Saturday, December 21, 2013

Three Arguments in Favor of Limited Atonement

Limited Atonement - almost universally rejected by professing Christians today.

In a recent internet dialog I was asked to provide some examples of where I see the doctrine of limited atonement revealed in the scriptures. I believe there are numerous verses in the bible that support the doctrine of limited atonement, but I provided these three as good examples.

EXAMPLE 1 (John 10:11,26) - In verse 11 Christ says "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."  Then later in verse 26 he tells a gathering of Jews round about him, "But ye believe not because ye are not of my sheep." The Lord's testimony establishes three fundamental precepts that are almost universally rejected among professing Christians today:  (1) some men are sheep and some men are not, (2) the Lord gives his life for the sheep, (3) and believing does not make one a sheep, but rather, being a sheep is that whereby one may believe the truth.
EXAMPLE 2 (Hebrews 10:29) - Here we read, "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" Here we see men upbraided for having regarded the blood of the covenant (i.e., Christ's atoning blood) as an "unholy" thing. The word translated "unholy" here is koinos which literally means "common." If the atoning blood of Christ is common to all men, as the doctrine of unlimited atonement insists, then there is no basis for upbraiding men for regarding it as common. Moreover to assert that the blood of Christ is common to all men and yet countless millions end up in hell anyway is most certainly to regard the blood of the covenant as unholy.  
EXAMPLE 3 (Romans 8:38-39) - Finally, Paul's testimony regarding the absolute efficacy of Christ's death in accomplishing salvation for his people makes it absolutely certain that if this blood applied to all men then all would be saved. Indeed Paul was persuaded that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (v38-39) The unlimited atonement view, which requires that man do something in order for Christ's blood to have its saving efficacy, is nothing short of a direct assault on Paul's position in that it posits that something that a man does in "life" could, in fact, separate him from the love of God.
There are numerous other scriptures that either directly teach or logically insist upon limited atonement, but my hope is that these examples might serve as an affirmation for those who understand the truth, and as a revelation to those who would deny it.

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