Jonathan Edwards on Penal Substitution

Penal substitutionary atonement, the doctrine according to which Christ died to pay the penalty for our sins, is crucial to good news of the gospel. It is so central to the good news that Christians around the world proclaim it weekly by singing hymns like Stuart Townend and Keith Getty’s “In Christ Alone My Hope is Found.” The lyrics declare,

In Christ alone, who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live.

For many, hymns like this inspire greater love towards God for Christ’s tremendous sacrifice on our behalf. I have personally seen Christ followers in Uganda, Liberia, Guatemala, and here at home brought to tears singing of Christ’s death for them. But for others such declarations do not inspire love, rather, they generate objections….

You can read the rest of this essay at the Gospel Coalition – Canada website.

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