Words of Life ~ ATONEMENT

As we discover the centrality of Jesus Christ in all the Bible, atonement is central to the Old and New Testaments and the one subject most important to all who call themselves Christians. No other theme is as important to a believer as this one, therefore, we ought to study to clearly understand its meaning.

As I realized this to be my next word on the list, I knew it would be a most arduous undertaking. It is truly too high for me. To pretend to understand and define this word is not what I want to do, lest I lessen the impact of its true and powerful meaning. My best attempt will be to share my simple understanding and include two links to aid those readers who earnestly want to have a deeper knowledge of the major work of our Lord Jesus Christ. You may have other sources to add in the comment section.

The purpose of publishing Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian is to focus on the language of those who are born into God’s kingdom through Jesus Christ.

We can only carry so much from the Old Testament to bring understanding to a Christian vocabulary, so where books have been written on one particular word, we are using more of the references that pertain to our position as a child of God in the New Testament.

Old Testament H3722
Strong’s Concordance defines ATONEMENT kaphar kä·far’ to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch
to cover over, pacify, propitiate
to cover over, atone for sin and persons by legal rites
the same word is used for appease, cleansed, pardon

The Old Testament records the Lord’s commandments for sacrifices to be offered for certain Israelite occasions – for childbirth Leviticus 12; for leprosy Leviticus 14; uncleaness Leviticus 15. These are not relative to a Christian.

We will use the references that relate to the understanding of the sacrifice made as an atonement for the forgiveness of sins – the type and the atonement that foreshadowed the atonement that would be made for us through Jesus’ sacrifice.

Atonement for Forgiveness of Sins

“And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year. And he did as the Lord commanded Moses.” Leviticus 16:34

Leviticus 16  speaks of the many facets of the atonement made by the priests once a year for the nation of Israel. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews compares these to the one sacrificial atonement Jesus made once for all. (Every Christian should study this book for these comparisons.)

The everlasting statute made for the children of Israel was no longer necessary when Jesus died for the sins of His people.

New Testament G2643
Strong’s Concordance defines ATONEMENT, katallagē kä-täl-lä-gā’ adjustment of a difference, reconciliation, restoration to favor,
The same word is used for reconciliation in the N.T. of the restoration of the favor of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ

For if, when we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,
much more, being reconciled,
we shall be saved by his life.”
Romans 5:10

And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
by whom we have now received the atonement.”
Romans 5:11
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;”
2 Corinthians 5:18

Ephesians 2 is a must read for us to understand how both the nation of Israel and other nations are brought together and reconciled to God.

“And that he might reconcile both unto God
in one body by the cross,
having slain the enmity thereby:”
Ephesians 2:16

Specific Elements
In my meager understanding, there seem to be specific elements relating to Jesus’ atonement: a perfect life, sacrificeblood, death, and resurrection.

 A Perfect Life was required to appease the wrath of God (1 John 4:10).

“But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” 1 Peter 1:19

Sacrifice in the willingness to give His life (Ephesians 5:2).

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;” Hebrews 10:12

Blood is shed on behalf of His people.

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. Hebrews 9:12

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22

the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (Revelation 1:5)

the blood of the everlasting covenant (Hebrews 13:20).

Death is the result of His sacrifice made for atonement–the finished act on His part to take our punishment upon Himself.

 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight“: Colossians 1:20-22

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.” John 19:30

Resurrection is the means for His ascension as our High Priest–ever living to make intercession for us, saving to the uttermost those who come to God by faith in Christ (Hebrews 7:25).

How blessed we are to study and meditate on the truths of Jesus’ life and His purpose for being here on earth —to save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). I am both amazed and humbled. The power of His holy will to secure a people for Himself by providing all that is needed for our salvation is incomprehensible. To believe that He included me in this covenant of redemption can only be a work of His Holy Spirit within me. I am powerless to do anything in this atoning work. Atonement planned and executed by a Triune God leaves nothing to the imagination of man nor of his will to help or add anything to it. Atonement in the life and work of Jesus Christ is the only means to obtain at-one-ment with God our heavenly Father.

Dear Father, we can only know the power of your love that secured a new life for us through the atoning work of your Son, except as you work it in each of us. Continue to show us, teach us, and lead us as the God of our salvation. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran

What is Atonement?
The Day of Atonement Charles Spurgeon

Jesus Was Never in a Hurry

After becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ in 1992, I have been blessed for Him to pour His grace and love into my new heart and through me to others. Writing for over twenty-five years, the flow has not stopped. At times my work was frustrating because I could not get an article or book finished before He gave something else. I have a backlog of projects; some are filed “on the back burner” some “in the oven;” others “chilling.”

It was a whirlwind at times trying to handle the flow of His grace. Not only in writing, but in other projects in the ministry of the church, for different members of my family and for others, I looked like a “workaholic.” I designed this tee shirt during that time of my life.

In the study, prayer time, research, writing, and publishing, He has taught me how to handle what He gives without expecting that I can share it all in my lifetime. At times, I have prayed that if I cannot handle something as important as He gives, that He would give another of His children the assignment, whether writing or ministry to an individual or family.

All this brings me to the subject of this post.

As I have learned of the Father’s sovereignty and how He directs His creatures in the work He calls them to do, He continues to teach me to wait on Him, to be at peace and know that each day is as He has planned. I cannot accomplish anything if I try to go ahead of Him. This brought to mind our Lord’s daily ministry, and just thinking of His manner of daily work gives me a sense of peace and joy.

The Father’s Business
He was born in the Father’s timing. By the age of twelve, He knew His purpose to “be about my Father’s business.” He did not need to hurry or worry.

In every situation and teaching, Jesus knew His reason for being where He was and the work He had to do. He knew the distance He had to travel, the timing, and the outcome for every day of His life, His death, His resurrection, His ascension and His subsequent role at the right hand of the Father as our High Priest.

John 11 records the event of the death of Jesus’ friend, Lazarus. Even after hearing that he was sick, He did not hurry to heal him. He could have done so with only His Word. He tarried with His disciples until after Lazarus had been buried four days.

And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. John 11:15

He never stayed longer in one place than needed to accomplish His purpose for being there, whether to feed five or four thousand, heal an individual, or raise one from the dead. He was always in the right place at the right time according to the will of the Father.

Up until the night in Gethsemane and His arrest early the next morning, He perfectly carried out the plans for which He had been born into this world.

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Galatians 4:4-5

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6

And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Mark 14:41

 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. John 19:30

The sovereignty of our Father has planned our work for us and He will bring it to pass. We need not worry or hurry to be about our Father’s business.

Even as our Lord spent His time with the Father, we must know His will and follow our Lord Jesus Christ in proclaiming the kingdom and ministering in His name where He places us.

In considering what I have desired to accomplish, I have failed many times. The next statement sums up my thoughts on all I think I can do.

When all is said and done,
I will have done all I could have done
and He will have done all He would have done.

Gracious Father, for your plans for our salvation through your Son, we thank you. We bless your name and praise you for your Word that teaches us who we are in Christ and for your Spirit of truth and grace. Continue to lead us, be with us always, and work through us to teach others who you are, who we are, and why we are here. Complete the work you have begun in us in your timing. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Related Articles: A Sheep’s View; Chance, Accident, Luck, or Divine Providence

Words of Life ~ ACCOMPLISH

The Hebrew word for accomplish appears many times in the form of the word “made.”  When God made the firmament, He accomplished what He had planned before the foundation of the world. The same word is used in Genesis 1:11 for yielding fruit after its kind. The Greek word for accomplish is used only one time in the New Testament but also used for fill, filled, fulfilled, full, fulness and complete.

The Old Testament H6213
Defines accomplish ʻâsâh(aw-saw’)
A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application:—accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, bruise, be busy, X certainly, have the charge of, commit, deal (with),

To see all Hebrew references: blueletterbible.org

The most well known in the Old Testament is Isaiah 55:11.

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

Several verses refer to the wrath of God that He would accomplish upon the disobedient and ungodly.
“He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my fury upon them.” Ezekiel 6:12

Daniel 9:2 speaks of seventy years the Lord would accomplish in the desolations of Jerusalem.

In the New Testament G4137
Defines accomplish plēroō (plā-ro’-ō)
to make replete, that is, (literally) to cram(a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute
(an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.: — accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply. Greek references: blueletterbible.org.

The only reference to the word accomplish in the New Testament is from the scene of transfiguration when Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke of Jesus’ finished work on the cross.

“Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.”  (Luke 9:28:31).

When Isaiah recorded 55:11, would he have known that the Lord was speaking not only of His written word, but of His Living word, Jesus Christ, who would accomplish all He would send Him to do?

When God the Father planned His creation, it was with the power to accomplish His sovereign will.
1. God the Father completed His Creation, resting on the seventh day.
2. God the Son fulfilled the means of Redemption and rested on the seventh day; now seated at the right hand of the Father and upholding all things by the word of HIs power.
3. God the Holy Spirit is now revealing and fulfilling the plan and purpose for all things in the fulness of time (Ephesians 1:10).

We need not doubt but His Word and work will accomplish in each of us all His will in every generation until all is fulfilled ~ to His glory and our joy.

Gracious Father in heaven, we praise you that you accomplish all your sovereign will. What you planned before the world began has gradually come to pass according to your timing. Most gratefully do we thank you that when you sent your Son, your Living Word, He accomplished all you sent Him to do. He fulfilled your covenant of redemption for us. When He said, “It is finished” He accomplished fully and completely the means of eternal life for us. Teach us through your Word, and by your Holy Spirit, do your work in each of us. In Jesus’ holy, powerful and precious name we pray, thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran

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The Center of Contentment

Why do we keep harping on Jesus Christ as relating to contentment?

When He said, “It is finished” He was verbalizing what was from the beginning and what was the end, but more importantly what was between. He had lived His life in full obedience to the law, which no one else could do, and according to the prophecies, He had submitted His life as the sacrifice the Father required.

In the end He had prepared and was leaving for His people the means for the abundant life He promised His disciples. Those who are “in Christ” ~ born again to a living hope by His resurrection (1 Peter 1:3) have this eternal hope that outweighs anything the world has to offer. This life and hope glories in, and is supplied by, the very life of Christ, Himself.

He set up His Spirit, His mind, His words, and His life to be the center of our lives (John 6:63). To veer from Him is to leave what He has prepared for us. To live for us and to give His life for us was not just a flippant desire that He had, hoping that some would believe and consult His teaching. No. His life, death and resurrection were carried through to accomplish all that was planned before the foundation of the world for us.

To have a little of Jesus on the side is to negate His suffering and sacrifice for us.

To consult Him only when things are rough in this life is to live on crumbs from the Master’s table.

He has promised to be all things to His people ~ not to the world ~ but to His people.
He died to sanctify us in Himself (John 17:19; Ephesians 5:25-27; Hebrews 2:11).

When we say, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” we are echoing His truth and our contentment in Him. We want nothing but what He wants for us.

What Else Do We Need?
God our Father has provided all things in Christ for His people (Romans 8:32; 2 Peter 1:3). As the Galatians were tempted to be circumcised in addition to faith in Christ, so many want to add Christ to what they have already. Some want to add to Christ, when Christ is enough for this life and the next.

We do not need practices from other religions. Similar to Yoga, Transcendental Meditation was something I did years ago. It was very effective for all I wanted it to do, but Christ soon won out. TM had to go; I did not want to be my own god.

There are many religions (on which to base our lives). Christ is not a religion, but a living person. His people do not worship Him in a manger or on a cross. That is all done, “finished” ~ ended. He now sits at the right hand of God the Father, ruling and reigning, with all authority and power ~ for what purpose?

He is our High Priest, interceding, intervening for us, supplying all the blessings and delights that are ours in Him. He is our Prophet, through His Spirit and His written Word to direct us.

He is our King, ruling, hearing and seeing our trials and struggles through the wilderness of this life. We have His promised power and presence with us, so that we can rejoice in Him always, no matter the circumstances.

The Dark Cemetery Ahead Infinite Sea

When Morning Gilds the Skies is a German hymn written in 1800 that still speaks of our life in Christ today. May Jesus Christ be praised is resounded through all of this life into the next. (Not finding a suitable video, the words suffice to show how we are centered in Christ.)

When morning gilds the skies,
my heart awaking cries
May Jesus Christ be praised.

Alike at work and prayer to Jesus I repair,
May Jesus Christ be praised.

When sleep her balm denies,
my silent spirit sighs;
May Jesus Christ be praised.

When evil thoughts molest,
with this I shield my breasts;
May Jesus Christ be praised.

Does sadness fill my mind? A solace here I find;
May Jesus Christ be praised.

Or fades my earthly bliss? My comfort still is this.
May Jesus Christ be praised.

Dear Father bring us as your people, Christ’s people, to see, know, love, obey and rejoice in you today. Let the world see Christ in us. In Jesus’ name, I pray.

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