Engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Atonement

A Parable:

The Arminian kingdom of heaven is like an architect who lived during the boom of the American economy. He was extremely good at his job. Josh, the architect, had an enemy who was massively cruel. Every building Josh would erect, Stan ( his opponent) would attempt to destroy. Josh decided to build the peak of His architectural feats. He was going to build the world’s largest residential complex. It would house all the known population of New York city. In this complex, one could commute to work, live, swim, spend time at a park, etc all without ever leaving the building. There was no pollution, no disease, and one wouldn’t even feel as if he were indoors when playing in the indoor parks, or pools, or whatever. On top of that electricity was half the cost than power outside of the complex. This was the utopia of New York City.
Josh knew Stan well though. He knew Stan would try to wreak havoc on not only the structure itself, but on the residents who would live in it. He knew Stan so well that he knew exactly how Stan would go about attempting to destroy the building and the people in it. Knowing this Josh took an extra precaution. He made a way in which the people could get out of the building – a trap door that Stan didn’t know about.
As a matter of fact, hardly anyone knew about it. The handful of people that did know didn’t tell everybody about it either. So when Stan detonated the bombs, and set fire to the edifice, many perished because they didn’t know about the trap door. Some knew about it, but just figured the little rumble they heard from the 100+ floors below was just thunder and there was no need to panic. Others jumped out the windows because they heard the bombs but didn’t believe the trap door was really their way of escape. And others chose to walk through the door, some really believing what they were told and others just trying it hoping it would work, not really believing at all but having no other viable option.

Now questions:
1. Was Josh really their savior or did he just make a way for them to save themselves if they chose to?
2. If Josh did the same thing for every resident in the building, and some of them weren’t saved by what Josh did – was it Josh that made the difference between life and death for them?
3. Was it possible, based on the effectiveness of Josh’s work; for no one to have been saved and all die in the burning building had they chose to. In other words, could Josh actually make sure his escape plan was effective?
4. If Josh couldn’t guarantee that the residents be saved, and Stan couldn’t guarantee all the residents perish, but it was up to the residents themselves – who has the power to determine the success of the antagonist and protagonist schemes?


The God-box: The Atonement (Actual or Hypothetical?)

This may seem a bit odd that I am addressing this as part of the “God-box”, I mean after all, how could one be putting God in a box by holding the popular view of the atonement among American evangelicals today – that of Christ paying for the sins of every man in the world?! Wouldn’t the view of atonement that puts God in a box be that of the “limited atonement” view?
The truth is that both limit the atonement. The “Limited” view (AKA Definite Atonement) would picture Christ work on the cross as a bridge that is narrow but spans the entirety of the gap. The “Unlimited” view (Hypothetical Atonement) can be likened to a wide bridge that goes half-way across. So both really limit the atonement, the question is which one is biblical.
If we opt for the limitation that is not Scriptural then once again we are placing God in our preconceived box. Essentially, we are opting for a god other than that presented in Scripture.
So what does the Bible say about Christ’s death? I intend to look at multiple passaged, but lets begin looking at the most well known prophecy of the atoning work of our LORD.We will look at more in following posts.  As you read the passage here are the questions I intend to see if the passages adresses and answers:
1. Why was Christ crucified?
2. What was accomplished by His death?
3. For whom was it accomplished (who is the “us” in the passage)?
Isaiah 53 (emphasis added)
Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
1. Why was Christ crucified?
“he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”, Christ was crucified as the bearer of our griefs, as the hymn says “He took our sins and our sorrows, He made them His very own”. It was not His own he was suffering for, for He was sinless. As made evident when Isaiah said, “although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth”  The prophet goes on to say that, Christ was“wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities”, “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all”. Christ was “stricken for the transgression of my people” thus making it ever more evident that Christ was suffering for the sins of others, not His own. We are told that  “it was the will of the Lord to crush him”, that all of this was part of God’s eternal plan. Even further we see that Christ was an offering for sin “when his soul makes an offering for guilt”, and just like the sacrifices of the Passover, He took on Him the iniquities of those for whome He was offered making intercession for them. “and he shall bear their iniquities”, “he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors”. We will address who’s sins He bore later, but for now we are just answering the first question of “why did Jesus die?” The answer in summary form is that He died in the place of transgressors as the transgressor. He died in the place of sinners to make an offering for their sins.
2. What was accomplished by His death?
It has been established by the above verses that Christ died to substitute the warranted death of sinners. He did so, taking their sin on Himself and bearing the punishment due them; but what did He accomplish by this sin bearing? Was it just the possibility of salvation for those He died for, or did He secure their salvation? We are told that “upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.” His chastisement was for the sins of men, and in thus suffering He brought peace, not the offer, but actually brought it. Just as when one brings peace to a heavy heart, the heart is calmed, not still in turmoil until peace is accepted. Peace was obtained through Christ’s suffering. The second half of the verse says that we are healed by His stripes. Again, there is a vast difference between being offered healing, and being healed. A physician who offers healing is not the same as a physician who actually heals.
We are told further “when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” As He made the offering for guilt, we are told that He saw those who would be born out of His suffering! He knew those for whom He was dying and saw their life in His death. And incase we think there is anything left to chance we are told that the will of The LORD will be accomplished through Christ.
Isaiah continues under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied”. Here, again, we see that Christ knew exactly what He was intending and knew He was accomplishing that intention to his complete satisfaction; and we are told what that intention was that Christ aimed at when Isaiah says, “by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous”. Christ was dying to justify the wicked. When we look at what has been said here we see that Christ died to bring peace, heal, make righteous, and justify those for whom He was a sacrifice for; and that He actually did exactly what He intended to do!
3. For whom was it accomplished (who is the “us” in the passage)?
We are told that He bore “our griefs”, “our sorrows”, “our trangressions”, “our iniquities”,”all we like sheep have gone astray”, “the iniquity of us all” that He was “striken for the transgression of my people”, and that He “make many to be accounted righteous and bear their iniquities” and “bore the sin of many”. So who are the “us” in this passage? Who is it that this salvation is purchased for. If we let the common preconceived notion answer this question than we will take the “us all” and say that is every single person that has ever lived, since we all have gone astray like sheep. But to make the logical deduction that since every man is a sinner that merits Christ dying to save every man, would be to leave Scripture and begin to read into the text what we desire it to say. For example: we are told that He makes intercession for the transgressors. The fallen angels are transgressors as are we, but we do not find Christ interceding for fallen angels, rather we are told that He did not spare them. We understand, from the context of the passage, that the work of Christ on the cross doesn’t include every sinful creature, but only those of the race of Adam. Just as we allow the context to determine the race for whom Christ died, so we must allow it to interpret the extent for that race. And we find that it is not every individual of Adam’s decent, but rather all of a selected group out of the Adamic race for we are told that it is for the transgression of “my people”, that He made “many righteous”, and He bore the sin of “many”. By allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture, by keeping it in context, we find that the all who have gone astray are the all for whom Christ died. All He died for are sinful, but that does not mean that He died for all that are sinful. God didn’t spare the angels that fell, and He is under no obligation to spare us. This passage limits the group down to a predetermined number of humanity already fixed in the mind of God. This passage affirms that all who Christ died for were sinners.
We also know He did not bear the sins of everyone for we are told that His purpose would prosper, and Christ would be satisfied in having his desire fulfilled in those for whom He died being brought peace, healed, made righteous, justified; so we know that Christ didn’t intend this for every man, for every man isn’t saved. (If one poses the argument that Christ only attempted to offer peace, healing, justification, ect. See question #2 above. )
By looking @ Isaiah 53 with the three questions in mind concerning the atonement made by Jesus Christ we see that the reformed doctrine of “Limited Atonement” is in accordance with Scripture.
I am aware that this, if not something you have already considered, may seem as if there is no reason to evangelize, but let me end this post with a quote from an article by Jim Ellis.
Asumption: “Secondly, that a universal aspect of the atonement is perceived as necessary for a bona fide offer of the gospel to all men. Answer: The truth of the gospel is to be proclaimed to all men. For example, “All men are under condemnation and hell bound because of their sin. There is no escape apart from faith in Christ. By the grace of God, all who believe in him are forgiven and shall be saved. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved!” Now this truth is not dependent on a universal aspect or universal intent to the atonement. In fact, the extent of the atonement and its sufficiency or efficiency have no direct bearing on the message.
According to J. I. Packer, “Preaching the gospel is not a matter of telling people that God has set His love on each of them and Christ has died to save each of them. The knowledge of being the object of God’s eternal love and Christ’s redeeming death belongs to the individual’s assurance . . . which is to be inferred from the fact that one has believed, not proposed as the reason one should believe,”2.
Or, as John Owen has said,
There are none called by the gospel even once to enquire after the purpose and intention of God concerning the particular object of the death of Christ, everyone being fully assured that His death shall be profitable to them that believe in him and obey him.”3.
The preacher’s task is to explain man’s need of Christ, His sufficiency to save, and His offer of Himself as Savior to all who truly turn to Him. If you are proclaiming a gospel message that demands a universal provision in the atonement, you are not proclaiming the gospel of the Scriptures. ”
May God be glorified.

This may seem a bit odd that I am addressing this as part of the “God-box”, I mean after all, how could one be putting God in a box by holding the popular view of the atonement among American evangelicals today – that of Christ paying for the sins of every man in the world? Wouldn’t the view of atonement that puts God in a box be that of the “limited atonement” view?

The truth is that both limit the atonement. The “Limited” view (AKA Definite Atonement) would picture Christ work on the cross as a bridge that is narrow but spans the entirety of the gap. The “Unlimited” view (Hypothetical Atonement) can be likened to a wide bridge that goes half-way across. So both really limit the atonement, the question is which one is biblical.

If we opt for the view that is not Scriptural then once again we are placing God in our preconceived box. Essentially, we are opting for a god other than that presented in Scripture.

So what does the Bible say about Christ’s death? There are many passages, but lets take the most well known prophecy of the atoning work of our LORD. As you read the passage here are the questions I intend to see if the passages adresses and answers:

1. Why was Christ crucified?

2. What was accomplished by His death?

3. For whom was it accomplished (who is the “us” in the passage)?

Isaiah 53

Who has believed what he has heard from us?

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,

and like a root out of dry ground;

he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,

and no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He was despised and rejected by men;

a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;

and as one from whom men hide their faces

he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs

and carried our sorrows;

yet we esteemed him stricken,

smitten by God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;

he was crushed for our iniquities;

upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,

and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray;

we have turned—every one—to his own way;

and the Lord has laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,

yet he opened not his mouth;

like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,

and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,

so he opened not his mouth.

8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;

and as for his generation, who considered

that he was cut off out of the land of the living,

stricken for the transgression of my people?

9 And they made his grave with the wicked

and with a rich man in his death,

although he had done no violence,

and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;

he has put him to grief;

when his soul makes an offering for guilt,

he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;

the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;

by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,

make many to be accounted righteous,

and he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,

and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,

because he poured out his soul to death

and was numbered with the transgressors;

yet he bore the sin of many,

and makes intercession for the transgressors.

1. Why was Christ crucified?

“he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”, Christ was crucified as the bearer of our griefs, as the hymn says “He took our sins and our sorrows, He made them His very own”. It was not His own he was suffering for, for He was sinless. As made evident when Isaiah said, “although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth”  The prophet goes on to say that, Christ was“wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities”, “the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all”. Christ was “stricken for the transgression of my people” thus making it ever more evident that Christ was suffering for the sins of others, not His own. We are told that  “it was the will of the Lord to crush him”, that all of this was part of God’s eternal plan. Even further we see that Christ was an offering for sin “when his soul makes an offering for guilt”, and just like the sacrifices of the Passover, He took on Him the iniquities of those for whome He was offered making intercession for them. “and he shall bear their iniquities”, “he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors”. We will address who’s sins He bore later, but for now we are just answering the first question of “why did Jesus die?” The answer in summary form is that He died in the place of transgressors as the transgressor. He died in the place of sinners to make an offering for their sins.

2. What was accomplished by His death?

It has been established by the above verses that Christ died to substitute the warranted death of sinners. He did so, taking their sin on Himself and bearing the punishment due them; but what did He accomplish by this sin bearing? Was it just the possibility of salvation for those He died for, or did He secure their salvation? We are told that “upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.” His chastisement was for the sins of men, and in thus suffering He brought peace, not the offer, but actually brought it. Just as when one brings peace to a heavy heart, the heart is calmed, not still in turmoil until peace is accepted. Peace was obtained through Christ’s suffering. The second half of the verse says that we are healed by His stripes. Again, there is a vast difference between being offered healing, and being healed. A physician who offers healing is not the same as a physician who actually heals.

We are told further “when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;

the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” As He made the offering for guilt, we are told that He saw those who would be born out of His suffering! He knew those for whom He was dying and saw their life in His death. And incase we think there is anything left to chance we are told that the will of The LORD will be accomplished through Christ.

Isaiah continues under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied”. Here, again, we see that Christ knew exactly what He was intending and knew He was accomplishing that intention to his complete satisfaction; and we are told what that intention was that Christ aimed at when Isaiah says, “by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous”. Christ was dying to justify the wicked. When we look at what has been said here we see that Christ died to bring peace, heal, make righteous, and justify those for whom He was a sacrifice for; and that He actually did exactly what He intended to do!

3. For whom was it accomplished (who is the “us” in the passage)?

We are told that He bore “our griefs”, “our sorrows”, “our trangressions”, “our iniquities”,”all we like sheep have gone astray”, “the iniquity of us all” that He was “striken for the transgression of my people”, and that He “make many to be accounted righteous and bear their iniquities” and “bore the sin of many”. So who are the “us” in this passage? Who is it that this salvation is purchased for. If we let the common preconceived notion answer this question than we will take the “us all” and say that is every single person that has ever lived, since we all have gone astray like sheep. But to make the logical deduction that since every man is a sinner that merits Christ dying to save every man, would be to leave Scripture and begin to read into the text what we desire it to say. For example: we are told that He makes intercession for the transgressors. The fallen angels are transgressors as are we, but we do not find Christ interceding for fallen angels, rather we are told that He did not spare them. We understand, from the context of the passage, that the work of Christ on the cross doesn’t include every sinful creature, but only those of the race of Adam. Just as we allow the context to determine the race for whom Christ died, so we must allow it to interpret the extent for that race. And we find that it is not every individual of Adam’s decent, but rather all of a selected group out of the Adamic race for we are told that it is for the transgression of “my people”, that He made “many righteous”, and He bore the sin of “many”. By allowing Scripture to interpret Scripture, by keeping it in context, we find that the all who have gone astray are the all for whom Christ died. All He died for are sinful, but that does not mean that He died for all that are sinful. God didn’t spare the angels that fell, and He is under no obligation to spare us. This passage limits the group down to a predetermined number of humanity already fixed in the mind of God. This passage affirms that all who Christ died for were sinners.

We also know He did not bear the sins of everyone for we are told that His purpose would prosper, and Christ would be satisfied in having his desire fulfilled in those for whom He died being brought peace, healed, made righteous, justified; so we know that Christ didn’t intend this for every man, for every man isn’t saved. (If one poses the argument that Christ only attempted to offer peace, healing, justification, ect. See question #2 above. )

By looking @ Isaiah 53 with the three questions in mind concerning the atonement made by Jesus Christ we see that the reformed doctrine of “Limited Atonement” is in accordance with Scripture.

I am aware that this, if not something you have already considered, may seem as if there is no reason to evangelize, but let me end this post with a quote from an article by Jim Ellis.

(http://www.the-highway.com/sufficiency.html)

Asumption: “Secondly, that a universal aspect of the atonement is perceived as necessary for a bona fide offer of the gospel to all men. Answer: The truth of the gospel is to be proclaimed to all men. For example, “All men are under condemnation and hell bound because of their sin. There is no escape apart from faith in Christ. By the grace of God, all who believe in him are forgiven and shall be saved. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved!” Now this truth is not dependent on a universal aspect or universal intent to the atonement. In fact, the extent of the atonement and its sufficiency or efficiency have no direct bearing on the message.

According to J. I. Packer, “Preaching the gospel is not a matter of telling people that God has set His love on each of them and Christ has died to save each of them. The knowledge of being the object of God’s eternal love and Christ’s redeeming death belongs to the individual’s assurance . . . which is to be inferred from the fact that one has believed, not proposed as the reason one should believe,”2.

Or, as John Owen has said,

There are none called by the gospel even once to enquire after the purpose and intention of God concerning the particular object of the death of Christ, everyone being fully assured that His death shall be profitable to them that believe in him and obey him.”3.

The preacher’s task is to explain man’s need of Christ, His sufficiency to save, and His offer of Himself as Savior to all who truly turn to Him. If you are proclaiming a gospel message that demands a universal provision in the atonement, you are not proclaiming the gospel of the Scriptures. ”

May God be glorified.


Whose Sin Laid on Jesus?

(excerpted from C. H. Spurgeon’s sermon on Isaiah 53:6, entitled, “Sin Laid on Jesus”)

6. We cannot close the exposition of this verse without just remarking upon the “us” here intended. “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” It is usually conceded by us who hold the doctrine of particular redemption that there was in the death of Christ very much of generality and universality. We believe that the atonement of Christ was infinite in value, and that if Christ had decreed to save every man of woman born, he need not have suffered another pang; there was sufficient in his atonement if he had so willed it to have redeemed the entire race. We believe also that by the death of Christ there is a general and honest invitation given to every creature under heaven in terms like these:-” Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” We are not prepared, however, to go an inch beyond that. We hold that from the very nature of the satisfaction of Christ it could not have been made for any but for his elect; for Christ either did pay the debts of all men or he did not; if he did pay the debts of all men they are paid, and no man can be called to account for them. If Christ was the surety of every man living, then how in the name of common justice is Christ to be punished, and man punished too? If it be replied that the man would not accept the atonement, then I ask again, Was there a satisfaction given, for if so it was given whether the man accepts it or not, or else satisfaction by itself is powerless until man puts efficacy in it, which is preposterous to suppose. If you take away from us the fact that Christ did really satisfy for those for whom he stood, we cry like Jacob, “If I am bereaved I am bereaved;” you have taken away all that is worth having, and what have you given us in its place? You have given us a redemption, which confessedly does not redeem; you have given us an atonement, which is made equally for the lost in hell and for the saved in heaven; and what is the intrinsic value of such an atonement? If you tell us that Christ made a satisfactory atonement for every one of the human race, we ask you how it was that he made an atonement for those that must have been in the flames of hell thousands of years before he came into this world? My brethren, ours has the advantage of universality in its proclamation and in its bond fide offer, for there is no man living who shall believe in Jesus who shall not be saved by Christ; but it has a greater advantage than this; namely, that those who do believe are saved by it, and they know that Christ made such an atonement for them that for them to be punished for sin would be as much a violation of justice as it would of mercy. O my soul! thou knowest this day that all thy sins were made to meet on Christ, and that he bore the punishment for them all.

“he bore that we might never bear,
His Father’s righteous ire.”

http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bstudy/soteriology/chs5.htm


Potent Stuff!


Still think’n on the Atonement:

I desire to be biblical in all I hold to… I am still spending time conteplating the atonemetn of Christ.

I know that it is a pleasing thing to our man-centered selves to think He gave His life to save every man, but I do not find this in Scripture. Nor is it necessary for HIM to have born the sins of every man for the offer of the gospel to be genuine. We do not know which individuals were bought by Christ, they manifest themselves due to their faith. But God has provided atonement for men. Sinners have been redeemed in Christ and we are commanded to proclaim this truth – that Christ has reconciled men to God by HIS blood.  It was a real atonement that was affected by the blood of Christ. All the sins he bore were atoned for – never to be remembered. If they are, then He provided no atonement, propitiation, or reconciliation.

Here is an article I thought was helpful.

http://www.banneroftruth.org/pages/articles/article_print.php?463

And one more… by Spurgeon. =) (i thank God for that man!)

http://www.biblicalstudies.com/bstudy/soteriology/chs5.htm


Hallelujah! What a Savior!!!

  1. “Man of Sorrows!” what a name
    For the Son of God, who came
    Ruined sinners to reclaim.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  2. Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
    In my place condemned He stood;
    Sealed my pardon with His blood.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  3. Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
    Spotless Lamb of God was He;
    “Full atonement!” can it be?
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  4. Lifted up was He to die;
    “It is finished!” was His cry;
    Now in Heav’n exalted high.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
  5. When He comes, our glorious King,
    All His ransomed home to bring,
    Then anew His song we’ll sing:
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Philip P. Bliss
I would also encourage readers to listen to this message on the atonement by Dr. Steve Lawson.

Solus Christus – Christ Alone

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And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”

(Col 2:13-15)

Just a quick thought on this passage concerning the atonement made by The LORD Christ. We are told here, and many other places, that when Christ died on the cross He actually paid for the sins of men. I was reading this passage this morning and noticed that there is no condition to meet. We were dead, God made us alive. And He did this because He had already forgiven us all our trespasses as He had nailed them to the cross (Christ, Who knew no sin, became sin for us). When He did this, He canceled the record of debt that stood against us! He also disarmed Satan, who is our natural spiritual father as we are born by nature children of wrath. All this was accomplished at the cross! Praise The LORD!

The thing that grieves me is that in most churches in America today (at least the ones I grew up in) we are told essentially that all of this is potential and that what makes it a reality is my choosing to believe in it all. If Christ’s death didn’t actually do this for anyone in particular, but just everyone hypothetically and must be mixed with one’s personal belief to be effective, then what exactly is one placing their faith in to save them? Scripture says we are saved by His death, but most people seem to interpret that to mean we are saved by belief in His death. This may appear on paper to be just a matter of semantics, but it is a vital distinction. If the cross of Christ was feckless two-thousand years ago, your faith in it is not going to make it anymore powerful. The “gospel” that is preached in most churches today has drained the cross of all it’s power, placing the potency of the work of Christ at the feet of the individual’s decision to believe or not. We are told “Christ has done all He can, and now you must make Him your Savior”. This is not the gospel of Jesus Christ!

The sins of all those who will be brought to faith were placed on Christ when He made atonement on the cross. He canceled the record of debt that stood against them! He did not purchase a possibility, but purchased a people (I Corinthians 6:20; Ephesians 5:25).

Christ’s atonement was definite, it was effective for all for whom God intended.

“The Arminians say, ‘Christ died for all men.’ Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, ‘No, certainly not.’ We ask them the next question: Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They answer ‘No.’ They are obliged to admit this, if they are consistent. They say, ‘No; Christ has died that any man may be saved if ?’ and then follow certain conditions of salvation. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you. You say that Christ did not die so as infallibly to secure the salvation of anybody. We beg your pardon, when you say we limit Christ’s death; we say, ‘No, my dear sir, it is you that do it.’ We say Christ so died that he infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ’s death not only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it.”
Charles Spurgeon


Definite Atonement:

Okay, I was intending to post more concerning sin within man (and I still intend to do so); but I heard a statement made from a local pulpit here in the Knoxville area that absolutely grieved me. A prominent Independent Fundamental Baptist pastor stated that he did not believe in Limited Atonement. Now I am a baptist and I believe he is answerable to The LORD for his personal convictions, but I spent 5 years under his preaching and enough time around the people who comprise the congregation to know most who heard that statement will not take it to Scripture to check the verity of his stance, but rather use it as a reason to not study it for themselves, or as an anchor if they are challenged on it.

That being said,  I intend to employ this post, and some following, to present what Scripture has to say. As stated before, much of what is on here is not my own work. I do not want that to deter you. My purpose is not to give you something original, but rather present things that exhalt The LORD and challenge His people to delve into HIS Word.


The Gospel:

Man was created to glorify God & Enjoy Him forever
“Worthy are you, our Lord and our God to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things.” (Rev 4:11) “Do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31)

Man has failed to glorify God & is under His just condemnation
“For all have sinned…” (Rom 3:23) The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23) “These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction” (2 Thes 1:9)

Jesus fully bore the wrath and suffered the punishment sinners deserve
Not wishing that sinners perish forever, God determined to save a people for Himself in the Eternal Son who became a man and lived the life we should have lived and died the death we justly deserve. God loves sinners and sent His Son to be the wrath absorbing sacrifice for their sin (1 John 4:10; John 6:37) he “…gave His life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10:45) & “rose again” from the dead (2 Cor 5:15) on their behalf.

All who, by the grace of God, turn to Jesus in submissive faith are forgiven
If you confess you are a sinner in need of Christ then God has begun to work in you a life-changing, eternally satisfying relationship with Himself! “Repent and believe the gospel (Mk 1:5) “In Your presnece is fullness of Joy (Ps 16:11). If your trust is in Jesus alone for your salvation (that is, you have no hope save for Christ’s mercy) then you can be assured that your sins are forgiven and He has granted you eternal life.

http://www.monergism.com/whatisgospel.html


Justification by faith alone: Sola Fide!

Okay, I realize I may appear to have gotten in a rut by posting video after video, or maybe i am too lazy to write any posts of my own; but neither is the case. It is just that when one finds something not only biblical, but well stated, it would seem foolish to me not to share it.

I was recently part of a conversation among friends where one affirmed that he holds to salvation by grace alone. He said salvation is “100% of The LORD”, and there is not a doubt in my mind that he was sincere in stating this. But as he continued to speak he negated the very thing he affirmed. He said we do not gain favor with God by anything we do, but rather gain favor with God by accepting Jesus Christ. He rebuked the heresy propounded by the Roman Catholic church that it is faith + works, yet he was guilty of the same error. The only difference is he engulfed his works in the capsule of faith. He had made his acceptance with God based upon the meritorious act of his acceptance of Christ. I am finding this a prevalent error among contemporary believers. The gospel they proclaim, boiled down, is this. We are brought into the family of God, not by the meritorious work of Jesus Christ, but by our faith in that work – the blood of Christ does not justify, but faith (my work) in His blood (His work) results in salvation.

There is no saving efficacy in faith. Faith is transparent – which is why Scripture says it is faith in Christ, not faith in faith in Christ. Most professing believers today will give you some form of the later as the reason they are saved.

Some of the most dangerous enemies to truth are those that are closest to it.

May The LORD open our eyes to our fault in this matter, and bring us back to the truth of His Word!