Message by Josh Mutter – March 10, 2024

The atonement is the work of Jesus through his life, death and resurrection to reconcile humanity with God.
SERIES BIG IDEA: What Jesus accomplished on the cross is so big that we need different perspectives on the atonement to appreciate what Jesus has done for us and for our world.

MORAL INFLUENCE THEORY: Jesus’ death demonstrates God’s love and inspires moral change through his example of selfless love.

John 3:16 NIV  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life

1 John 4:9-10 NIV  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.


A. Outline of Moral Influence View

1. The atonement is grounded in God’s love.

1 John 4:8b NIV  … God is love.

2. ____________________________ distorts our understanding of God.

Romans 3:23 NIV  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

3. Jesus came to reveal God’s love to humanity.

1 Peter 2:24 NIV  “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

4. Transformation is the result of Jesus healing our sin.

Luke 19:10 NIV  For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.

2 Corinthians 5:19a NIV  … that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.

5. Jesus died to show us the extent of God’s love.

Philippians 2:6-8 NIV  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!


B. Cons of Understanding the Atonement as Moral Influence

1. It has a limited emphasis on sin and justice

2. It has the potential to be subjective

3. It raises questions about how else God’s love could have been demonstrated


C. Pros of Understanding the Atonement as Moral Influence

1. It focuses on God’s love

2. It aligns with Jesus’ teachings on non-violence

3. It is inspirational and practical

1 John 4:18-19 NIV  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.

You can listen to the sermon on YouTube here.