Friday, February 15, 2013

DeYoung on Lord's Day 6

DeYoung writes:

Several theological words are used to describe Christ’s work on the cross, all of them important, and all alluded to in Q/A 16–18. Expiation means that Christ’s death removed our sin and guilt (Q/A 16). Redemption means Christ’s death ransomed us from the curse of the law and the punishment and power of sin (Q/A 18). Reconciliation means Christ’s death restored our relationship with God (Q/A 18). Propitiation means Christ’s death appeased or placated the wrath of God (Q/A 17).

All four of these terms (and there are others) capture an essential and biblical aspect of the cross. The best news about Jesus is that through Him we are forgiven of our sins, set free from the law, made right with God, and can stand confident before our Creator.
 All this is announced to us in the gospel (Q/A 19). The gospel is not a summons to kingdom living or a message about what we can do for God or a description of our efforts at cultural transformation. The gospel, according to Paul’s summary in 1 Corinthians 15, is the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and rose again on the third day. I mention all this vocabulary because Lord’s Day 6 leads us to it, and because the ideas safeguarded by these words are often denied, minimized, or marginalized as one “theory” of the atonement.