Chapter 1 – The Design of the Atonement
What was the purpose of the Eternal Three in sending Christ Jesus into this world? What was the incarnation of the Son of God intended to accomplish? What were his sufferings and obedience ordained to effect? Concerning this all important matter the most erroneous ideas have been entertained, ideas at direct variance with Holy Scripture, ideas most dishonoring to God. Even where these awful errors have not been fully espoused, sufficient of their evil leaven has been received to corrupt the pure truth which many good men have held. In other instances, where this great subject has been largely neglected, only the vaguest and haziest conceptions are entertained. Sad it is to see what small place this vital theme now has in most pulpits, and in the thoughts and studies of the majority of professing Christians.
“Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18). Everything God does is according to design: all is the working out of “the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:11). God had a design in creation (Rev. 4:10). He has a design in providence (Rom. 8:28). And he has a design or purpose in the satisfaction which was wrought by Christ (1 Pet. 1:20). What, then, was that purpose? This is not a speculative question, but one of the utmost moment. Surely the right answer to it must be the one which upholds the glory of God. Therefore any answer which carries with it the inevitable corollaries of a dishonored Father, a disgraced Savior and a defeated Holy Spirit, cannot be the right one. Redemption is the glory of all God’s works, but it would be an everlasting disgrace of them if it should fail to effect whatsoever it was ordained to accomplish.
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