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What the Bible says about Atone for sin
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Leviticus 5:17-18

Sin requires some sort of punishment (for example, Deuteronomy 19:11-13, 21; 25:1-3). To avoid punishment—receiving the penalty of the law—action must be taken to remove the guilt. In the Old Testament, offerings were performed to cover the penalty (see Leviticus 4-6), along with restitution in relevant cases. Those who sinned defiantly and neglected the required atoning sacrifice were “cut off,” remaining in their guilt.

Under the New Covenant, guilt is addressed by having sin washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ. Calling for humility, James commands believers to “cleanse your hands” and “purify your hearts” as requirements for entering God's presence (James 4:8-10). “Hands” represents action (i.e., stop doing wrong things), while “heart” signifies thinking (i.e., stop thinking bad thoughts). This cleansing is required for salvation (John 13:8; Titus 3:5). Water baptism symbolizes our redemption, in which our guilt is washed away, and we arise to newness of life (Acts 22:16; Romans 6:1-6).

Blood corresponds with the stain of guilt, but it is also the means of atonement for sin. Sprinkling with blood can both cleanse and consecrate (Leviticus 16:18-19; I Peter 1:2). Faith in the blood of Christ is the ultimate remedy for human guilt, bringing full and final atonement to those who believe (Romans 3:23-25).

Martin G. Collins
What Must We Do When We Recognize Our Guilt?

Psalm 51:17

Broken spirit means "to be overwhelmed with sorrow." Contrite heart means "to be completely penitent, feeling remorse and affected by guilt, deeply regretful and wishing to atone for sin." "Broken spirit" and "contrite heart" are virtually the same thing. This is further confirmation that spirit is used as an aspect of mind that generates a wide diversity of activity, including, but not restricted to, conduct. It must be clean and right if the conduct that is produced is going to be beneficial. This alludes, then, to our motivations. What is in our heart? What is in our spirit? If our heart and spirit are not right, our motivations will not be right, and our conduct will have the aim of taking advantage, of controlling, of manipulating to one's own ends, self-centeredly rather than selflessly.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Holy Spirit and the Trinity (Part Four)

Hebrews 9:5

The author of Hebrews uses hilasterion (Strong's #2435) to refer to the lid of the Ark of the Covenant, the Mercy Seat of God. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest carried the blood of the sacrifice he offered for all the people into the Temple—behind the veil into the Holy of Holies—and sprinkled the Mercy Seat with it, which was the original manner of atonement or propitiation. In this usage, hilasterion is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew term kapporeth (Strong's #3727), which means “covering” and is used exclusively in the Old Testament for “mercy seat” (Exodus 25:17; 30:6; Leviticus 16:13-15). In its only other biblical usage, the apostle Paul uses hilasterion in Romans 3:25 as “propitiation,” that is, Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice and our reconciliation by His blood.

Martin G. Collins
What Is Propitiation? (Part Two)


 




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