Old Doxoblogy

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Atonement Is For Everyone!

Slow down! Don't leave any ugly comments yet! First look at what I did not say. I did not say that the Atonement is for everyone in the same way, but simply stated a fact that the Atonement is for everyone in some way.

Many times the doctrine of Limited Atonement is put down by Arminians or non-Calvinists as meaning that the Atonement is limited in power. I'm not going to argue against that, since it is so blatantly false. I will, however, say that the typical Calvinist argument against this 'limited in power' charge is not very good. When the charge is leveled by the Arminian or non- Calvinist to the Calvinist, the Calvinist generally responds, "Limited in scope, not power."

I'm sorry that 'scope' has even been brought into the discussion at this point. The Atonement is not limited in its scope, (yet). No, the Atonement is still universal at this point in the argument.
Let me explain.
1) Christ's death purchased many benefits that everyone in the world enjoys to this day. Creation was on a collision course with the God of eternity. These collisions had occurred at different times in the Old Testament. (Expulsion from Eden, The Tower of Babel, the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, Nineveh, etc.) But this collision was the to be the war to end all wars. In Luke's gospel we see this the Kingdom of God breaking into the kingdoms of men. This could not be good. Two worlds that are diametrically opposed to one another on a road to Armageddon, and the kingdoms of men didn't stand a chance. The flood waters of God's wrath were about to be released upon every living creature. Then Christ died. The wrath that was about to be poured out on humanity was poured out on Him. He took the penalty for our sins. Everybody's sins, in this context. By His death we all escaped judgment, not because judgment did not come, but because judgment was absorbed in Christ. Everyone benefits form this part of Christ's death.

2) Christ's death served the intended purpose. In this case we are looking at two aspects of Christ death. The intended purpose in the first case was the preservation of humanity alive until the second coming of Christ. The second intended purpose was, in saving all humanity alive until the second coming of Christ, to purchase salvation for the elect, past, present, and future. And this is where the scope is now limited. This part of the death of Christ is only for the elect. It is intended only for those who believe. Who are those who believe? The elect.

O.K. Now you can start with the ugly comments.

7 comments:

Joe said...

Item one seems to be a form of universalism, but I think I know what you mean.

Christ's death paid for all sin, but not everyone receives the benefit thereof.

Only those who come to Him in faith, believing, receive the gift of eternal life.

Is that close?

Jeremy Weaver said...

JOe,
No, that's not what I was really thinking. Christ death benefits all men, but only the elect's sin is actually paid for.
And yes, only those who come to Him in faith receive eternal life.

Note to all:
I meant to save this last night for more revisions but apparently clicked publish instead.
I'll update this post later today.

Jeff Wright said...

I've not read anything like your first point before. Interesting.

What is the exegetical foundation? Not that I doubt it exists, just don't see what it is off the top of my head.

Shawn L said...

Jeremy,

Thanks Jeremy I agree with that as well. There is disagreement with most guys on this.

Many people only say that it is because God is gracious to all (common grace), however I think that's a misreading of scripture.

I do myself think I haven't got the atonement fully understood with all of the verses and am certain that God meant something more than always saying in the atonement ( read into the verse as meaning only the elect) as that to me is a misreading of scripture putting the elect statement in where it doesn't actually fit.

I believe that within the Christ's atonement God does benefit all people from everywhere though he can't bear their hell punishment for their sin in the same way as that would be double payment for sin (Christ's death and hell for the individual).

In effect Jesus death is a substitute for all those who will trust in him and that is clear in the scriptures.

Jesus has clearly taken the sinner's place and bore our punishment and appeased the wrath of God for our sin in our place.

Another subject of the atonement that I haven't fully figured out is the substitutionary nature of it in that Jesus' accepting of the wrath of God to glorify God's name. When he did this it was a substitute for an eternity in hell under God's wrath.

Doesn't this make you think of how Great Jesus is that work on the cross was paid for in this eternity of hell.

If I haven't made sense let me know.

ScottyB said...

well done brother on this post
common grace and covenant grace

man you took this blog to the next level
very nice

marc said...

I concur with scottyb

Tony Myles said...

I don't have any ugly comments... you're wrestling with concept in Scripture. Regardless of your conclusions this is sweet in itself.