The Purpose of the Atonement

What is the purpose of the atonement? What did it accomplish in terms of God, Christ and the sinners?

  1. Its effects with reference to God
    1. The relation of God to the objects of His atoning love
      1. Nothing in terms of the inner being of God, for it is immutable
      2. God was reconciled to those who were the objects of His judicial wrath
  2. Its effect with respect to Christ
    1. Christ is the Mediatorial author of salvation
      1. The fulness of gifts and graces
      2. The gift of the Holy Spirit and the subjective application of the fruits of His atoning work
      3. The ends of the earth for His possession
  3. With respect to the sinner
    1. The redemption accomplished secured salvation for the sinner
    2. For those whom it was made.
      1. Proper judicial standing through justification
      2. Mystical union in regeneration and sanctification
      3. Communion with God in Christ in glorification in eternal life

Okay then, Did the Father in sending Christ, and did Christ in coming into the world, to make atonement for sin, do this with the design or for the purpose of saving only the elect or all men?

  • The reformed position is that Christ died for the purpose of actually and certainly saving the elect, and the elect only

But God also universally offers the gospel. In this sense, Christ made the salvation possible for all men. However, it should be noted that even the conditions such as true faith and repentance is the work of the Holy Spirit within us in applying the objective, finished work of Christ.