If Only I Were Clean
We are considering the saving work of Christ in light of the attributes of God and our own need. For example, we know that God is just and righteous, but we are guilty, under condemnation. God meets our need in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “God made (Christ) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” This approach to the atonement is called penal substitution. We are declared righteous on the basis of Christ’s finished work. God says of us, “Not guilty!”
When we think about God’s power, his omnipotence, we are reminded of our human weakness, especially our inability to overcome death and evil. We are in bondage to the demonic and the grave. But God has met our need in Christ: he rose from the dead, defeating sin and Satan for us. John wrote, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Christ the Victor model of the atonement focuses on this truth. How wonderful not to live in fear or bondage any longer!
Let’s conclude our little study of the atonement by reflecting on one more attribute of God, his perfect purity or holiness. When we look at ourselves, we are all too aware of our moral impurity. Here again the atoning work of Christ perfectly meets our need. John teaches us that “the blood of Jesus [God’s] Son cleanses us from all sin.” When we repent and confess our sin, the atoning work of Christ makes us clean.
Celebrate the awesome work of Christ on your behalf today: in him we are declared righteous, set free, and clean!