Archive | Substitutionary Atonement RSS feed for this section

Martin Luther – How to Fight For Joy Like a Justified Sinner

27 Jul

When the devil throws our sins up to us and declares that we deserve death and hell, we ought to speak thus: “I admit that I deserve death and hell. What of it? Does this mean that I shall be sentenced to eternal damnation? By no means. For I know One who suffered and made satisfaction in my behalf. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Where he is, there shall I be also.”

~Martin Luther~

Martin Luther, Letters of Spiritual Counsel, trans. and ed. Theodore G. Tappert (Vancouver, British Columbia: Regent College, 2003), 86–87

Books by Martin Luther

Luther’s Works on Logos Bible Software

Kindle Books


Other Luther Quotes The Old Guys

Wilhelmus à Brakel – Understanding How Christ Is Our Substitute

17 Apr


In order to understand the nature of satisfaction correctly, we need to consider the nature of sin, the Judge, and the work of redemption.

(1) Sin brings upon man guilt, wrath, and punishment. If the sinner is to be delivered, he must be acquitted and be delivered from guilt. God must be appeased and the punishment must be borne.

(2) God is the Judge who appears here not so much as a creditor, nor as Lord and offended party, but as Judge. A creditor may forgive a debt if he so desires, and a lord and offended party may relinquish his rights; such freedom of action has been afforded to man by the supreme Judge. A judge, however, may neither relinquish justice nor the punishments due upon crime. However, the manner, time, place, and nature of the punishment, God has left to the discretion of the judge. Since God is the supreme Judge, His justice demands the punishment of the criminal.

(3) The work of satisfaction is contingent upon the diversity of the debt in question. In retiring monetary debts the debtor is not taken into consideration, but only the debt to be paid, which is satisfied with an amount equivalent to the debt. It is immaterial to the creditor whether this debt is paid by the principal debtor or by another who functions as surety. He will be paid with the identical sum of money, which is not a concession at all. With criminal guilt, however, the situation is different. Then the debt cannot be retired by something equivalent in value, but punishment is required for the satisfaction of justice as administered by the judge. Not only the debt or guilt is considered, but also the person who has rendered himself guilty, the criminal. If this satisfaction were to be accomplished by a surety, then, in addition to the surety making satisfaction by bearing the punishment, there must also follow the forgiveness of the criminal. Thus justice would be satisfied; the judge, however, must be willing to admit and accept the surety as well as to punish the incurred guilt in him. Viewing his rights in the absolute sense of the word, the judge would not have to do so. He must thus not impute the punishment to the criminal, but release him from guilt, wrath, and judgment, since all these have been imputed to the surety. Thus mercy and justice, satisfaction and forgiveness meet each other in the atonement, all of which is true in Christ.

~Wilhelmus à Brakel~

The Christian’s Reasonable Service, ed. Joel R. Beeke, trans. Bartel Elshout, vol. 1 (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 1992), 465–466.

Books by Wilhelmus à Brakel

Kindle Books

More à Brakel Quotes at The Old Guys

The Letter to Diognetus: O Sweet Exchange!

20 Mar


But when our wickedness had reached its height, and it had been clearly shown that its reward, punishment and death, was impending over us; and when the time had come which God had before appointed for manifesting His own kindness and power, how the one love of God, through exceeding regard for men, did not regard us with hatred, nor thrust us away, nor remember our iniquity against us, but showed great long-suffering, and bore with us, He Himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities, He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the wicked, the righteous One for the unrighteous, the incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal One for them that are mortal. For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than His righteousness? By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God? O sweet exchange! O unsearchable operation! O benefits surpassing all expectation! that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors! Having therefore convinced us in the former time that our nature was unable to attain to life, and having now revealed the Saviour who is able to save even those things which it was [formerly] impossible to save, by both these facts He desired to lead us to trust in His kindness, to esteem Him our Nourisher, Father, Teacher, Counsellor, Healer, our Wisdom, Light, Honour, Glory, Power, and Life.

~The Letter to Diognetus~

Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. 01: The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyn and Irenaeus – The Letter to Diognetus (Grand Rapids, MI; Christian Classics Ethereal Library; 1885) p. 28

Kindle Version

Free Online Version

Other Letter to Diognetus Quotes

Jonathan Edwards – Christ Spent Himself For Us

21 Aug

Christ, as it were, spent himself for us. Though we were enemies, yet he so loved us that from love to us he had a heart not only to look at our things, but to spend his own things for us, to forego his own ease and comfort, and outward honor, and to become poor for us. “For even Christ pleased not himself; but as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me” (Rom. 15:3). And not only so, but to spend himself for us, to spend his blood, to offer up himself a sacrifice to the justice of God for our sakes.

~Jonathan Edwards~

Charity and Its Fruits: Living in the Light of God’s Love (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2012) p. 175

Books by Jonathan Edwards

Biography of Jonathan Edwards

Online Books Available

Other Edwards Quotes

Jonathan Edwards – The Sacrifice of Christ

20 Jan

The sacrifice of Christ is a sweet savour, because as such it was a great honour done to God’s majesty, holiness, and law, and a glorious expression of Christ’s respect to that majesty, &c. That when he loved man, and so greatly desired his salvation, he had yet so great respect to that majesty and holiness of God, that he had rather die than that the salvation of man should be any injury or dishonour unto those attributes. And then, 2ndly, It was a sweet savour, as it was a marvellous act of obedience, and some expression of a wonderful respect to God’s authority. The value of Christ’s sacrifice was infinite, both as a propitiation, and as an act of obedience; because he showed an infinite regard to the majesty, holiness, &c. of God, in being at infinite expense from regard to those divine attributes.

~Jonathan Edwards~

The Works of Jonathan Edwards Vol. 2 (Peabody, MA; Hendrickson Publishers, Inc; 2007) p. 577. Remarks on Important Theological Controveries – Chapter 5: CONCERNING THE NECESSITY AND REASONABLENESS OF THE CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OP SATISFACTION FOR SIN.

Books by Jonathan Edwards

Biography of Jonathan Edwards

Online Books Available

Other Edwards Quotes

John Calvin – Christ’s Sacrifice as Substitution

13 Dec

What, I ask you, would Christ have bestowed upon us if the penalty for our sins were still required? For when we say that he bore all our sins in his body upon the tree [1 Peter 2:24], we mean only that he bore the punishment and vengeance due for our sins. Isaiah has stated this more meaningfully when he says: “The chastisement (or correction) of our peace was upon him” [Isa. 53:5]. What is this “correction of our peace” but the penalty due sins that we would have had to pay before we could become reconciled to God–if he had not taken our place? Lo, you see plainly that Christ bore the penalty of sins to deliver his own people from them… This is why Paul writes that Christ gave himself as a ransom for us [1 Tim. 2:6]. “What is propitiation before the Lord,” asks Augustine, “but sacrifice? What is the sacrifice, but what has been offered for us in the death of Christ?”

~John Calvin~

The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Louisville, Kentucky; Westminster John Knox Press; 1974) p. 657.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

Herman Bavinck – Vicarious Satisfaction

7 Sep

The mystical and moral interpretation of Jesus’ suffering and death cannot even be maintained if it is not acknowledged beforehand that in a legal sense he suffered and died in our place. Now this is what Scripture teaches in the clearest terms, even though it does not use the expression “vicarious satisfaction” any more than the words “Trinity,” “incarnation,” “God-man,” and so on. For when it says that Christ, though personally without sin, has been put forward as an expiation to show God’s righteousness [Rom. 3:25], has been made to be sin for us [2 Cor. 5:21], became a curse for us [Gal. 3:13], bore our sins in his body on the tree [1 Pet. 2:24]; that God condemned sin in his flesh [Rom. 8:3] and punished him with the accursed death on the cross and that through him we now receive reconciliation and forgiveness, righteousness and life, indeed total and complete salvation–then we can construe the interconnection between all these scriptural pronouncements in no other way than that Christ put himself in our place, has borne the punishment of our sin, satisfied God’s justice, and so secured salvation for us.

~Herman Bavinck~

Reformed Dogmatics Vol. 3: Sin and Salvation in Christ (Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Academic; 2006) p. 398.

Read More By Bavinck

Read More About Bavinck

Other Bavinck Quotes

Spurgeon: One Tremendous Draught of Love

27 Apr

The whole of the tremendous debt was put upon his shoulders; the whole weight of the sins of all his people was placed upon him. Once he seemed to stagger under it: “Father, if it be possible.” But again he stood upright: “Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done.” The whole of the punishment of his people was distilled into one cup; no mortal lip might give it so much as a solitary sip. When he put it to his own lips, it was so bitter, he well nigh spurned it—”Let this cup pass from me.” But his love for his people was so strong, that he took the cup in both his hands, and

“At one tremendous draught of love
He drank damnation dry,”

for all his people. He drank it all, he endured all, he suffered all; so that now for ever there are no flames of hell for them, no racks of torment; they have no eternal woes; Christ hath suffered all they ought to have suffered, and they must, they shall go free. The work was completely done by himself, without a helper.

~Charles Spurgeon~

”Justification by Grace,” delivered on April 5, 1857, by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Spurgeon’s Sermons (5 Vol. Set)

Find more Spurgeon resources here.

Other Spurgeon Quotes