Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
This month’s article “Healing and Christian Atonement” is a companion to last month’s “Healing and the New Testament” which dealt with background information to explain about what the Bible teaches about this vital subject. This month’s article explains what Christ’s Atonement covers and does not cover, and the role that Atonement will play in God’s judgment.
Again I want to encourage you to read this article carefully because each sentence is a complete thought, filled with information and meaning intended to make plain the Scriptures on the Atonement and healing. Much misinformation has been spread on this topic. Some of the errors go back to the time of Christ and the apostles. Some errors go back much further, even back before the time of Moses. In fact, an entire wisdom book of the Bible was written and has been misunderstood by many people on these very subjects of health, sickness, healing, God’s judgments, and sovereignty.
For us today, if we are healthy we want to remain healthy. If we are sick or injured we want to get back to a healthy state as much as possible. Further, as we all get older we lose faculties of physical strength and ability, while our senses become less acute. We all seek to better the conditions that we have at present. For a description of life’s progression read the last chapter of the Book of Ecclesiastes (chapter 12, a modern translation may help). The author presents this as part of his final observations on life. It describes the deterioration of our physical life as we age. At the beginning of the passage the reader is admonished to, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). This is because at the end of the chapter, and at the end of life he ends,
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. [Why?] For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”
If you are young, consider carefully about God and His demands upon us. If you are old, consider that your judgment comes ever closer and you will face soon enough what everyone has faced, and what everyone will face: the judgment of God. Know that for certain, but be content. You are completely covered and secure in the Atonement of Christ. As a result of that knowledge, for us that judgment need not be feared or be an anxious prospect.
The apostle Peter wrote to Jewish Christians just before the destruction of Jerusalem. Many of them were undergoing great sufferings because they accepted Christ as the Messiah. Peter encouraged them to endure in their suffering, and even to be joyful:
“But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy.”
1 Peter 4:13
Those Christians suffered for their faith. We likely suffer for other reasons. Nonetheless, suffering is an evil that all the apostles experienced, especially the apostle Paul. Read about his suffering in detail in Dr. Martin’s article, “Types of People God Is Calling” which discusses Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” Paul’s suffering relates to our suffering, whether small or great.
In reality the word “atonement” does not occur in the New Testament. Its appearance in the King James Version of Romans 5:11 is much better rendered “conciliation,” as the same Greek noun katallage is rendered in most every modern English translation, and as the King James renders the word in Romans 11:15 and in 2 Corinthians 5:18–19.
The meaning of atonement in the New Testament expands from the usage of the term in the Old Testament. There “atonement” means to satisfy offenses that have been committed. Christ’s Atonement goes far beyond that concept, as is not surprising. If you wish to know more or to be reminded about the scope of Christ’s Atonement, re-read Dr. Martin’s chapter 12 “The Legal Aspect of Christ’s Atonement.” from his book The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine.
Some of you may have noticed additional changes on the ASK website. We are continually striving to improve and make more useful the functioning of this valuable tool for your studies. One change is that all the ASK articles have large bold titles that are outstanding in their clarity and impact. These large titles also solves a search problem we had been having. Further, we are striving to keep current with the Commentary articles so they are available to be searched as soon as possible.
We decided to make all of the 101 Bible Secrets available for your immediate viewing and reading. In this way you can read and study at your own pace. Soon all of the items under “Books Free Online” will have all chapters available to you. They are already always available through the ASK search engine, but you soon will have instant and fully visible access to everything all the time.
The idea of introducing one chapter (or one portion of a chapter) of a book each week has great merit, and it has served us well over the years. We will continue to introduce Dr. Martin’s The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine in that same manner, one chapter or portion of a chapter per week. You may note, however, that once posted online, all previously posted chapters and chapter portions will remain visible and available to you. Remember that all the books listed on the “Books Free Online” are available for purchase as hardcopy books.
Two of Dr. Martin’s very important prophecy articles in these present days are “Ancient Nations in the Middle East, Part 1” and “Ancient Nations in the Middle East, Part 2.” They have now been reformatted. (Read Part 2 after reading Part 1. Both are listed in the “Prophecy Archives” webpage.) For more information type “Ancient Nations” into the ASK search engine.
Over the next several months all of the articles on the ASK website will be put into a consistent format that I have chosen and found very useful. This will increase the understanding and readership of the articles because this formatting highlights the Scripture references. All written materials on the ASK website, whether by Dr. Martin, myself, or others, are intended only to make the Bible clear in every way possible.
It has been our joy to make Dr. Martin’s material even more understandable and available as you read his explanations and understand the fullest and truest meaning of the words of your own Bible. By clarifying the Scriptures to bring out the original intent, you are literally able to think the same thoughts (each in their own language) that the original audiences thought as they read, or had read aloud to them, the Word of God. This is true whether you are reading an Old Testament or a New Testament passage.
Think about it. You are separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years, yet the same thoughts are given to you as were given to them by reading the Word of God. God has chosen this means of transmission — His written Holy Scriptures — to communicate to you, His beloved child (just as you communicate with your loved ones), through writing as a means to communicate His thoughts to you.
By assisting us with your prayers, encouragements, and financial support you help make available to everyone this means of making God’s Word “understandable.” These are exciting times to watch what is happening in the world. Only with your financial support are we able to continue to promote the Gospel of Christ. Please accept our heartfelt “thanks” for all your support.
David W. Sielaff
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