Soteriology, or The Doctrine of The Work of Christ



The Doctrine Of The Work



Outline Notes

Based On Luthardt And Krauth


Revere Franklin Weidner, D.D., LL.D.

Professor of Theology in the Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary at Maywood, 111.


Wartburg Publishing House

Lutheran Literature



Of the many topics discussed in this volume, there are two which have engaged the especial attention of the writer during the last thirty years. The first is the Scripture Doctrine of the Atonement. Since the first edition of my abridgement of Oehler’s Biblical Theology of the Old Testament, in 1886, the subject has engaged my studies in all my lectures both on the Old Testament and on the New Testament, stimulated especially by Von Hofmann’s Schriftbeweis, and the peculiar teachings of Ritschl, and five times have the result of my studies been rewritten, and every passage both in the Old and the New Testament, bearing upon this topic, has been repeatedly examined. I am convinced that the Vicarious Atonement is not only distinctly and most positively taught in the New Testament, but that it lies at the basis of the teaching of sacrifice and of all the prophetic passages in the whole of the Old Testament.

The second subject, upon which the Lutheran Church lays so much stress is the Descensus into Hell. Five separate times has this subject been rewritten in different works of mine, in different editions of my New Testament Theology, and in two different editions of my Commentary on the General Epistles, and finally in this work.

The fundamental doctrine of Christianity is the doctrine of a Mediator between God and man. This Mediator is the Lord Jesus Christ, who executes, in His mediatorial character the office of a prophet, of a priest and of a king. As Christ is the end and fulness of prophecy, all priesthood and sacrifice find their consummation and fulfilment in Him who is Himself the true High Priest and the true Sacrifice.

The grand conception of Christ’s exaltation is unfolded in the four articles of Christian dogma, the Descent into Hell, the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the Sitting at the Right Hand of God. The entire series of Old Testament prophecies regarding a Triumphing Messiah is fulfilled in this Exaltation of Christ. These prophecies constitute an antithesis to those describing a Suffering Messiah.

“Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen”. (Rev. 7:12.)







I. The Descent into Hell
II. The Resurrection of Christ
III. The Ascension into Heaven
IV. The Sitting at the Right Hand of God
V. Intercession
VI. The Kingdom of Christ




1, 2. Introduction

1. Division of Dogmatics
2. Division of Soteriology


3—8.  1. Jesus as Mediator
9, 10.  2. The three-fold office


11—13. 1. The Teaching of the Old Testament

1. The meaning of Deut. 18: 15—19
2. The Servant of Jehovah of Isa. 40—66
3. The teaching of the Old Testament in general

14—16. 2. The Teaching of the New Testament

1. The central point of Christ’s teaching
2. Names given to Christ
3. Christ avows His Messianic dignity

17—25. 3. The Church Doctrine

1. Definition of prophetic office
2. Embraces law and gospel
3. Relation of Christ to the law
4. Immediate and mediate exercise of office
5. Names given to Christ
6. Prophetic work of Christ end of all prophecy
7. Feature of Christ’s testimony
8. His prophecy the history of the world
9. Christ the consummation of prophecy


26—31. 1. Sin demands punishment

2. Meaning of atonement
3. Propitiation
4. Expiation
5. Redemption
6. Christ the propitiary sacrifice

32, 33. 1. The universal moral consciousness of man

1. Its testimony
2. A two-fold condemnation

34—56. 2. The Old Testament doctrine concerning sacrifice

1. The idea of offering
2. Substitution
3. Pre-Mosaic sacrifice
4. Lesson from Gen. 4:3; 8:20
5. Four lessons from Gen. 22
6. Testimony of the Book of Job
7. The Mosaic offering
8. Moses the mediator of the old covenant
9. Use made of the blood of sacrifice
10. Offering of animals
11. Ritual of animal sacrifice
12. The imposition of hands
13. Sacrificial expiation
14. Vicarious punishment
15. Vicarious suffering
16. Meaning of use made of shed blood
17. Meaning of Lev. 17: 11
18. Meaning of kipper
19. Meaning of kapporeth
20. Ritual of the day of atonement
21. Azazel
22. Signification of ritual
23. The true kapporeth
24. Day of atonement the climax of the Mosaic ritual

57—60. 3. The Old Testament doctrine concerning the Suffering Messiah

1. The priesthood of the Messiah
2. Testimony of the entire Old Testament
3. Meaning of Ps. 22
4. The Servant of Jehovah of Isa. 53 is an individual
5. The testimony of Zechariah

66—85. 4. The Suffering Servant of Isaiah 41—52

1. Isaiah of Hezekiah’s time author of Book
2. Three servants of Jehovah named in Book
3. Analysis of the Book
4. The Messianic prophecy in the Book of Immanuel
5. Plan of Isaiah 40—66
6. First nine chapters (Isa. 40—48)
7. Second nine chapters (Isa. 49—57)
8. The meaning of Isa. 50:4—9
9. A brief commentary on Isa. 52: 13—53: 12
10. That Christ bare our guilt occurs 12 times in Isa. 53
11. Testimony of Orelli
12. The testimony of Cheyne to the doctrine of vicarious atonement

86—92. 5. The Suffering Servant in Zechariah

1. The importance of the Messianic passages in Zechariah
2. The interpretation of Zech. 3: 8, 9
3. Of Zech. 6: 12, 13
4. Of Zech. 9: 9
5. Of Zech. 11: 12, 13
6. Of Zech. 12: 10
7. Of Zech. 13: 7

93—106. 6. The Utterances in the Gospels in regard to the Sufferings of Christ

1. Meaning of John 10: 11
2. Of Matt. 20: 28
3. Of Mark 10: 45
4. The use of anti
5. The significance of Matt. 26: 28
6. Testament and covenant
7. The reading new testament
8. Many refers to all
9. The theory of atonement underlies the whole gospel history

107—131. 7. Utterings of the Apostles with regard to Christ’s Sufferings

1. God hath set Christ forth as a propitiation
2. Christ is the ground of salvation
3. Paul lays stress upon the obedience of Christ
4. That Christ died for our sins a fundamental truth
5. The cross of Christ the chief subject of apostolic preaching
6. Christ the Passover Lamb
7. Christ’s death a reconciliation, a vicarious sacrifice
8. The meaning of 2 Cor. 5: 18, 19
9. The explanation of Rom. 5: 6—11
10. The interpretation of Gal. 3: 13
11. The explanation of Rom. 3: 24—26
12. Of Eph. 5:2
13. The whole work of reconciliation has its origin in God the Father
14. Teaching of the Pastoral Epistles
15. Teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews
16. The new covenant superior to the old, in three things
17. Our mediator had a true human nature
18. Explanation of Heb. 9:14
19. Christ the mediator the High Priest
20. An absolutely perfect High Priest
21. The teaching of Peter
22. The altar on which Jesus placed His body as a sacrifice
23. Christ’s death a vicarious sacrificial death
24. Explanation of 1 Pet. 3: 18
25. Teaching of John in his epistles
26. Scripture everywhere teaches that


1. The Church slowly developed her Christ was our substitute dogmatic foundation
2. The theory of Anselm
3. The Formula of Concord
4. The Socinian criticism
5. The tendency of modern theology

136—143. 1. The Ancient Church

1. Christ’s death regarded as a sacrifice and ransom
2. Redemption and atonement usually distinguished
3. The teaching of Clemens Romanus
4. Of Ignatius
5. Of Justin Martyr
6. Of Irenaeus
7. Of Clement of Alexandria
8. The teaching of the primitive Church

144—148. 2. The Church of the Fourth and Fifth Centuries

1. The teaching of Gregory of Nyssa
2. Of Gregory of Nazianzen
3. Of Athanasius
4. Its importance
5. The teaching of Augustine

149—152. 3. The Church of the Middle Ages

1. The theory of Anselm
2. Cur Deus Homo?
3. Full statement of his theory
4. The weakness of his theory
5. Abelard and his moral influence theory
6. Thomas Aquinas

164—157. 4. The Church of the Reformation

1. The teaching of Luther
2. Of Melanchthon
3. The Augsburg Confession and the Apology
4. The Formula of Concord emphasizes the active obedience

158—172. 5. The Teaching of the Lutheran Dogmaticians

1. The chief end of redemption
2. The two parts of the sacerdotal office
3. Synonyms of satisfaction
4. Mercy of God is not absolute, but ordinate
5. Satisfaction offered to Triune God
6. Christ, as God-Man, could pay infinite satisfaction
7. Both natures of Christ participate
8. Christ’s obedience active and passive
9. His active obedience avails for our righteousness
10. His passive obedience obtains forgiveness of sins
11. Christ’s satisfaction is a vicarious satisfaction
12. Full presentation by Gerhard
13. The real object for which Christ made satisfaction
14. The personal object
15. Christ’s merit imputed to believers
16. Juridic shape of doctrine of atonement

173—300. 6. Further History of the Dogma

1. First Socinian objection answered
2. Second Socinian objection answered
3. Third Socinian objection answered
4. Fourth Socinian objection answered
5. Fifth Socinian objection answered
6. Sixth Socinian objection answered
7. Seventh Socinian objection answered
8. The governmental theory of Grotius
9. The mystical theory of the atonement
10. Kant
11. Schleiermacher
12. Hofmann
13. Ritschl
14. Teaching of described
15. Answered
16. Dr. Orr on Ritschlian theology
17. Summary of theories of the atonement

1. The Socinian or Example Theory
2. The Bushnellian or Moral Influence Theory
3. The Grotian or Governmental Theory
4. The Irvingian Theory
5. The Anselmic Theory
6. The Vicarious Atonement or Substitutionary Theory


201—213. 1. Divisions and explanations

1. The quickening
2. Four grades of exaltation
3. Order of succession

2. A two-fold descent of Christ

1. Interpretation of Acts 2: 22—36

3. General Summary of the Regal Office

214—261. I. The Descent into Hell

1. Scripture Doctrine

1. Passages that do not belong here
2. Passages that belong here
3. Explanation of 1 Pet. 3:18, 19
4. Of Col. 2: 15
5. Of 1 Pet. 4: 6
6. Of Eph. 4: 8, 9

2. The Church Doctrine

1. The Early Church

1. Testimony of Swete
2. Irenaeus
3. Tertullian
4. Augustine

2. The Period of the Reformation

1. Heidelberg Catechism
2. Luther
3. Formula of Concord

3. Teaching of the Lutheran Dogmaticians

1. Time of the descent
2. Who descended?
3. The descent according to His human nature
4. The object of the descent
5. The nature of the preaching
6. Why the unbelieving in time of Noah are mentioned

4. The teaching of modern times

252—259. II. The Resurrection of Christ

1. Definition
2. Resurrection according to human nature
3. Nature of the body with which Christ rose
4. Design of the resurrection
5. Fruits of the resurrection
6. The culmination of miracles

260—265. III. The Ascension into Heaven

1. The 40 days
2. Passages which refer to the Ascension
3. Ascended according to human nature

266—275. IV. The Sitting at the Right Hand of God

1. At His Ascension Christ entered upon a new sphere of work
2. Passages referring to sitting at right hand of God
3. It implies the omnipotent rule of God
4. The Lutheran Church affirms the personal omnipresence but denies the extended ubiquity of the human nature

1. Teaching of Lutheran Dogmaticians

1. Definition
2. The Right Hand of God
3. Sitting at the Right Hand
4. The subject sitting
5. Difference between sitting and reigning

276—290. V. Intercession

1. Not figurative, nor only implicit
2. General and special
3. We are not to limit it to oral prayers
4. John 17 teaches the true nature of intercession
5. Difference between intercession of Spirit and of Christ

1. Teaching of Lutheran Dogmaticians

1. Definition
2. General and special
3. The ground of intercession
4. Intercession for all still living
5. He prays in a special sense for His own
6. This intercession not abject
7. Not merely interpretative
8. Real, expiatory and effectual
9. Continues to all eternity
10. Difference between intercession by Spirit and by Christ

291—304. VI. The Kingdom of Christ

1. Type in Old Testament
2. Passages bearing on in New Testament
3. Division of kingdom

1. Teaching of Lutheran Dogmaticians

1. Definition of Regal Office
2. More explicit
3. Office is three-fold
4. Reason of this division
5. Definition of kingdom of power
6. Subjects and regal acts of the kingdom of grace
7. The instrumental cause
8. Kingdom of grace will pass over into kingdom of glory
9. Definition of kingdom of glory
10. Subjects and regal acts of the kingdom of glory
11. Time when kingdom of glory will be fully unfolded

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