The Significance of Limited Atonement

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by tfisher, Aug 7, 2002.

  1. tfisher

    tfisher
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    What is the significance of the doctrine of limited atonement?

    Please try not to let this topic get into an argument over whether or not the Bible teaches limited atonement. I am honestly curious about why it is significant.
     
  2. KenH

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    It means that Christ paid the penalty as a substitute for His people and those sins can never come before the judgment seat of Christ. If one's sins are paid for, he cannot be punished for those sins again. He, therefore, must be saved.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
    www.spurgeon.org
     
  3. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    The significance is whether the death of Christ accomplished propitiation and atonement or whether it simply made it possible. If you believe it accomplished something, you typically believe in limited atonement with respect to efficacy. If you believe it simply made it possible, you lean more toward an unlimited atonement.
     
  4. tfisher

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    I'm still not sure I understand. This is kind of new to me. I thought it was simply the belief that Jesus only died for the elect and not for everyone. I guess I didn't completely understand it. What I was afraid of was this: If this is true and I share the gospel with someone and say, "Jesus died for you." I could be bearing false witness against God if Jesus in fact did not die for that person. How would I know who Jesus died for since I cannot see into the future? I would not be sure how to share the gospel since it is kind of difficult to share the gospel without telling someone about Jesus dying to pay for his sins.

    I am not trying to argue for or against "limited atonement" at this point, since my understanding of it is obviously "limited". Thanks for information. It looks like I have some studying to do. :confused:
     
  5. Primitive Baptist

    Primitive Baptist
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    LIMITED ATONEMENT means Jesus got what He paid for. It means when He paid the ransom, the ransomed really went free. It means when He redeemed us from he curse of Law (Gal. 3:13), somebody was actually redeemed.
     
  6. tyndale1946

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    I don't see a problem with Limited Atonement... The Father gave the elect to the Son to save... The Son saved ALL the Father gave him... ALL the Son saved that the Father gave him WILL be in Heaven with the Father... Son... And Holy Ghost!... Jesus Christ who ascended to the Father after his resurrection presented the finished work of his redemption to the Father... His reference to Mary... John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

    In John 20:19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

    20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the LORD.

    From the time Mary saw him until he appeared he presented the finished work that the Father sent him to do. He left the sins of ALL he redeemed his Elect as far as the east is from the west in the land of forgetfulness to be remembered against them no more. Through HIS Limited Atonement he was judged for his rebellious children that fell in Adam!... I Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

    20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

    21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

    22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

    23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming... "HE WILL NOT LOSE A ONE" Even so come Lord Jesus!... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ August 09, 2002, 02:12 AM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  7. tyndale1946

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    I don't know what all you other brethren feel about this but the crucifiction of the two thieves with Jesus gives a great illustration of the doctrine of election and limited atonement. One of those thieves went to paradise... This day shalt thou be with me in paradise!... What happened to the other thief?... Why don't we hear Jesus say to the other one if you believe in me and pick me as your Savior you can go to? Did I step on some free willer toes?... Brother Glen :eek:

    [ August 09, 2002, 02:07 AM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  8. AITB

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    I hope the Calvinists here will address this, which seems like a very practical and worthwhile point - although maybe it's been discussed here many times before - I wouldn't know.

    I.e. assuming Calvinists do witness and not just wait for the elect to get saved ;) , what do Calvinists say to people in witnessing, rather than such things as "Jesus died for you", since that may not be true of the person they are witnessing to?

    I hope someone will address this! I would like to know the answer too.

    AITB [​IMG]
     
  9. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    Because you don't see the other thief asking Jesus to have mercy. One thief asked & recieved, the other thief asked not, so he recieved not.

    That's my take.
     
  10. KenH

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    There is no instance in the New Testament where, in sharing the gospel, an individual person is told "Jesus died for you". Jesus is described as having died for sinners, for the ungodly. It is never said in a personalized way unless someone like Paul refers directly to himself as a believer.

    So if the apostles never used the phrase with an individual "Jesus died for you", then it is obviously not necessary to use that phrase when witnessing to someone.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
    www.spurgeon.org
     
  11. KenH

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    Both thieves started off insulting Jesus and one changed without Jesus saying anything to either of them. Why? Some say free will. I say free grace. [​IMG]

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
    www.spurgeonite.org

    [ August 09, 2002, 08:44 AM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  12. AITB

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    Both thieves started off insulting Jesus and one changed without Jesus saying anything to either of them. Why? Some say free will. I say free grace. [​IMG]

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
    www.spurgeonite.org
    </font>[/QUOTE]Jesus didn't have to use words. It was his whole behavior that was the strong witness to them. It was what he said and didn't say to others. It was the way he hung on the cross and submitted to crucifixion. etc.

    Actions speak louder than words.

    AITB [​IMG]
     
  13. pinoybaptist

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    hello, tfisher:
    AITB is correct. Yours is a fair question. So, I hope my input helps in anyway and pray the Holy Spirit Himself guides you.

    As already stated by brethren, Limited Atonement means that the blood of the Lamb was shed only for those whom God intended to save.

    This is a natural flow of doctrine based on Election. If God elected only many and not all men out of humanity, then it follows that the birth, life and death (and the spilling of His blood) of the Savior was intended only for those whom God chose to salvation.

    On the other hand, if God sent His Son to die for all men, then the blood of His Son was intended to wash the sins of all, therefore, all men are saved.

    These statements, of course, will bring about other topics and questions such as: Is faith in Christ a necessary component of salvation and if so, is faith a natural and inherent response of men to the hearing of the gospel, or is faith a supernatural and extrinsic response to the gospel, given by God to the hearer ?

    But, forgive me for digressing.

    Herein are a few verses why we believe the Bible teaches limited and not universal atonement.

    In the Book of Revelation, we find John addressing the 7 churches in Asia, thus:
    Now, comparing scripture with scripture, we find in Matthew 1 these words from the angel (messenger, if you will) of the Lord to Joseph:
    There are other scriptures that teach or point to limited atonement. But, the most eloquent speakers or the most astute teachers can expound on these all they want and if the hearer's ears have been stopped by the Lord, the hearer will not hear.
    On the other hand, a rambling, stuttering preacher may preach in an almost inaudible voice to a crowd, yet if the Holy Spirit is to unstop the ears and open the hearts of those for whom the message is intended in that crowd, then surely they shall come to the Lord.
    I am not saying your ears are unstopped or your heart is hardened, mind you, only that the Bible teaches that.
    God bless.
     
  14. tfisher

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    I can't see that the two thieves could be used to prove free will or Calvinism since Jesus is omniscient. The problem is when I am between two thieves, how to present the gospel.

    I am faced with a commandment to preach the gospel to every creature.

    Mark 16:15-16 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature . He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    What is the gospel?

    1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures:

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

    Some might argue that these verses say the gospel was presented in a manner in which the person would think Jesus died for him/her.

    Anyway, let's take this a step further. Let's say I present the gospel and by saying, "Jesus died for sinners" to two people. Both of them fall under conviction from the Holy Spirit. One of them gets saved and the other never does. A week later they are both killed in an accident. If in fact Christ only died for the one that was saved, why did the Holy Spirit convict the one that did not get saved? It seems that the Holy Spirit would not try to convince someone that Jesus is willing to save him/her if in fact the person is not to be saved.

    Again, I am not trying to argue for or against "limited atonement". It is something that is new to me and I am trying to draw logical conclusions about it.
     
  15. AITB

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    Yeah really :D

    How about praying "Father, forgive the people who put me here..."

    It was 50% successful for Jesus...

    (yeah, I'm just being provocative ;) [​IMG] )

    But, did you mean, what ought you to say to them?

    Are you supposed to say anything before they have questions? Or just answer their questions? (1 Peter 3:15-16)

    AITB [​IMG]
     
  16. KenH

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    If you mean by convict, to regenerate, then they would both be saved. If you are talking about broadcasting the gospel in a general way, and not the effectual call, then some will be saved and some won't be saved. We must take the gospel to all as we human messengers are not told who the elect are.

    The Holy Spirit, God, does not simply try to save someone. God's purpose in salvation is always successful, He never fails to get His man/woman. [​IMG]

    You also need to remember that the epistles were written to Christians, so the use of "us" or "our" refers to Christians, not to non-Christians.

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
    www.spurgeon.org
     
  17. russell55

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    Here is an article that will explain what is involved in the doctrine of limited atonement. It also, I think, explains how a genuine offer of the gospel can be made to any person.

    Limited Atonement by Michael Bremmer

    [ August 09, 2002, 03:11 PM: Message edited by: russell55 ]
     
  18. Robert J Hutton

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    Warm Christian greetings!

    I wonder if I may offer my own opinion on this subject?

    When talking of limited atonement I like to define what is meant by "limited". As I see it Christ's death is of sufficient worth and value for all mankind and is potentially effective in saving all; in that sense it is a general atonement. However, it's effectiveness is limited to those who believe, in that sense it is "limited".

    So perhaps both sides are right (well, we can live in hope!).

    (Incidentally, I am a calvinist but perhaps not a strict "5 pointer")

    Kind regards

    Robert J Hutton
     
  19. KenH

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    The word "limited" was used to fit in the the TULIP acronym. It is better stated as particular redemption or definite atonement. Calvinists do not limit the value or sufficiency of Christ's blood. We teach that He had particular people He was redeeming with His blood.

    Non-Calvinists place a restriction on the efficacy of Christ's blood as they teach that it is only effective if man does something(such as repent, believe, be baptized, be faithful, whatever). Otherwise, they teach it is not effective at all.

    Here is a link for a great sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon(which one isn't? [​IMG] ) on "Particular Redemption" - www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0181.htm

    Ken
    A Spurgeonite
    www.spurgeon.org

    [ August 09, 2002, 03:40 PM: Message edited by: Ken Hamilton ]
     
  20. KenH

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    If you do it as Charles Haddon Spurgeon did, you will have no reason to be afraid. From his sermon on "Particular Redemption":

    "Leaving controversy, however, I will now answer a question. Tell me, then, sir, whom did Christ die for? Will you answer me a question or two, and I will tell you whether He died for you. Do you want a Saviour? Do you feel that you need a Saviour? Are you this morning conscious of sin? Has the Holy Spirit taught you that you are lost? Then Christ died for you and you will be saved. Are you this morning conscious that you have no hope in the world but Christ? Do you feel that you of yourself cannot offer an atonement that can satisfy God's justice? Have you given up all confidence in yourselves? And can you say upon your bended knees, "Lord, save, or I perish"? Christ died for you. If you are saying this morning, "I am as good as I ought to be; I can get to Heaven by my own good works," then, remember, the Scripture says of Jesus, "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." So long as you are in that state I have no atonement to preach to you. But if this morning you feel guilty, wretched, conscious of your guilt, and are ready to take Christ to be your only Saviour, I can not only say to you that you may be saved, but what is better still, that you will be saved. When you are stripped of everything, but hope in Christ, when you are prepared to come empty-handed and take Christ to be your all, and to be yourself nothing at all, then you may look up to Christ, and you may say, "Thou dear, Thou bleeding Lamb of God! thy griefs were endured for me; by thy stripes I am healed, and by thy sufferings I am pardoned." And then see what peace of mind you will have; for if Christ has died for you, you cannot be lost. God will not punish twice for one thing. If God punished Christ for your sin, He will never punish you. "Payment, God's justice cannot demand, first, at the bleeding surety's hand, and then again at mine." We can today, if we believe in Christ, march to the very throne of God, stand there, and if it is said, "Art thou guilty?" we can say, "Yes, guilty." But if the question is put, "What have you to say why you should not be punished for your guilt?" We can answer, "Great God, Thy justice and Thy love are both guarantees that Thou wilt not punish us for sin; for didst Thou not punish Christ for sin for us? How canst Thou, then, be just—how canst Thou be God at all, if Thou dost punish Christ the substitute, and then punish man himself afterwards?" Your only question is, "Did Christ die for me?" And the only answer we can give is—"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ came into the world to save sinners." Can you write your name down among the sinners—not among the complimentary sinners, but among those that feel it, bemoan it, lament it, seek mercy on account of it? Are you a sinner? That felt, that known, that professed, you are now invited to believe that Jesus Christ died for you, because you are a sinner; and you are bidden to cast yourself upon this great immovable rock, and find eternal security in the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."
     

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