The Definition of Atonement

“The sole responsibility of God’s teacher is to accept the Atonement for himself.  Atonement means correction, or the undoing of errors.  (M48)”

Affirmation:  “May I accept the Atonement fully.  May my errors be undone.”


1 – Atonement Means Correction

This tenet of the Course is not always understood.  Many people want to describe the Atonement as “at – one – ment,” and this may be a reasonable conclusion.  Jesus’s answer, though, is that Atonement means the correction, or undoing of errors.  Certainly we are not perfect here, or we would not be in this world.  Jesus says elsewhere that it is our purpose to become perfect, and when this happens, we will not return to this world at all. We can reasonably conclude that we will have help from the Other Side, because he also says elsewhere that the Teachers of Teachers are not seen by people who live in this world.

2 – Undo Errors

May we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit so completely that we do see the undoing of errors in ourselves.  The only way that this undoing can happen is to follow this guidance.  We are not strong or brave enough to bring about our own perfection.  It takes divine intervention.

3 – Be a Healed Healer

This passage implied that our first responsibility is to ourselves.  We will make mistakes in trying to extend salvation to others if we are “unhealed healers” who wish to do good, but don’t really know how.  Once we have accepted Atonement for ourselves, we will be in a position to extend salvation to others.  Our times of making mistakes will fall away, leaving Jesus in a position to work through us in a way that he has never been able to do so before.


Dear Father/Mother,

Please assist me to understand Atonement.  May I accept it fully for myself, and then may I reach out to others from a state that approaches error-free circumstances.

I know that Your guidance will help me to reach Your will for me.  Atonement for myself is my first directive from You, and I know that You will help me to reach this glorious state.


13 Replies to “The Definition of Atonement”

  1. I just got into ACIM. I am doing the lessons everyday and reading the text simultaneously throughout. I am on lesson 31 today, “I am not the victim of the world I see”. How cool that your blog reflects on the course and gives insight into its teachings. I love hearing other peoples opinions and perspectives on the course. Thank you. Atonement to me has always simply meant “the undoing”. I try not to attach much else to that because I like it to be as clear and pure as possible. -AMO

    1. May I welcome you to ACIM. I discovered it more than 30 years ago, and it has been my lodestone in the years since. I appreciate your comment about Atonement for you simply meaning “undoing,” and I think that this is a short way to describe what happens. I welcome further comments. And I will reply individually if you write to my public email ( (There would probably be some delay, as I don’t check this email every day.)
      Happy reading! ACIM certainly changed my life.

      Most cordially, Celia

  2. Beautifully written however Jesus is the Atonement for our sins. Without an intentional and direct relationship with Him we are held captive to the vain imaginations within our psyches. The word “atonement” when used Biblically is always connected to the salvific Man of God Jesus Christ.

    But in your beautiful rendition I understand the act itself practiced within us – and thereby causing inner reflection – becomes the catharsis for letting go of negativity and those things unpleasant to one’s space.

    I am enjoying reading your various posts. God bless you always and your writing,

    Mary Ellen

    1. Thank you, Mary Ellen.

      I would add that in A Course in Miracles, Jesus, in developing the idea of Atonement, notes that his part in Atonement was the resurrection, not the crucifixion.

      But theology may divide us, and ACIM notes that we can and must have a universal experience–though never a universal theology.

      I see ACIM as building upon the Bible, especially the New Testament. Not everybody views it this way.

      Thank you again.

      Most cordially, Celia

  3. Hi Celia,
    it is important to understand that Jesus came to do His Father’s work and yes, that work included the crucifixion. Without the shed blood of Jesus you and I would not have atonement for our sins (cf Isa. 53:7; Mk. 15:15). That Jesus, our Lord and Savior, God, was dealt the death penalty as such was given to slaves and criminals speaks volumes of His undying love for us.

    Theology aside…the simple truth is that Jesus paid through His blood the cost of our sins and that is the Atonement of which you write. I believe we are in concurrence. 🙂

    In His Grace,
    Mary Ellen

    1. The traditional religious significance of the shed blood of Jesus is not taught in ACIM. Jesus says in ACIM not to look to the cross, but to the resurrection. “I was not punished because you were bad” (a quotation from the Text).

      Let’s turn aside from theology, which can only divide.

      Let’s look to a universal experience, which is completely in line with the teachings of A Course in Miracles.

      Most cordially, Celia

  4. Atonement at its pinnacle is At One Ment…. Do remember Oneness and to be at One with The Creator and ALL of Creation… It IS a process… The Father chastens whose He loves…

  5. Hi Celia,
    I particularly enjoyed your remarks about atonement as I too have begun ACIM. I had a more elaborate response but it was disallowed because my normal email address but it is still associated with some old attempted blogs which unfortunately are still in Gravatar.
    All very best wishes with your healing etc.
    Your brother in Christ, Paul

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: