Friday, June 08, 2007
For Whom Did Christ Die? Introduction
They [many divines] believe in an atonement made for every body; but then, their atonement is just this. They believe that Judas was atoned for just as much as Peter; they believe that the damned in hell were as much an object of Jesus Christ's satisfaction as the saved in heaven. . . . Now, such an atonement I despise—I reject it. I may be called Antinomian or Calvinist for preaching a limited atonement; but I had rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than an universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will of man be joined with it. . . . Oh! glorious doctrine! I would wish to die preaching it! What better testimony can we bear to the love and faithfulness of God than the testimony of a substitution eminently satisfactory for all them that believe on Christ?[1]

These words were preached by the 19th century Baptist pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Clearly recognizing the importance of properly answering the controversial question “For whom did Christ die?,” Spurgeon defended the doctrinal position normally called “limited atonement.” This view understands Christ’s redeeming death to be for his chosen people alone. Jesus’ atoning work was not universally made for every individual; it was made specifically for his own people. He strenuously argued against the opposite position, usually labeled “unlimited atonement.” Those holding this view maintain that Christ died for all of humanity. His atoning work makes salvation possible for every person, but it only comes to those who believe in him. Was Spurgeon correct in his denunciation of unlimited atonement?

Christians must turn to Scripture to discern the extent of Christ’s death. And when one takes all biblical teaching into account, he or she should recognize that Spurgeon was indeed right. Limited atonement is a precious truth revealed in the Word of God. By examining the atonement’s purpose, nature, and result, believers will see that the Bible is not silent on the atonement’s extent. Christ died for his people. This truth needs to be contrasted with the belief that Christ died for all people equally. Additionally, objections must be considered. Nevertheless, in this weekly series of posts we will see that the sufficiency and efficacy of Christ’s death prove the doctrine of limited atonement.

[1]C. H. Spurgeon, “The Death of Christ,” in vol. 4 of The New Park Street Pulpit.

Labels:

 
posted at 3:00 PM  
Comments (3)


3 Comments:
At 7:21 PM, Blogger Arthur Sido said...

Looking forward to reading your posts. I take great pains in my preaching to state that Christ came to save His people from their sins. It boggles the mind that people can hold to the other four points of Calvinism and not see the logic and Scriptural basis for limited atonement.

 
At 5:28 PM, Blogger Granny said...

As one who has in the past 15 years walked the road toward the doctrines of grace, I can attest to the fact that limited atonement was the most difficult to understand and accept, and remains as the most difficult "stumblingblock" for those still on that road. We can be grateful that for HIS people, the obstacle will not be one that causes them to stumble to their deaths but into the truth that sets them free.

Thank you for addressing this!

 
At 10:50 AM, Blogger Keith Walker said...

John, I will look forward to this series. I'm not sure when I'll be able to get to some of it because I'll be in Utah tomorrow for the Mormon Miracle Pageant, but I'll read it all when I get back.

I'm one of those 4 1/2 pointers who boggles the mind of Arthur above. I see the logic of the system, but not the explicit doctrine in Scripture. From my view, it is more of a theological construct.

I've talked with lots of people about limited atonement and Bill McKeever keeps trying to beckon me "to the dark side." (his words, not mine) ;-) I always enjoy those conversations so I look forward to reading what you have to say.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home



About Me

Name:
John

I am a former Mormon who has been saved by Jesus Christ. Now I am a missionary involved with the Africa Center for Apologetics Research (ACFAR). I seek to live in light of Paul's words: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21 ESV)

My Complete Profile


About My Blog
  • Why I am the Reformed Baptist Thinker

  • Recent Posts
  • Scripture and Reason

  • Encouraging Update from Christianity Today

  • Renowned Missiologist on Brian McLaren and Emergen...

  • Christianity Today, Mormonism, and Compromise

  • Book Announcement: Claiming Christ

  • Dialogue with Non-Christians

  • Said At Southern Seminary Day

  • Where Am I?

  • What About God Commanding Canaanite Extermination?...

  • Week Off


  • Reformed Links
  • The 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith
  • The Association of Reformed Baptist Churches in America
  • Discerning Reader
  • Founders Ministries
  • The Gospel Coalition
  • Monergism
  • Nicene Council
  • The Reformed Baptist Theological Review
  • Reformation 21
  • The Spurgeon Archive
  • Third Millennium Ministries
  • Together for the Gospel
  • John Frame and Vern Poythress
  • Sam Waldron

  • Apologetics Links
  • Mormonism Research Ministry
  • Truth in Love Ministry
  • Centers for Apologetics Research
  • LifeWay Apologetics
  • Alpha and Omega Ministries

  • Blogroll
  • The A-Team Blog
  • Illumination
  • Mormon Coffee
  • Pros Apologian
  • Pulpit Magazine
  • Pyromaniacs
  • Reformation 21 Blog
  • Reformed Baptist Fellowship
  • Said at Southern
  • Together for the Gospel Blog
  • Tom Ascol
  • Les Bollinger
  • Denny Burk
  • Tim Challies
  • Steve Cowan
  • Jeff Downs
  • Bob Kauflin
  • Kevin Larson
  • Albert Mohler Commentary
  • Albert Mohler Blog
  • Russell Moore
  • Jonathan Moorhead
  • Matt Perry
  • David Sills
  • Justin Taylor
  • Brent Thomas
  • Joe Thorn
  • Paul Tripp
  • Keith Walker

  • Labels
  • ACFAR
  • Apologetics
  • Book Reviews
  • Christianity and Culture
  • Emerging Church and Postmodernism
  • Missions
  • Mormonism
  • Puritans
  • Theology
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic
  • Personal Life
  • Personal Ministry
  • Other Resources

  • Miscellaneous


    Subscribe to Reformed Baptist Thinker




    Archives
  • December 2005

  • January 2006

  • February 2006

  • March 2006

  • April 2006

  • May 2006

  • June 2006

  • July 2006

  • August 2006

  • September 2006

  • October 2006

  • November 2006

  • December 2006

  • January 2007

  • February 2007

  • March 2007

  • April 2007

  • May 2007

  • June 2007

  • July 2007

  • August 2007

  • September 2007

  • October 2007

  • November 2007

  • December 2007

  • March 2008

  • Credits
    Blog Design by:


    Powered by:


    Image from:
    istockphoto

    Meter: