The Atonement

R. Joseph Owles -- A Sheep Among Wolves


A lot will be written and posted about Atonement this week, so let me add my two cents and explain what the Church originally taught before language of ransoms, substitution, and other legalistic and punitive ideas started becoming popular.

The Incarnation of God in Jesus Christ IS the atonement for sin. Sin is not the breaking of a law in which a fine or jail time is required. Sin is an illness. It is (to use contemporary language) a spiritually genetic predisposition. Sin is not willful defiance, but it is helpless compliance – the manifestation of a spiritual sickness. Therefore, what is required is not legal punishments and fines, but HEALING. Salvation is therapeutic, not legalistic! In fact, the Greek word translated as “salvation” is soterias, the root meaning of which is “health.”

So being saved means more than being saved from something, such as death or hell; it…

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