Commentary on Article 3: The Atonement of Christ -- By: David L. Allen

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 09:2 (Fall 2012)
Article: Commentary on Article 3: The Atonement of Christ
Author: David L. Allen


Commentary on Article 3: The Atonement of Christ

David L. Allen

David L. Allen is Dean of the School of Theology, Professor of Preaching, and George W. Truett Chair of Ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

Article Three: The Atonement Of Christ

We affirm that the penal substitution of Christ is the only available and effective sacrifice for the sins of every person.

We deny that this atonement results in salvation without a person’s free response of repentance and faith. We deny that God imposes or withholds this atonement without respect to an act of the person’s free will. We deny that Christ died only for the sins of those who will be saved.

Psalm 22:1-31; Isaiah 53:1-12; John 12:32, 14:6; Acts 10:39-43; Acts 16:30-32; Romans 3:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:10-14; Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:13–20; 1 Timothy 2:5-6; Hebrews 9:12–15, 9:24-28; 10:1-18; 1 John 1:7; 2:241 42

Recovering The Gospel — Why Belief In An Unlimited Atonement Matters

Article 3 addresses the Atonement of Christ. It consists of one proposition in affirmation and three in denial. I expect there will be no disagreement on the affirmation regarding the penal substitution of Christ. The penal substitutionary atonement, though often attacked and vilified in modern theology, is the bedrock doctrine for explaining the work of Christ on the cross for the sins of the world. Sin can only be atoned by the shed blood of Christ on the cross as our substitute. The word “penal” connotes legal imagery. Jesus’ death on the cross satisfied the justice and wrath of God against our sin. Apart from Christ, there is no salvation. Apart from his atonement, there is no salvation. Only the cross of Christ provides an available and effective sacrifice for the sins of every person.

The first proposition in the denial states: “We deny that this atonement...

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