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Was Anyone Saved at the Cross? (Limited Atonement)
Alpha and Omega Ministries ^ | James White

Posted on 07/18/2002 8:49:17 PM PDT by A.J.Armitage

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. ---Charles Haddon Spurgeon

There was a time when I called myself a "four-point Calvinist." There are a lot of people who use that term, and, almost all the time, the one point of the five that they reject is the terrible, horrible, "L". Limited atonement. There is just something about the term that doesn't sound right. How can Christ's atonement be limited? And that is exactly what I said until I began to seriously think about the whole issue. It is my experience that most of those who reject the specific, or limited atonement of Christ, do not *really* believe in the complete sovereignty of God, or the total depravity of man, or the unconditional election of God. Most objections that are lodged against the doctrine are actually objections to one of the preceding points, not against limited atonement itself. The "break" in my thinking came from reading Edwin Palmer's book, The Five Points of Calvinism. [Edwin H. Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1980) pp. 41-55.] In doing a radio program on the truth of God's electing grace, I was challenged by a caller in regards to the death of Christ. "Why would Christ die for the whole world if God did not intend to save everyone?" I looked at my co-host, and he looked at me, and I made a mental note to do more study into that particular question. I grabbed Palmer's book as soon as I returned home, and began to read the chapter on the atoning work of Christ.

I became a full "five-pointer" upon reading the following section:

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. (Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism, p. 47.)

I was faced with a decision. If I maintained a "universal" atonement, that is, if I said that Christ died substitutionarily in the place of every single man and woman in all the world, then I was forced to either say that 1) everyone will be saved, or 2) the death of Christ is insufficient to save without additional works. I knew that I was not willing to believe that Christ's death could not save outside of human actions. So I had to understand that Christ's death was made in behalf of God's elect, and that it does accomplish its intention, it does save those for whom it is made. At this point I realized that I had "limited" the atonement all along. In fact, if you do not believe in the Reformed doctrine of "limited atonement," you believe in a limited atonement anyway! How so? Unless you are a universalist (that is, unless you believe that everyone will be saved), then you believe that the atonement of Christ, if it is made for all men, is limited in its effect. You believe that Christ can die in someone's place and yet that person may still be lost for eternity. You limit the power and effect of the atonement. I limit the scope of the atonement, while saying that its power and effect is unlimited! One writer expressed it well when he said,

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

Therefore, we are not talking about presenting some terrible limitation on the work of Christ when we speak of "limited atonement." In fact, we are actually presenting a far greater view of the work of Christ on Calvary when we say that Christ's death actually accomplishes something in reality rather than only in theory. The atonement, we believe, was a real, actual, substitutionary one, not a possible, theoretical one that is dependent for its efficacy upon the actions of man. And, as one who often shares the gospel with people involved in false religious systems, I will say that the biblical doctrine of the atonement of Christ is a powerful truth that is the only message that has real impact in dealing with the many heretical teachings about Christ that are present in our world today. Jesus Christ died in behalf of those that the Father had, from eternity, decreed to save. There is absolute unity between the Father and the Son in saving God's people. The Father decrees their salvation, the Son dies in their place, and the Spirit sanctifies them and conforms them to the image of Christ. This is the consistent testimony of Scripture.

The Intention of the Atonement

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.

Christ's Intercessory Work

But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:24-26).

The New Testament closely connects the work of Christ as our High Priest and intercessor with His death upon the cross. In this passage from Hebrews, we are told that the Lord Jesus, since He lives forever, has an unchangeable or permanent priesthood. He is not like the old priests who passed away, but is a perfect priest, because He remains forever. Because of this He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him. Why? Because He always lives to make intercession for them.

Now, before considering the relationship of the death of Christ to His intercession, I wish to emphasize the fact that the Bible says that Christ is able to save men completely. He is not limited simply to a secondary role as the great Assistor who makes it possible for man to save himself. Those who draw near to God through Christ will find full and complete salvation in Him. Furthermore, we must remember that Christ intercedes for those who draw near to God. I feel that it is obvious that Christ is not interceding for those who are not approaching God through Him. Christ's intercession is in behalf of the people of God. We shall see how important this is in a moment.

Upon what ground does Christ intercede before the Father? Does He stand before the Father and ask Him to forget His holiness, forget His justice, and simply pass over the sins of men? Of course not. The Son intercedes before the Father on the basis of His death. Christ's intercession is based upon the fact that He has died as the substitute for God's people, and, since He has borne their sins in His body on the tree (1 Peter 2:24), He can present His offering before the Father in their place, and intercede for them on this basis. The Son does not ask the Father to compromise His holiness, or to simply pass over sin. Christ took care of sin at Calvary. As we read in Hebrews 9:11-12:

When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

When Christ entered into the Holy of Holies, He did so "by his own blood." When He did this, we are told that He had "obtained eternal redemption." This again is not a theoretical statement, but a statement of fact. Christ did not enter into the Holy of Holies to attempt to gain redemption for His people! He entered in having already accomplished that. So what is He doing? Is His work of intercession another work alongside His sacrificial death? Is His death ineffective without this "other" work? Christ's intercession is not a second work outside of His death. Rather, Christ is presenting before the Father His perfect and complete sacrifice. He is our High Priest, and the sacrifice He offers in our place is the sacrifice of Himself. He is our Advocate, as John said:

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense---Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2. [This passage is often used to deny the specific atonement of Christ; yet, when the parallel passage in John 11:51-52 is consulted, it is clear that John means the "world" to be taken in the same sense that is explained for us in Revelation 5:9-11, where Christ's death purchases for God men "from every tribe and language and people and nation," that is, from all the world.]

Christ's atoning death is clearly connected with His advocacy before the Father. Therefore, we can see the following truths:

1) It is impossible that the Son would not intercede for everyone for whom He died. If Christ dies as their Substitute, how could He not present His sacrifice in their stead before the Father? Can we really believe that Christ would die for someone that He did not intend to save?

2) It is impossible that anyone for whom the Son did not die could receive Christ's intercession. If Christ did not die in behalf of a certain individual, how could Christ intercede for that individual, since He would have no grounds upon which to seek the Father's mercy?

3) It is impossible that anyone for whom the Son intercedes could be lost. Can we imagine the Son pleading before the Father, presenting His perfect atonement in behalf of an individual that He wishes to save, and the Father rejecting the Son's intercession? The Father always hears the Son (John 11:42). Would He not hear the Son's pleas in behalf of all that the Son desires to save? Furthermore, if we believe that Christ can intercede for someone that the Father will not save, then we must believe either 1) that there is dissension in the Godhead, the Father desiring one thing, the Son another, or 2) that the Father is incapable of doing what the Son desires Him to do. Both positions are utterly impossible.

That Christ does not act as High Priest for all men is clearly seen in His "High Priestly Prayer" in John 17. The Lord clearly distinguishes between the "world" and those who are His throughout the prayer, and verse 9 makes our point very strongly:

I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.

When Christ prays to the Father, He does not pray for the "world" but for those that have been given to Him by the Father (John 6:37).

For Whom Did Christ Die?

There are a number of Scriptures that teach us that the scope of Christ's death was limited to the elect. Here are a few of them:

Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).

The "many" for whom Christ died are the elect of God, just as Isaiah had said long before,

By his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:11)

The Lord Jesus made it clear that His death was for His people when He spoke of the Shepherd and the sheep:

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep....just as the Father knows me and I know the Father---and I lay down my life for the sheep (John 10:11, 15).

The good Shepherd lays down His life in behalf of the sheep. Are all men the sheep of Christ? Certainly not, for most men do not know Christ, and Christ says that His sheep know Him (John 10:14). Further, Jesus specifically told the Jews who did not believe in Him, "but you do not believe because you are not my sheep" (John 10:26). Note that in contrast with the idea that we believe and therefore make ourselves Christ's sheep, Jesus says that they do not believe because they are not His sheep! Whether one is of Christ's sheep is the Father's decision (John 6:37, 8:47), not the sheep's!

...just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God....husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:2, 25-27).

Christ gave Himself in behalf of His Church, His Body, and that for the purpose of cleansing her and making her holy. If this was His intention for the Church, why would He give Himself for those who are not of the Church? Would He not wish to make these "others" holy as well? Yet, if Christ died for all men, there are many, many who will remain impure for all eternity. Was Christ's death insufficient to cleanse them? Certainly not. Did He have a different goal in mind in dying for them? [I am not here denying that the death of Christ had effects for all men, indeed, for all of creation. I believe that His death is indeed part of the "summing up of all things" in Christ. But, we are speaking here solely with the salvific effect of the substitutionary atonement of Christ. One might say that Christ's death has an effect upon those for whom it was not intended as an atoning sacrifice.] No, His sacrificial death in behalf of His Church results in her purification, and this is what He intended for all for whom He died.

He who did not spare His own Son, but gave him up for us all---how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring a charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died---more than that, who was raised to life---is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us (Romans 8:32-34).

The Father gave the Son in our place. Who is the "our" of this passage? The text says that it is "those whom God has chosen," that is, the elect of God. Again, the intercessory work of Christ at the right hand of the Father is presented in perfect harmony with the death of Christ---those for whom Christ died are those for whom He intercedes. And, as this passage shows, if Christ intercedes for someone, who can possibly bring a charge against that person and hope to see them condemned? So we see what we have seen before: Christ dies in someone's place, He intercedes for them, and they are infallibly saved. Christ's work is complete and perfect. He is the powerful Savior, and He never fails to accomplish His purpose.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

Are all the friends of Christ? Do all own His name? Do all bow before Him and accept Him as Lord? Do all do His commandments (John 15:14)? Then not all are His friends.

While we wait for the blessed hope---the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:13-14).

Both the substitutionary element of the cross (gave himself for us) and the purpose thereof (to redeem us...to purify) are forcefully presented to Titus. If it was the purpose of Christ to redeem and purify those for whom He died, can this possibly not take place?

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).

Christ will save His people from their sins. I ask what Edwin Palmer asked me before: Well, did He? Did He save His people, or did He not?

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

This is the common confession of every true believer in Christ. We died with Him, our Substitute, the one who loved us and gave Himself in our behalf.

We have seen, then, that the Word teaches that Christ died for many, for His sheep, for the Church, for the elect of God, for His friends, for a people zealous for good works, for His people, for each and every Christian.

Perfected and Sanctified

One could quite obviously fill entire volumes with a study of the atonement of Christ. [The reader is strongly encouraged to make the effort to read completely a work that stands as a classic in the field: John Owen's The Death of Death in the Death of Christ from Banner of Truth, for a full discussion of the issues surrounding the atonement of Christ.] It is not our purpose to do so here. Instead, we shall close our brief survey of Scripture with these words from Hebrews 10:10-14:

And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifice, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

While we have seen many logical reasons for believing in limited atonement, and we have seen many references to Christ's death in behalf of His people, this one passage, above all others, to me, makes the doctrine a must. Listen closely to what we are told. First, what is the effect of the one time sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ? What does verse 10 tell us? "We have been made holy," or, another translation would be, "We have been sanctified." The Greek language uses the perfect tense here, indicating a past, and completed, action. The death of Christ actually makes us holy. Do we believe this? Did the death of Christ actually sanctify those for whom it was made? Or did it simply make it possible for them to become holy? Again, these are questions that cannot be easily dismissed. The writer goes on to describe how this priest, Jesus, sat down at the right hand of God, unlike the old priests who had to keep performing sacrifices over and over and over again. His work, on the contrary, is perfect and complete. He can rest, for by His one sacrifice He has made perfect those who are experiencing the sanctifying work of the Spirit in their lives. He made them perfect, complete. The term refers to a completion, a finishing. Again, do we believe that Christ's death does this? And, if we see the plain teaching of Scripture, are we willing to alter our beliefs, and our methods of proclaiming the gospel, to fit the truth?

What of 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.


TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: calvinism; limitedatonement
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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To: fortheDeclaration
Satan is very aware of this (even though Calvinists aren't) (2Cor.4:4) because man must reject the Light that God sends.

2 Corinthians 4:4 says absolutely nothing about man rejecting the light.
{read verse 3}

41 posted on 07/20/2002 4:33:05 PM PDT by lockeliberty
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To: fortheDeclaration
***Yes, it would seem that Calvin himself was for unlimited atonment!***

Dr. Roger Nicole's article in Westminster Journal makes a convincing case that Calvin made no definitive statement on the issue. I have posted this before and can give the reference, IF you care to be historically accurate rather than apologetically oportunistic.

42 posted on 07/20/2002 4:35:11 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: xzins
Those scriptures in NO WAY prove that "God's intent was that salvation be made possible for everyone."

2 Peter 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."

Who is the US referred to in 2 Peter 3:9?

That is answered in 2 Peter 1:1

2 Peter 2:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

2 Peter was written to believers, please don't try to apply it to non-believers.

"If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me. "

All men in this passage is referring to ALL TYPES of men, from every nation, tongue and tribe, not all men without exception.

Revelation 5..

"9: And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10: And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."

43 posted on 07/20/2002 4:41:38 PM PDT by zadok
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To: xzins
Was the High priest a type of Christ xzings? Was the lamb a type of Christ?

Was the sacrifice the Priest offered for all man kind? Was the lamb slayed for all the heathan nations around Israel?

Or was it limited?

44 posted on 07/20/2002 4:42:11 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: zadok
"2 Peter 2:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

Oops that's actually 2 Peter 1:1, sorry about that.
45 posted on 07/20/2002 4:43:30 PM PDT by zadok
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To: zadok
Excellent point...the lettes were all written to the churchs.....Thank you Zadok
46 posted on 07/20/2002 4:43:55 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: RnMomof7
I am tired of watching scripture twisted from its intended context to support man centered worldviews.

How can anyone find hope in the Arminian salvation model?

If our salvation is dependant on a choice we must make, we are all lost.
47 posted on 07/20/2002 4:55:12 PM PDT by zadok
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To: zadok; fortheDeclaration
While the entire letter is certainly part of the context of 2 Peter 3:9, the first rule of context is the verses which are around (in proximity to) the verse in question.

7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. 8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.[1]

I'm not a Calvinist, Zadok, but the verse above says, "Not want anyone to perish."

Now, if calvinism is true, which of those who have been predestined from the foundation of the world is God concerned will be lost in OPPOSITION TO his decree?

Are any of the predestined from the foundation of the world going to be lost? Is it possible for them to be lost?

48 posted on 07/20/2002 4:58:27 PM PDT by xzins
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To: RnMomof7
Hebrews 4&5, Rn.
49 posted on 07/20/2002 5:00:53 PM PDT by xzins
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To: xzins
Not responsive xzings ..I asked if the sacrifice that was offered by the High Priest was for whole world ....or was it only offered for the sins of Israel?

When they killed the Lamb was it slain for all the emeny nations of Israel? Was it slain for the national enemies of israel or was the lamb slaid for a limited people ..the Jewish people?

50 posted on 07/20/2002 5:20:43 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: xzins
"the first rule of context is the verses which are around (in proximity to) the verse in question. "

And why can't you seem to follow the context of the verses surrounding the verse in question?

2:8 is addressed to the "dear friends".

Who are the dear friends to whom Peter is speaking?

They are the BELOVED referred to in 2 Peter 3:1

Who are the BELOVED referred to in 2 Peter 3:1?

2 Peter 1:1 tells us who they are... "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"

You need to bone up on your reading comprehension skills xzins.

"Now, if calvinism is true, which of those who have been predestined from the foundation of the world is God concerned will be lost in OPPOSITION TO his decree?"

What?

God is NOT concerned that ANY who have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, will be lost.

2 Peter 3:9 says "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."

"Are any of the predestined from the foundation of the world going to be lost? Is it possible for them to be lost?"

No, God is not willing that ANY of His elect will be lost. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is sufficient to pay for all of their sins, it is impossible for them to be lost.

51 posted on 07/20/2002 5:28:02 PM PDT by zadok
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To: fortheDeclaration
It was this simple for me: God sent his son, because He loved me and wanted me to know me.

Because of my sin, I could not get close to Him.

Because of the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus and by my belief...I am saved.
52 posted on 07/20/2002 5:31:50 PM PDT by Dakota gal in Seattle
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To: zadok
"2:8 is addressed to the "dear friends".

That should be 2 Peter 3:8

Ugh. Looks like I need to bone up on my proof reading skills. :)

53 posted on 07/20/2002 5:48:23 PM PDT by zadok
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To: xzins
God made a covenant with the twelve tribes of Israel (Gods elect nation) at the foot of Mount Sinai. Animal sacrifices were offered,as God had prescribed Then "Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you.

Hebrews 5 through 10 is a New Testament commentary on Leviticus, emphasizing the priesthood of Christ and his atoning death. there is nothing there to indicate the sacrifice of the High Priest was an unlimited atonment .

The sacrificial system of Leviticus foreshadows tha sacrifice of Calvery

"On the Day of Atonement the priest made a special sacrifice. At this annual event, the High Priest would make a sacrifice for the nation of Israel as a whole. He would take two goat kids, one of which would become a burnt offering.

The second kid was a sin offering,( "scapegoat." )The High Priest would place his hands on the goat's head and confess over it the sins of the nation of Israel . Israel's sin was symbolically transferred to the goat. Then the goat was released in the wilderness, to die in the wild .

Both these goats were types of Christ. The first died for Israel's sins. The second, the scapegoat, symbolized the carrying away of their sin, where it would be lost and forgotten. Like the first, Christ died for our sins and like the second He carried away our sins "as far as the east is from the west" , But when that High Priest placed his hands on those goats he knew who's sin he was transfering. It was specific to the nation of Israel

All of this was peculiar to the agreement between God and Israel. It was not a general atonment by the Lamb. It was a specific atonment for a limited preselected people.

This type of Christ demonstrated a limited atonement

54 posted on 07/20/2002 6:08:33 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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To: xzins; drstevej; Jerry_M; RnMomof7; Jean Chauvin; rdb3; Wrigley; Matchett-PI; Dr. Eckleburg; ...

God's intent was that salvation be made possible for everyone.

The very words "Christ died to save all men" seem to have an air of majesty worthy of God. However, it cannot be said that Christ offered atonement and secured the salvation of all men. This is the heresy of Universalism, vile and disgusting. The entire wording of such a construction then is reduced to this simple contention: God has made a "possible salvation" for all men. Please note though, that the very wording of this construction implies that a "possible salvation" by grace is not in and of itself a salvation by grace, but at best is a salvation in the use of grace by the man.

It must be stated up front that a "possible salvation" by grace is most definitely NOT an actual salvation by grace; the certainty of the salvation of not one human being is provided for. This grace led NONE to salvation. Before a "possible salvation" can become an actual salvation something must be done. Those who defend a mere "possible salvation" must contend then that man must perform that something for a mere "possible salvation" to become an actual salvation. The efficacious act comes from the man who can accept or stifle and kill the grace of God.

In order for the Arminian's construct to be proved there then must be some inequality in the mix that will determine the final outcome of either salvation or damnation. If grace is the inequality, then the Reformed theologians position is correct and Arminianism is overthrown by the concession. If it is in the efficacious act of the natural fallen MAN improving the "possible salvation" to an actual salvation through faith that he supplies, then salvation is not by grace. Salvation is ultimately by the efficacious act of the natural fallen MAN.


Is the inequality:

    1. the GRACE of God?

    2. the efficacious act of the natural fallen MAN?




Now, the Arminian will maintain that God has given every man a "Prevenient Grace" to overcome man's Totally Depraved nature. This is the Arminian's attempt to avoid the Pelagian idea that the natural fallen man is capable of fully grasping salvation for himself. This is part of what the Arminian means when they say that God has made salvation possible for all men. But the very way that the Arminian has constructed his unBiblical "Prevenient Grace" he has either made himself a man exalting hypocrite or he has just disguised the fact that he is still fully Pelagian his belief.

Now, it must be stated at this point that the man, prior to the offer of "Prevenient Grace" has absolutely nothing but his own natural fallen VIRTUE to use in his decision on whether or not to receive this "Prevenient Grace". Man without the aid of anything from God must decide whether or not to receive the grace that he will then use to create his own salvation from the mere "possible salvation" that Christ wrought on the Cross.

Therefore, the only reasonable conclusion is that the Arminian believes that the natural fallen man is fully capable of creating his own salvation from the tools that he finds conveniently left by God. What a Pelagian man exalting doctrine!

55 posted on 07/20/2002 6:33:57 PM PDT by CCWoody
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To: fortheDeclaration; zadok
What the Calvinists refuse to accept is that while God allows mankind to choose for or against Him, He does not allow man to choose what the consquences of those decisions will be.

Naw! We just reject your Pelagianesque man exalting doctrines. Zadok, please see my previous post.
56 posted on 07/20/2002 6:36:02 PM PDT by CCWoody
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To: CCWoody; drstevej; Jean Chauvin
I can't imagine why you want to open this can of worms again. Dozens of bitter posts, countless conspiratorial FReepmails, Calvinists not speaking to each other to this day, Calvinists banned, etc.

And you really want to start up again? To what purpose?

If Jean and drsteve really want into the middle of all that, I don't particularly object. I suspect they're both too wise to tiptoe into a live minefield. And my own reading is pretty unswerving in any event.

Naturally, I've retained all the old threads and FRmails.
57 posted on 07/20/2002 6:57:09 PM PDT by George W. Bush
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To: zadok; winstonchurchill; fortheDeclaration
No, God is not willing that ANY of His elect will be lost. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ is sufficient to pay for all of their sins, it is impossible for them to be lost.

Zd, it's quite obvious from calvinist doctrine that the folks who are to be saved are preselected before time. These preselected ones, then, CANNOT be lost, they cannot perish.

By calvinist doctrine you are saying that the verse actually reads: God is not willing that any of the ones who he has already decided cannot fail to exist and cannot ever perish, actually perish.

What is this: "The theology of the God prone to anxiety attacks?"

Isaiah 45:22 Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.

1 John 2:1 "My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

58 posted on 07/20/2002 7:18:32 PM PDT by xzins
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To: George W. Bush
Can't think of any Calvinist that I am not speaking to.

As for me, I have stated my views on many ocassions and don't feel compelled to change any 5 pointers to 4 pointers. Ditto on the issue of single vs. double predestination. I do believe that one's view of T U I and P are foundational.

-- the compassionate Calvinist
59 posted on 07/20/2002 7:21:59 PM PDT by drstevej
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To: drstevej
-- the compassionate Calvinist

That is wrong sometimes *grin*

60 posted on 07/20/2002 7:24:44 PM PDT by RnMomof7
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