Atonement – literally from the English “At-one-ment” means a full reconciliation and coming into fellowship with God. Romans 5:11,18 reads, “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement…therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”
Atonement in Romans 5:11 is from a Greek word (Strong’s Concordance G2643, “katallage”) meaning restoration or reconciliation. Romans 5 teaches we can be reconciled to God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Why do we need reconciliation? Because God is holy (Rev. 4:8), he does not associate with sinners. In fact, “God is angry with the wicked everyday.” (Psa. 7:11) Additionally, “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:31)
As sinners, we are not part of God’s holy family, but are children of wrath and disobedience. “…you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.” (Eph 2:2,3) Mankind has earned and received the death sentence. “The wages of sin is death.” Rom. 6:23.
Is there no hope for us? Can we never be freed from our sins and be reconciled to God? Returning to Romans 5, we learn that Jesus is the free gift who provides the means of atonement (reconciliation) with God. It is through the merit of Jesus’ sacrifice that we receive forgiveness of sins and may once again be a part of God’s holy family. “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” I John 4:9
Yes, we need atonement today and we receive this restoration into God’s family through the precious blood of Jesus.