Share This Episode
Worship & The Word Pastor Robert Morris Logo

The Beginning of Atonement

Worship & The Word / Pastor Robert Morris
The Truth Network Radio
August 1, 2021 8:00 am

The Beginning of Atonement

Worship & The Word / Pastor Robert Morris

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 129 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

August 1, 2021 8:00 am

Pastor Robert shares the solution God came up with from the beginning to free us from guilt and shame.

Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Delight in Grace
Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

Welcome to Worshiping the Word with Pastor Robert Morris. We're in a series called The Principles of First Mention, where Pastor Robert unpacks how the first time a word is mentioned in scripture, it's important because it often establishes a precedent, pattern, or a biblical concept. Today, we're talking about the first time the word atonement appears in the Bible and what it means for us.

Well, let's join Pastor Robert now. We're in a series called The Principles of First Mention. Last week, we talked about the beginning of death. It's when a word is first mentioned in the Bible, so we're taking these out of Genesis.

This message is going to be called The Beginning of Atonement. I know that's not a word that we use a lot. I know it's a church word. It's a word actually that God started, and the word itself in English is not in Genesis, but it is in Hebrew, the Hebrew word. So I want to show it to you in Genesis chapter 6. This is when God's talking to Noah, verse 14. He says, make yourself an ark of gopher wood.

Make rooms in the ark and cover it, cover it inside and outside with pitch. Now, this Hebrew word for cover is kaphar. It's in the Old Testament because we're talking about the Old Testament in Hebrew, New Testament in Greek, so it's in the Bible in the Old Testament 102 times. This is the only time it's translated cover.

The only time. Nearly every time it's translated atonement. This is the Hebrew word for atonement. And then David actually brings out about the word for pitch as well, meaning ransom or satisfy, to satisfy.

And he says, cover it inside and outside. So atonement. What is atonement?

I spent maybe three minutes on it one time and a message, but this will be the first time to take a whole message on it. But I showed you then a way to remember what it means. It means to be in unity with God or to be made one with God. But the way you remember it is look at the word atonement, then just divide it into three parts at one meant, at one meant, and then meant being the word with. Substitute the word with at one with. It means at one with God.

That's what the word. So you can always remember atonement means at one with God. But I have a question for you. How can sinful people be made one with a holy God? Something's got to be done for a sinful person, not just to talk to God, but to be made one with God.

Something's got to happen. So that's what we're going to talk about today. Serious point number one, our sin is covered. Remember how we talked about this Hebrew word means to cover, and it means a little more which we'll get into, but to cover. Our sins are covered. Do you remember the first thing Adam and Eve tried to do when they sinned? They tried to cover themselves. Genesis chapter three, verse seven, then the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. In other words, they tried to atone for their sin themselves. They tried to cover their sins themselves.

God comes along, and do you remember what God did? He made some new coverings. Genesis chapter three, verse 21, also for Adam and his wife, the Lord God made tunics, you know what this word is? Coverings.

He made coverings of skin and clothed them. Here's something you need to understand. Only God can cover sin. You can't do it. You can't cover your own sin. Only God can cover sin.

He's the only one that can do it. He's the only one that can cover. So Adam and Eve tried to cover. Think about how many times we tried to cover up ourselves, when only God can come along and truly cover. Now, when God is speaking to Noah, he says, I want you to cover the ark, and I love this, inside and outside. Inside and outside.

Here's the reason I like that. It means that God is covering my sin, what I did, and even what I thought. He's covering my outside actions, my transgressions, and he's covering my inside motivations, my iniquities. Iniquity is inward motivation, and a transgression is outward movement. In other words, you may have lust, which is an inward iniquity, but you may never move on it outwardly.

That would be to transgress or step over, like trespass, step over a line. The Bible is so perfect, by the way. Isaiah 53, remember, iniquity is inward, transgression is outward. The Bible says in Isaiah 53, he was bruised for our iniquities, bruised as inward bleeding, and he was wounded, that's on the outside, for our transgressions. He was hurt inside for our inside sin.

He was hurt on the outside for our outside sin. Another reason I like this is because sin always brings shame. Very first thing Adam and Eve felt, ashamed. They were ashamed.

They felt shame. So immediately, God says, listen, I need to cover you. And then he expounds on it when he gets to Noah and says, you make sure you atone the ark, cover the ark. And I'm gonna use the word atonement because I'm going to teach my people what atonement is.

It means to cover, but I want you to cover it inside and out. So he not only takes away my sin, he takes away my shame. Now I don't know about you, but I dealt with a lot of shame, a lot of shame. I would say that I did things that I'm still ashamed of. I wouldn't want to talk about some things that I did in private.

I wouldn't want to talk about it. I'm ashamed, but I'm not carrying the shame. I can stand up before you, even when the enemy, when I first started preaching, the enemy would say, who are you to preach? And I'd have to answer back just in faith, a son of God who's forgiven.

That's who I am. Not perfect, but forgiving. I'd like to leave the past in the past, please. I'd like to leave the past, let me say it this way, under the blood of Jesus, that his blood covers, covers me. So number one, our sins are covered. Here's number two, our sins are removed. They're not just covered, they're removed because we're going to become one with God. How are you going to become one with God when you're just wearing a covering, but underneath you still have sin? See, to become one with God, he's actually got to remove your sins.

So this word atonement, as I said, 102 times in the Old Testament, in Leviticus 16, it's used 13 times in one chapter and it's one of the best representations of our sin being covered and our sin being removed. He tells them to take two goats and he said, one's going to be a sacrificial goat and one's going to be a scapegoat. And you've probably heard the term a scapegoat. Basically, it's a scapegoat, but it means almost as I'm saying it fast, escape, the goat that gets away and they cast lots.

So you know, if you're the goat, you're like, please, please, please, you know, don't want to be the sacrificial goat, you want to be the one that gets away, you know? So one of them, he's to sacrifice and it's his heir and the high priest and he's to sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat. Now you have to remember the mercy seat covered the Ark of the Covenant and in the Ark was the law.

So first of all, this is such a great picture. You need to know that there's the law, all the things you got to do right, but even God covers the law with mercy, even God. And then to be able to atone for our sins, he applies the blood. See, even with Adam and Eve, in order to clothe them, an animal had to die, blood had to be shed. Hebrews says it this way, without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin. So God goes all the way back to the garden to help us understand that principle.

No, you can't cover with anything except blood. So one of the goats is killed and his blood is sprinkled on the mercy seat to cover our sins. But what about this part of atonement that means to remove our sins? Well, let me show you what happens to the second goat, even though he gets away.

Let me show you. Leviticus 16 verse 21, Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it. Now watch us talking about iniquities, transgressions, sin, confess over it, all the iniquities of the children of Israel and all their transgressions concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear, remember Christ bore our sins on the cross. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.

So here's what he's saying. I'm going to cover your sin, but I'm going to remove your sin as well because I can't have a relationship with you if I don't deal with your sin. So all the way back to the tabernacle of Moses, God is giving us types and shadows and symbolism, an allegory to help us understand what Christ did. He covers and he removes our sin. Here's a really great verse about God removing our sin. Psalm 103 verse 12, as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. Now, let me just remind all you church people, this is good news because y'all are actually bad even though you look good right now.

Right? We've all sinned. We've all fallen short of the glory of God. So he didn't just cover, he removed them. He removed our sins as far as the east is from the west. That's a long way. They're gone.

They're removed. He said, well, how do you get in on this? Well, it's free for you. For you.

Doesn't cost you anything. Famous preacher, G. Campbell Morgan, which you probably have to be a pastor. You might recognize that name if you've done some study. He pastored Westminster Chapel in London, England. Very famous church. After him, there were a few others, but then there was a famous Martin Lord Jones, very famous pastor for many years. And then after him, even not very long ago, was R. T. Kendall. And R. T. Kendall's been here at our church, and so G. Campbell Morgan, very well known, and he shared some stories about his life.

And this is one of the stories. Dr. G. Campbell Morgan was trying to explain free salvation to a coal miner, but the man was unable to understand it. He said, I'm going to have to pay for it. With a flash of divine insight, Dr. Morgan asked, how did you get down into the mine this morning? He said, why that was easy, the man replied.

I just got on the elevator and it went down. Then Morgan asked, wasn't that too easy? Didn't it cost you something?

The man laughed. No, it didn't cost me anything, but it must have cost the company plenty to install that elevator. Then the man saw the truth and Morgan said to him, it doesn't cost you anything to be saved, but it cost God the life of his son. It is free salvation. Because it cost us, but it cost God everything. So, he covers our sins, he removes our sins, it's the removal, the covering of sin, the removal of sin. Here's point number three and I want to spend a little, this is where my burden really is. God's wrath is removed.

Our sin is covered, our sin is removed, God's wrath is removed. Now, I'm going to get a little historical. I'm going to give you some history and some theology. So, in 200, about 250 B.C., 250 years before Christ, between 285 B.C. and 240 B.C., about 243 if you want to be specific, Ptolemy II did something. Ptolemy, his father was Ptolemy who was one of the generals from Alexander. When Alexander died, Alexander the Great at 32, Ptolemy and Seleucia took over, became the Ptolemaic period and the Seleucid period.

Ptolemy was a better general than his son, Ptolemy II. He realized that people were more moral, the Hebrew people, the Jewish people because of the Hebrew Scriptures. And so he went to, he gathered 72 Hebrew scholars, six from each of the 12 tribes.

It eventually somehow became 70. We don't know whether two didn't come or two didn't finish or whatever, but he put them in separate rooms, didn't let them know there was another scholar and told them to translate the Scriptures, which had been the Old Testament. At that time, that's all there was, obviously, into Greek. Matter of fact, if you're reading the commentary sometime, you'll see it. They just use Roman numerals, the L for 50 and then X and X. Some of you men know about the Roman numerals because you've seen the Super Bowl.

That's what those letters mean. Okay, so sometimes you'll see according to the LXX, which means the 70, which means the transcription 70, the Septuagint. So they translated it and they took all 70 together, and this is what history says, that they were exactly alike. Now we don't know for sure, obviously, but that's the way they record it, that there was no variation. And that's the Septuagint.

Now, why am I telling you that? Because when they translate it into Greek, there was no word in Greek for atonement, and yet it's 102 times in the Scriptures. There's no word. So they looked for a Greek word to translate it. They chose the Greek word propitiation. Well, that's not the Greek word. That's our English word. I wrote it down because I don't know if some of you want it. Helestarion.

Anyway, never mind. So it becomes propitiation. It's in the New Testament and mainly in Romans, and we're going to look at it in a moment.

But why did I give you that little lesson? Because propitiation includes expiation, which is out, means the covering and the removing of sin, but the pro means the removal of wrath is what the word means. Now, it was used in Greek mythology, so some people don't like that. And it was used because people would try to appease a god like the rain god or a prosperity god or the sun god, and they would bring a gift, and that's how the false deities begin to use this word. But you need to understand what's different about this is that it's not a person bringing the gift to appease God. It's God appeasing himself. It's God providing the gift.

God provided his son, Jesus Christ. And by the way, let me tell you what else pro means. What you know this, propitiation. Expiation means out of, but pro means for. Have you ever said, what are the pros and cons?

Con means against, pro means for. What this means is that God was against you, but now he's for you. You need to know that God does have anger. Anger is an emotion, not a sin. As a matter of fact, the Bible commands you to be angry. Ephesians 4 26 says, be angry, but do not sin. In other words, you can be angry, but don't go kill him. That's a sin, but you can be angry.

It's okay to be angry. It's an emotion. God has joy. He has grief. Don't grieve the Holy Spirit.

He gets angry. I'm going to make a statement that's going to be a little strong because when I did it, Debbie gave me the look like, you know, you're making that up. I said, God is angry with the wicked every day. Now, I've taught you and I'm training you. Sometimes you don't even know I'm training you, but I'm training you to never believe anything that's said from this platform or that you hear on TV or the internet, whether it's me or anyone else without that person being able to back it up with the Bible.

Because we don't care about people's opinions. We care about what the Bible says. So maybe you're thinking, okay, pastor, you've trained us to not believe anything that's said from this platform, even if it's you, without a scripture. You just said God is angry with the wicked every day. Do you have a scripture?

I'm glad you asked. Psalm 7 verse 11, God is angry with the wicked every day. Wouldn't you be? And when you think about it, wicked people hurt people and God loves people. Of course, he's angry with the wicked because wicked people hurt people and God loves people. Now, I'm going to give you a horrific illustration. It's horrific. If there was a man who was torturing little children to death, would it make you angry?

Of course it would. Now, again, this is horrific. I'm sorry to even say this, but I've got to get you to understand God has righteous anger. What if he did it to your child? Of course you'd be angry. God is angry with the wicked every day. So you need to know that the Bible teaches us about the anger of God, the wrath of God. And you need to know that God avenges. He doesn't revenge, he avenges.

And there's a difference. Avenge is to punish, revenge is to punish back. And what he says is, don't you do it, I'll do it. Avenge is his mind. And what he's saying is, I'm the only one that's justified to punish.

You're not justified to. I'm the only one without sin. I can punish.

Don't you punish. But God, let me show you the scripture in Romans 3, verse 25 says, whom God set forth. Romans 3, 25, whom God set forth as a propitiation by his blood through faith to demonstrate his righteousness because it is forbearance.

God has passed over the sins which are previously committed. Okay, notice it talks about wrath. I've also said don't take one scripture and try to prove them. You need to understand that Romans talks about wrath 10 times the wrath of God. Romans 1 says the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness, unrighteousness, the wrath of God. Romans 2 talks about it twice. So wrath is in there. So God does have wrath. So this is where God comes and covers it. Now, do you remember the scripture? Let me read it to you. James 1 20 says, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. You remember that? For the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Okay, now listen carefully to me. The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God, but the wrath of God produced the righteousness of man. God was angry at your sin. So he sent his son, John 3 16 says, he sent God from the soul of the world, he sent his son to take your punishment so you could be made the righteousness of Christ. That's what the wrath of God did. See, you need to know God was angry because if you don't know that he was angry, you can't be happy now that he's not angry.

Well, you understand? So it's all through scripture and I had at least 30 scriptures on the wrath of God, but I didn't have time to go through. But what it means is that God has, God's wrath has been satisfied. Now, we started with Noah and the ark, right? So I'm going to end with Noah and the ark. What is the promise that God will never again flood the earth? What's the promise?

Rainbow, right? But did you know God references Noah and the ark and makes another promise? He references the flood and he says, let me make you another promise. Isaiah 54 verses 8 and 9, with a little wrath, see, he does have wrath, I hid my face from you for a moment. But with everlasting kindness, I will have mercy on you, says the Lord your Redeemer. For this is like the waters of Noah to me. As I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be angry with you nor rebuke you. Here's what God says, I'll never be angry with you again. That's a promise. That's a good promise.

And here's why. Because my son atoned for your sins. He covered them, he removed them, and he satisfied my wrath.

I'll never be angry. That's my burden for you this weekend. My burden is for you to know God is not mad at you.

Because Jesus is our propitiation. We want you to take a moment to think about what Pastor Robert shared today and listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. If you want to connect with us or check out some of Pastor Robert's other messages, visit And if you haven't already, go follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so we can be a part of your community. We hope you found today's message encouraging. Next time, Pastor Robert is going to talk about the first time the word covenant appears in the Bible and what we can learn about the nature of covenant from that first mention. Well, have a great week.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-18 15:04:54 / 2023-09-18 15:13:59 / 9

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime