Consequently for the good of man he bore all that which man had deserved, and thereby has man escaped the final eternal punishment and has become a child of God . This is not merely a subjective conclusion upon the related facts, but it is as objective and real as anything which faith recognizes and knows is.
Thus the atonement answers the ethical demand of the divine nature that sin be punished if the offender is to go free. The interests of the divine government are secured as a first subordinate result of this satisfaction to God himself, of whose nature the government is an expression. While, as a second subordinate result, provision is made for the needs of human nature. On the one hand, the need of an objective satisfaction to its ethical demand of punishment for sin and, on the other, the need of a manifestation of divine love and mercy that will affect the heart and move it to repentance.
The great classical passage with reference to the atonement is <450325>Romans 3:25, 28 ? ?whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God; for the showing, I say, of his righteousness at this present season: that he might himself be just and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus.? Or, somewhat more freely translated, the passage would read: ?whom God hath set forth in his blood as a propitiatory sacrifice, through faith to show forth his righteousness on account of the pretermission of past offenses in the forbearance of God, to declare his righteousness in the time now present, so that he may be just and yet may justify him who believeth in Jesus.?
E XPOSITION O F <450325>R OMANS 3:25, 26. These verses are an expanded statement of the subject of the epistle, the revelation of the ?righteousness of God? ( = the righteousness which God provides and which God accepts), which had been mentioned in <450117>1:17, but which now has new light thrown upon it by the demonstration, in 1:18-3:20 both Gentiles and Jews are under condemnation and are alike shut up for salvation to some other method than that of works. We subjoin the substance of Meyer?s comments upon this passage.
?Verse 25. ?God has set forth Christ as an effectual propitiatory offering, through faith, by means of his blood,? i.e. , in that he caused him to shed his blood. Ejn tw~| aujtou~ ai]mati belongs to proe>qeto , not to pi>stewv . The purpose of this setting forth in his blood is eijv e]ndeixin th~v dikaiosu>nhv aujtou~ , ?for the display of his [judicial and punitive] righteousness,? which received its satisfaction in the death of Christ as a
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