Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Predestination / Free Will (7b)

Second: Unlimited Atonement

• Jesus Christ died for all people, paying the price of redemption for them all. But this does not guarantee their forgiveness; many of His redeemed will eventually be damned because of unbelief.
• Christ’s atonement was sufficient and efficient for all, but it only takes effect when faith is present.
• Christ’s sacrifice was merely a potential substitutionary atonement; it becomes an actual atonement when a person contributes faith to the equation, and even then, only if they persevere in faith to death.

• Scripture:
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29)
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. … For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.” (Romans 5:6-8,17-18)
“For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
“[Praying for all men] is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men.” (1 Timothy 2:3-6)
“(and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:10)
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. … For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:9,17)
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.” (2 Peter 2:1)
“He is the atoning sacrifice [literally, the propitiation] for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:2)
• Additional Scripture (Luke 19:10; John 4:42;10:11;12:32; Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18)


• Limited in extent or scope by the Calvinists (narrow bridge all the way across the chasm of sin)
• Limited in value or effectiveness by the Arminians (wide bridge goes only half way across the chasm of sin)
• The Issue: Did Christ die in the same way for all men?
o What was Christ’s death designed to accomplish from all eternity?
o What was accomplished by Christ’s death?
o Did it accomplish the desired outcome?
o Did Christ sufficiently satisfy the demands of God’s justice on the cross? If not, then faith atones too…

Sproul, in Grace Unknown, pg 164 quotes J.I. Packer, “[Arminians believe] Christ’s death did not ensure the salvation of anyone, for it did not secure the gift of faith to anyone (there is no such gift); what it did was rather to create a possibility of salvation for everyone if they believe.”

• Did Christ pay for:
o All the sins of all men? Yes, then why is anyone sent to hell?
o Some of the sins of all men? Yes, then works must be involved to atone for the rest of our sins.
o Some of the sins of some men? Yes, then works must be involved…
o All of the sins of some men? Yes, then nothing else is necessary. Christ did it all!
• Does God punish sin once in perfect justice or twice?
• Did Christ fail in His attempt to save all men? Did He succeed in saving all those He intended to save?
• Many Passages say Jesus dies for “all” or the “world” (often explained in light of Jews / Gentiles). Consider the following Scripture passages: John 1:9,29; 3:16-17; 4:42; Romans 5:18; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15,19; 1 Timothy 2:4-6; Hebrews 2:9; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 2:1-2; 4:14

Ligon Duncan, in "The First Epistle of First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, MS," Volume 37, Number 36, September 16, 2004, said: “Everywhere in the New Testament that we find the emphasis on God as savior of ‘all men’ or Christ as savior ‘of the world’ the inspired biblical writers are pressing home and reveling in three grand realities simultaneously: (1) that there is only one Savior God and one way of salvation for all mankind—our savior God is the only saving hope for the whole of humanity; (2) that our Savior God is not only the savior of the Jews but also of the Gentiles; and (3) that our savior God is not merely the savior of some tiny remnant of Israel or the savior of some exclusive Judaizing or Gnostic few, but rather that He is the savior of a multitude that none can number.”

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