Author: Thaddeus Williams

Christ Our Substitute: The Meaning Of The Cross

Several biblical terms express (but do not exhaust)  the ministry of Jesus as Substitute—and the meaning of the cross—including (but not limited to): Jesus as our PROPITIATION. “He is the propitiation for our sins…” (1 John 2:2) Related to the ancient Jewish world of temple sacrifices, the core meaning of propitiation (Greek=ἱλασμός “hilasmos”) speaks of Christ as our “wrath taker” (see also 1 John 4:10; Romans 3:25; Hebrews 2:17). Jesus as our SACRIFICE. “But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:26) Also related to the...

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Christ, Our Substitute

2 Corinthians 5:21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” WHAT IS SUBSTITUTIONARY ATONEMENT? The cross of Jesus is where the substitutionary atonement happened. On the cross, Jesus served as our substitute and atoned for our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). At the cross, our sin became Christ’s sin; our blameworthiness became Christ’s blameworthiness, the wrath we deserve from an infinitely just Being became the wrath He absorbed from an infinitely just Being. It made salvation possible for spiritually dead sinners wrought with...

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Mortification: Seven Phases Along the Sin-Killing Continuum

Mortification (noun): The Spirit-powered process of killing all of our propensities for sinful, self-destructive pleasures that compete for superior pleasure in the all-satisfying God. If we care about living then sin-killing (or the old school word “mortification”) is something we cannot afford to ignore: “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13 cf. Gal. 5:16-25). Sin-killing in the believer’s life may be thought of along a 7-phase continuum that looks something like this (try to figure out where you...

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Good News for the Unwanted

Good News for the Unwanted  Exclusion, expulsion, alienation, and forsakenness—these were major themes in the ancient Jewish world.[1] The “impure” could be expelled from the community. The carcasses of sacrificed animals had to be burned outside the camp. The scapegoat was sent out “to a remote area.”[2] To be “inside” was to be pure, wanted, loved, at home, and alive. To be “outside” was to be dirty, unwanted, despised, outcast, and left to die. Unwanted babies of the ancient Near East were often left outside the city to die. Ezekiel picks up on this travesty to describe the Jews like...

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Is the Reformation Still Relevant Today?

Is Reformation theology still relevant today? Absolutely! It reminds us that we have a big God and that salvation is found in Him alone. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for God’s glory alone. And we know this because Scripture alone is our highest standard for truth. We don’t determine what is good and true about God. God does. I would argue that the biggest problem in the church today is that many of us have too small a view of who God is. We have shrunk an infinite being. We have diminished...

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