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Sermon #7701

The Necessity of the Atonement

A Sermon on the Atonement



Sermon Description

What does the Bible mean when it calls God both just and the justifier? Moreover, was the atonement really necessary? Were there any other ways? In this sermon on the atonement, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explores these questions in his ongoing series of the Doctrine of the Atonement. After he reviews his previous seven arguments for the Protestant view of the atonement, he gives his final and last reason: the Bible emphasizes the death on the cross as an absolute necessity. By exploring Jesus’s words in the Garden of Gethsemane and epistles of Paul, Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives a clear picture for the biblical and Protestant view of the atonement. Dr. Lloyd-Jones also navigates through some objections against both the general doctrine of the atonement and the specific doctrine of the penal substitutionary atonement. This sermon by Dr. Lloyd-Jones is helpful as he gives arguments for and against this glorious doctrine of the atonement and offers robust understanding of salvation and justification by Christ alone.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by reviewing the previous discussion on the false theories of atonement and the substitutionary view of atonement.
  2. The substitutionary view teaches that Jesus vicariously suffered the penalty of sin as a substitute for believers.
  3. There are 7 arguments for the substitutionary view of atonement:
  4. Analogy from OT sacrifices
  5. NT teaches Jesus saves through his death
  6. Certain NT terms like ransom, propitiation, reconciliation
  7. Certain NT terms teach substitution like "for us" and "for our sins"
  8. Statements emphasizing union with Christ teach substitution
  9. Statements saying Jesus' death frees us from the law teach substitution
  10. Statements emphasizing God's activity in Jesus' death teach substitution
  11. An 8th argument is that the Bible teaches Jesus' death was necessary. Jesus' agony in Gethsemane and cry of dereliction on the cross show his death was necessary.
  12. Romans 3:25-26 directly states Jesus' death was necessary to demonstrate God's righteousness.
  13. Hebrews 2:9 and Romans 8:32 suggest Jesus' death was necessary.
  14. The sermon then addresses objections to the substitutionary view of atonement.
  15. The view that God's love alone is enough fails to account for God's justice and holiness.
  16. The view that substitution derogates from God's character fails to recognize Jesus willingly volunteered to die.
  17. The view that Paul invented substitution fails to recognize Jesus taught he would give his life as a ransom for many. Jesus couldn't fully explain substitution before his death due to the disciples' lack of understanding.
  18. The view that substitution portrays God as reluctant to forgive fails to recognize God's love initiated the plan of salvation. Substitution supremely demonstrates God's love.
  19. The law must be satisfied through both Jesus' passive obedience in dying as our substitute and active obedience in perfectly keeping the law. Christians are freed from the law's condemnation through union with Christ.

Great Biblical Doctrines

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.