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.




sacrificial work of Christ

Sacrifice is most of all, expiatory or atoning in its nature. What that means is that the slaying of an animal was for the vicarious atonement for the sins of the offerer. What that means is that people who offered the sacrifice knew they had sinned against God. There was no written heart but certainly their conscience condemned them for their wrongdoings. So, to remove the guilt, these people killed animals. Their suffering and death meant sinners should go through them. However, vicariously, these animals were killed as if they sinned and got punished.

After the Fall however, where did this idea of expiatory sacrifice come from? “It originated in a divine appointment.” Read Gen 4. The first act of worship after the Fall. God decides how he should be worshiped. He forbids all forms of artificial kind of worship that human invents. God was pleased to accept the sacrifice of Abel.

The sacrificial work of Christ was symbolized and typified in the Mosaic sacrifices.

  • Their expiatory and vicarious nature (penal and substitutionary)

Christ appears as both priest and sacrifice. In the Old Testament, these two were separate.

“3. SCRIPTURAL PROOF FOR THE SACRIFICIAL WORK OF CHRIST. The striking thing in the Scriptural representations of the priestly work of Christ, is that Christ appears in them as both priest and sacrifice. This is in perfect harmony with the reality as we see it in Christ. In the Old Testament the two were necessarily separate, and in so far these types were imperfect. The priestly work of Christ is most clearly represented in the Epistle to the Hebrews, where the Mediator is described as our only real, eternal, and perfect High Priest, appointed by God, who takes our place vicariously, and by His selfsacrifice obtains a real and perfect redemption, Heb. 5:1-10; 7:1-28; 9:11-15, 24-28; 10:11-14, 19-22; 12:24, and particularly the following verses, 5:5; 7:26; 9:14. This Epistle is the only one in which Christ is called priest, but His priestly work is also clearly represented in the Epistles of Paul, Rom. 3:24,25; 5:6-8; I Cor. 5:7; 15:3; Eph. 5:2. The same representation is found in the writings of John, John 1:29; 3:14, 15; I John 2:2; 4:10. The symbol of the brazen serpent is significant. As the brazen serpent was not itself poisonous, but yet represented the embodiment of sin, so Christ, the sinless One, was made sin for us. As the lifting up of the serpent signified the removal of the plague, so the lifting up of Christ on the cross effected the removal of sin. And as a believing look at the serpent brought healing, so faith in Christ heals to the saving of the soul. The representation of Peter, I Pet. 2:24; 3:18, and of Christ Himself, Mark 10:45, corresponds with the preceding. The Lord plainly tells us that His sufferings were vicarious.” (Berkhof, p.402)


Priestly office of Christ

What is the distinction between the prophetic office and the priestly office? What did the prophets do and what did the priests do?

AHA! Prophet was primarily a religious teacher. What that meant is that prophets were to interpret God’s will to people. This means prophets were God’s representative with men. Prophets spoke and taught in behalf of God regarding Israel’s moral and spiritual duties and also privileges. Priest is the other way around. Priests were people’s representative with God. Priests had a privilege of approaching God on behalf of Israel through all the ceremonies and sacrifices. Remember? They were the only ones who were allowed to enter into the deepest part of the sanctuary, which was the symbolic place of God’s dwelling. Didn’t God command priests to offer up a sacrifice on behalf of Israel so that their sins may be forgiven? Yes, priests were to approach God and ask God to forgive people, offering sacrifices and pleasing aroma. Priests also indeed taught but it was regarding all the complicated laws regarding rituals, sacrifices, and whatnot.

“For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.” (HEB 5:1)

Okay then what was the work of priest specially? The special work of priest was to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins to God on behalf of people. Not only that but also, they were to continuously make intercession for people and also bless them as in Aaron’s blessing.

Lord is the Priest whom the OT prefigured and predicted.


The piacular theory, which regards sacrifices as being originally expiatory or atoning. On this theory the fundamental idea in the slaying of the animal was that of vicarious atonement for the sins of the offerer

Prophetic office of Christ

What is the duty of the prophet? The duty of the prophet is to reveal the will of God to people. What does the prophet do? Prophets speak froth God’s will, what God has revealed to him. As a prophet, when I become a head of a family, I have to reveal God’s will to my family members so that they can be edified. Not only to family members, but also to my friends, coworkers and neighbors. Pastors of the local churches function as the prophets in the body of Christ.

I learned how there are two governing principles in the Bible. Law and Works principle and promise and faith principle. Prophets had to reveal God’s will concerning both. Not only did they have to interpret the law and tell them of moral and spiritual duty toward God, but also they had to inform them of gracious promise of God through which God promises to do all the work by Himself.

“a. Both before and after the incarnation. The Socinians were mistaken in limiting the prophetical work of Christ to the time of His public ministry. He was active as prophet even in the old dispensation, as in the special revelations of the angel of the Lord, in the teachings of the prophets, in whom He acted as the spirit of revelation (I Pet. 1:11), and in the spiritual illumination of believers. He appears in Proverbs 8 as wisdom personified, teaching the children of men. And after the incarnation He carries on His prophetical work in His teachings and miracles, in the preaching of the apostles and of the ministers of the Word, and also in the illumination and instruction of believers as the indwelling Spirit. He continues His prophetical activity from heaven through the operation of the Holy Spirit. His teachings are both verbal and factual, that is, He teaches not only by verbal communications, but also by the facts of revelation, such as the incarnation, His atoning death, the resurrection, and ascension; and even during the Old Testament period by types and ceremonies, by the miracles of the history of redemption, and by the providential guidance of the people of Israel.” (p.394)

Lord’s prophetical work before and after the Incarnation

  • Before the Incarnation
    • In appearing as the angel of the Lord
    • In teachings of the prophets in whom Lord acted as the spirit of revelation
      • 1 Peter 1: 11 “inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories”
    • Also as wisdom as in Proverbs 8
  • After the Incarnation
    • In His teachings and miracles
    • In the preaching of the apostles and of the ministers of the Word
    • In the illumination and instruction of believers as the indwelling Spirit

Lord still teaches and instructs me on Sundays through pastor James and other Christians. He still teaches me through His Spirit within me through the Bible where great truths regarding Him are recorded. In the Bible is also recorded His teachings during the public ministry and what He has done. His acts, his behaviors, his miracles, his death, resurrection, incarnation and ascension also teach me about God’s will. In summary, our Lord Jesus Christ, through His life, words, Spirit and the Bible reveals God’s will of salvation to us. Even the redemptive history and types, ceremonies in the OT all reveal God’s will.

Some people might ask, how can you say Jesus Christ still teaches us? The answer is that He teaches us mediately, that is through mediator. This mediator is the Holy Spirit, who is also described as the Spirit of God or the Spirit of Christ. Through the indwelling Spirit in believers, pastors, Lord still instructs us and executes his prophetic office. Yes, there were times Lord taught us immediately but now he teaches us mediately in His Spirit.

People say Jesus was a great moral teacher that He was extraordinary in his teaching of truths. But do they really acknowledge Him as the Prophet who was sent by God and spoke as the messenger of God? Don’t they mean Jesus was merely a human who was enlightened by His own effort as if everybody can be like Jesus on their own?

The Offices of Christ

“The fact that Christ was anointed to a threefold office finds its explanation in the fact that man was originally intended for this threefold office and work. As created by God, he was prophet, priest, and king, and as such was endowed with knowledge and understanding, with righteousness and holiness, and with dominion over the lower creation. Sin affected the entire life of man and manifested itself not only as ignorance, blindness, error, and untruthfulness; but also as unrighteousness, guilt, and moral pollution; and in addition to that as misery, death, and destruction. Hence it was necessary that Christ, as our Mediator, should be prophet, priest, and king. As Prophet He represents God with man; as Priest He represents man in the presence of God, and as King He exercises dominion and restores the original dominion of man.” ( Berkhof p.357)

죄는 우리들의 이성까지 영향을 끼친다. 그 말은 곧 우리가 하나님의 형상을 지니고 있었을 때 가지고 있었던 그 지식과 명철을 잃어버렸다는 말이다. 사람들이 기독교 교리를 왜 공부하고 성경을 왜 공부하냐고 할 때에 우리는 말해야 한다. 하나님을 모르니까. 우리의 죄가 우리의 이성에도 영향을 끼쳐서 하나님을 잘 알지 못하게 할 뿐만 아니라 온갖 오류를 낳으니까라고. 죄가 어둠으로 표현되고 성경에서 얼마나 자주 ‘무지’로 표현되는가. 무지는 진리를 모르는 것이다. 그리고 교리는 그 진리의 선언문적인 형태인 것이다. 그러니 그리스도인은 반드시 교리를 알아야 한다. 반드시 알아야 한다. 하지만 죄는 분명히 도덕적인 것이기에 우리는 올바른 지식을 얻는데서 그치지 말고 그 지식을 진정 가슴으로 믿고 깨달아 거룩하고 의로운 삶을 살아야 하는 것이다. 하지만 무엇이 먼저일까? 하나님을 모르는데, 성경 곧 하나님께서 하나님의 성품을 계시하실 뿐만 아니라 유일한 구원의 길 예수 그리스도의 복음을 계시하시는 그 성경을 모르는데, 우리가 도대체 어떻게 하나님을 믿을 수 있나? 뭘 믿을 것인가? 뭘 바탕으로 살 것인가? 그냥 막 살 것인가? 교리가 먼저이다. 하나님을 아는 올바른 지식 그리고 그 지식을 깨닫는 것이 먼저이다. 하지만 그것만으로 불충분하다. 신학 서적을 외운다고 해서 하나님을 알 수 있다고 감히 말할 수 없다. 하지만 교리를 알아야지만이 하나님을 올바르게 알 수 있고 올바르게 믿을 수 있으며 올바르게 하나님의 뜻을 따라 살 수 있다.

  • 4 stages of the state of exaltation
    • Resurrection
    • Ascension
    • Session at the right hand of God
    • Physical return
  • Resurrection
    • Not merely a reunion of body and soul
    • But both body and soul raised to perfection
      • Incorruptible body of believers
      • Glorious
      • Powerful
      • Spiritual
        • perfect instrument of a spirit

Okay, why is the doctrine of the resurrection of Christ important? What is its importance? We have to keep in mind that it was the seal and declaration of God that Christ conquered the last enemy and paid the penalty of the law and merited the eternal life. His resurrection constitutes one of the important stage of the work of redemption and we, too, like Christ, will resurrect. This is based on Christ’s resurrection.

Then what about the ascension? Christ had offered perfect, blameless sacrifice to God and now God accepted His Mediatorial work as sufficient and Jesus had to go before God as our eternal Priest.

‘Session’ = a meeting of a deliberative or judicial body to conduct its business.

주님께서는 지금 무엇을 하고 계실까?

As a prophet, priest and king, our Lord is ruling and protecting His Church. And the prophets during the Old Testament was God’s covenant lawyers. As such, they accused Israel for breaking covenant with God. As the Priest, Jesus Christ offered Himself as an atoning sacrifice, as a pleasing aroma to God and propitiated God’s righteous wrath against us. His intercession, therefore, is not just supplications but legitimate claims advocating our righteous standing before God on the basis of His own work. And our Lord will come again for the second time to establish His kingdom on earth.


The States of Christ

Jesus, the Christ

“In the state of humiliation Christ was under the law, not only as a rule of life, but as the condition of the covenant of works, and even under the condemnation of the law; but in the state of exaltation He is free from the law, having met the condition of the covenant of works and having paid the penalty for sin.”

The definition of the terms: “person” and “nature”

“The term “nature” denotes the sumtotal of all the essential qualities of a thing, that which makes it what it is. A nature is a substance possessed in common, with all the essential qualities of such a substance. The term “person” denotes a complete substance endowed with reason, and, consequently, a responsible subject of its own actions. Personality is not an essential and integral part of 352 a nature, but is, as it were, the terminus to which it tends. A person is a nature with something added, namely, independent subsistence, individuality. Now the Logos assumed a human nature that was not personalized, that did not exist by itself.”


It’s important to distinguish between human ‘person’ and human ‘nature.’ Human nature is what makes human human, namely human body and human soul. However, human nature does not contain human person in it. Human person always have human nature, however not the other way around. Jesus was not a human person but the second person of the Holy Trinity. As the second person of the Trinity, Jesus was divine person, pre-existing before the incarnation and eternal, unchangeable, infinite God. But He took on himself human nature, not the human person. Therefore, He became one person but with two nature: the human nature and the divine nature.

Therefore, before the incarnation, he was only the divine person. He was person with only divine nature. He had all the attributes of God but he didn’t have human nature composed of human body and human soul. He was Logos. But after the incarnation, he is not only divine but also human. His person now contains two natures and he cannot be only divine but he can be human too. He is the God-man.

And on top of that we should add that human nature is not impersonal but rather personal. Louis Berkhof’s description is very helpful here. “The Logos assumed that nature into personal subsistence with Himself. The human nature has its personal existence in the person of the Logos. It is in-personal rather than impersonal.”

It’s hard. I don’t understand this very well. But I believe in this. Even though I don’t know and I don’t understand what I’m talking about, I do believe in what I’m talking about. This is a great mystery of how one person can have two natures, two distinct human and divine nature, yet not confounded and completely harmonious.

The person who was born of the virgin Mary was not the human person, but the person of the Son of God.

  • The State of Humiliation
    • the kenosis
      • Phil 2:7
      • He laid aside the divine majesty, the majesty of the sovereign Ruler of the universe, and assumed human nature in the form of a servant
    • the tapeinosis
      • Phil 2:8
      • He became subject to the demands and to the curses of the Law
      • Passive obedience and active obedience throughout his whole life
    • Stages of humiliation
      • Incarnation
        • The subject of the incarnation
          • It was not the trinue God who incarnated but the second person of the Trinity, that is God the Son.
          • Incarnation presupposes pre-existence of our Lord
        • The necessity of Incarnation
          • Why did the Lord have to assume human nature and dwell among us?
            • Because of the fall, because of the entrance of sin into this world
        • The change effected in the incarnation
          • John 1:14 “Word became flesh” doesn’t mean that the essential nature of Logos was changed. Our Lord just took on an additional form
          • It does mean that Lord took on human nature — consiting of body and soul — but He remained eternal and unchangeable Son of God
        • Lord became one of us, one of the human race
          • Thereby, the mediatory work of Christ can be efficacious to us
        • Incarnation effected by supernatural conception and virgin birth
          • This means that without the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, the incarnation would have been impossible
          • The work of the Holy Spirit in the Incarnation
            • What was conceived in the womb of Mary was the direct result of the operation of the Holy Spirit, without any activity of man
              • Good question arises here: “How can Jesus who was born of sinful human Mary can be free from the covenant of works and all the original sin (guilt and pollution)?”
                • Answer: Because what was conceived in the womb of virgin Mary was the direct result of the work of the Holy Spirit, it was not the human person that was born, but the person of the Son of God. Son of God only assumed the human nature, not the human person. It is one person of Logos that assumed human nature of human body and human soul. And as the Son of God, he was free from the covenant of works and all the original sin.
            • “He sanctified the human nature of Christ in its very inception, and thus kept it free from the pollution of sin. We cannot say exactly how the Holy Spirit accomplished this sanctifying work, because it is not yet sufficiently understood just how the pollution of sin ordinarily passes from parent to child.” (p.368)
              • We do not know exactly how the sin is transmissed from parent to child. We do know that the original sin is attributed to every human person. Also, we do not know exactly how the Holy Spirit kept the human nature free from the pollution of sin. But we do know that the human nature of Jesus Christ was perfectly sinless.
          • The significance of the doctrine of the virgin birth
            • Jesus had to be a promised Messiah who was born of the woman according to the prophecy and yet the eternal Son of God
            • Jesus can be kept free from the presence of sin and the pollution of sin because His person was not out of Adam but He merely assumed human nature.
        • Incarnation itself as a part of the incarnation
          • Yes it was, because even though it was free from the pollutions, it was subject to suffering and death after the fall.
      • Suffering
        • He suffered during his entire life
          • Not only during the last moments of his life, but throughout his whole life
          • Lord knows my infirmities, my weakness, my lonliness, and my crushing sense of responsibility, Lord knows it all because He himself suffered all these!
        • He suffered in body and soul
          • Not only physically but also spiritually
          • “exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,” in the garden of Gethsemane
          • But also as He was scourged and crucified
          • Since sin affects both body and soul, Lord needed to be punished in both body and soul in our place
        • His suffering resulted from various causes
        • His sufferings were unique
          • They were unique in the sense that no one could felt the moral and ethical evil as Jesus could because Jesus was perfectly holy and righteous and true.
          • His sufferings in temptations
            • He did not sin and had no inclination to sin even in temptations. Lord, thank you so much.
      • Death
      • Burial
      • Descent into Hades

Christology – the names and the natures of Christ

It it only natural that there is a logical connection between Anthropology and Christology. The doctrine of man focuses on sinfulness of man, how he after the fall cannot come close to God, who is the source and fountain of all life. The doctrine of man shows us clearly the sinfulness of man, and his lost status after losing the original image of God consisting of true righteousness and holiness. Christology, the doctrine of the person and the work of Christ is the answer to this cry for divine help. Christology tells us how God came to man, how God took the initiative in saving us by bridging the gap between holy God and sinful man. This ethical distance, this moral chasm between infinitely holy God and totally depraved and unable man is closed by Christ. Christology is the doctrine of the objective work of God in Christ.

  • The Names of Christ

    • Jesus
      • Greek form of Joshua
      • personal name of the Messiah
      • Meaning: to save “…and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins”
    • Christ
      • official name of the Messiah
      • from the Greek word “christos”
      • Meaning: “the anointed one”
        • In the Old Testament, there were three kinds of officers who were anointed with oil: King, Priest, and Prophet.
        • Oil in anointing represented the Spirit of God (Isa 61:1, Zech 4:6)
        • The anointing was a visible sign of
          • an appointment to office
          • the establishment of a sacred relationship and the sacrosanctness of the person anointed
          • a communication of the Spirit to the anointed one
        • The anointing of Christ
          • Eternally, Christ was appointed or anointed to these offices of prophet, priest and king
          • Historically, his anointing took place when he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and received the Holy Spirit at the time of His baptism
            • “It served to qualify Him for His great task”
    • Son of Man
      • Dan 7:13
      • “Dr. Vos in his work on The Self-Disclosure of Jesus divides the passages in which the name occurs into four classes: (a) Passages which clearly refer to the eschatological coming of the Son of Man, as for instance, Matt. 16:27, 28; Mark 8:38; 13:26, etc. and parallels. (b) Passages which speak particularly of Jesus’ sufferings, death, and (sometimes) resurrection, as, for instance, Matt. 17:22; 20:18,19,28; 12:40, etc. and parallels. (c) Passages in the Fourth Gospel, in which the heavenly superhuman side and the pre-existence of Jesus is stressed, as for instance, 1:51; 3:13,14; 6:27,53,62; 8:28, and so on. (d) A small group of passages, in which Jesus reflects upon His human nature, Mark 2:27, 28; John 5:27; 6:27,51,62″
    • Son of God
      • In the Old Testament
        • (a) to the people of Israel, Ex. 4:22; Jer. 31:9; Hos. 11:1
        • (b) to officials among Israel, especially to the promised king of the house of David, II Sam. 7:14; Ps. 89:27;
        • (c) to angels, Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Ps. 29:1; 89:6; and
        • (d) to pious people in general, Gen. 6:2; Ps. 73:15; Prov. 14:26
      • In the New Testament
    • Lord (Kurios)

예수님의 이름들.. 예수님 제가 감히 주님을 공부합니다. 하나님께서 성경에 계시하여 주신 이 놀라우신 예수님의 이름들을 공부합니다. 저는 지금까지 예수 그리스도라는 말을 내뱉을 때에 그 이름이 내포하고 있는 뜻을 마음에 두지 않았습니다. 하지만 오늘 배웠습니다.

그리스도라는 이름은 기름 부은 받은 자라는 뜻으로 구약 성경의 메시아의 그리스어 버젼이다. 구약에서는 선지자, 제사장, 왕만이 기름 부음을 받았고, 이 기름은 하나님의 성령을 상징하였다. 예수라는 말은 주님의 개인적인 이름이지만 그리스도라는 이름은 주님의 공적인 지위를 나타낸다고 할 수 있다. 예수님께서는 covenant of redemption 하나님 아버지와 구속 언약에 들어가셨을 때부터 인간의 유일한 중보자로 임명을 받으셨지만 역사적으로는 성령으로 잉태되셨을 때에 그리고 세례를 받으시고 성령님이 비둘기 형체로 예수님 머리 위로 내려오셨을 때에 기름 부음 받으셨다.

The Natures of Christ

  • Scripture proof for the deity of Christ
  • Scripture proof for the humanity of Christ
    • Christ possessed a material body and rational soul
  • Scripture proof for the sinless humanity of Christ
    • We ascribe to Christ not only natural, but also moral, integrity or moral perfection, that is sinlessness. This means not merely that Christ could avoid sinning (potuit non peccare), and did actually avoid it, but also that it was impossible for Him to sin (non potuit peccare) because of the essential bond between the human and the divine natures.
    • 그리스도께서는 죄를 짓지 아니하셨을 뿐만 아니라 죄를 지을 수 없는 존재셨다.
  • The necessity of the two natures in Christ
    • The necessity of His manhood
    • The necessity of His Godhead


요약: 신성 (divine nature) 과 인성(human nature), two natures in one person of Jesus Christ. “The Son of God, the second person of the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon Him man’s nature,[10] with all the essential properties, and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin;[11] being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance.[12] So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion.[13] Which person is very God, and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man.[14]” WCF 8:2