The Design of the Atonement

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Earth Wind and Fire, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    To me, getting the Atonement right is critical to ones belief system. The question, What did God the Father actually intend to do in sending His Son to die for us? And then the follow up question, Did Jesus' death actually redeem anyone? And lastly, Did His sacrifice of Himself make a true propitiation for our sins?

    These are all thought provoking & the answers defiantly point you into one belief system or another. So where do you stand?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    Ah, this thread could go on for a while, because your questios, EWF, raise more questions, particularly regarding the extent of the atonement, and its effectiveness..

    For instance:

    If Jesus' death on the cross satisfied God's justice, how can God be just in sending to Hell anybody for whom the penalty has been paid?

    What is it that actually sends men to Hell, if Jesus has already suffered their penalty?

    If it is continued unbelief, does that mean that those who have never heard the gospel have nothing to suffer for in Hell? They did not reject Jesus.

    If the atonement does not actually save, but makes salvation possible for all men, what else is required for them to go to heaven? Does that mean that repentance and faith are meritorious works on our part?

    Is God obligated to provide redemption for all men? If so, where does grace fit in?

    That ought to get us started.
     
  3. Yeshua1

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    also would add to your good list of questions...

    Are we in judgement already when born, being found in Adam?

    Are we saw as sinners and guilty at time of willful choosing to sin against God?


    Does God see see the elect as right with him even before they place faith in jesus?

    was Jesus death a penal substitution one or not?

    what is basis of salvation, his death or our faith?
     
  4. agedman

    agedman
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    A part of the problem, in my own opinion, is the aspect that the blood of the Cross of Christ paid for all time for all people the PENALTY of sin. It was not just "sufficient for all and effective for some" as some such sayings are used (by both arm and cal folks). John is expressly clear on this issue (1 John 2) and yet there are those who just want to limit the blood sacrifice.

    However, the blood sacrifice, as totally complete for all humankind of all ages past, present and future, did not remove the need for atonement - in the Scriptures atonement means reconciliation.

    There is no systematic scheme (other than heretical) that holds all folks will be saved and atonement is unlimited. How or to what degree the atonement is limited is highly contested on the Cal/Arm threads.

    It is important to remember that mankind is always reconciled to God, God is never reconciled to mankind. God does not need to be reconciled to the world, but world to Him.

    So what did the Father intend to do by sending His son to die for us?


    What changed at Calvary?

    First, the work of the Holy Spirit:
    8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

    Secondly, the indwelling and seal of the Holy Spirit - that presents us a "joint heirs" to the promise. Pre-Calvary, the Spirit would come and go. Saul had the Spirit then didn't have the Spirit. The Psalmist (51) begged God not remove the HS from him.

    Thirdly, those who do not believe will spend eternity in the "second death" not because of sin, but because of unbelief. God has no record of atonement so he says, "depart from me, I never knew you" (John records that the believers will keep the commandments and attend to the needs of others as indicators of their belief). Remember John 3 and also recall the final judgment.

    I saved one question for last, because (imo) it may be the most controversial.

    "Did Jesus' death actually redeem anyone?"

    Now many would impulsively say, "Certainly."

    I say, "Nope."

    The reason is the death is only ONE part of being redeemed. Death was not ownership. Not long ago, I made a purchase at a local home improvement center. I accidentally left behind one of the bags of purchased items. Later that week, I returned to the store and had to purchase the items again. Though they had already been purchased, and I had a receipt, and put them in a bag, I didn't claim ownership but left the items behind to be re-shelved. I had no true proof of ownership.

    It was not enough for the blood of the pure lamb of God to be shed, but there must also be reconciliation - the atonement, the taking possession.

    Not everyone is atoned, just as Christ stated - those that do not believe are already condemned. Such prefer darkness and do not come to the light, in fact they hate the light because light would show their deeds as evil.

    Being sealed by the Holy Spirit is taking possession by God literally being in and living through us.

    As you can see by this answer, I do not actually "fit" into either major "camp" without some modification to the standard thinking of that group.
     
    #4 agedman, Dec 13, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2013
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Thats OK Agedman, if I had wanted to be tribal, I would have put this thread in "Contentious" Land (aka C/A Forum) :laugh:

    No, these are the questions that (upon contemplation) stretch us & define us in our faith.....so all opinions have value with me. These are questions & concerns about the spiritual realm & sometimes they keep me up at night. Its kinda like wanting to get better at something ....you gotta play someone who is presently better than you to get better.
     
  6. agedman

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    EWF, I am certainly not to be considered a better, and fully understand your being kept "up at night." Sometimes after laying down, my mind will race from one Scripture to the next, and get back up to engage on the BB.

    I sometimes see JofJ postings well after midnight our time. Wait, he is twelve hours ahead of me! It's tomorrow where he is. I wonder if he experiences that same phenomena of being consumed in the spiritual realm to the point of not sleeping. :sleep:
     
  7. pinoybaptist

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    unavoidably, brother EWF, this thread MIGHT be bounced into the land of "contention" because there doesn't seem to be a way of looking at the atonement without putting on the hat of either Calvinism/Doctrine of Grace, or of Free Willism/Arminianism/"non-denominationalism", or even a side-reference only to either one, so, I wish you the best.
     
  8. Yeshua1

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    God intent in the death and resurrection of Jesus was to provide atonement for those whom God intended to redeem by the blood of jesus purchasing them back out from Kingdom of sin and darkness, the Elect...

    Jesus died as a substitute for them , in place of them, so He suffered and paid full the penaly of all those he died for, so would seem to indicate not whole world, all sinners, but those Elected out by God...

    We seem to either have all sinners reconciled and saved by/thru death of jesus, or just some were.....
     
  9. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Yes well one can naturally anticipate that, however Id perfer we voiced our beliefs & our concerns....this is not an easy subject for any "Thinking" Christian so getting ideas out allows us all to consider stuff that we might not have considered before.

    Therefore, lets consider this thread a "Brain Storming" exercise..... didnt ya always want to know what it was like to be a member of a think tank? :laugh:
     
  10. Yeshua1

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    let us try to come to the bible and take off our rose colored glasses, that sees things thru cal/Arm lens, and try to see them all in context as originally written and meant!
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

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    OK, so lets take it in small incruments.....I will start.

    I have a sister in Heaven who was Cerebral Palsy....severely brain damaged & she could never understand complexities so could she be held accountable for not understanding the gospel?

    When I asked that question I got some different answers. One guy on here believes that Christs death takes away the Sin of Adam..... for the eternal life, not the temporal life. He used John 1:29 as this proof text ..... 29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

    Upon examination, this John 1:29 appears to be intended for the entire world. So I asked him about it (both he & I are Monergists who dont believe that Christ died for all, but for all whom he died will be saved). So whats up with that???? Is there a conflict in my brothers thinking process? What do you think?
     
  12. Yeshua1

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    remember that God told Jonah that he was getting upset with God saving them in pagan Nineivah, and he mentioned that there were among that group thousands who did not yet know right from their left? Which I take as the lord saying that He would have mercy upon even childrem who as of yet didi not know right from wrong yet!

    I hold tot he Lord, in the Cross of Chrsit, providing in and by His death, the means by which he can freely apply that grace towards those like children under age of accountibility, mentally challenged, infants, still borns etc, for David knew that he would one day die and see his own infant son, right?
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Yes but in the same token, HE did not spare Sodom.
     
  14. Earth Wind and Fire

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    But did He take away the Sins Of The WORLD.....or was that a figure of speech?
     
  15. Earth Wind and Fire

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    While we are on the subject, has anyone ever considered investigating the Atonement using the Book of Life (below is a WIKI Definition)

    In the Old Testament, the Book of Life is the book or muster-roll of God, in which all the people who are considered righteous before God are recorded forever. God has such a book, and to be blotted out of it, signifies death.[1] It is with reference to the Book of Life that the holy remnant is spoken of as being written unto life;[2] in Jerusalem[3] compare also Ezekiel ix. 4, where one of the six heavenly envoys "who had the scribe's inkhorn upon his loins" is told to mark the righteous for life, while the remainder of the inhabitants of Jerusalem are doomed. The Psalmist likewise speaks of the Book of Life in which only the names of the righteous are written "and from which the unrighteous are blotted out".[4] Even the tears of men are recorded in this Book of God.[5] "Every one that shall be found written in the book . . . shall awake to everlasting life".[6] This book is probably identical with the "Book of Remembrance" in which are recorded the deeds of those that fear the Lord.[7]
     
  16. agedman

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    Yeshua,

    I think you have hit an a problem area.

    How is it that 1 John says that the blood was shed not just for believer's sins but those of the whole world, yet some would literally discredit that statement to limit that full payment.

    John 3 is extremely clear. Folks are already condemned not for sin but for unbelief.

    I disagree that the blood of Christ is limited to only those who believe. Reconciliation (atonement) is certainly limited, but not the propitiation (blood sacrifice).
     
  17. Yeshua1

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    Could it be that jesus took away in a special way the sins of the elect, as the propiation for them personally, and yet in a general sense for all sinners, as providing Grace for God to cause both just and unjust to be blessed by him then?
     
  18. Yeshua1

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    The effect of the Cross, its "worth" in Grace area is indeed sufficient to have provided for all sinners to be saved by grace of God from Jesus atoning death, but its effectuall Grace extends out towards just the elect in Christ!

    Arms state that we agree with his death being sufficent for all sinners, so God extends that grace effectually towards all, cals ststae while unlimited in means to save sinners, applies towards only those chosen beforehand out by God to receive it!

    seems that the question here is backl to what desides in ultimate sense our salvation, will of God or free will of man?
     
  19. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Would that definition square with your Calvinistic understanding? Now I mentioned the Lambs Book Of Life. When somebody says that God wants ALL MEN (as in EVERYONE ON EARTH) SAVED, does The Book contain the names of all men?
     
  20. agedman

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    Certainly, both Cals and Arms attempt to show some manner of innate ability to "receive," accept, reject ... God, usually based upon either an awakening (prevenient grace) or an election resulting in the effective call.


    Because I reject "free will" of man as inconsistent with Scriptures (rationally thinking, all "will" of man is conditioned to responding to basic needs: hunger, thirst, shelter, warmth, ... and basic desires: accepted, needed, wanted, helpful, understood, ...). The Scriptures do not say that humankind have any ability within their natural estate other than to conform to the world, understand the things of the world, and serve the lusts of the world.

    Again, the Scriptures indicate that in the natural estate, the inclination of humankind is entrenched in the love of darkness, but that the light is not just avoided but hated and fear some. That even the light of the decalogue (Christ as the Word) that lightens every person is repulsive.

    I do not reject that God must specifically and purposefully select those saved. (2 Thess 2, 1 Peter 1)


    To be consistent one must come to terms with the payment of sin as complete for every person of all times.

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

    And just earlier in 1 John:
    14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

    No person has any more or less payment made determined upon what has or has not been applied. There is no rendering of these verses that can make them mean what they do not state as factual.

    The blood sacrifice is complete. The payment made in full. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6); however, Christ now holds the keys of life and death (Rev 1).




    What then determines the belief or unbelief.

    Perhaps one of the best illustrations was given by the Lord Jesus Christ in the parable of the sower/seed. I keep coming back to that parable, because it shows so very many aspects of the truth.

    First the ground. Who prepares it? The owner of the dirt. It is His job to determine the use of the dirt, be it a path, a place to pile stones, or the good well nurtured soil made ready for planting.

    Second the seed. It is the Word of God.

    Third the scattering. The seed is scattered all over. It is applied to all the various types, stony path, shallow or eroded unprepared dirt, and the well prepared dirt.

    Fourth the results. Only the good earth brings forth the harvest, the rest don't make it.

    Is it "their fault" they were not "good dirt?"

    Is it "their fault" they did not "receive" to harvest the seed?

    Was it "seed" that was harvested, or the results of the seed harvested?

    I don't see any "free will" as part of that parable nor the innate ability of the dirt to prepare itself, nor for the dirt to self realize the condition and make changes on its own.
     

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