Bavinck on the atonement

And now two inspiring quotes on the atonement from Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatcs:


“Remember:  grace is that perfection in God by which, for some reason or other, he relinquishes his rights.  Hence, if as the righteous and holy one he did not have the right to punish, we cannot speak of grace in relation to him either.  Similarly, the highest love in God, that is, the forgiving love that is revealed in Christ, is no longer love if in God’s righteous judgment sin did not deserve to be punished.  Those who deny justice thereby also deny grace” (3:374).


“For God, Christ’s satisfaction opens the way—without violating his rights—to forgive sins out of grace and so to justify the ungodly.  If sin is of such a nature that ‘right’ and righteousness, law and truth, do not suffer the least damage even when sin is not punished, then neither does the grace of forgiveness amount to much.  But if sin is so enormous ‘that God, rather than…leave it unpunished, punished it in his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, with the bitter and shameful death of the cross,’ then the riches of God’s grace, the power of his forgiving love, come splendidly to the fore” (3:376).






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