Sunday, February 28, 2010

Outline of John Murray's analysis of the nature of the atonement, pt. 1/5 (Obedience)

Summary Outline: John Murray’s Analysis of the Nature of the Atonement [1]

  • Topic: Christ’s vicarious undertakings and accomplishments
  • The most basic and inclusive of the categories: obedience
    • Obedience is highlighted in Isaiah 52:13-53:12 [2]
    • Christ is the Lord’s Servant, not the Servant of men (Isaiah 42:1, 19; 52:13 [3])
    • Psalm 40:7-8 [4] points to Christ’s subjection to and fulfillment of the Father’s will
    • John 6:38 [5] (cf. 4:34; 10:17, 18 [6]) is pivotal in that Christ came to do the Father’s will
    • Philippians 2:7-8 [7] witnesses to this, pointing to the “climactic event of Jesus' commitment, the death of the cross, as an act of obedience”
    • Romans 5:19 [8] shows that through Christ’s obedience many are constituted righteous
    • Christ was obedient in “motive, intention, direction, and purpose,” not merely mechanically or as the sum total of His acts of obedience
    • Hebrews 5:8 [9] tells us that Christ, in terms of His human nature, progressed in “knowledge, understanding, resolution, and will” to discharge the increasing demands upon Him
    • Christ learned in the “furnace of trial, temptation, and suffering”
    • Christ was made perfect as the captain of our salvation and became the author of eternal salvation for all believers (Hebrews 2:10, 5:9 [10])

[1] This outline is based on section III of Murray’s The Atonement, from

[2] Isaiah 52:13-53:12 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. [14] As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: [15] So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. [53:1] Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? [2] For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. [3] He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. [4] Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. [5] But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. [6] 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. [7] He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. [8] He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. [9] And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. [10] Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. [11] He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. [12] Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

[3] Isaiah 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.

Isaiah 42:19 Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD'S servant?

Isaiah 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

[4] Psalm 40:7-8 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, [8] I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

[5] John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

[6] John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

John 10:17-18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. [18] No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

[7] Philippians 2:7-8 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

[8] Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

[9] Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

[10] Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

[See John Murray's article and Part 2 of the outline]

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