In the history of the Christian church the doctrine of the atonement has developed along two distinct lines, designated by the words “subjective” and “objective”. Often these two aspects seem to be at odds with one another. The subjective aspect affirms that the atonement exercises primarily a moral influence on man, for the sinners benefit. Those holding this view teach that the purpose of the atonement was to secure the right response from the sinner, that God acted in and through His Son, Jesus Christ, in order to induce the sinner to return to God. The objective aspect says that the sacrifice of Christ must first do justice to God and to the account God gives of Himself in relation to the sin problem. In this we understand that sin has done great damage to God and to His kingdom. Sin must be punished and restitution made before the sin problem can be resolved. I intend to make the case that the atonement is both subjective and objective. These two aspects do not stand in opposition to each other. Any comprehensive understanding of the atonement must move toward the acceptance of both aspects. Both aspects merge in the atonement. Since the destiny of sinful man is wrapped up with Christ and His atoning sacrifice, the demands, from both God’s point of view and the sinner’s need, are natural and inevitable. The full scope of the atonement comes into view as the two aspects are believed, understood, and proclaimed as necessary for the redemption of sinful man. Both aspects together best reflect the true character of God.
Scripture: Matthew 11:27; 16:21; 27:46 Mark 14:32-35 John 1:18, 29; 15:9 Romans 1:16-18; 3:25-26; 5:8-11; 8:32, 38-39 1 Corinthians 14:33; 15:3 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21 Galatians 3:13 Ephesians 2:13 Colossians 1:20 Hebrews 9:22 1 Peter 3:18 1 John 1:7; 4:10
“The Sanctuary – Part 3” preached by Elder Steve Ebsen on February 6th, 2021 at the Mount Vernon Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mount Vernon, Washington