• Securing our Faith

    Matthew 1:18–21

    The Old Testament also points to limited atonement or particular redemption. Israel’s high priest offered atonement only for the people of Israel, not for Israel and those who remained outside the covenant community. From first to last, the Bible ...Read More

  • Justification by Faith Alone

    John 8:46

    Because we are sinners, we can do nothing in and of ourselves to merit eternal life. Even after we are saved, our best works remain tainted by sin and cannot produce the perfection we need for a righteous standing before ...Read More

  • Christ Our Ransom

    Mark 10:35–45

    Jesus ransoms us from the wrath of God, which means that we never need fear His condemnation if we trust in Christ alone for our salvation. In ransoming us from God’s wrath, our Savior also rescues us from bondage ...Read More

  • The Drama of Redemption

    Psalm 85:10

    Today’s passage contains the beautiful imagery of justice and peace (or mercy, as other translations put it) kissing each other. Our Father graciously restores peace between Himself and us in Christ Jesus. This peace is permanent, for it is ...Read More

  • The Need for Atonement

    1 Corinthians 2:1–5

    In other religions, such as Islam and Judaism, God simply waves sin away, not requiring payment for transgressions in order to forgive. This idea betrays a view of a Creator who is not really all that holy, who ultimately is ...Read More

  • Responding to the Servant

    Isaiah 55

    God works through means. In justification, the sole instrumental means He uses is the faith He gives us to lay hold of Christ’s perfect righteousness—the sole ground of our being declared righteous before Him. We must trust Jesus ...Read More

  • Once for All

    Hebrews 9:23–28

    If Christ’s sacrifice of Himself was insufficient to save us and must be offered again and again, then we have no hope of salvation. A sacrifice that has to be repeated is a weak and ineffectual sacrifice that cannot ...Read More

  • The Demands of Justice and Truth

    Genesis 2:15–17

    Without a robust doctrine of divine simplicity, we have a God at odds with Himself and One who cannot be trusted. The “gods” of other religions are not as just as they claim to be because they do not pour ...Read More

  • Particular Atonement

    John 10:7–18

    Christ’s death truly and eternally secured our redemption. We do not experience the blessing of the atonement because we have faith; rather, we have faith because Jesus actually atoned for our sins and sent His Spirit to give us ...Read More

  • Our Kinsman Redeemer

    Leviticus 25:23–28

    We are accustomed to thinking of a sibling or a parent as our closest relative. For those who are in Christ, however, Jesus is our closest relative, our closest kinsman who paid our debt when we could by no means ...Read More

  • The Ransom Theory

    Mark 10:35–45

    When we enter this world in Adam, we owe God a great debt for breaking His law. We can by no means ever pay this debt, and it is futile even to try to appease our Father by our good ...Read More

  • Vicarious Substitution

    Matthew 3:13–17

    Nothing that Jesus did was an accident. He did not need to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, but He did need to be baptized to keep God’s laws perfectly and to be perfectly identified with His people ...Read More

  • Cursed on the Tree

    Galatians 3:10–14

    God did not violate the covenant of works through the covenant of grace. Instead, the covenant of grace provides a way for the demands of the covenant of works to be met and for us to receive the life that ...Read More

  • The Severe Judgment of God

    2 Corinthians 5:21

    Ancient Jews who knew their Scriptures understood that Jesus’ crucifixion under the Romans meant that God was subjecting Him to the worst curse imaginable. But He was subjected to this curse because He bore the sin of those who trust ...Read More

  • The Suffering of Christ

    Isaiah 53

    The Heidelberg Catechism says that Christ sustained the anger of God against the sin of His people “during his whole life on earth, but especially at the end” (Q&A 37). There is a sense in which all of the suffering Jesus endured on earth was part of His work of bearing sin, but Scripture is clear that the key work of atonement occurred on the cross. If we focus on Jesus’ life at the expense of His death, we will miss why He really came in the first place.Read More