Monday 29 June 2015

Ministers, elders, deacons and all Christians should read books on the atonement

Why do I say this? It is because the crowning point of biblical revelation and also of redemption, is indeed the atonement purchased for sinners by Jesus Christ. The sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross, was what kept the apostle Paul focussed. Listen to him as he writes to the Corinthians.

"For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified" (1 Co 2:2).

We can study many things and indeed we should, but the atonement of Christ should have pre-eminence. This should be the "prince of subjects" for all churches and Christians and oh how Satan seeks to obscure the message of the "old rugged cross" in and through the church.

There can be many things in the "shop window" as it were metaphorically of the church, but the main item should be the message of Jesus Christ, him crucified and risen from the dead. Read 1 Corinthians chapter 15, Philippians chapter 2, Galatians chapter 3:1, Ephesians chapter 2. Whatever the pastoral problem for Paul, his answer was the same, it was to get the churches to consider the crucifixion of Jesus. Not a brief gaze, but what was summed up by Isaac Watts "When I survey the wondrous cross ...". We must survey the wondrous cross, time and time again.

Preachers especially MUST read books on the atonement to keep their preaching "on target". Here are a number of suggested books to be read on the atonement.

Hugh Martin, "The Atonement".
George Smeaton, "Christ's Doctrine of the Atonement".
Frederick Leahy, "The Cross he Bore".
John Murray, Redemption, Accomplished and Applied".

May our Lord aid us to boast in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14).

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