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Explanation of the theory of Substitionary Atonement

The extent of the Atonement
1. The Substitution Theory of Atonement emphasizes both the righteousness and love of God. Explain how this is true.
2. Some people object to the Substitution Theory of the Atonement believing that it foolishly promotes an evil God who vindictively punishes an innocent person for the sins of the guilty. After reading 1 Cor 1:21-25 and 1 Cor 2:14, explain how these passages help us to understand this objection?
3. The book of Isaiah was written 700 years before Christ's birth. We have extant copies of Isaiah among the Dead Sea Scrolls that date back 150 years before Christ. Therefore, no one can claim that Isa.53 was written after the fact. How can you use the detailed description of the Atonement given here by Isaiah as a defense for the Christian message?
4. One objection to the Substitution theory of the Atonement is that Christ took our exact penalty, why isn't He in Hell for all eternity. Discuss this objection.
5. While the presentation of the Gospel called "THE OFFER" accurately illustrates the Substitution Theory of the Atonement in many ways, it also falls short as all illustrations eventually do. Discuss how the courtroom illustration breaks down.
6. Do you believe that Christ died only for the elect or for all people? Explain your response.


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1) The substitution theory of atonement takes into account that 1) God is all righteous and as such cannot abide sin in His presence and 2) God is Love in its ultimate form. We know from the scriptures that the penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23). We also know that it is possible for anyone sinless to serve as a substitute for those who have sinned (Isaiah 53:6, Isaiah 53:12, II Corinthians 5:21). Because of God's loving nature, would He want His creation to suffer eternally in Hell? (Read John 3:16) What of His holy nature which demands payment for sin (again, Romans 6:23)? I'll leave those for you to ...

Solution Summary

God's righteousness demands payment for sin yet it is impossible for man to ever pay off the debt owed for the sins he commits. How then is man to ever be eligible to enter Heaven and stand before a holy God? The answer to this question is through the substitionary atonement provided by the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, what is the substitionary atonement? This treatise attempts to condense the theory and put the explanation into layman's terms.