Saturday, 28 January 2017

The Atonement



Good morning beloved brothers and sisters. I am here to give a talk on Atonement.

D&C 76:41-42 stated that our Saviour Jesus Christ came into the world to be crucified for the world, to bear the sins of the world, to sanctify the world and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness, that through him all mankind might be saved. This great sacrifice made by Our Saviour by paying for our sins for us to overcome death is called Atonement.


Atonement is the most important event that has ever occurred in the history of mankind. Our Heavenly Father in His Great Plan for us to return to Him gave His Son Jesus Christ to pay for our sins in order for us to be fit to stand before our ever Holy Heavenly Father. Alma 34:9 stated that for it is expedient that an atonement should be made, for according to the Great Plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea all are hardened, yea all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which is expedient should be made.

Why was the atonement necessary?
It is recorded in 2 Nephi 9:7-9 that the fall of Adam brought two kinds of death into the world-the physical death and spiritual death. The physical death separates the body and the spirit while the spiritual death is a separation from God. Without the atonement by Jesus Christ, man would have faced two consequences; our bodies and spirit would have been separated forever and would not have lived again with our heavenly father.

But our Heavenly Father loves us so much and in His wisdom prepared a wonderful and merciful plan to save us from the physical and spiritual death through the atonement by giving His beloved Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins because we could not save ourselves because of our sins and weakness of our mortal bodies.

Reasons why Jesus was the only one to atone for our sins
One may wonder why Jesus was the only person who could be our saviour. One of the reasons is that God, Our Heavenly Father chose Him to be our saviour. He was the only begotten son of God and thus has power over death. Jesus explained in John 10:17-18 that He laid down His life that he might take it again. That no man took it from Him but he laid it down by Himself. He has the power to lay it down and also the power to take it again.

The second reason which qualified Jesus to be our Saviour is that He is the only person who had ever lived on the earth who did not sin. That made Him a worthy sacrifice to pay for the sins of others.

How and when did Jesus atone for our sins?
By now perhaps there are some people here who are wondering how and when Jesus atoned for our sins. Jesus atoned for our sins by His suffering in Gethsemane and by giving His life for us on the cross.

D&C 19:18-19 described how Jesus suffered at the Garden of Gethsemane by saying that because of the weight of the sins of mankind, he was agonised that He bled from every pore of His body. After that He hung on the cross and suffered a painful death for us. In John 3:16, the atoning sacrifice was described thus; “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The importance of the atonement to mankind
i.            On the third day after His crucifixion Christ resurrected. His spirit reentered His body never to be separated again. This symbolised that Jesus Christ had overcome physical death. So because of this atonement, everyone born on this earth would be resurrected. Our spirit will be reunited with our bodies never to be divided. Every one of us, both old and young, male and female, wicked and righteous. With this, mankind will overcome physical death.
ii.            The atonement makes it possible for us to overcome spiritual death. Article of Faith 3 stated that although everybody will be resurrected, only those who accept the atonement will be saved from spiritual death.

How can we accept the atonement?
We can accept Christ’s atonement by placing our faith in Him. Through this faith we repent of our sins, we are baptised, we receive the Holy Ghost and obey His commandments. Through this faith we become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and cleansed from our sins and we are prepared to live with our Heavenly Father.

Dear brother and sisters, I testify to you that I know that these words I have spoken to you today are true. That if we accept the atonement, we shall overcome physical and spiritual death and on the last day we shall be resurrected and we shall live with Our Heavenly Father forever. I know of all these to be true and I leave them with you in the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen

A talk on Atonement by Akpeli Othuke Andrew on 22nd January, 2017 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ughelli Ward II  

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