So, we've established that all humans stand condemned as sinners. Now our conversation naturally shifts to how to atone for sin. Of course nearly all my readers already anticipate my short answer that Jesus shed His own blood, dying in our place as perfect atonement.
We could leave the discussion right there and return to critiquing Rick Warren, Holy Yoga, Contemplative Prayer or a host of other issues plaguing the evangelical church. And my readership would rally from the slump it's suffered since I started this series on the doctrines of the Gospel. After all, controversy attracts attention--a fact that underscores the doctrine of man's depravity, by the way.
Although I freely admit my desire to abandon this series (and not have to work so hard), my selfish desire for more readers with less effort must take a back seat to what I believe the Lord wants me to do. At this point in time, I sense that I need to clearly state the basic principles of the Gospel so that people understand why Jesus died on the cross and how His death brings about salvation.
Without understanding the doctrine of atonement at some level, the idea that Jesus died for sin has little meaning, and even less impact on a person's day-to-day life. It reduces itself to a spiritual insurance policy that we file away and half-forget. Instead of realizing that, by shedding His blood to pay the price for our sin, Jesus buys ownership rights to our lives, we busy ourselves with seeking spiritual experiences or material blessings. "Thanks for dying for me, Jesus," we say, "and now here's what You can do for me..."
We have, through a variety of weak and/or false teachings, been distracted from the message that Jesus Christ, both fully God and fully Man, took the punishment that you and I rightly deserve by dying on the cross in our place.
Monday, if God wills, I plan to write about why His blood provides the only acceptable sacrifice for sin. It will be work, both for me to write and for you to read, and it probably won't have the sensationalism that will boost my stats, but I pray that the Holy Spirit will use it to draw all of us into a deeper adoration of the Savior.