SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7A (EGW)


XIII. Atonement Vindicates God's Changeless Law

The cross speaks to the hosts of heaven, to worlds unfallen, and to the fallen world, the value which God has placed upon men, and of His great love wherewith He has loved us. It testifies to the world, to angels, and to men, the immutability of the divine law. The death of God's only begotten Son upon the cross in the sinner's behalf is the unanswerable argument as to the changeless character of the law of Jehovah.—The Review and Herald, May 23, 1899. 7ABC 471.1

The cross of Christ testifies to the sinner that the law is not changed to meet the sinner in his sins, but that Christ has made an offering of Himself that the transgressors of the law might have an opportunity to repent. As Christ bore the sins of every transgressor so the sinner who will not believe in Christ as his personal Saviour, who rejects the light that comes to him, and refuses to respect and obey the commandments of God, will bear the penalty of his transgression.—Manuscript 133, 1897. 7ABC 471.2

The death of Christ was to be the convincing, everlasting argument that the law of God is as unchangeable as His throne. The agonies of the garden of Gethsemane, the insult, the mockery, the abuse heaped upon God's dear Son, the horrors and ignominy of the crucifixion, furnish sufficient and thrilling demonstration that God's justice, when it punishes, does the work thoroughly. The fact that His own Son, the Surety for man, was not spared, is an argument that will stand to all eternity before saint and sinner, before the universe of God, to testify that He will not excuse the transgressor of His law.—Manuscript 58, 1897. 7ABC 471.3

Satan is continuing the work on earth that he commenced in heaven. He leads men to transgress the commandments of God. The plain “Thus saith the Lord” is put aside for the “thus saith” of men. The whole world needs to be instructed in the oracles of God, to understand the object of the atonement, the at-one-ment, with God. The object of this atonement was that the divine law and government might be maintained. The sinner is pardoned through repentance toward God and faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. There is forgiveness of sin, and yet the law of God stands immutable, eternal as His throne. There is no such thing as weakening or strengthening the law of Jehovah. As it has always been, so it is. It cannot be repealed or changed in one principle. It is eternal, immutable as God Himself.—Manuscript 163, 1897. 7ABC 471.4

Satan endeavored to keep hidden from the world the great atoning sacrifice which reveals the law in all its sacred dignity, and impresses hearts with the force of its binding claims. He was warring against the work of Christ, and united all his evil angels with human instrumentalities in opposition to that work. But while he was carrying on this work, heavenly intelligences were combining with human instrumentalities in the work of restoration. The cross stands as the great center of the world, bearing a certain testimony that the cross of Christ will be the condemnation of every transgressor of the law of God. Here are the two great powers, the power of truth and righteousness and the working of Satan to make of none effect the law of God.—Manuscript 61, 1899. 7ABC 472.1

The death of Christ removes every argument that Satan could bring against the precepts of Jehovah. Satan has declared that men could not enter the kingdom of heaven unless the law was abolished, and a way devised by which transgressors could be reinstated into the favor of God, and made heirs of heaven. He made the claim that the law must be changed, that the reins of government must be slackened in heaven, that sin must be tolerated, and sinners pitied and saved in their sins. But every such plea was cast aside when Christ died as a substitute for the sinner.—The Signs of the Times, May 21, 1912, reprinted from The Signs of the Times, February 5, 1894. 7ABC 472.2