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 Limited Atonement??

Here is a very important topic. Limited or Universal Atonement?

The scripture I used to use for "[b]Limited Atonement[/b]" when I was a Calvinist was this:

[b]John 15:13-14[/b] "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life [b]for his friends[/b]. Ye are [b]my friends[/b], if ye do whatsoever I command you."

[b]Here was my reasoning:[/b]

1. Jesus died for his friends
2. Those who obey Him are his friends
3. Therefore Christ died [i]only[/i] for his friends, [i]only[/i] those He foreknew would obey him.

Point 1 is [i]scripture.[/i]

Point 2 is [i]scripture[/i].

Point 3 is [i]conjecture or inference[/i]. It's nothing other then an assumption.

It is true that Christ died for His friends. It is true that Christ those who obey Him are His friends. But [b]nowhere[/b] does this scripture say that he died exclusively for His friends. Actually, the scripture says He also died for His enemies.

The same is true with [b]John chapter 10[/b].

[b]It says:[/b]

1. Christ died for His sheep
2. The Pharisees were not of His fold

But nowhere does this passage say that He died only or [b]exclusively[/b] for His sheep, for those who follow Him. That is an assumption, inference, conjecture, but not scripture.

Anyone who doesn't believe is not Christ's sheep. I was not His sheep, He was not my Shephard, when I was a sinner. Only those who follow the Shephard are His sheep (John 10:27), those who do not follow are not of His fold, but are astray.

The reasoning that "Christ died for His sheep, therefore He died only for His sheep" is nowhere in John 10. The first is scripture: Christ died for His sheep. The second is conjecture or inference: Christ died only for His sheep.

It is [b]very dangerous[/b] to isolate certain scriptures, to the ignorance of the rest of scriptures, to build an entire doctrine. Heresies like Limited Atonement are built that way. And many genuine Christians have been decieved by such practices.

Evangelism and preaching is greatly affected by Limited Atonement. You cannot tell anyone that "Christ died for you" with any confidence or certainty. Neither can a Christian have any true assurance of salvation, because how can you be certain Christ actually died for you? We tell men to believe. But to believe what? Believe that Christ died for them. But if Christ didn't die for everyone, what are we telling them to believe? We couldn't tell them to believe that Christ died for them.

Here are [u][b]17 [/b][/u]verses that says Christ died for everyone. They are scripturally clear. No conjecture or inference or assumption is needed to come to the conclusion that Christ died for everyone.

[b]Should we interpret these [u]17[/u] scriptures by those other [u]2[/u], or should we interpret those other [u]2[/u] by these [u]17[/u]?[/b]

I affirm the latter.

[b]Isa 53:6[/b] "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 [b]of us all[/b]."

[b]John 3:16[/b] "For God so loved the [b]world[/b], that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. "

[b]John 3:17[/b] "For God sent not his Son into the [b]world[/b] to condemn the [b]world[/b]; but that the [b]world[/b] through him might be saved.

(Which note, if "world" is interpreted "elect" then "God sent not His son into the elect"?)

[b]John 1:29[/b] "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the [b]world[/b]."

[b]John 12:47[/b] "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the [b]world[/b]."

[b]1John 2:1 [/b]"[b]if any man sin[/b], we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous"

[b]Romans 5:18[/b] "Therefore as by the offence F20 of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came [b]upon all men [/b]unto justification of life."

[b]2Corinthians 5:19[/b] "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the [b]world[/b] unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."

[b]Heb 2:9[/b] - "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for [b]every man[/b]."

[b]Colossians 1:20[/b] "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile [b]all things [/b]unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven."

[b]1 Timothy2:4[/b] "Who will have [b]all men [/b]to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

[b]1Timothy 2:6[/b] "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom [b]for all[/b], to be testified in due time."

[b]2 Peter 3:9[/b] "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that [b]any[/b] should perish, but that [b]all[/b] should come to repentance."

[b]1 John 2:2[/b] "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for [b]ours only[/b], but also for the sins of the [b]whole world[/b]."

[b]1John 4:15[/b] "the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the [b]World[/b]"

[b]1Timothy 4:10[/b] "We trust in the living God, who is the Savior of [b]all men[/b], especially of those that believe."


Truth is, "[b]Limited Atonement[/b]" is a conjecture, inference, assumption, a logical conclusion or philosophy, but it is not the clear and basic teaching of the scriptures. The clear and basic teaching of the scriptures, without any theological bias in interpretation, is that Christ died so that everyone might be, or could be, saved.

 2007/3/23 15:46
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 Re: Limited Atonement??

The blood of Christ only becomes effectual for those that trust and rely on Him for His sacrifice. So in that way their is limited atonment. For the blood will not avail for those that trample it underfoot.


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 2007/3/23 15:59Profile
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 Re: Limited Atonement??

I heard someone else say that since Christ died, took the punishment for sin, and the wrath of God on behalf of all, then all the world must be saved!! and that on the final day all will be saved!

Scriptures:

1Timothy 2:4-6
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

If God "is not willing that any should perish", and He works "all things after the counsel of His own will" then all will be saved, right?

1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

Can Christ hold the title "Saviour of all men" and all men not be saved?

Phil. 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1John 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

If everyone that confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord has God dwelling in Him, and one day everyone will do that, can we not assume that all men have God dwelling in them??

Theres a lot more he said, and a lot more scriptures for this. But I just thought this was a good example of taking scriptures by themselves.


least of all,
vico

*edit* Amen bro. Greg!

 2007/3/23 16:07Profile
JaySaved
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 Re: Limited Atonement??

Quote:
Truth is, "Limited Atonement" is a conjecture, inference, assumption, a logical conclusion or philosophy, but it is not the clear and basic teaching of the scriptures. The clear and basic teaching of the scriptures, without any theological bias in interpretation, is that Christ died so that everyone might be, or could be, saved.



From Edwin H. Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1980):

“The question that needs a precise answer is this: Did He or didn't He? Did Christ actually make a substitutionary sacrifice for sins or didn't He? If He did, then it was not for all the world, for then all the world would be saved.”

Jesse, unless you are a Universalist you believe in Limited Atonement.

From (Lorraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1932) p. 153.)

“Let there be no misunderstanding at this point. The Arminian limits the atonement as certainly as does the Calvinist. The Calvinist limits the extent of it in that he says it does not apply to all persons...while the Arminian limits the power of it, for he says that in itself it does not actually save anybody. The Calvinist limits it quantitatively, but not qualitatively; the Arminian limits it qualitatively, but not quantitatively. For the Calvinist it is like a narrow bridge that goes all the way across the stream; for the Arminian it is like a great wide bridge that goes only half-way across. As a matter of fact, the Arminian places more severe limitations on the work of Christ than does the Calvinist.”

From James White:
“Why did Christ come to die? Did He come simply to make salvation possible, or did He come to actually obtain eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12)? Let's consider some passages from Scripture in answer to this question.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10).
Here the Lord Jesus Himself speaks of the reason for His coming. He came to seek and to save the lost. Few have a problem with His seeking; many have a problem with the idea that He actually accomplished all of His mission. Jesus, however, made it clear that He came to actually save the lost. He did this by His death.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners---of whom I am the worst (1 Timothy 1:15).
Paul asserts that the purpose of Christ's coming into the world was to actually save sinners. Nothing in Paul's words leads us to the conclusion that is so popular today---that Christ's death simply makes salvation a possibility rather than a reality. Christ came to save. So, did He? And how did He? Was it not by His death? Most certainly. The atoning death of Christ provides forgiveness of sins for all those for whom it is made. That is why Christ came.”

What about Faith?
One common belief needs to be addressed in passing. Many who believe in a "universal" or non-specific atonement, assert that while Christ died for all, His atonement is only effective for those who believe. We shall discuss the fact that faith itself is the gift of God, given only to the elect of God, in the next chapter. But for now, we defer to the great Puritan writer, John Owen, in answering this question:
To which I may add this dilemma to our Universalists:---God imposed his wrath due unto, and Christ underwent the pains of hell for, either all the sins of all men, or all the sins of some men, or some sins of all men. If the last, some sins of all men, then have all men some sins to answer for, and so shall no man be saved; for if God enter into judgment with us, though it were with all mankind for one sin, no flesh should be justified in his sight: "If the LORD should mark iniquities, who should stand?" Ps. cxxx. 3....If the second, that is it which we affirm, that Christ in their stead and room suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the world. If the first, why, then are not all freed from the punishment of all their sins? You will say, "Because of their unbelief; they will not believe." But this unbelief, is it a sin, or not? If not, why should they be punished for it? If it be, then Christ underwent the punishment due to it, or not. If so, then why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which he died from partaking of the fruit of his death? If he did not, then he did not die for all their sins. Let them choose which part they will. (John Owen, The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, (London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1985) pp. 61-62.)

Conclusion
Some object to the doctrine of limited atonement on very pragmatic grounds. "The doctrine destroys evangelism, because you cannot tell people that Christ died for them, because you don't know!" Yet, we ask, is there an advantage in presenting to men an atonement that is theoretical, a Savior whose work is incomplete, and a gospel that is but a possibility? What kind of proclamation will God honor with His Spirit: one that is tailored to seek "success," or one that is bound to the truth of the Word of God? When the Apostles preached the Gospel, they did not say, "Christ died for all men everywhere, and it is up to you to make His work effective." They taught that Christ died for sinners, and that it was the duty of every man to repent and believe. They knew that only God's grace could bring about repentance and faith in the human heart. And far from that being a *hindrance* to their evangelistic work, it was the power behind it! They proclaimed a *powerful* Savior, whose work is all sufficient, and who saves men totally and completely! They knew that God was about bringing men to Himself, and, since He is the sovereign of the universe, there is no power on earth that will stay His hand! Now there is a solid basis for evangelism! And what could be more of a comfort to the heart that is racked with guilt than to know that Christ has died for sinners, and that His work is not just theoretical, but is real?
The Church needs to challenge the world again with the daring proclamation of a gospel that is offensive---offensive because it speaks of God saving those whom He will, offensive because it proclaims a sovereign Savior who redeems His people.


[url=http://www.sounddoctrine.net/LIBRARY/Modern%20Day%20Reform%20Teaching/James%20White/saved_cross_white.htm]James White on the Dreaded L[/url]

 2007/3/23 16:15Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Jesse, unless you are a Universalist you believe in Limited Atonement.



The cross of Christ made salvation possible for all, but automatic for none. The cross was not the exact and literal payment of our debt, so that we are saved by necessity. But the cross enabled God to be just in forgiving our sin, so that our salvation is a possibility, if we repent and believe.

Salvation is offered to all. Christ died for everyone. But His blood only covers those who recieve it, those who respond to the gospel, by repenting and believing.

 2007/3/23 16:22
JaySaved
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 Re:

Luke 19:10, "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."

Did Jesus come to seek and save or just to seek?

You say that when Jesus died He made salvation possible for all men, but did not secure salvation for anyone.

I say that Jesus died for those who believe and actually secured their salvation at that moment.

This latter view is consistent with Scripture in that it affirms that Jesus came to seek and save.

 2007/3/23 16:32Profile
roaringlamb
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 Re:

Quote:
Salvation is offered to all. Christ died for everyone. But His blood only covers those who recieve it, those who respond to the gospel, by repenting and believing.



So then a sovereign man determines if he will be saved or not?
If this is true, then why pray for folks to be saved? If God has done all He could do to save them, and all they need to do is "choose" when they will believe, they why ask God to change man's heart?

Also, your belief leads to a works based salvation in which man may boast because he chose to believe in Christ. You have now made salvation based upon a meritorious work, and by doing so are echoing the eighteenth premise of Pelagius which in essence states
"God's grace gives no added benefit to the nature of man, but is given by God according to merit."

Again, Pelagian teaching, as well as Semi-Pelagian teaching has already been declared heresy by the Church in the past.


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patrick heaviside

 2007/3/23 16:49Profile









 Re:

Why pray for sinners? If everyone was individually elected, there would be no need to pray for anyone to get saved. Your prayer won't change or reverse or create the election of God.

But we pray for them that they might not harden their hearts when the Spirit presents truth to their mind, in order to influence them into submission.

Quote:
Again, Pelagian teaching, as well as Semi-Pelagian teaching has already been declared heresy by the Church in the past.



Free-will, and surrendering your free-will to be saved, and general atonement, was a doctrine held by the Early Church Fathers, the ante-nicean Fathers.

Strange pelagian heresy this is, that the early Church Fathers believed before Pelagius was born.

The name "Pelagius" has become the theological boogy man. If you think free-will, and submitting your free will in order to be saved, and general atonement is a "heresy", you should call it the heresy of the Early Church Fathers.

 2007/3/23 16:58
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 Re:

Quote:
The blood of Christ only becomes effectual for those that trust and rely on Him for His sacrifice. So in that way their is limited atonment. For the blood will not avail for those that trample it underfoot.


I agree with your conclusions but this is not what 'Limited Atonement' or 'Particular Redemption' teaches. We have to be cautious when we use theological terms that have long histories. We cannot redefine the phrases. Perhaps we can create new ones but we cannot redefine the old ones.

Systematic Theology is a historical journey.


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Ron Bailey

 2007/3/23 17:00Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
Strange pelagian heresy this is, that the early Church Fathers believed before Pelagius was born.

The name "Pelagius" has become the theological boogy man. If you think free-will, and submitting your free will in order to be saved, and general atonement is a "heresy", you should call it the heresy of the Early Church Fathers.


The teachings of this man was heretical because he took the free-will of men beyond its reasonable and God given usauge. Armenians and Calvanists agree on this point that it is "God that initiates" it is quite foolish to rant about our freewill and what we can do when we would have not chosen God unless he drawed us to Himself first. Now the question must come does God draw all men, I would say no for many reasons but he does "call" and "draw" many. But few are chosen.

I know to jump to extremes is profitable at times in theological discussions but truly some calvanist positions have more reverence for God in that they know we have a freewill but they do not flaunt it before men as a rebellious entity. We should desire our wills to be conformed to His glorious will. We should decrease and He should increase in us! Without you God I cannot do anything should be our cry!


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