The Gospel in a Nutshell

18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit … (1 Peter 3).

This verse in a nutshell: Christ is the one, perfect, substitutionary, acceptable, and saving atonement. This blessed and gracious atonement happened “once for all” (never to happen again), with “the just” (having no sin) who “died … having been put to death in the flesh” (on the Cross) “for” (in place of) “the unjust” (sinners), and then “made alive in the spirit” (rising again), “that He might bring us to God” (save us). Yes, Christ is indeed, the one, perfect, substitutionary, acceptable, and saving atonement.

Accept for one thing, I believe this verse is no less as powerful an explanation of the Gospel as John 3:16. The only thing it lacks is our responsibility to believe—as it here places the emphasis on Christ “bringing us to God,” rather than “whosoever believes in Him.” Yet, it says far more concerning God’s sovereign action taken to atone for sins. To God be the glory!

Lord, we thank You for this one, perfect, substitutionary, acceptable, and saving atonement! Help us This Day to live our lives in such a way that we bring glory to this One who died for us. Amen.