Jesus’ Atonement for Sins – in View from the Beginning

 By GF Herrin

As part of my 2016 reading plan, Monday is my day to read from the Book of Genesis. I am amazed at how many key Bible verses come at the beginning of the book. The concept of sacrificial atonement in particular is actually presented early in the book. Thus, the foreshadowing of the coming of the Messiah and God-Man, Jesus Christ begins early in the book.

In chapter 3, Adam and Eve commit the Original Sin by choosing to eat fruit from the forbidden tree (Gen. 3:6). Now, you may ask, “Why was eating fruit from the tree such a big deal?” Well, this act was a willful decision by Adam and Eve to not believe that God knew what was best for their lives. Instead, they believed that they knew what was best for them and acted on that thought accordingly. Humankind has been making similar decisions ever since.

After Adam and Eve sin, they try to hide their nakedness by wearing coverings made of fig leaves (Gen. 3:7). God in turn provides them clothes made of tunics of skin (Gen. 3:21) sewn from animal sacrifices made to atone for their sins.

In chapter 4, Cain and Abel bring sin offerings to the Lord. Cain offers crops grown in the fields which are refused (Gen. 4:3). Abel offers animal sacrifices (Gen. 4:4) which are accepted. The idea, then, is presented early on in the Old Testament narrative that sin causes death (spiritual – see Gen. 2:17) and physical (animals must be killed to make a blood offering to atone for the sin committed). So begins a very important typology which ultimately points to the coming of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who came to die for mankind’s sins (John 1:35-36).

We also see in chapter 3 the earliest messianic prophecy in the Bible, which foretells of this ultimate sacrifice for sins that Jesus made for us on the cross and the strife and animosity that will be present between God’s children and the Enemy, the Devil: And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (Gen. 3:15).

Ultimately, Jesus’ sacrifice for sins on the cross and victory over death crushed the head of the enemy even though he had attempted to bruise his heel in crucifixion. Barton Payne writes, “Christ rendered Satan powerless, broke the fear of death in which he held mankind (Heb. 2:14-15), and by His passion and particularly at His ascension, cast him down from Heaven (John 12:31;Rev. 12:9-10); (in this age), the church crushes him under foot (Rom. 16:20); in the millennium , Satan will be bound (Rev. 20:1-3); and after its expiration, he will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10)” (J. Barton Payne, The Encyclopedia of Biblical prophecy, 158).

The Importance of Biblical Inerrancy and its Relationship to the Resurrection


 By GF Herrin

Shortly after moving to Charlotte, my wife, daughters and I joined a small Lutheran church (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America). We had enjoyed the worship style, knew some folks who belonged there, and liked its close proximity to where we lived. In the new members class, though, after reading several passages from a King James Version of the Old Testament, the pastor lost me. He said, “remember that this is the Hebrew Bible and we can’t necessarily assume accounts like Jonah and the whale and other passages are literally true.” I struggle to recall what I said to the pastor in response, but the gist of the experience is that I instantly responded in a negative way, bringing up the points that the Bible is the inerrant word of God and central to our faith.

The Inerrancy of God’s word is a central point of the Christian faith. The reason it has been questioned in recent years is because there are teachers or so called scholars such as Bart Ehrman, John Shelby Spong, or Rudolf Bultmann whose teachings have been clouded by either anti-supernaturalist beliefs or   (in Spong’s case) a pro homosexual agenda . These teachers have long possessed a view that not the Bible is not literally true yet they have claimed to be Christians. But this begs the question that if you throw out part of the Bible as not true which part do you keep? If you doubt the authenticity of the Scriptures and discount the fact that the vast majority of the 12 apostles died for their faith in the Resurrection of Christ, how can you be assured that Christ from the dead? And if you can’t believe that Christ rose from the dead how can you believe that your sins were paid for on the Cross by Him?

One of the Books I am reading early in my 2016 Bible reading plan is the Book of Romans. In Romans, Paul writes of the importance of understanding the physical Resurrection of Jesus Christ :

“Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. “ (Romans 1:3-4)

Notice that Paul emphasizes that Jesus was declared to be the Son of God by the fact that He was resurrected from the dead. This is an important point to understand. Jesus’ life, ministry, and sacrifice on the cross were declared as worthy by the occurrence of His physical resurrection. Think of this incredible event. Even after the soldier pierced Jesus’ side with a spear to confirm His death (John 19:34), Even after His lifeless body was laid in a clean linen cloth (Matt. 27:59). Even after Christ’s body was laid in the tomb (Matt. 27:60). Even after a large stone was rolled in front of his tomb which was also sealed (Matt. 27:60 & 66), Christ was resurrected! God the Father accepted God the son’s payment for sins with His life and the Resurrection of Christ is evidence of that.


So how should we born again believers in Jesus live in response to the Death and Resurrection of Christ?

Paul writes,

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:16-18).


We should not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ but should be encouraged by it. The death and resurrection of Christ reveals God’s righteousness. Jesus’ death on the cross demonstrates that only a sinless sacrifice could buy each of us sinners grace and forgiveness. Nothing else would do! No animal sacrifices, no good works, no tithes or monetary offerings will pay the huge sin debt each of us would has to atone for. Jesus’ horrible death on the cross demonstrates that it was necessary to buy us our freedom. If it wasn’t necessary, why else would He have died for us?


Also, we need to make a concerted effort every day to live in righteousness. Paul mentions that our unrighteousness behavior actually suppresses the truth. So, if we are careless in living and sinning then those acts suppress God’s truth of a changes life. Not only is unrighteousness a demonstration of the unsaved condition of people, it is a bad witness for the forgiven sinner. So, if you are struggling with a besetting sin, remember that another reason to stay away from that addiction or habit is to make sure you demonstrate God’s truth by keeping away from that sin. Glorify the Lord in living righteously!








2016: Applying God’s Word to the Times We Live in

by GF Herrin

For 2016, I have begun a 365 day that features a selection from a different book of the Bible every day. For example, on Thursday, I read from a book of writings: Job. On Friday, I read from one of the books of the prophets: Isaiah. Saturday, the Gospels: Matthew, and so on. This reading plan suits my taste very well, as I tend to read from several books of the Bible at once anyway. I believe that it is important for all believers to read from the Bible every day to stay grounded in God’s Word and to stay connected to our Heavenly Father.

So, in my daily reading it is my intent to share commentary on this site of impressions I believe the Lord is giving me to give to others based on His word. I am not a Greek or Hebrew scholar or a divinity student. I am simply a Masters level student, one course short of a Religion degree at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC.

What I do possess is a thorough understanding of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible with a special interest in understanding the context specific passages were written. However, even though these passages were written from 1900 to 3000 years ago, they have a broad application to humanity’s daily lives today. For example, while reading my Bible passages from Isaiah for Friday, a couple of verses stood out to me. Isaiah the prophet wrote specifically to the stiff necked, obstinate people of Israel who had rebelled against God and gone astray. Many of the verses from the beginning of Isaiah, though, could apply to the United States, a country founded by Christians long ago.

Isaiah 5:20-21

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!


Sin parades itself proudly in the streets of the U.S. today. Homosexuals and others march proudly in the streets and demand to be recognized. Their sin convicts them and they demand that others treat them with respect and assure them that they are “OK”. How dare the rest of the world keep men from marrying men and women marrying women? So what if marriage by its natural law can only truly be understood within the male – female relationship and their ability to mate with the opposite sex. Try to speak out against same sex marriage and you are castigated as evil incarnate, someone who must be stopped and silenced. Nothing else will do!

Isaiah 3:9

The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.


Reality TV brings onto stage the deviant lifestyle of people who are famous for just being attractive. The Kardashian family, that internet TV reality family that has nothing noteworthy to their name except being famous fill us up with junk news on their sinful exploits. Kim Kardashian has babies out of wedlock and proudly updates us constantly to let know when she gets her “baby bump”. She shows displays certain parts of her body in selfies for others to see in the most

A man (Bruce Jenner), is so narcissistic and so consumed with self that he is convinced that he needs to become a woman to become truly fulfilled. He exists as a half man half woman with breasts and male genitals. He startles us with his freakish appearance and presents bathroom gender identity issues.   In a previous time, he would have been called a pervert. Yet ESPN proudly gives him an award for courage!

Christians who dare to call out such people out are labeled as bad for following God’s law for morality. Bad is truly being called good. Humanity is celebrated and godliness is mocked. As Israel turned to its idols, the United States has embraced its own idols in so many forms. America entertains itself to death via TV, movies, music, iphones, the internet and with false idols or beliefs such as the “freedom to be who you want to be”. But the Bible says, no one is truly free.

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (Romans 6:16).


Either you are a miserable slave to sin or you are a joyful slave to righteousness. True freedom and peace, though, are found only in Jesus Christ and the forgiveness that only He could purchase for us by His sacrifice on the cross. Have you received it? If not, Pray to Him today!