The Riches OF GRACE

“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11

Robert W. Reed






“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

I Peter 3:18


~ Substitutionary Atonement ~


   Substitution is one taking the place of another and answering for them. It literally means to exchange places. Even though the word substitute is not found in the Bible, the doctrine of “Substitution” is truly taught. The Lord Jesus Christ became our substitute when He died on Calvary’s cross to pay for our sin.


“The Son of God became

The Son of Man

That the sons of men

Might become

The sons of God.”


     The “World’s Greatest Riddle” is set forth in Romans 3:26, where the question is answered as to how God who is just and holy could be just on the one hand and the Justifier of sinners on the other hand. Of course the solution is found in “Substitution.”


The Principle of Substitution:


     According to Genesis 2:16-17, God placed a restriction upon Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They were not to eat of the forbidden fruit and if they did so, they would surely die. A death penalty was fixed to this restriction by God himself. This principle is applied throughout Scriptures. For example, Exodus 18:4 “And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.” and Romans 6:23 “ For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

   Substitution was first demonstrated in the Garden of Eden according to Genesis 3:21-24, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” A lamb was slain so the coats of skin could cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. Blood was shed to cover their sin. The necessity of substitution arises out of the demand of a righteous and holy God in that sinners should be punished for their sins. This was the case with our first parents. Because of their sin, a substitute sacrifice had to be provided. This law of substitution was given to Adam and was passed on to his sons according to Genesis 4:4-5.


The Practice of Substitution:


     The practice of substitution is seen throughout the Old Testament. All the offerings taught substitution and pointed to Christ’s sacrifice. In Genesis 22:9-13, Abraham was given a ram as a substitute for Isaac. According to Leviticus 1:1-4, the laying on of the offerer’s hands identified himself with his offering. This signified the transfer of the offerer’s guilt and sin to the Lamb and a transfer of the Lamb’s virtue to the offerer. In the yearly day of atonement sacrifices, two goats were brought forth. One of the goats was killed and the blood sprinkled on the mercy seat, the other goat was set free after sins were confessed over it by the high priest. This showed the two aspects of Christ’s work on the cross, the shedding of blood and bearing our sin (Leviticus 16:21-22).

     According to Exodus 12:1-13, a lamb became a substitute at the Passover feast. Jesus Christ became our Passover according to I Corinthians 5:7, “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.” The Lord Jesus Christ was sacrificed for us.


The Purpose of Substitution:


     The Lord Jesus Christ became the substitute bearing the penalty belonging to the sinner. That is why in John 1:29, when John the Baptist saw the Lord Jesus Christ coming he said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” According to Hebrews 10:1-14, the offerings and sacrifices of the Old Testament were only a shadow of what Christ would accomplish on the cross through His sacrifice. The shadow is not the real thing, but Christ is. In Hebrews 2:9, 14-16, the Messiah took the nature of man (not angels) so He could become a substitute for them, Hebrews 5:1.

     The doctrine of “Substitution” can be seen in the story of Barabbas. He was found guilty by the Roman Court and yet another took his place, another took his cross. This is true of every sinner. Jesus Christ has taken the sin of humanity on Himself so that He can impute His righteousness to the believer. According to Romans 3:26, God can remain just, that is, true to His nature, and still declare sinners to be righteous, “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” This can only be done because Christ paid for our sin and satisfied the demands of God’s Holy Law. The result of the substitution is salvation. The debt has been paid, justice is satisfied and righteousness is established.

     The word “for” means in behalf of. It is a common word and is used often in connection with Christ and the sinner. It show’s how he became a substitute for our sins that we may be saved. Please consider the following list:


John 6:51                               “which will I give for the life of the world.”

John 10:11                             “the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.”

Galatians 3:13                        “made a curse for us”

I Corinthians 15:3-4              “Christ died for our sins”

II Corinthians 5:21                “made him to be sin for us”

I Timothy 2:6                         “Who gave himself a ransom for us”

Matthew 20:28                       “gave his life a ransom for many

Luke 22:19                             “This is my body which is given for you”

Luke 22:20                             “my blood, which was shed for you.”

I Peter 2:21                            “Christ also suffered for us”

Romans 5:6                            “Christ died for the ungodly”

Isaiah 53:5                              “he was wounded for our transgressions.”

Isaiah 53:5                              “he was bruised for our iniquities.”

Romans 8:32                          “delivered Him up for us all”

II Corinthians 5:14                “If one died for all”

Ephesians 5:2                         “and hath given himself for us an offering”

Ephesians 5:25                       “and gave himself for it.”

John 15:13                             “A man lay down his life for his friends.”

Hebrews 2:9                           “Should taste for every man.”

I Peter 3:18                            “The just for the unjust.”

Romans 5:8                            “Christ died for us.”


“All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned every one to his own way;

and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

- Isaiah 53:6



"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”  Acts 16:31



Victory Baptist Church

Pastor Robert W. Reed

14473 Bellingrath Road

P.O. Box 257

Coden, Alabama 36523

(251) 873-4422