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date: 02 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Reformed theologians make sense of what Jesus did to redeem sinners by situating his life, death, and work in the broader context of God’s covenantal relationship with Israel and, in particular, with the three offices that structured the life of God’s holy nation: prophet, priest, and king. Reformed theologians agree that scripture narrates the history of redemption in terms of an overarching covenant of grace, though some criticize a perceived overemphasis on Christ’s obedience to the law as a ‘work’ that must be performed in order to merit grace. In order to preserve the best insights from federal theology and its critics, this essay sets forth a thesis that emphasizes federal satisfaction through filial obedience: Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God made man, accomplished redemption by exchanging his status as covenant Lord for that of covenant servant to fulfil the covenant stipulation through his active obedience and to suffer the covenant sanction through his passive obedience to procure the covenant blessing (filial adoption) for God’s covenant people. It then goes on to explain the intent, content, event, and extent of Christ’s atoning work, and concludes that redemption is not simply accomplished by Christ but is found in him.

Keywords: atonement, covenant, federal theology, hypothetical universalism, penal substitution, propitiation, satisfaction, vicarious humanity.

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