This content is part of a series.
Twelve Great Questions About Christ (Part 6 of 12)
Did Christ Die for Our Sins?
Clarence E. Macartney
1 Cor. 15:3
"I don't believe a word of it!"
"You don't believe in the Atonement?"
"No; I do not!"
"How, then, do you think that we are saved?"
"Saved? It depends upon what you mean by being saved."
"I mean just what the Bible does, when it speaks
of being saved and being lost."
"I think we are saved by obeying the teachings of
Jesus, by following His example and doing His will;
not by His death."
The above colloquy took place at the close of a
service in a Presbyterian Church where the minister
had preached a sermon on the Atonement, or how Christ
died for our sins. Standing by itself, such a comment,
sad enough so far as the individual uttering it is
concerned, would mean but little. But this man is the
representative of a very large group. His sentiments
can be heard, I suppose, in almost any Protestant
Church. We might as well face the fact that two kinds
of Christianity are being preached and taught in our
Protestant churches today. One is a Christianity of
ideals and inspiration and good works. Christ is
preached as the great teacher, example, inspirer and
leader. With some He is divine, with others He is only
man, though the noblest flower which has bloomed on
the stock of our humanity. This is a Christianity of
instruction and education. If its disciples use the
word "salvation," that is all that they mean.
The other kind of Christianity is the Christianity of
redemption. Man is a sinner and under the condemnation
of God's law. He could do nothing to save himself. But
God sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die
for man, in place of man, as a substitute for man. By
faith in Christ as Redeemer, man is forgiven, the
guilt and the stain of his sin is taken away, and he
is restored to the family of God. In the former kind
of Christianity, the Christianity of education and
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