redemption of humanity (Rev. 13:8).
God's Saving Grace
The Scriptures reveal a God who has an overwhelming
concern for the salvation of humanity. The members of the
Godhead are allied in the work of bringing people back into
a union with their Creator. Jesus highlighted God's saving
love, saying, "`For God so loved the world that He gave His
only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not
perish but have everlasting life'" (John 3:16).
The Scriptures declare that "God is love" (1 John 4:8). He
reaches out to humanity "`with an everlasting love'" (Jer.
31:3). The God who extends the invitation to salvation is
all-powerful, but His love necessitates His permitting each
person to have freedom of choice in responding (Rev.
3:20,21). Coercion, a method contrary to His character, can
have no part in His strategy.
The Divine Initiative
When Adam and Eve sinned, God took the initiative in
searching for them. The guilty pair, hearing the sound of
their Creator, did not run joyfully to meet Him as they had
done before. Instead, they hid. But God did not abandon
them. Ever so persistently He called, "Where are you?"
With deep sorrow, God outlined the consequences of their
disobedience--the pain, the difficulties that they would
encounter. Yet in their absolutely hopeless situation He
revealed a wonderful plan promising ultimate victory over
sin and death (Gen. 3:15).
Grace or Justice?
Later, following Israel's apostasy at Sinai, the Lord
revealed His benevolent-but-just character to Moses,
proclaiming, "`The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and
gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and
truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and
transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and
the children's children to the third and the fourth
generation'" (Ex. 34:6,7).
God's character reveals a unique blending of grace and
justice, of a willingness to forgive and an unwillingness to
clear the guilty. Only in the person of Christ can we
understand how these qualities of character can be
reconciled to each other.
To Forgive or to Punish?
During the times of Israel's apostasy, God often pleaded
longingly for His people to acknowledge their iniquity and
return to Him (Jer. 3:12-14). But they spurned His gracious
invitations (Jer. 5:3). An unrepentant attitude that mocks
forgiveness makes punishment inevitable (Ps. 7:12).
Though God is merciful, He cannot forgive those who cling
to sin (Jer. 5:7). Pardon has a purpose. God wants to change
sinners into saints: "Let the wicked forsake his way, and
the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the
Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He
will abundantly pardon" (Isa. 55:7). His message of
salvation clearly sounds throughout the world: "`Look to Me,
and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and
there is no other'" (Isa. 45:22).
God's Wrath Against Sin
The original transgression created in the human mind a
disposition of enmity against God (Col. 1:21). Consequently
we deserve the displeasure of God, who is "a consuming fire"
against sin (Heb. 12:29; cf. Hab. 1:13). The solemn truth is
that "all have sinned" (Rom. 3:23), all are "by nature
children of wrath" (Eph. 2:3; cf. 5:6) and subject to death
"for the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23).
Divine wrath is what Scripture calls God's reaction to
sin and unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18). Deliberate rejection of
God's revealed will--His law--provokes His righteous anger
or wrath (2 Kings 17:16-18; 2 Chron. 36:16). G.E. Ladd
wrote, "Men are ethically sinful; and when God counts their
trespasses against them, he must view them as sinners, as
enemies, as the objects of the divine wrath; for it is an
ethical and religious necessity that the holiness of God
manifests itself in wrath against sin."(*1) Yet at the same
time, God yearns to save the rebellious world. While He
hates every sin, He has a loving concern for every sinner.
The Human Response
God's dealings with Israel culminated in the ministry of
Jesus Christ, who gave the clearest insight into "the
exceeding riches" of divine grace (Eph. 2:7). Said John, "We
beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the
Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). "Christ
Jesus," Paul wrote, has become "for us wisdom from God--and
righteousness and sanctification and redemption--that, as it
is written, `He who glories, let him glory in the Lord'" (1
Cor. 1:30,31). Who therefore can despise "the riches of His
goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering?" No wonder Paul
points out that it is "the goodness of God" that leads to
repentance (Rom. 2:4).
Even the human response to God's offer of salvation does
not originate with human beings, but with God. Our faith is
but a gift of God (Rom. 12:3); as is our repentance (Acts
5:31). Our love arises in response to God's love (1 John
4:19). We cannot save ourselves from Satan, sin, suffering,
and death. Our own righteousness is like filthy rags (Isa.
64:6). "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great
love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in
trespasses, made us alive together with Christ....For by
grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of
yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone
should boast" (Eph. 2:4,5,8,9).
Christ's Ministry of Reconciliation
The good news is that "God was in Christ reconciling the
world to Himself" (2 Cor. 5:19). His reconciliation restores
the relationship between God and the human race. The text
points out that this process reconciles sinners to God, not
God to sinners. The key in leading sinners back to God is
Jesus Christ. God's plan of reconciliation is a marvel of
divine condescension. He had every right to let humanity
As we have already noted, it was God who took the
initiative in restoring the broken relationship between
humanity and Himself. "When we were enemies," Paul said,
"we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son"
(Rom. 5:10). Consequently "we also rejoice in God through
our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the
reconciliation" (Rom. 5:11).
The process of reconciliation has been associated with
the term atonement. "The English word `atonement' originally
meant `at-one-ment,' that is, a state of being `at one,' or
in agreement. Accordingly `atonement' denoted harmony of a
relationship, and when there had been estrangement this
harmony would be the result of a process of reconciliation.
Understood in terms of its original meaning, `atonement'
properly denotes a state of reconciliation that terminated a
state of estrangement."(*2)
Many Christians limit the term atonement exclusively to
the redeeming effects of Christ's incarnation, suffering,
and death. In the sanctuary services, however, atonement not
only involved the killing of the sacrificial lamb but also
included the priestly ministering of its shed blood in the
sanctuary itself (cf. Lev. 4:20,26,35; 16:15-18,32,33).
According to this Biblical usage, then, atonement can refer
to both Christ's death and His intercessory ministry in the
heavenly sanctuary. There, as High Priest, He applies the
benefits of His complete and perfect atoning sacrifice to
achieve the reconciliation of humans to God.(*3)
Vincent Taylor also observed that the doctrine of
atonement has two aspects "(a) the saving deed of Christ,
and (b) the appropriation of His work by faith, both
individual and communal. These two together constitute the
Atonement." From this insight he concluded that "atonement
is both accomplished for us and wrought in us."(*4)
This chapter focuses on the atonement as it relates to
the death of Christ. The atonement associated with His High
Priestly ministry will be discussed later (see chapter 23 of
Christ's Atoning Sacrifice
Christ's atoning sacrifice at Calvary marked the turning
point in the relationship between God and humanity. Though
there is a record of people's sins, as a result of the
reconciliation God does not count their sins against them (2
Cor. 5:19). This does not mean that God dismisses
punishment, or that sin no longer arouses His wrath. Rather,
it means that God has found a way to grant pardon to
repentant sinners while still upholding the justice of His
Christ's Death a Necessity
For a loving God to maintain His justice and
righteousness, the atoning death of Jesus Christ became "a
moral and legal necessity." God's "justice requires that sin
be carried to judgment. God must therefore execute judgment
on sin and thus on the sinner. In this execution the Son of
God took our place, the sinner's place, according to God's
will. The atonement was necessary because man stood under
the righteous wrath of God. Herein lies the heart of the
gospel of forgiveness of sin and the mystery of the cross of
Christ: Christ's perfect righteousness adequately satisfied
divine justice, and God is willing to accept Christ's
self-sacrifice in place of man's death."(*5)
Persons unwilling to accept the atoning blood of Christ
receive no forgiveness of sin, and are still subject to
God's wrath. Said John, "`He who believes in the Son has
everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall
not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him'"
Therefore, the cross is a demonstration of both God's
mercy and His justice. "God presented him [Christ] as a
sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did
this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance
he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--he did
it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to
be just and the one who justifies the man who has faith in
Jesus" (Rom. 3:25,26, NIV).
What Does the Atoning Sacrifice Accomplish?
It was the Father Himself who presented His Son as "a
sacrifice of atonement" (Rom. 3:25, NIV; Greek,
hilasterion), "a propitiation" (KJV, NKJV), "an expiation"
(RSV). The New Testament use of hilasterion has nothing to
do with the pagan notion of "placating an angry God" or
"appeasing a vindictive, arbitrary, and capricious God."(*6)
The text reveals that "God in His merciful will presented
Christ as the propitiation to His holy wrath on human guilt
because He accepted Christ as man's representative and the
divine Substitute to receive His judgment on sin."(*7)
From this perspective one can understand Paul's
description of Christ's death as "an offering and a
sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma" (Eph. 5:2; cf.
Gen. 8:21; Ex. 29:18; Lev. 1:9). "Christ's self-sacrifice is
pleasing to God because this sacrifice offering took away
the barrier between God and sinful man in that Christ fully
bore God's wrath on man's sin. Through Christ, God's wrath
is not turned into love but is turned away from man and
borne by Himself."(*8)
Romans 3:25 also reveals that through Christ's sacrifice
sin is expiated or purged. Expiation focuses on what the
atoning blood does to the repentant sinner. He experiences
forgiveness, removal of personal guilt, and cleansing from
Christ the Vicarious Sin-bearer
The Scriptures present Christ as the "sin-bearer" of the
human race. In profound prophetic language Isaiah stated
that "He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised
for our iniquities;...and the Lord has laid on Him the
iniquity of us all....It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He
has put Him to grief,...[He was] an offering for sin,...and
He bore the sin of many" (Isa. 53:5,6,10,12; cf. Gal. 1:4).
Paul had this prophecy in mind when he said, "Christ died
for our sins according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3).
These texts point to an important concept in the plan of
salvation: The sins and guilt that have defiled us can be
transferred to our Sin-bearer, making us clean (Ps. 51:10).
The sacrificial ceremonies of the Old Testament sanctuary
revealed this role of Christ. There, the transfer of sin
from the repentant sinner to the innocent lamb symbolized
its transfer to Christ, the Sin-bearer (see chapter 4 of
What is the Role of the Blood?
The blood played a central role in the atoning sacrifices
of the sanctuary service. God made provision for the
atonement when He said, "`The life of the flesh is in the
blood, and I have given it to you...to make atonement for
your souls," (Lev. 17:11). After the killing of the animal
the priest had to apply its blood before forgiveness was
The New Testament reveals that the Old Testament
ceremonies for obtaining forgiveness, purification, and
reconciliation through substitutionary blood were fulfilled
in the atoning blood of Christ's Calvary sacrifice. In
contrast to the old ways, the New Testament says, "How much
more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the
eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse
our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may
serve the Living God!" (Heb. 9:14, NIV). The shedding of His
blood accomplished the expiation for sin (Rom. 3:25 RSV).
John said that because of His love, God "sent His Son to be
the propitiation [hilasmos] for our sins" (1 John 4:10;
"expiation" RSV; "an atoning sacrifice" NIV).
In summary, "God's objective act of reconciliation has
been accomplished through the propitiating and expiating
blood (self-sacrifice) of Christ Jesus, His Son. Thus God
`is both the provider and the recipient of the
Christ the Ransom
When human beings came under the dominion of sin they
became subject to the condemnation and curse of God's law
(Rom. 6:4; Gal. 3:10-13). Slaves of sin (Rom. 6:17), subject
to death, they were unable to escape. "No man can redeem the
life of another or give to God a ransom for him (Ps. 49:7,
NIV). Only God is invested with power to redeem. "`I will
ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them
from death'" (Hosea 13:14). How did God redeem them?
Through Jesus, who testified that He "`did not come to be
served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for
many'" (Matt. 20:28, see 1 Tim. 2:6), God "purchased" the
church with "His own blood" (Acts 20:28). In Christ "we have
redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Eph.
1:7; cf. Rom. 3:24). His death was to "redeem us from every
lawless deed and purity for Himself His own special people,
zealous for good works" (Titus 2:14).
What Did The Ransom Accomplish?
Christ's death ratified God's ownership of humanity.
Said Paul, "You are not your own; you were bought at a
price" (1 Cor. 6:19,20, NIV; see also 1 Cor. 7:23).
Through His death, Christ broke the dominion of sin,
terminated the spiritual captivity, removed the condemnation
and curse of the law, and made eternal life available to all
repentant sinners. Peter said believers were redeemed from
"aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers"
(1 Peter 1:18). Paul wrote that those delivered from the
slavery of sin and its deadly fruit are now in the service
of God with its "fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting
life" (Rom. 6:22).
To ignore or deny the ransom principle would be "to lose
the very heart of the gospel of grace and to deny the
deepest motive of our gratitude to the Lamb of God."(*11)
This principle is central to the doxologies sung in the
heavenly throne room: "`You were slain, and with your blood
you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and
people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and
priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth'"
(Rev. 5:9,10, NIV).
Christ the Representative of Humanity
Both Adam and Christ--"the last Adam," or "the second
Man" (1 Cor. 15:45,47)--represent all humanity. While the
natural birth saddles each person with the results of Adam's
transgression, everyone who experiences the spiritual birth
receives the benefits of Christ's perfect life and
sacrifice. "For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all
shall be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22).
Adam's rebellion brought sin, condemnation, and death to
all. Christ reversed the downward trend. In His great love,
He subjected Himself to the divine judgment on sin and
became humanity's representative. His substitutionary death
provided the deliverance from the penalty of sin and the
gift of eternal life for repentant sinners (2 Cor. 5:21;
Rom. 6:23; 1 Peter 3:18).
Scripture clearly teaches the universal nature of
Christ's substitutionary death. By "the grace of God," He
experienced death for everyone (Heb. 2:9). Like Adam, all
have sinned (Rom. 5:12), therefore, everyone experiences
death--the first death. The death that Christ tasted for
everyone was the second death--the full curse of death
(Rev. 20:6; see chapter 26 of this book).
Christ's Life and Salvation
"For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God
through the death of His Son, much more, having been
reconciled, we shall be saved by His life" (Rom. 5:10). It
took Christ's life, as well as His death, to bridge the
chasm gouged by sin. Both are necessary and contribute to
What Can Christ's Perfect Life Do for Us?
Jesus lived a pure, holy, and loving life, relying
completely on God. This precious life He shares with
repentant sinners as a gift. His perfect character is
portrayed as a wedding garment (Matt. 22:11) or a robe of
righteousness (Isa. 61:10) that He gives to replace the
filthy rags of human attempts to achieve righteousness
In spite of our human corruption, when we submit
ourselves to Christ, our heart is united with His heart, our
will is merged in His will, our mind becomes one with His
mind, our thoughts are brought into captivity to Him; we
live His life. We are covered with His garment of
righteousness. When God looks at the believing, penitent
sinner He sees, not the nakedness or deformity of sin, but
the robe of righteousness formed by Christ's perfect
obedience to the law.(*12) None can be truly righteous
unless covered by this robe.
In the parable of the wedding garment the guest who
arrived in his own clothes was not cast out because of
unbelief. He had accepted the invitation to the banquet
(Matt. 22:10). But his coming was not enough. He needed the
wedding garment. Similarly, belief in the cross is not
enough. To be presentable before the King, we also need
Christ's perfect life, His righteous character.
As sinners we not only need the debt to be canceled, we
need our bank account restored. We need more than release
from prison, we need to be adopted into the family of the
King. The mediatorial ministry of the resurrected Christ has
the twofold objective of forgiving and clothing--the
application of His death and life to our life and our
standing before God. Calvary's "It is finished" marked the
completion of a perfect life and a perfect sacrifice.
Sinners need both.
The Inspiration of Christ's Life
Christ's life on earth also gave humanity a model of how
to live. Peter, for instance, recommends as an example to us
the way He responded to personal abuse (1 Peter 2:21-23). He
who was made like us, and was tempted in all points as we
are, demonstrated that those who depend on God's power have
no need to continue in sin. Christ's life provides the
assurance that we can live victoriously. Paul testified,
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
Christ's Resurrection and Salvation
"If Christ is not risen," Paul said, "then our preaching
is in vain and your faith is also vain" and "you are still
in your sins!" (1 Cor. 15:14,17). Jesus Christ was
physically resurrected (Luke 24:36-43), ascended as the
God-man to heaven, and began His crucial intercessory work
as Mediator at the right hand of God the Father (Heb. 8:1,2;
see chapter 4 of this book).
Christ's resurrection gave a meaning to the cross that
the shattered disciples could not see on crucifixion Friday.
His resurrection transformed these men into a mighty force
that changed history. The resurrection--never detached from
the crucifixion--became central to their mission. They
proclaimed the living, crucified Christ, who had triumphed
over the forces of evil. Herein lay the power of the
"The resurrection of Christ," Philip Schaff wrote, "is
emphatically a test question upon which depends the truth or
falsehood of the Christian religion. It is either the
greatest miracle or the greatest delusion which history
records."(*13) Wilbur M. Smith commented, "The resurrection
of Christ is the very citadel of the Christian faith. This
is the doctrine that turned the world upside down in the
first century, that lifted Christianity preeminently above
Judaism, and the pagan religions of the Mediterranean world.
If this goes, so must almost everything else that is vital
and unique in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ: `If
Christ be not risen, then is your faith vain'
(1 Cor. 15:17)."(*14)
Christ's current ministry is rooted in His death and
resurrection. While the atoning sacrifice at Calvary was
sufficient and complete, without the resurrection we would
have no assurance that Christ had successfully finished His
divine mission on earth. That Christ has risen confirms the
reality of life beyond the grave and demonstrates the
truthfulness of God's promise of eternal life in Him.
The Results of Christ's Saving Ministry
Christ's atoning ministry affects not only the human race
but the entire universe.
Reconciliation Throughout the Universe
Paul reveals the magnitude of Christ's salvation in and
through the church: "His intent was that now, through the
church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to
the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms" (Eph.
3:10, NIV). He further asserts that it pleased God through
Christ "to reconcile all things to Himself...whether things
on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the
blood of His cross" (Col. 1:20). Paul revealed the
astounding results of this reconciliation: "At the name of
Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of
those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every
tongue should confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of
God the Father" (Phil. 2:10,11).
The Vindication of God's Law
Christ's perfect atoning sacrifice upheld the justice and
goodness or righteousness of God's holy law as well as His
gracious character. Christ's death and ransom satisfied the
demands of the law (that sin needed to be punished), while
justifying repentant sinners through His grace and mercy.
Paul said, "He condemned sin in the flesh, that the
righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us
who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the
Spirit" (Rom. 8:3,4).
Reconciliation becomes effective only when forgiveness is
accepted. The prodigal son was reconciled with his father
when he accepted his father's love and forgiveness.
"Those who accept by faith that God has reconciled the
world to Himself in Christ and who submit to Him will
receive from God the invaluable gift of justification with
its immediate fruit of peace with God. (Romans 5:1). No
longer the object of God's wrath, justified believers have
become the objects of God's favor. With full access to the
throne of God through Christ, they receive the power of the
Holy Spirit to break down all the barriers or dividing walls
of hostility between men, symbolized by the hostility which
exists between Jew and Gentile.
(See Ephesians 2:14-16.)"(*15)
The Futility of Salvation by Works
God's ministry of reconciliation reveals the futility of
human endeavors to obtain salvation through works of the
law. Insight into divine grace leads to the acceptance of
the justifying righteousness available through faith in
Christ. The gratitude of those who have experienced
forgiveness makes obedience a joy; works, then, are not the
ground of salvation, but its fruitage.(*16)
A New Relationship With God
Experiencing God's grace, which offers Christ's perfect
life of obedience, His righteousness, and His atoning death
as a free gift, leads to a deeper relationship with God.
Gratitude, praise, and joy arise, obedience becomes a
delight, the study of His Word a joy, and the mind a ready
dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. A new relationship
between God and the repentant sinner takes place. It is a
fellowship based on love and admiration, rather than one of
fear and obligation (cf. John 15:1-10).
The more we understand God's grace in the light of the
cross, the less self-righteousness we will feel and the more
we will realize how blessed we are. The power of the same
Holy Spirit that was operative in Christ when He rose from
the dead will transform our lives. Instead of failure, we
will experience daily victory over sin.
The Motivation for Mission
The amazing love revealed in God's ministry of
reconciliation through Jesus Christ motivates our sharing
the gospel with others. When we have experienced it
ourselves, we cannot keep secret the fact that God will not
count sin against those who accept Christ's sacrifice for
sins. We will pass on to others the moving gospel invitation
"Be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be
sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in
Him" (2 Cor. 5:20,21).
1. George E. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament (Grand
Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1974), p. 453.
2. "Atonement," SDA Bible Dictionary, rev. ed., p. 97
3. For a full discussion of this Biblical concept, see
Seventh-day Adventists Answer Questions on Doctrine
(Washington D.C.: Review and Herald, 1957), pp. 341-355.
4. Vincent Taylor, The Cross of Christ (London: Macmillan,
1956), pp. 88,89.
5. Hans K LaRondelle, Christ Our Salvation (Mountain View,
CA: Pacific Press, 1980), pp. 25,26.
6. Raoul Dederen, "Atoning Aspects in Christ's Death," in
The Sanctuary and the Atonement, eds., Arnold V. Wallenkampf
and W. Richard Lesher, (Washington, D.C.: [Biblical Research
Institute of the General Conference of Seventh-day
Adventists], 1981), p. 295. He added: "Among the heathen
propitiation was thought of as an activity by which the
worshiper was able himself to provide that which would
induce a change of mind in the deity. He simply bribed his
god to be favorable to him. In the Scriptures
expiation-propitiation is thought of as springing from the
love of God" (ibid., p. 317).
7. LaRondelle, p. 26.
8. Ibid., pp. 26,27.
9. Dederen, p. 295
10.LaRondelle, p. 28. The quotation in this reference was
from H.G. Link and C. Brown, "Reconciliation," The New
International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand
Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1978), vol. 3, p. 162.
ll.LaRondelle, p. 30
12.See White, Christ's Object Lessons (Washington, D.C.:
Review and Herald, 1941), p. 312.
13.Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (Grand
Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, l962), vol. 1, p. 173.
14.Wilbur M. Smith, "Twentieth-Century Scientists and the
Resurrection of Christ" Christianity Today, April 15, 1957,
p. 22. For arguments for the historicity of the
resurrection, see Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a
Verdict (Campus Crusade for Christ, 1972), pp. 185-274.
15.LaRondelle, pp. 32,33.
16.See Hyde, "What Christ's Life Means to Me," Adventist
Review, Nov. 6, 1986, p. 19