as well as mercy shown? None but the sinless can be a substitute for the guilty, for a
debtor cannot pay another's debt, a criminal cannot pay the penalty for another criminal. Hence the
Bible represents the sinless Christ as making atonement for us (Isa. liii. 5; 1 Pet. ii. 21-24).
172. M. Would the substitution of the innocent for the guilty be accepted in a secular
court of justice? Man sinned, and you say the sinless Christ suffered for him. This is contrary to
Ezek. xviii. 20.
C. The latter verse does condemn us and all men except Christ. Unless therefore there
be some way of escape, the result is and must be what is said in the Qur'an about hell-fire (Surah
XIX., Maryam, 72), "There is none of you but descends into it." Hence you see that a
religion without an Atonement can give men no well-grounded hope of salvation. But the Gospel brings
good news of the way of escape which God's love and mercy has devised, without violating
Justice. If the Gospel is not true, then you see that you and I and all men are condemned and have
no hope. It is therefore to your great advantage that the doctrine of the Atonement of Christ
should be proved true.
Now there are certain conditions of affairs which,