Atoned

Moving along in what is often called the 5 points of Calvinism, we come to the question of particular redemption (or what others would call “limited atonement”).

This point is basically that Jesus Christ did not come into the world to save everybody, but to reconcile his own people to God. The majority of the verses quoted previously also have a bearing on this, but most especially there is the statement that:

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
(Joh 10:14-16)

Note that Jesus is not saying that He lays down his life for all of those in the world who may, or may not come to faith in Him. No, Jesus dies for “the sheep”. This means the believers in Him. Thus by extension we can say that Jesus, in a special way, died for those he came to save. He knew who He was dying for on the cross, even if we were still sinners (or not even born) at the time.

Now I would hope that some thought about the first two points I discussed would blunt the largest objection to this point. That being the claim that because Jesus only dies for some, that He is somehow unjust in doing it.

However, as we have seen, the Christian message is that justice would demand that we all perish for our sin. The injustice is that any are saved, which is dealt with by the atonement. Christ’s death absorbed the wrath we so richly deserve. God’s love shows its depth in that it purchases for us what we could not earn, so that God is both just and loving in salvation.

Again, all of this is to the praise of God

Soli Deo Gloria

Author: Stephen Dawe

Steve is a part-time vocational elder Calvary Baptist Church, St. John's as well as a full-time student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, in the Religious Studies Department.

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