Even though we may be people who have been in church for a long time and know the gospel, it can often be difficult to understand how the gospel applies to different areas of our everyday lives.
So over the next few weeks, we want to help you think through a different facet on the diamond of the gospel and how understanding it might change your life and grow you in your love for Jesus.
To begin this week, we will discuss the gospel truth of substitutionary atonement.
Substitutionary atonement is a big phrase that simply means that Jesus took our place on the cross, dying for our sin so that we would not have to, and this death brings atonement or at-one-ment with God. His life death, and resurrection reconcile us to God and restore us to a right relationship with him.
This is the foundation of our salvation and the foundational truth of the gospel. I have no greater comfort than to know that Jesus lived perfectly in my place, died in my place, and rose for me so that I could have eternal life with God through him.
On the cross, Jesus took what you and I deserved so that for all of eternity, we could get what he deserved. He took judgment and cursing so that we could get salvation and blessing.
To paraphrase John Stott: The essence of sin is man substituting himself for God, putting himself where only God should be. The essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man, putting himself where only man should be.
This is the glorious truth that the gospel proclaims! Because of Jesus, we don’t get what we deserve! We deserve death, hell, and judgment; but instead we receive, grace, love, and mercy. Because of Jesus taking my place, I am forgiven, free, and right with God!
This foundational gospel truth should lead us to worship.