Definition The atonement is the cross-work of Christ in which He once for all died (Sacrifice) in our place (Substitution) paying the price for our sin (Redemption) to satisfied God’s holy wrath (Propitiation/Satisfaction) allowing us by faith to be made new creature (Regenerated, imparting eternal life) by being declared righteous (free from all sin past, present, and future) in Christ (Justification) which enables us to have a relationship with God (Reconciliation) leading to a transformed life (Sanctification) empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Key Facets of the Atonement
Substitution means “in place of” or “in stead of.” God required payment for sin. Christ became the payment of the debt of sin by dying in the place of everyone. (Romans 5:6-8; 1 Peter 3:18; John 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 21; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 2:24)
Redemption means to buy or purchase or pay a price for something. In relation to our salvation, it means to pay the price which our sin demanded so that we could be reconciled. (Galatians 3:13; Romans 5:9) The picture is one of a slave market. Christ removes the sinner from the market, buying us through His death and purchasing life for us. (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 3:24) Redemption means people are redeemed from sin by the blood of Christ to freedom, which should be relinquished in slavery to the Lord.
Reconciliation means a change from a relationship of between hostility to one of harmony. The death of Christ changed humanity’s state of alienation from God to one in which He is now satisfied because of Christ’s death. Hostility is replace with harmony. (2 Corinthians 5:19; Romans 5:10-11; Peace with God–Romans 5:1)
Propitiation means to satisfy the righteous demand of God. God demanded death and Christ satisfied all of His righteous demands by bearing the penalty for sin—death. (Romans 3:25-26; 5:9; Hebrews 9:22; 1 John 2:2)