Sermon Title: Atonement: Covered by the Cross
Text: 1 John 1:7-2:2
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Brief summary (what’s the point of this text/sermon?)
This was the last sermon in a four-part series on biblical words/themes that help us understand the overall Story of Scripture. The first three were Glory, Holiness, and Covenant, and Sunday’s sermon was on Atonement.
“Atonement” is based on a Hebrew word group that has “cover” as one of its root meanings — you can see how this might be related to sin with the idea that God “covers” (atones for) our sin. It’s also reflected by the New Testament concept of “propitiation” (see 1 John 2:2 in our text), which is a big theological concept that has to do with how God addresses the sin problem in our lives.
The sermon emphasized the problem of sin and how God deals with it. We discussed how God’s work on our behalf in overcoming our rebellion is an important theme from Genesis to Revelation. We discussed how the cross fulfills the sacrifices of the Old Testament and how it beautifully portrays God’s love for us as Christ atoned for our sins (“covers” them) on the cross.
How do I live out the implications of this passage? (Discussion starters to help with applying the sermon to our lives)
- The Old Testament has a lot of bloody sacrifices in it. Why do you think God may have commanded these sacrifices? Why didn’t he just deal with the sin problem in some other way?
- Did Jesus have to die? Couldn’t God have simply declared us forgiven without the painful death of Christ? Why or why not?
- In the sermon, we discussed the “sin problem.” What is the “sin problem,” and how has each one of us followed in the footsteps of Adam and Eve?
- One of the key descriptions of Jesus in the text is his role as our “Advocate” (lit., “one who is called beside” to help). Picture standing before God in judgment with Jesus beside you as your Advocate. What will he say?
- Picture standing before God in judgment with no one beside you as an advocate. What would you say to God?
- Another key description of Jesus in this text is “Propitiation.” What is your understanding of Propitiation?
- How does your confidence in the atoning work of Christ change the way you live your daily life in a practical way? At work, home, school, in the neighborhood? How does it affect your marriage and your friendships?
- Do you truly believe that you are completely forgiven of every sin you’ve ever committed? If you did believe it, how would it change you?