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Restitution Required


Sin robs God of the honor and glory he is due. He must be repaid.

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The point at which the discussion [of the necessity of atonement] must begin is the relation which a personal God occupies to Sin. As the entrance of sin is a [plundering]* of the tribute or revenue of honour which the intelligent creature should have rendered to the Creator; as man was made to render this homage by a pure nature and a God-glorifying obedience, such as a moral representation of the divine image in this world alone could render,—a restoration of this honour to the full, nay, to a still larger degree, is only what supreme justice owes to Himself before salvation can be bestowed. Not that the glory of God essentially is capable either of addition or of diminution. But in reference to His declarative glory—in other words, in reference to what He proposed to make of human nature,—God lost when His rights were denied, and God regains when they are restored. Thus the necessity of the atonement is seen to rest on the divine claims, and on the concrete relations of a personal God to the world.

—George Smeaton, Christ’s Doctrine of the Atonement (Banner of Truth, 2009), 29.

* Smeaton: “spoliation.”



Posted 2018·04·26 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Atonement · Christ’s Doctrine of the Atonement · George Smeaton

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