Articles

The All Sufficiency of Christ's Sacrifice

The all sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice for sin (Acts 4:12; Hebrews 10:14) that salvation is by grace through faith in the completed work of the Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary's Cross (Ephesians 2:8-9). A recognition of who Christ is and His essential Deity, leads naturally to why God became manifest in the flesh and the need for His sacrifice on the cross of Calvary. We believe not only was that sacrifice absolutely necessary, but also that it was completely sufficient for our salvation. The essential facts are basically simple and logical.

Man's need of Salvation

The first man Adam let sin into the world and with it came the punishment for sin, namely death. Both sin and death have been inherited by us through our relationship to Adam. "Through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners"; "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 5:19; 6:23). Our need was for deliverance from this hopeless position and we see the grace of God at work in His provision of the One who was to pay for sin, satisfy the judgment of God and bring us from death into life. Christ was that One who paid the price and He offers us salvation from sin and death.

God's Provision of Salvation in Christ for us

Crucifixion of ChristSin could not be overlooked. God's righteousness requires that it must be paid for by the death of an innocent and perfect being. The sacrifice of Christ in our place, accepting the punishment due to us, did just that. "Christ died for our sins" (1 Corinthians 15:3); that penalty was paid. He was the perfect, spotless Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world by His death, but death must also be overcome. Without the resurrection of Christ from the dead, all would still be lost. "If Christ has not been raised .... you are still in your sins" (1 Corinthians 15:17). The resurrection of Christ is the proof that the penalty for sin had been fully paid for and it is also the pledge that new life is ours through our relationship to Him; "For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:22). Salvation is only possible through His resurrection; "Saved through His life" (Romans 5:10). What was lost in Adam has been regained in Christ and not only so, but that sacrifice was completely sufficient, necessary only once and without any good works on our part.

The All Sufficiency of Christ's One Sacrifice

"Christ died for sins once for all"; "Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people" (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 9:28). Unlike the Old Testament sacrifices, repeated again and again, the sacrifice of Christ for sins was necessary only "once for all". As such it accomplished what those Old Testament sacrifices could never do, namely "take away sins" (Hebrews 10:4). Neither is there any alternative to Christ's sacrifice for deliverance from sin and its death penalty. "Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). Further, that sacrifice stands alone; it requires no addition. No Law-keeping or good works on our part could save us from sin and death and none need be, or can be, added to Christ's all sufficient sacrifice. "No one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law" (Romans 3:20). There is a place for works, but they come after faith in Him and His "once for all" sacrifice on our behalf. James wrote, "I will show you my faith by what I do" (2:18). Good works are the evidence of our new life in Christ, a life which was accepted from Him by faith.

The Means by which Salvation comes

While the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross is through God's love and grace, it requires a response from us. "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). God's gift to us is that through His grace He requires only our faith in Christ for salvation and life. It is a grace-by-faith-salvation that is the gift of God, quite apart from works. "It is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no-one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8,9). The Scriptures teach the basic truth that we, through our relationship to Adam, are subject to sin and death. They also set forth the provision that God, by His grace, has made in Christ; namely to deliver us from this position. There is more than one aspect to this salvation, and these are dealt with in the Bible under such great words as:

  • Redemption We are freed from being servants to sin (Romans 6:18)
  • Reconciliation We are no longer alienated from God (Romans 5:10)
  • Justification We are counted as though we are righteous (Romans 3:22)
  • Forgiveness Our sins are forgiven - our debt is paid (Ephesians 1:7)

However, the basic position is simple. We believe in the all sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice for sin. We believe that salvation is found only in Him, and it is by God's grace. We believe salvation is through our faith in Christ and His completed work on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.