A question concerning the Atonement of Christ

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by InSlaveryToChrist, May 20, 2010.

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  1. InSlaveryToChrist

    InSlaveryToChrist Puritan Board Junior

    I just wanted to know, if I am right in thinking that God's elect are COVERED by the blood of Christ THROUGH FAITH because, if that's the case, then how can we possibly receive THE GIFT OF FAITH which is in the promises of the new testament, WHICH IS IN THE BLOOD OF CHRIST according to many verses such as Luke 22:20, which plainly says,

    “Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MY BLOOD, which is shed for you.”

    Now this creates a huge problem because whether what I'm suggesting is true or false the outcome is the same:

    -If we are covered by the blood of Christ THROUGH FAITH, we cannot inherit the gift of faith.

    -If we are covered by the blood of Christ REGARDLESS OF FAITH, we are justified WITHOUT faith, which is not what the Bible teaches.

    I have a little doubt I am missing something very important about Christ's atoning work on the cross. Will you help me solve this problem?
  2. InSlaveryToChrist

    InSlaveryToChrist Puritan Board Junior

    And I have no problem with that view. In fact, that's exactly what I've believed so far. Is what you say NOT consistent with the following?:

    The justification of God's elect is predestined from the foundation of the world and brought to pass by Christ's death, blood and eternal punishment, death being the means of activating the new testament (Heb. 9:16), the blood being the means of delivering the new testament (for it's IN his blood) and the eternal punishment being the means of satisfying God's wrath which was upon God's elect.

    So, what Christ has done for the elect is: making their salvation possible through faith + activating the new testament, WHICH IS IN HIS BLOOD!

    I am not quite getting how exactly you think our justification is APPLIED. Will you try to explain more specifically?

    ---------- Post added at 04:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:25 PM ----------

    Formerly I simply believed that Christ made our justification possible on the cross and then God had made IN ADDITION promises of securing the salvation of His elect. What I've recently come to realize is, however, that these promises were not APART FROM Christ's Atonement, but rather IN HIS BLOOD being in the new testament (Luke 20:22). You see my problem?
  3. Bern

    Bern Puritan Board Freshman

    Justification is applied to us when God gives us the gift of faith. On the cross the salvation of the elect was accomplished, not just made possible. The idea of justification only being made possible sounds a little Arminian to me. However, because mankind exists in time, justification can only be applied as and when God causes people to believe. Justification was achieved at the cross, but we don't see the practical results until we are regenerated.
  4. InSlaveryToChrist

    InSlaveryToChrist Puritan Board Junior

    Yes, but do you see the point I'm making here? IF, as you said, "Justification is applied to us when God gives us the gift of faith", it means we must be covered by Christ's blood, in which the new testament lies according to Luke 20:22. So, do you see the problem? If the only way we can receive the gift of faith is through being covered by the blood of Christ, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE for us to receive such gift because THROUGH FAITH we are covered by the blood of Christ! Do you see now?
  5. InSlaveryToChrist

    InSlaveryToChrist Puritan Board Junior

    “Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MY BLOOD, which is shed for you.”

    Does that sound literal to you? Also, the blood of Christ, with which we are covered, cannot be His literal blood. So, no, I'm not making allusions to Christ's literal blood. I'm simply saying what the Bible implies, that is, "Christ purchased IN HIS BLOOD the new covenant for the elect." My problem is, however, "How can one get the promises of the new covenant (includes the gift of faith) apart from being COVERED by the blood of Christ, which requires FAITH?"

    In case you still don't understand:

    No faith = No covering of Christ's blood = No new testament = No promises = No gift of faith = NO SALVATION
  6. jayce475

    jayce475 Puritan Board Freshman

    In my limited understanding: Gift of faith by God/active exercise in receiving faith by us=>covering of Christ's blood in the new testament (the second administration of the covenant of grace)=>salvation. Until this happens, no we are not covered by the blood of Christ as it has not yet been applied to us. There is no need to read otherwise into Luke 22:20, as I think you're wrenching out of that verse an idea that all people are in the new covenant and already in the blood of Christ. However, Jesus was addressing his disciples, who were saved believers. There may also be a sense that the blood of Christ has already been decreed to be covering the elect who are in the new covenant. However, this does not stand in contrast to what has been said earlier.
  7. Bern

    Bern Puritan Board Freshman

    Perhaps you are assuming a sequential order of events is required. The way I see it, Jesus is not saying you must be covered by my blood first, otherwise God cannot give you the gift of faith. That seems a little bit like saying the Israelites can't escape Egypt until they cross the red sea, but they can't cross the red sea until they escape Egypt. The two are not mutually exclusive, but they are both true. God secured salvation for the elect and applies it by renewing their hearts. I think its easy to overcomplicate things.
  8. InSlaveryToChrist

    InSlaveryToChrist Puritan Board Junior

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU! WHAT A GREAT ANALOGY! The two, the case of being covered by Christ's blood in order to receive the gift of faith and the case of crossing the red sea in order to escape Egypt, are totally COMPATIBLE! This helped me a lot!
  9. Jimmy the Greek

    Jimmy the Greek Puritan Board Senior

    Good job, Bern!!
  10. Bern

    Bern Puritan Board Freshman

    Glad its helped. I've been through many times when I've overcomplicated things by thinking too hard about certain verses. I'm not saying that its bad to think and educate yourself about doctrine, and I'm in no way saying serious study of the Word is ever a bad thing. Just that sometimes, things are simple statements. I often find that looking to the OT illustrations helps me if I'm finding something tricky in the NT.
  11. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    I have asked this, and very similar questions for a long time. After reading through the thread I feel like I understand where you are coming from. Another way I have worded the delimma, which I think is similiar to what you are getting at:

    1. The outpouring of the wrath of God can be portrayed as judicial hardening (Rom 1); or, it is, at least, not the pouring forth of grace.

    2. In order to come to faith we cannot be under the judicial hardening of the wrath of God, we must be granted the grace of regeneration.

    3. In order for us to be removed from the wrath of God and justly granted saving grace, we need His wrath to be a propitiated; Christ is this propitiation through his blood.

    4. Thus, the propitiatory blood of Christ cannot take effect at just the moment of faith, for it's efficacy must necessarily have its effect prior to faith since we cannot come to faith while also under the judicial hardening wrath of God (from whence does the grace of faith flow if not from blood of Christ that propitiated/turned God from one of wrath to benefactor).

    From what I have read, you appear to be saying something similar to the above.

    ---------- Post added at 10:30 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:18 AM ----------

    To add another thought to the above.

    The new covenant promises to supply the spiritual blessings of regeneration, the writing of the law on our hearts, removing the heart of stone, etc... If we ascribe the condition of faith to entering the new covenant, we then say we must have a new heart, be regenerated etc.., in order to enter the new covenant to get a new heart and be regenerated etc.... The the promises of the new covenant are utterly redundant.
  12. Bern

    Bern Puritan Board Freshman

    Thankfully this is where election and predestination come in.
  13. dudley

    dudley Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    The atonement of Christ on Calvary and our placing our faith in Him alone makes us able to receive Gods Justification by the redemptive act of His Son , Jesus Christ.

    “Justification is a judicial act of God, in which He declares, on the basis of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, that all the claims of the law are satisfied with respect to the sinner. It is unique in the application of the work of redemption in that it is a judicial act of God, a declaration respecting the sinner, and not an act or process of renewal, such as regeneration, conversion, and sanctification. While it has respect to the sinner, it does not change his inner life. It does not affect his condition, but his state, and in that respect differs from all the other principal parts of the order of salvation. It involves the forgiveness of sins, and restoration to divine favor.” Louis Berkhof

    Justification is by faith alone.
    "The Roman Catholic view of justification [is that] God declares a person to be just when justice (or righteousness) inheres in the person. The person, under divine analysis or scrutiny, is found to be just. God justifies the just. ...By stark and radical contrast the Reformation view of justification is that God declares a person just based upon something [external to them], something not inherent in the person: the imputed righteousness of Christ."
    R. C. Sproul

    Justification is the process of transforming us from what we were: dead in sin, to what we will be: Like Christ. Justification does not make us good; it imparts Christ’s goodness to us.

    II Cor. 5: 21
    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    God counts the people He has called as righteous by means of their faith and not their works. This does not mean the elect are counted righteous on the basis of their faith. Since faith is itself a gift from God, no one can boast of this as if he has done anything to merit it.

    Eph. 2: 8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    Christians are counted righteous on the basis of Christ’s righteousness which has been applied to us through the vehicle of faith.

    Rom. 3: 21-24 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all] who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

    Paul uses a legal term to explain how and why the elect are justified. The Greek word to justify is diakioun. Whenever a Greek verb ends in –oun, it means to treat someone as something. It never means to make someone something. When we stand before God, as we all will some day, we need to recognize that in us, there is nothing which makes us worthy of God’s grace; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
    We are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God treats us as righteous because of what Jesus did on the Cross.

    Heb. 9: 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

    The beauty and awesomeness of the Protestant doctrine of Justification is that we are eternally secure in Christ because we have contributed nothing towards our redemption.
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