Friday, 18 March 2011


Demarest writes the entry in the New Dictionary of Theology on 'Satisfaction'.  He explains:
Satisfaction pertains to the work Christ accomplished on the cross in bearing that punishment demanded by the law ... In the plan of God, Christ endured the penalty of death on the cross thereby satisfying God's justice and averting his wrath ...
Satisfaction is not strictly a biblical term, although the idea is woven into the fabric of both testaments ... The Heb. koper means a price paid in compensation, i.e. a satisfaction.  The entire OT sacrificial system involved the idea of satisfaction.  As the victim was slain and its blood sprinkled on the alter, God's wrath against sin was temporarily appeased.  In the NT Christ emerges as the fulfilment of the Jewish sacrificial system ...
The principle NT text teaching satisfaction is Rom. 3:21-26 ... The use of hilasterion in 1 Jn. 2:2 and 4:10 indicates that Christ renders God propitious by bearing the punishment of sins not his own.  According to 2 Cor. 5:21 God purposed that Christ should take the place of sinners, suffer the penalty of their sins, and so enable them to be made righteous before a just God.  Paul makes the same point of satisfaction wrought through penal substitution in Gal. 3:13.
Some texts worth thinking over:
This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10).
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21).
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree" (Gal. 3:13). 

Satisfaction in church history.  The '39 Articles' is the historic confession of the Anglican communion.  Article XXXI reads:
The Offering of Christ once made is that perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone ...

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