Jesus prayed (Jn 17:21) that “they may be one in us as you are in me and I am in you.” (Easier to comprehend if in means in union with.) This is the original sense of at-one-ment. “We also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Ro 5:11; KJV uses atonement)

Our sins have put us on a path different from God’s. “Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you,” (Isa 55:3a,b). "This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (Jer 31:33) God certainly takes the initiative, but if atonement brings God and me together, it is I who must change, not God.

Paul alludes to at least 10 different aspects of God’s activity in the atonement. Three major theological attempts to explain it involve Jesus and the Father; one even involves the devil. But none involve me, and the picture they suggest of the Father does not fit the image that Jesus gives us. A fourth explanation, first proposed by Peter Abelard in the mid-1100s, is sometimes called “emotionally responsive”. Abelard declared that God, Jesus, loved us so much that He called us through the compassion of our hearts, from the position of an innocent man dying an unjust death. He phrased it: “Love answers love’s appeal.” I don’t know how to explain this to someone.

A covenant is an agreement between two or more parties. If I am not involved, am I still a party to the covenant of atonement? Verses like “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Ex 4:21, 9:12) make me wonder, did God soften my heart? Without my cooperation? I can think of three verses, other than Paul’s, to ponder: “Go and sin no more”, “Love one another as I have loved you”, and “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Mica 6:8)

What verses (or wisdom) from the Bible might support the idea of a continuing covenant, with my involvement, rather than a one-time event, without my participation, with regard to the atoning death of Jesus?

  • This sounds like an adequate question. Basically, you have this specific brand of covenant theology (or two), and you want to know which verses would support this specific brand of covenant theology, correct? My only question is this: do you know the formal name of this covenant theology? That would be an immense help, because knowing the formal name can direct us to use the right keywords in a search. – Double U Feb 4 '15 at 3:53
  • You have my upvote. – Double U Feb 4 '15 at 3:55
  • The three major explanations of the atonement have been called: – Jim Gaidis Feb 4 '15 at 5:01
  • I don't understand how you think taking our sins away doesn't involve us. – curiousdannii Feb 4 '15 at 6:06
  • I might be missing something, but it seems like you are asking for the biblical basis against predestinationism/calvinism. Is that right? I'm sure you're familiar with Arminianism. But then the last paragraph seems to be asking for the biblical basis of a works based salvation. Is that right too? – fгedsbend Feb 4 '15 at 17:20

If you are "in Christ", then any reward, inheritance, covenant, etc. that is given to Him is given to you. Gal 2:20. You are a joint-heir with Christ. Rom 8:17

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The Atonement of Christ was shadowed by the sacrificial ceremonies of Israel. An unblemished (perfect) lamb was selected to be sacrificed as an innocent substitute for a man's sin. This was a partial atonement for sin and needed to be repeated for continued atonement.

God told us in Genesis that He would send us a Messiah who would be the one atonement through His substitutionary death, in place of the innocent unblemished lamb.

Christ's atoning Crucifixion was completed through the Life of Jesus in several key ways: 1) He completely and perfectly fulfilled all the Mosaic Law. 2) He was miraculously born without sin by way of a virgin and the Holy Spirit. 3) He remained sinless and avoided all temptation to his humanity. 4) He remained in full obedience to His Heavenly father until His death.

Because of all this, God accepted him as the unblemished and fully innocent Lamb who was qualified to be an atoning agent for the sin of the world.

Since all humanity inherited a sin nature, there is no way that we as individuals can participate in this atoning process. The Atonement of Christ was sufficient to cover all the sins of humanity, but is efficacious only for those who respond to the call of God. This is not all of humanity, but is dependent on who God in His own good pleasure, decides to regenerate as a gift of grace. So even beyond the Atonement, we do not participate in Gods work of salvation, because of our inability to do so.

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