Why Care About Limited Atonement?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by amishrockstar, Jun 16, 2009.

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  1. amishrockstar

    amishrockstar Puritan Board Freshman

    After discussions about "particular grace" one
    of the main questions that seems to follow is,
    so what?

    In other words, what does this doctrine mean
    for me personally?

    So, I'm curious ...how has the doctrine of
    particular redemption ("limited atonement")
    changed your life? Does it effect your daily
    walk and enable you to grow in godliness?

    Does it have positive, practical implications
    for how you interact with people? In the
    church? At home? At work?

    Has it affected your evangelism (if you
    actually do "evangelize")?

    How would you answer the Arminian or the
    4-point Calvinist who cannot see any practical
    reasons for holding to the seemingly hardest
    point to believe in?


  2. Mushroom

    Mushroom Puritan Board Doctor

    For this theologically challenged individual it:

    1. Makes sense. One of the biggest problems I had with arminian teaching was that so much of it did not cohere with scripture, which gave rise to doubts about a whole plethora of other doctrines.

    2. It displays for me the absolute victory of my Redeemer; there is no thing which He has purposed that will fail. A view that places Christ's efforts at the mercy of man's decision diminishes His omnipotence, and thus the confidence we may have in Him.

    3. It refutes the arminian conclusion that I am responsible for the reaction unbelievers have to my presentation of the gospel, i.e. that if I could only make it more convincing or attractive then they might be saved. With that view, if I fail I am to blame for their damnation, if I succeed I pilfer from the Lord glory that is His due alone. By understanding the truth of limited atonement, I can concentrate on presenting it faithfully to the word of God, entering into it prayerfully, and trusting the Lord to prosper it according to His will. It is then a matter of obedience rather than contrivance.

    Lots more benefits, I'm sure, but those come to mind as personally applicable.
  3. TaylorOtwell

    TaylorOtwell Puritan Board Junior

    Well, first, just because one doesn't see any practical use for a Biblical doctrine doesn't discredit the doctrine or free them from the obligation to confess it.

    That being said, the doctrine of particular redemption has changed my life (eternally) because Christ has actually made a propitiation (really) for my sins. That's life changing and intensely practical.
  4. Blue Tick

    Blue Tick Puritan Board Graduate

    Brad has touched on some very good points.

    Here are some thoughts...

    1. Christ is no longer portrayed as a passive poop "hoping and desiring" that people ask Him into their hearts. Rather, He is the Judge and Justifier of men and completely saves. Definite atonement really changes your perception about Christ.

    2. He is the sovereign Lord over all including who's saved and who isn't. What relief! We can go with confidence and share the Gospel that Christ has a people that He's calling to Himself.

    3. Destroys the myth of "God's precious gift of Free-Will", God's precious gift is Christ crucified for sinners.

    4. If Christ desires all men to be saved but can't save them then He lacks. With Definite Atonement Christ does not lack instead He is complete.

    5. The problem that a lot of people struggle with is L. That is Limited Atonement. The issue is the "way" Limited sounds to the ears. Some how it implies that Christ is not powerful enough to save. However, when we use Definite or Specific Atonement it has much more meaning than Limited Atonement. For example, Christ has definitely redeemed a specific group of people and now calls them sons of God.
  5. Spinningplates2

    Spinningplates2 Puritan Board Freshman

    No doctrine has to be defended as long as it is clearly presented in the Bible. The Bible reflects God and His Glory so that we of limited understanding can believe the Truth.

    I feel that if you do not love the fact that God choose you based on His own will, then that person must think that they did something in order to be accepted.
  6. FenderPriest

    FenderPriest Puritan Board Junior


    Great question! (Sorry, this got a lot longer than I had anticipated it getting - feel free to skim or skip, I won't be offended.)

    For me, the first effect that getting a clear understanding of the doctrine of particular redemption or victorious atonement did in my life is explode my affections for the Lord Jesus. "You mean, he didn't just die in general, but looked at me, took my sin, and crushed its power over me - out of his own love?!" The reality that I am born again only because of the initiation and work of Christ - not my foreseen faith - gives me a sure hope that the testimony of what Christ did on the cross is true about me. I think this is an appropriate application of John 3:16. There is no guess work, or the place for doubt since in unlimited atonement schemes Jesus died equally for me going to heaven as Jon Doe going to hell - what confidence in the power of the cross does that inspire within? So the first effect on my soul was the strengthening and tightening of my grip on Christ for a deeper, more soul-satisfying joy in his work on the the cross - the Gospel.

    From here, as it did for the Puritans and I hope for my own soul, it made the fight against sin in my soul all the more blood earnest. The sin has finally been defeated, so I know - not because of my faith, not because of some word I speak - but I know because of the unique power of the work of Christ on the cross that I can kill sin. My love for the Word and the Spirit's power through it grew. Like most, I would just simply point to John Owen as my teacher here.

    Also, for my own account, the doctrine instilled a daily, quiet joy in my union with Jesus. He died for sinners - of whom, by his grace turning me to see his work through faith, I know I am one. I am near him, next to him, bought to see his glory in all eternity ahead. The realities of his promises in John 17 are not contingent on my ability to keep faith, but on his work on the cross that is sure to preserve true faith.

    I'm not sure how to answer this question in a small space, but in short: yes. The doctrine of particular redemption makes me sure that Jesus does save and will save again. There's no guessing or hoping, but a confidence. J.I. Packer does make the excellent point in his book on evangelism that the Bible teaches us to present the Gospel "Jesus Christ died for sinners. You are a sinner. Trust in his free offer of salvation." There is no teaching of "Jesus died for you, so he's really hoping you believe." One the home front, I feel the great line from Paul Tripp comes directly from this doctrine: "You have no right condemning that which God has redeemed." To my wife - Jesus has bought her and paid for her sin, I have no right condemning her for it (even when it's against me!) because God is on a mission of redemption in her life. Under the Arminian scheme, if I am being consistent, I should always be anxious about whether a sin will be her jump off of grace into unbelief. While apostasy is a concern - and more deeply prevalent than we think - I know the evidences of grace in my wife (and any other believer) and am looking for more redemptive grace because "since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God" (Romans 5:9).

    For me this just comes down to a discussion of the Gospel. Why did Jesus die? If we had the time, I would walk through Hebrews and look at particular atonement passages.

    A note here needs to be made. One of the great fundamental truths that the Reformation recovered was the reality that theology is practical in it's nature. The medeival philosophers had made a dichotomy that was imposed to the extent that theology became a esoteric thing. The Reformers, and one can't help but point to Calvin as prime example #1 (just read his Institutes) is practical in it's nature. Proper theology has inherent practical effects. Unfortunately, 18th century pietism and American evangelicalism (to an extent) has again introduced this "theology v. practical" into the Church.

    It's just a modern contextual note that I think will help us engage these things with care and love to help our brothers in broader ways than just zeroing in on one doctrine. If a friend doesn't believe Limited Atonement after a thorough discussion, but has grasped that theology is inherently practical, then I don't get too miffed about the situation. People are God's project of redemption, and in many cases, growth probably needs to happen in other areas before this particular areas sees fruit. I think Arminianism is poison, but I think the best way to heal such maladies in a brother is not always with a doctrinal bat.

    Those are just my thoughts. I'm sorry this got so long - this stuff is dear to my heart. If I could, I would recommend reading Samuel Rutherford's Letters as a way of seeing how these things meet with our practical, every day life. Rutherford is a man to be reckoned with - both in doctrine and in example - and on the practical-ness of Calvinism, I can think of few men who are better examples of what God desires us to be.

    Hope this helps!
  7. chbrooking

    chbrooking Puritan Board Junior

    It ensures that my God is just. He does not punish those for whom atonement has been made.

    It gives coherence to soteriology. The center doesn't hold in the 4 points without this one.

    It puts meat on the bones of monergism. It is less abstract and theoretical and much, much more intimate. Jesus' death and resurrection isn't just something "out there". It is personal. He didn't just love sinners. He loved ME. There is great assurance in that.
  8. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    If God does not save specifically, that means a least part of the universe (man's will) is outside of His control -- he can no longer be the sovereign God He has revealed Himself to be in the scriptures. Where we think wrongly about God, we violate the first table of the law -- what we are to believe concerning God.
  9. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist

    Some brief thoughts, as others have commented in an edifying way already:

    As is the case for any teaching from Scripture, the doctrine of particular redemption is a means by which one is enabled to grow in godliness, indeed. The impact upon my life of this doctrine is enormous - for indeed because I know that Christ's blood ABSOLUTELY cleanses from sin, without contingency upon me and my choices and actions, then I can confidently go into the future, knowing my Redeemer satisfied all the Law's demands for me, and His righteousness is mine. If the Arminian view were the Biblical teaching, I cannot imagine living one minute as my whole destiny would be suspended on my faithfulness and steadfastness, which I know is at times as weak as water. I would be constantly tossed to and fro on the waves of life, and never be certain as to my eternal end. This doctrine is perhaps the most steadying influence I can think of in enabling the Christian to walk in Christ and persevere.

    Sure - for those who have trusted in Christ, I can speak confidently of their sins being forgiven and atonement for them made. I can point them to the finished work of Christ on the Cross as theirs. Within the church, this is huge - it offers a very different perspective on Bible study and life together as Christ's bride.

    This, too, is enormous. Christ is presented as the atoning sacrifice for His people's sins - He is presented as the SURE solution, not as someone who merely makes salvation possible if only you believe, suspending one's salvation on the thin thread of their own reasoning ability and sticktoitiveness. In the Arminian view, Christ CANNOT be presented as the sure sacrifice, because if the individual falters in his faith, his salvation is in jeopardy. I could NEVER present Christ as though it's the hearer's choice and Christ is being put to an up or down vote, with all riding on the hearer's free will to make Christ's sacrifice real or not. Christ has paid for each and every sin of each and every one of His people. THAT is something that the hearer can take confidence in - when He is presented in the namby-pamby, wishy-washy squishy-minian way there is no way *I* can properly evangelize... because that picture of Christ makes me sick.

    The primary practical effect of particular redemption is that we have a Savior in whom we can fully trust because he actually paid the price for each and every one of His sheep. If we take the other view, we can NEVER rest assured because we can NEVER be certain of payment of our own sins, particularly of our own sins of wavering in the faith. That's pretty practical.
  10. Reformed Rush

    Reformed Rush Puritan Board Freshman

    The truth of divine Unconditional Election that resulted in Limited Atonement by Jesus Christ, is the core of the gospel promise:

    "And she shall bring forth a Son and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21 (cp Gen. 3:15)

    Any other teaching of the purpose of Christ's atonement will prove to be a false gospel; powerless to save.
  11. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    For me, the most stunning realization was this:

    Everything that I experience in my salvation (redemption applied) is a result of Christ's death and resurrection for me (redemption accomplished).

    My faith? Purchased by Christ at the cross, applied in time.
    My repentance? Purchased by Christ at the cross, applied in time.
    My sanctification? Purchased by Christ at the cross, applied over time.
    My adoption? Purchased by Christ at the cross, applied in time.
    My perseverance? Purchased by Christ at the cross, applied over time.

    Particular redemption is the only way to avoid Christ plus. It is the only consistent way to confess with Augustine, "When God crowns our merits, he crowns nothing but his own gifts." This is a source of tremendous humility and thanksgiving.
  12. amishrockstar

    amishrockstar Puritan Board Freshman

    There were a lot of really good answers.
    "Yes" I even read through the really
    long ones. ;)

    I just bought The Bondage of the Will
    and plan on reading it over summer
    break. It sounds like Limited Atonement
    is directly related to the 'free will' debate,
    which I find interesting since most 4-pointers
    reject free will, yet at the same time they
    reject the "L" (not sure how that works)

    Anyways, thanks again for the posts
    that were encouraging, gospel-centered,
    practical, and Christ-glorifying.
  13. historyb

    historyb Puritan Board Junior

    Not really

    Not really

    It did negatively at first, but not now I had out little new testaments from Pocket Testaments

    Don't know, most of the time on other forums it becomes arguments. I don't even discuss it if I can keep from it which I never can. :)
  14. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    Once you've studied it, its hard not to believe it, as you're not left with a real atonement without limited atonement/particular redmption.

    You're not left with real divine love either but just a general benevolence that some might get saved by exercising faith; God doesn't really care who gets saved, but that everyone (who hears) might have a "chance", as if anything happens by chance anyway.

    If Arminians understood what they were talking about they'd realise that according to their theory, God wasn't particularly interested in them (e.g. John Smith) as individuals, that they could lose their salvation even when in heaven and that their salvation depended on a self-generated faith, and not one that was purchased for them. If unlimiited atonement is true, the salvation that these Arminians rejoice in is not secure, not secure at all.

    What made them different from the many who heard the Gospel and rejected it? A faith which they contributed. They decided to save themselves. They should - if consistent - be very proud of their achievement. If they aren't proud of it, they don't really believe their own doctrine.

    All true Christians are five point Calvinists underneath. Their Calvinist presuppositions have to be exposed.

    They deny Calvinist doctrine because they don't understand it; but to reject God's Word because we don't fully understand it is intellectual sin.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2009
  15. Reformed Thomist

    Reformed Thomist Puritan Board Sophomore

    That Christ's atonement actually accomplished something concrete -- i.e. saved sinners -- as opposed to merely having opened up a possibility for sinners to be saved (which is what the doctrine of general atonement communicates), is to my mind an integral component of the Gospel.

    General atonement makes the act of saving faith something of a 'work', someone an individual must do in order to be saved. This is not trusting in Christ Alone for one's salvation, but Christ plus my own effort. If I am saved, I have Christ to thank and myself to thank, for having the 'good sense' (or whatever) to do the right thing with the grace afforded me by God and accept Christ as my Savior. I am a co-Savior of myself.

    This kind of theology is the reason why I left the Roman Catholic Church: I was a failure at doing my part toward my salvation.
  16. amishrockstar

    amishrockstar Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks again for all your replies....

    That kinda leads to my next question.

    Can or should a 5-point Calvinist go to
    a church that he's gone to for years, yet
    recently there's been a pastoral change
    to where the lead pastor is a 4-pointer??
    (minus the "L")

    I don't think it's wrong to fellowship
    with 3 or 4-pointers at all. But would
    it be wrong to submit to the eldership
    of that congregation??

    What if there aren't many alternatives?
  17. Reformed Rush

    Reformed Rush Puritan Board Freshman

    Excellent book. The teachings of the doctrines of grace as developed by the Reformed fathers is anti-thetical to Pelagianism or semi-Pelagianism, in that they teach a soteriology that emphasizes the sovereignty of God's will versus a free will in man.

    As Luther taught, the will of man held in bondage to sin, is not free to choose the righteousness of God, and is unwilling to seek God and salvation. It is necessary that God first regenerate a sinner, freeing him from that bondage, before a believer can willfully submit and obey God; repent from sins, and exhibit faith in Christ's righteousness unto salvation.

    Those who reject the notion that man has a "free" will prior to conversion, but also reject Limited Atonement, are called "Amyraldians." (Do a Google search on Moses Amyraut and "Amyraldianism" to read some history on this movement.)

    These teach that "hypothetically" Christ died for all men, but only some end up finding eternal life. In effect, this destroys the doctrine of Unconditional Election . . . and it is a downhill slope from there; eventually undermining the entire sytem of belief called TULIP.

    Four-Pointers like to identify with Calvinism, but in actuality, they are closer to the sentiments of Arminianism, in thinking that somehow the sinner must take advantage of the "hypothetical" possibility provided for salvation by Christ on the cross.

    Many think this is harmless, but we have been around a long time, have witnessed the resultant pull from Reformed orthodoxy and the confessions such teaching causes, and therefore consider this message a deviation from the true gospel of Jesus Christ, which is: the Son of God was sent into the world to live represent as Mediator; to live under the Law, to die, and to resurrect only for those souls given to Him by the Father. (John 17:12; Ephesians 1:3-12; Romans 8:28-30, 9:5-26)

    Under any denial of Limited Atonement, admission must be made that Christ did not achieve saving all He died for; which we consider blasphemous.

    Under five-point Calvinism, which holds to Limited Atonement, it is taught that Christ achieved salvation for 100% of those chosen to receive the grace and mercies of God.

    There is great assurance of salvation for five-point Calvinists. There is guessing and often lack of assurance amongst Amyraldians; just as there often is amongst Arminians and RCC, etc.

    Whether you should stay under a gospel that has deviated from truth, can only be between you and the Lord. Personally, we could not sit under any kind of false gospel, but it is not our place to counsel others in this regard . . .for we have too high a reverance for the importance of the visible church, and would never want to the the cause of discouraging anyone from church attendance.

    Your state of sanctification will guide you in this. The change in gospel message will either be tolerable for you, urging you to study more, or it will vex your soul, causing you spiritual grief.

    May God give you clear guidance in this matter, and give it much prayer.
  18. dannyhyde

    dannyhyde Puritan Board Sophomore

    Some uses of the doctrine I would suggest:

    1. For worship: recognizing the eternal decree of redemption was accomplished by our Lord, recognizing the great lengths to which our Lord went to secure our redemption, and recognizing this love towards me, I fall before him and worship.

    2. For assurance: knowing that Jesus secured eternal redemption on behalf of a multitude of sinners, that those sinners who call upon his name shall be saved, and that I call upon his name, I am assured that he spread his arms on the cross for me.

    3. For preaching: knowing that Christ actually died for sinners and that although there may be only one of those for whom he died left in the world, I am emboldened to plead with sinners to receive his offer of grace for today is the day of salvation.

    4. For witnessing: knowing that God uses means to gather his elect, I need to exhort the people of God to pray for, to witness to, and to invite unsaved sinners to hear the gospel preached; for faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.
  19. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Puritan Board Freshman

    I started reading all of the posts here and I only encountered that it would take me quite a long time to read and post replies to them all for redundancy and time sake, so I would like to bring up something new.

    Being a new member, I am realizing a lot of you guys are Presbyterian, which is something I'm not. I'm not really any particular denomination, I'm just reformed in thought.

    I do not 100% support the concept of limited atonement. Nor do I 100% support Unlimited atonement.
    I believe in something called modified Calvinism which appears to be John Calvin's original belief in the teaching if you read his commentaries on verses which Arminians use to support unlimited atonement.
    I stand as a 4.5 Calvinist that Christ's death was sufficient for all believers but was only efficient for God's elect. There is a wonderful sermon by Mark Driscoll regarding it, it seems to be quite theologically and Biblically correct.

    If you'd like a picture to support this idea I could open MS paint and paint you one although it'd be poor in quality.
    Furthermore, as I posted elsewhere this link: Mars Hill Church | Christ on the Cross | Unlimited Limited Atonement seems to have a lot to say to be of use towards the subject. I myself learned a lot and had never understood this before.

    Now to your original question, I'm by no stretch of the imagination a hyper-calvinist, nor cruel Calvinist. I am simply a Calvin (see the sermon). My Calvinism affects how I preach, teach, and share the Gospel; however, my Calvinism does not affect who I evangelize to. I am an evangelical Calvinist determined to shout the supremacy of God into all the world through the planting of churches and bringing to God those whom He called by His good works prepared (Eph 2:10) for his great purpose that in the fulfillment of time to come all of His elect might be brought to Him.

    So, I don't think one should care about limited atonement, or in some regard Calvinism in evangelism. It should be ones primary concern alone that a complete and true Gospel is presented to the depraved human beings, that they are suppressors of the truth and are going to have the wrath and judgment of God forever upon them in hell.

    This is my answer.
  20. Reformed Rush

    Reformed Rush Puritan Board Freshman

    Your answer is duly noted.

    However, I disagree with your conclusions.

    The complete and true Gospel is founded on the truth of Limited Atonement which is the divine result of the Unconditional Election of God, which provides the only basis and means of grace, dispensed by God, according to His sovereign grace, will, and purposes, which are not contingent upon the actions or decisions of sinners in any form.

  21. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Puritan Board Freshman

    Perhaps I might ask a question so I might better understand your answer.

    This is quite hard to grammatically express:
    Christ's death is known as a penal substitution. Christ's death shed the innocent blood for the remission of sins. How much sin is possible to be forgiven by the death of Christ? Only for the elect, or was Christ's death at the minimal efficient to forgive the sin of the world?
    If your answer was the latter, I would request you give some Scripture to support this, for my own benefit that I might understand where you derive this from.

    I don't mean to get all.. what's the word, let's just say "noob" on you, although there are verses that suggest that Christ bore the weight of sin for the entire world, yet the affect of this is not applied to all. Christ's grace is only imputed among the elect, yes, but was the death of Christ sufficient for more than that?

    -----Added 6/29/2009 at 11:25:42 EST-----

    Or perhaps, upon reading your post again with a little bit more insight and clarity, the true and complete Gospel does include the idea of sovereign election, yes, but what my intention of saying was that our idea of election, (Unlimited-Limited for me) and limited atonement should not prevent the furthering of the Gospel.
    That was essentially the point of my post.
  22. Reformed Rush

    Reformed Rush Puritan Board Freshman

    Limited Atonement is the teaching that Jesus Christ died only for those elected and given to Him by the Father to save (John 17:12-15).

    His atonement was not limited in power or sufficiency, but in selective application.


    The blood of Christ was totally sufficient to save all, but God elected to only save "many."

    Those of us who believe in Election and Limited Atonement, have no idea who God intends to save by His grace, so we indiscrimately proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all, and leave the particular applications of saving grace, to the sovereign will and grace of God.
  23. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Puritan Board Freshman

    Now I apologize for if I am misquoting these verses, I know Greek a lot better than I know Hebrew, the word context used in the case or "our" in Isaiah 53 I think would suggest that Christ's death was sufficient for the case of humanity at large. The bold is not in any way to be taken as forceful words, sarcasm, or anything, only to bring note to the word choice.

    5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
    he was crushed for our [my question is to whom is this "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.

    For the sake of the argument, and perhaps my poor understanding, to whom would the "all" include? Similarly, although I'm mixing languages, one could argue that the "all" means only the elect, where similarly in Romans 3:23 Paul uses the word "all" for our depravity. If you understand where I am going with this.

    1 John 2:2
    He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

    1 Timothy 4:10
    10For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

    Titus 2:11
    11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,

    Now let me explain this in a better perspective. This is not unlimited atonement. This is me joining that Christ did die for all but He died for the elect in a saving way.

    I am by no means a great Bible scholar, but this (at least in my opinion upon commentaries from Calvin) seems to be the general original idea from Calvin, at least in my opinion. If one has an explanation for such verses that would be appreciated. But it is because of these verses I have the idea of unlimited-limited.

    I suggest listening to the sermon I provided though, Pastor Mark will say it much better than me.

    Then you and I are in agreement on this, I believe.
  24. Reformed Rush

    Reformed Rush Puritan Board Freshman

    Sounds good, but I believe, from reading all your posts, you are subjected to Amyraldian teaching, which I consider to be heterodox, if not outright unorthodox, and surely much less than genuinely Calvinist.

  25. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Puritan Board Freshman

    I would not call myself an Amyraldianist necessarily. I believe Limited Atonement to be true to an extent which I can not yet fully describe or explain because I am still working on it.

    This quote is what I agree with. I have never heard this sentence been called "limited atonement" but rather limited-unlimited atonement. Limited atonement has always been explained to me as that Christ's death was only sufficient for the elect and not sufficient for the entire world.
  26. Michael Doyle

    Michael Doyle Puritan Board Junior

    Sorry Jake, not with you on this one. Christ death was efficacious for those whom He died for. The "all" and "our" are directly referencing the elect and them alone. I must get rest but would be happy to walk through this with you at another time.

    WCF Chapter 8 sec. 8:
    "To all those for whom Christ hath purchased redemption, He doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same; making intercession for them, and revealing unto them, in and by the Word, the mysteries of salvation; effectually persuading them by His Spirit to believe and obey, and governing their hearts by His Word and Spirit; overcoming all their enemies by His almighty power and wisdom, in such manner, and ways, as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation
  27. Reformed Rush

    Reformed Rush Puritan Board Freshman

    Limited Atonement has nothing to do with the sufficiency of the atoning work of Jesus Christ, but only to do for whom it was offered.

    Jesus Christ acted as High Priest only for those the Father gave Him to represent as federal head. Reprobates not included!!!

    So the "limitation" of atonement has all to do with Unconditional Election, and nothing to do with the power of the blood of Christ to remit sin.

  28. SoliDeoGloria

    SoliDeoGloria Puritan Board Freshman

    This was the only verse I was really willing to post a reply to.

    The main problem I have is that your definition of the word "world" I don't recall has ever been used in any such context as analogy #2.

    I would simply like to be clear that am I in no way suggesting universalism or anything of the sort.

    The general point is what I quoted Jim before in saying:
    Perhaps my means of expressing this have not been anything close, but that is what I have been attempting to get the point across of.

    Simply said: sufficient for the world, but effective for the elect.
    Is that what we agree on, or do we disagree on this point?

    Then we are in agreement.
    Why has everyone (besides this forum) decided to tell me this in a false sense?
    Then by all technical purposes, I have never stopped being a 5 point Calvinist but only been confused in definition considering everyone else who explained it to me was that Christ's death was only enough for the elect alone. :|
  29. rbcbob

    rbcbob Puritan Board Graduate

    The "Sufficient for all, Efficient for the elect" model has been in my opinion a weakness in some Calvinistic writers for many years.

    Some Calvinists, myself included, find more consistency in saying that it was only the sins of the elect that Christ bore. You shall call His name Jesus and He shall save HIS PEOPLE from their sins

    Several writers have articulated this view:

    “To say that his death is sufficient for everyone, but not that everyone receives forgiveness, is to say that God accomplishes the greater but not the lesser. He sets in motion a cause__the most powerful and compelling spiritual and moral cause conceivable__that does not consummate in an effect.
    As can be well seen, both streams of thought have a healthy and biblical concept of the relation of atonement to law. This understanding, that all legal obstacles to salvation have been removed, is right and cannot be surrendered. … To remove the necessary connection between atonement and satisfaction of the divine law denudes Christ’s death of all its moral sublimity and reduces it to an amazing piece of whimsical and romantic extravagance.” __Dr. Tom Nettles

    "While cheerfully admitting the sufficiency of Immanuel’s death to have redeemed all mankind, had all the sins of the whole human species been equally imputed to him; and had he, as the Universal Representative, sustained that curse of the law which was due to all mankind; yet we cannot perceive any solid reason to conclude, that his propitiatory sufferings are sufficient for the expiation of sins which he did not bear, or for the redemption of sinners whom he did not represent, as a sponsor, when he died on the cross. For the substitution of Christ, and the imputation of sin to him, are essential to the scriptural doctrtine of redemption by our adorable Jesus.__We may therefore, safely conclude that our Lord’s voluntary substitution, and redemption by his vicarious death, are both of them limited to those, for whom he was made SIN__for those whom he was made a CURSE__and for whose deliverance from final ruin, he actually paid the price of his OWN BLOOD. Consequently, that redemption is particular, and peculiar to the chosen of God."__Abraham Booth
  30. Reformed Rush

    Reformed Rush Puritan Board Freshman

    Christ's atonement was inherently sufficient, but offered only for His elect.


    Christ died the deaths of only the elect, alone, according to the sovereign will and purpose of the Father, alone.

    Glad you are still a 5-pointer!


    -----Added 6/30/2009 at 12:21:47 EST-----

    Agreed, for it has been misconstrued as teaching that Christ died to make salvation possible for all, but effaciously only saved some . . .which is a different message altogether, and in my opinion, nothing less than a false gospel.

    Excellent! I agree with your language and I concur with your view.

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