[Papercut Press Publishing]1998-07-14 - The Three P's of the Atonement

Statements from the Christian Pulpit Series, Part 2

1 Peter 1:18-21: knowing that you were not redeemed, with things subject to decay, like silver or gold, from your futile-vain way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb blameless and spotless, the blood of Christ

About a month ago I heard a sermon and I have been given permission from the preacher to use something that he used in his sermon. While he is not sure where he first heard it, he says he finds it to be a helpful, easy synopsis of how the atonement of Jesus Christ effects us. He calls it the three "P's" of the atonement. Here they are:

The atonement of Jesus Christ:

  1. Removes from us the Penalty of sin

  2. Removes from us the Power of sin over us

  3. Gives us the hope of begin removed from the Presence of indwelling sin

So what does this mean?

At least once before I have mentioned a book that I have enjoyed reading from time to time. The book is called, The Sinfulness of Sin and it was written by a guy named Ralph Venning. One of the things he drives home in this book is the effect that sin has upon every area of life. He has a simple phrase that he uses, but don't be fooled, it is at least as profound as it is simple. Venning says, "Sin un-gods, God". He goes further and says that in the ancient church they would refer to sin as "Deicidium", a Latin phrase meaning God-murder, or God-killing.

Only a fool would think lightly of sinning. Think of the effects of sin: we lost paradise (Genesis 3:22-24), intimate communion with God was shattered (Genesis 3:8-11), personal relations were disturbed (The first thing Adam did was blame Eve {Genesis 3:12}), just begins a list. We also did gain some things: we got the penalty of sin which is death and separation from God, we became subject to the power of sin, and we learned and began to feel the reality of the presence of sin.

The atonement of Jesus Christ addresses all that we lost and all that we got when sin entered the world. When we come to faith in Christ, what was lost is restored or will be in heaven and what was gained is removed or will be in glory. The atonement of Jesus Christ is the single most far reaching event in the history of the world and for those of us who rest our lives and souls in that atonement there is great reason to rejoice and live as followers and servants of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Such thoughts should change our lives and one way to start is to think on the wonder of such things this day and live accordingly. May God grant us such grace to live as if we knew that such a change was a true reality in our lives.

"Blest cross! Blest sepulchre! Blest rather be the man that there was put to shame for me." John Bunyan

Soli Deo Gloria,
Tim