John 10:15 and the Atonement

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Southern, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. Southern

    Southern
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    This forum will deal with a particular verse relevant to "Limited Atonement" or "Particular Redemption". Although all believe in a "Limited Atonement" (Limited either to its scope or efficacy), I will present the "Calvinist" view from scripture.

    While it is important to discuss the Nature (Penal, Substitutionary) and Purpose (Redemption of God's People, Eph. 5:25), I want to focus on a particular verse that clearly teaches a particular group was intended in the atonement.

    In John 10:15 the Bible reads:

    15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

    Jesus says that He lays His life down for the "sheep". Who are the "sheep"? Is it each and every individual without exception?

    Lets see:
    Jesus Then says in verse 26:

    26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep...

    Conclusion- Jesus said that He lays down His life for a particular group (the sheep) and then in the same chapter tells some that they are not of His sheep.

    Arminians, How can this be given your view that He lays His life down for each and every individual without distinction?

    P.S. I am not looking for a string of proof texts, if you have some please start a forum on paticular passages. Please comment what you think Jesus is saying here in this chapter.
     
  2. Southern

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    The question in the last post should read as follows:

    Arminians, How can this be given your view that He lays His life down for each and every individual without exception?

    May God bless us as we search the scriptures!

    ----------------------------------------

    C.H. Spurgeon onces said:

    We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made a satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it: we do not. The Arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by that. Did Christ die so to secure the salvation of all men? They say, "No certainly not". We ask them the next question­­Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They answer "No". They are obliged to admit this, if they are consistent. They say "No; Christ has died that any man may be saved if"­­and then follow certain conditions of salvation. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you. You say that Christ did not die so as to infallibly secure the salvation of anybody. We beg your pardon, when you say we limit Christ's death; we say, "No my dear sir, it is you that do it." We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ's death no only may be saved, but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it.
    -------------------------------------------

    Amen!
     
  3. Wes Outwest

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    I DO NOT believe in "limited atonement"! Doing so shows a complete lack of understanding of the ATONEMENT provided by Jesus. Either Jesus' Atonement is for the sins of the world as he stated it, or it is not atonement ONCE for ALL!

    Atonement is not something done for the sinner, it is something done against sin! "For all have sinned"! Since all have sinned, no one could go to heaven which is sin-free.

    Without Atonement for sins, NOT ONE human could be saved, because of the penalty for sin which is death. Jesus paid that penalty and God called it complete Atonement! The penalty has been paid ONCE, for ALL! But Jesus said in his discourse with Nicodemus, "whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. He could only say that if the penalty for sins was no longer a factor in man's salvation! Even believers continue to sin after becoming believers, that applies to "the elect" as well. No they are not supposed to, but we all do! That is why the provision for Confession of sins, and forgiveness for sins is so clearly spelled out in 1 John 1:9,10.

    In order for man be saved and have everlasting life, the penalty for sin had to be removed from man, so that "for by grace are ye saved THROUGH FAITH..." could be fulfilled in Christ.

    No, it is not grace that saves, but without God's grace we would not have known his Son, and without his Son, our sins could not be atoned, and without sins atoned there could be no eternal life regardless of grace and faith, because the penalty of sin is death, not life! Thus without the atonement for sin, there could have been no salvation!

    Atonement is for ALL sins in ALL times, ONCE for ALL! No, not just for the sheep, but for whosoever believeth in Him!
     
  4. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi Southern;
    Just to show that Limited Atonement isn't so;
    How would you explain the fact that the atonement of Christ is only for those who are this special elect Calvinism teaches. If God is not a respecter of men.
    May God Give You Light
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  5. Southern

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    Mike,
    Hey, unless I missed it, your post addressed "0%" of the scripture that clearly teaches a particular people was intended in the atonement.
    Please comment on John 10 in this forum.

    As for your side issue, The Calvinist teaches that God is no respector of persons because election is according to His own "good pleasure" (Eph. 1)and nothing "in man". I would encourage you to read some works by Calvinists so you want make this misrepresentation anymore.

    If God chose us based on something that set us apart from someone else, this would be a "respector of person", but since nothing in the person was taken into account, this can't be so. In fact the Bible says He chose the "foolish" things (1 Cor. 1:20ff)!

    If you want to pursue this, please start a forum on it! I would love to discuss this because your view actually makes God a respector of the person who "did the right thing" and that is what sets believers apart from unbelievers in your view! Paul asks the question in 1 Cor. chapter 1 "Who maketh thee to differ"? You would have to say the person. I say, "God"!

    But back to the text, please comment on John 10 which clearly gos against your view of the atonement.

    Looking forward to the discussion
    Your brother in Christ...
     
  6. Southern

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    Wes,
    Did you address any part of John 10 in your post? I didn't see any. This verse clearly teaches contrary to your position, please comment on it.

    In Christ...
     
  7. Wes Outwest

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    Ah but I did! Your contention it that atonement is limited, I explained how it cannot be! I further stated that without atonement no one, and that includes "the elect" could be saved because the penalty for sinning would still have to be paid, meaning that even "the elect" (Jesus' sheep if you choose) remain subject to death for their sins. However, Jesus' death is the atonement FOR SIN, the sins of the world that God so loved.

    Jesus did not die for "the elect", He died to atone for ALL sins in all times, not for sinners. For Sinners, there is forgivenness when sins are acknowledge and confessed. But if Jesus had not atoned for sin, that is, if Jesus had not paid the penalty for ALL sins, then NO ONE could be saved from death, and NO ONE could have everlasting life. But NOW, because Jesus paid the penalty, and told us that "whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life, which HE made possible. We can through our faith be Jesus' sheep, no matter who we are!

    John 10 is dealing with people, Atonement dealt with sin. They are not the same. We know that people sin, but we also know that Sin does not people! So they are not the same thing. Sin is a non-issue to those who do not sin. But alas, ALL have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God.

    Jesus dealt with sin so that ALL who are going to can be Jesus' sheep by believing in the shepherd. John 3:16.

    Furthermore, you cannot discuss John 10:15 without including 10:14,16 and 17. Verse 15 is not a stand alone thought, and your theology cannot stand on it alone.
     
  8. Wes Outwest

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    Southern,
    No human view makes God a respector of anything, views are nothing but human perceptions.

    No man can "do the right thing". God says, "our works are as filthy rags". So it is not WHAT WE DO that sets us apart from unbelievers, because even unbelievers do good works.

    There is only one thing that sets believers apart from unbelievers, and that is our belief in Jesus. And THAT, our FAITH ALONE, impresses God so much that HE saves us because of it! And NO, Belief is not a work! Neither is unbelief a sin (another word for 'Work'). Belief and unbelief are conditions of spirit, and not deeds. Both 'good works' and 'sins' are deeds, that is, things we do. 'Believer' and 'unbeliever' is what we are.
     
  9. Wes Outwest

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    Who accepts that line of thinking? Jesus clearly stated that his death on the cross is THE atonement for sin, ALL sins in ALL times. Without His atonement for sin, all of us sinners must die to pay the debt our sins cause us to owe. Thus no everlasting life...no matter how much grace or Faith you have, because you sinned, you must die! But wait, Jesus paid that penalty for you, and me, therefore we do not die for our sins!

    The only thing we die for is LACK OF FAITH in Jesus and the Godhead. Our faith in Jesus gets our name written in the book of life. So instead of facing judgment which is, being cast into the lake of fire, the second death, we pass from death into life everlasting with Jesus because we are not judged. John 3:18. Our deeds are judged, but we are not, if we believe in Jesus.
     
  10. GeneMBridges

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  11. BobRyan

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    It is best to simply observe that in God's Word - God has ALREADY stated that Christ "is the Atoning sacrifice for OUR sins and NOT for OUR sins only but for those of the WHOLE WORLD".

    HE has also described - the FULL atonement process (not just the Atoning Sacrifice) in Lev 16.

    John 10:15 speaks to the atoning sacrifice but does not address the full atonement process of Lev 16 or the work of Christ as High Priest that we see in Heb 8-10.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  12. GeneMBridges

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    See the thread on 1 John 2:2.

    You have not yet shown us the Scripture that says unbelief is not a sin or is morally neutral. If unbelief is a sin and God has paid for it through Jesus, then you have God enacting double jeopardy for unbelievers. Where does Scripture teach that God punishes sinners twice for their sins?

    Did the atoning sacrifices from the OT system also apply to the Gentiles?
     
  13. Wes Outwest

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    If unbelief is a sin then what is belief...a good work? Remember our salvation is NOT OF WORKS.

    Atonement does not eliminate sin, it removes the penalty of sin from man.

    Unbelief is NOT sin! It is a condition of the human spirit opposit of Belief. Just as evil, which is not a sin, is opposite of good. They are spiritual conditions to which man is subject.

    Our salvation is made possible by the atonement for sin, because we are no longer under the penalty of death. Jesus paid that penalty with his Once-for-ALL death. If Jesus had not paid that penalty for us, salvation would be impossible because we would still have to die for our sins. We could not have everlasting life because of the death penalty.

    So, sins are not a factor in our salvation! And you know that Works are not a factor. But did you know that sins are bad works in the same manner that works of righteousness are good works.

    Therefore, with works not a factor in salvation, and sins not a factor in salvation, our salvation then is based on faith alone. Here's how.

    Jesus in talking to Nicodemus said, "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not persish but have everlasting life." He did not stop at that, but also said, "whoever believes IS NOT JUDGED. but whoever believeth not, is judged already by his unbelief."

    Then in Revelations 20:15 we read that those whose names are not found in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire, THE SECOND DEATH. Well how does one's name get into the Book of Life? It is through faith. So those lacking faith are cast into the lake of fire, while those with faith are not judged, but pass from death unto life everlasting.

    We are justified by an act of God, the atonement for sin.

    We are sanctified by our faith in God because it is our faith in God that "sets us apart" (sanctifies us) from the unbelievers.

    God is the author and finisher of our salvation and our faith. He alone made it possible for sinful man to have everlasting life. He alone removed the penalty of sin. He alone is the judge of who has faith and who does not!
     
  14. GeneMBridges

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    If unbelief is a sin then what is belief...a good work? Remember our salvation is NOT OF WORKS.

    Atonement does not eliminate sin, it removes the penalty of sin from man.

    Unbelief is NOT sin! It is a condition of the human spirit opposit of Belief. Just as evil, which is not a sin, is opposite of good. They are spiritual conditions to which man is subject.

    Our salvation is made possible by the atonement for sin, because we are no longer under the penalty of death. Jesus paid that penalty with his Once-for-ALL death. If Jesus had not paid that penalty for us, salvation would be impossible because we would still have to die for our sins. We could not have everlasting life because of the death penalty.

    So, sins are not a factor in our salvation! And you know that Works are not a factor. But did you know that sins are bad works in the same manner that works of righteousness are good works.

    Therefore, with works not a factor in salvation, and sins not a factor in salvation, our salvation then is based on faith alone. Here's how.

    Jesus in talking to Nicodemus said, "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not persish but have everlasting life." He did not stop at that, but also said, "whoever believes IS NOT JUDGED. but whoever believeth not, is judged already by his unbelief."

    Then in Revelations 20:15 we read that those whose names are not found in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire, THE SECOND DEATH. Well how does one's name get into the Book of Life? It is through faith. So those lacking faith are cast into the lake of fire, while those with faith are not judged, but pass from death unto life everlasting.

    We are justified by an act of God, the atonement for sin.

    We are sanctified by our faith in God because it is our faith in God that "sets us apart" (sanctifies us) from the unbelievers.

    God is the author and finisher of our salvation and our faith. He alone made it possible for sinful man to have everlasting life. He alone removed the penalty of sin. He alone is the judge of who has faith and who does not!
    </font>[/QUOTE]Belief is certainly not a sin. Believing is a good thing. However, the issue is that man can not do anything to effect his own salvation on his own (John 6:44). God sees to it that we believe. This is the natural result of regeneration.

    You say this: "Unbelief is NOT sin! It is a condition of the human spirit opposite of Belief. Just as evil, which is not a sin, is opposite of good. They are spiritual conditions to which man is subject." This is pure speculation and something you must bring to the text. Stick to the text, Wes. In fact, if that's what you think, you're at serious variance with those that teach general atonement. Those who hold to an general atonement believe the one sin for which Christ did not die is rejection of His person and work . That is the stated word for word position from such instituitions as Dallas Theological Seminary.

    There is no sound teaching of which I know that says that unbelief is not a sin.

    Again, where is the Scripture that says that unbelief is NOT a sin? Still waiting.
    Where is the Scripture that says Jesus paid for some of our sins or for all our sins except the sin of unbelief? Still waiting.

    There are two words for unbelief in Scripture, one is "apeitheia," it is defined as "obstinacy, obstinate opposition to the divine will."

    Eph. 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

    Now, if Jesus is the propitiation of our sins and the sins of the world, then He satisfied God's wrath. the same word for unbelief is the same word for disobedience. Unbelief is a form of disobedience. If God pours His wrath out because of unbelief it is because it is disobedient to not believe. 1 John 3:23 clearly says that it is God's commandment that we believe in His Son. Unbelief IS a sin, because not to believe means you are disobeying God's commandment.

    Heb.4:6 says, "Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, " Same word. It is very clear in that chapter that belief is obedience. They did not enter because they did not believe. (Note this verse is a famous one for Arminians who repudiate eternal security/ perseverance of the saints, and it is also famous for Arminians to use in evangelism).


    The other words is apistia. It means: unfaithfulness, faithless; want of faith, unbelief
    weakness of faith.

    The NAS Strong's Version - 4 Verses
    Ro 3:3 -
    What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?

    Here the corresponding word apisteo is used in the first clause. It is the same word as used for disbelief. The definition of apisteo is: to betray a trust, be unfaithful
    to have no belief, disbelieve


    Ro 4:20 -
    yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,

    Ro 11:20 - [
    Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear;

    Ro 11:23 -
    And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.


    Heb 3:12 - [In Context|Read Chapter|Original Greek]
    Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

    Heb 3:19 - [In Context|Read Chapter|Original Greek]
    So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.

    Note especially Heb. 3:19, different word than Heb. 4:6. However, it clearly shows that unbelief is disobedience, and all things that are disobedient are, by definition, sin.

    1 Peter 2:7 shows that to disbelieve is to reject. It is not a state of the heart, it is an active rejection. To disbelieve in Jesus is to disobey God, (I John 3:23). To disobey God is a sin. Unbelief is a sin, not just an attitude.

    Now, if Jesus paid for all our sins, including the sin of unbelief, you either end up with universalism or with double jeopardy. On the other hand, Jesus did not die for the sin of unbelief, but you need to show Scripture that shows that.

    [ November 08, 2004, 12:45 AM: Message edited by: GeneMBridges ]
     
  15. GeneMBridges

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    If you say that unbelief is not a sin, then it is not sinful to not believe in Christ. Is that what you believe, Wes?

    You say unbelief is not a sin, yet Scripture plainly says, "Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Unbelief is clearly not of faith. Not believing in Christ means not exercising faith in Christ, does it not? If Scripture says that whatsoever is not of faith is sin, unbelief must be sin, or are you going to redefine "whatsoever?" If you do, then you better be careful, because Arminians often tell us that we are guilty of redefining "whosoever" and other such terms. If you believe "whosoever" means "whosoever" then tis extremely inconsistent to redefine "whatsoever." :D

    So, did Jesus pay for all our sins or not? If whatsoever is not of faith is sin, the not believing in Jesus must be a sin. If He paid for unbelief then you either end up with double jeopardy (to which you need to show Scripture that God punishes sins of unbelievers twice) or that He paid for all our sins, except the sin of unbelief.

    Here is Spurgeon on unbelief: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0003.htm
     
  16. Paul33

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    I would not use a metaphor "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me" to delimit my understanding of 1 John 2:2.

    I would prefer to let 1 John 2:2 inform the metaphor.

    Jesus lays his life down for the sheep. This is a word picture.

    John also tells us that Jesus only makes intercession in prayer for those who are his (John 17:9).

    I think Calvin got this one right! Jesus died for the sins of the world. He actually made payment for everyone's sins. But a person's sins aren't forgiven until God credits that payment to a sinner's account. And God does not do that until Jesus makes intercession on the sinner's behalf at the Father's right hand.

    The payment of Christ for sin is real and actual. The crediting of the account is also real and actual when Christ intercedes. Jesus only interecedes for the elect who are born of God, receive faith, repent and believe.

    In other words, he knows his sheep and they know him. He laid down his life for the sheep, and the sheep look to their shepherd in faith.

    The assurance of salvation for any "sheep" is the fact that they are looking to their shepherd. The ground of faith is the good shepherd who lays his life down for the sheep.

    How do I know that I am a sheep? I am looking to the shepherd. If Jesus died only for the elect, no one could draw assurance from looking to the shepherd. He might not have died for me would be a valid concern, and thus, there could be no assurance, at least not by looking to Jesus. Which means assurance would have to be found somewhere else, namely man's own assessment of his sanctification. This is where Beza made his mistake. This is where the Puritans also made theirs.

    Therefore, Jesus did die for the sins of the whole world. Jesus is the ground of faith. Jesus is the one to whom we direct people to look. And those who look are his sheep. And Jesus makes interecession for his sheep, so that the Father can credit their account (forgive their debt).
     
  17. Southern

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    Wes,

    I will be real specific:
    Christ laid down His life for the "sheep". Why did He not die or lay down His life for every individual without exception?

    Is there a difference between Christ "dying for" and Him "laying down His life for"?

    In Christ...

    I believe I have only just begun to learn the ABC's of the Scriptures yet, and will constantly cry to the Lord, "Increase my faith," that I may know more and believe more, and understand thy Word far better. "Increase my faith," in its extent.

    From: C.H. Spurgeon, Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 1, p. 251
     
  18. Southern

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    Bob,

    I would suggest you going to the I John 2:2 forum also to offer some proof for your interpretation because the attempts so far have been quite unsuccesful.

    I think your attempt to get around the fact that Jesus has a specific group in mind in laying down His life is highly arbitrary. Jesus says in John 10 that there is a specific group that He dies for (sheep). You seem to be trying to make a distinction between those He dies for and those He lays His life down for. Are you saying that He "died for" the world, yet "lays His life down" for the sheep?

    You will not find this distinction from an exegesis of John 10. It is also interesting to note that in John 10, one of the pre-requisites to "hearing" the Sons voice and following Him is being one of His sheep (John 10:26). This is consistant with other passages (John 6:37;Acts 13:48) where the giving to the Son clearly precedes the coming in faith. The reason some do not believe is because they are not of "Christ's Sheep". You have to be one of Christ's sheep in order to believe, but the Arminian turns it around.

    May God bless us...

    C.H. Spurgeon-
    Well can I remember the manner in which I learned the doctrines of grace in a single instant. Born, as all of us are by nature, an Arminian, I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and though I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me.
     
  19. Southern

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    Paul,
    I would agree that it is important to discuss the nature (propitiation) of the atonement before addressing other issues but this passage should not be dismissed on the grounds that it is just a metaphor for the following reason:

    Jesus clearly distinguished two groups of people in this "metaphor". He says that He laid His life down (died) for a specific people (sheep), and then informed some that they were not of this group (sheep). Jesus took this metaphor and applied it to actual and specific individuals. Jesus made an application of this, I am not making an inference that is not clearly substantiated by the text itself.


    In Christ
     
  20. Wes Outwest

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    Then you are not thinking clearly. Throughout the scriptures man is commanded to have faith! Faith is the only thing man can have. Nothing else that man does counts toward man's salvation.

    Salvation for man is not possible without man's faith in God! "For by grace are ye SAVED THROUGH FAITH, and not of yourselves, Salvation is the Gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast." Saved through faith by God! Now that is grace!

    God did all the work and the work is finished, Jesus said so. However Jesus also said that the work of the father is that "we believe" in his only begotten son. So the father gives us every reason to believe in His Son Jesus, but it is up to us to believe. Yes our salvation is dependent on whether or not we believe in Jesus...but it is not by what we do, only the condition of our spirit, the seat of belief and or unbelief.

    where is the scripture that says unbelief is a sin?

    Unbelief is a condition of the spirit that makes the spirit, the life of the flesh, susceptable to sin.
    Unbelief is disobedience only when one is commanded to believe, the sin is disobedience, and not unbelief.

    You are wrong to think that unbelief is a sin. Disobedience is the universal sin of mankind, it is the first sin ever committed by man, and it is the sin that brings man's downfall generation after generation.

    The only thing universal about our salvation is that Jesus universally, and Unilaterally atoned for ALL sins in ALL times, so that Whosoever will may come! God does not turn away any who seek him! AND He only saves those who possess faith in Him.
     

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