Friday, July 27, 2007
For Whom Did Christ Die? Conclusion
Our study has taken us a long way. We began by asking the question: "For Whom Did Christ Die?" Looking to Scripture for our answer, we examined the atonement's purpose, nature, and result. Then we contrasted our biblical conclusions with the opposing view. Finally, we took the time to consider common objections (Part 1 and Part 2) against the doctrine of limited atonement. Now we have reached the point of concluding our study.


For whom did Christ die? He died for a select group: his people. This precious truth revealed in the Word of God is the doctrine of limited atonement. Examining the atonement’s purpose, nature, and result confirms that the Bible is not silent on the atonement’s extent. Christ did not die for all people equally; his death actually accomplished the salvation of his elect people alone. Even after considering objections, the sufficiency and efficacy of Christ’s death prove its limitedness.

Completely convinced of Christ’s sufficient atoning power, Spurgeon faithfully preached Christ’s death to his people. He proclaimed:

He [Christ] suffered all the horror of hell: in one pelting shower of iron wrath it fell upon him, with hail-stones bigger than a talent; and he stood until the black cloud had emptied itself completely. There was our debt; huge and immense; he paid the utmost farthing of whatever his people owed; and now there is not so much as a doit or a farthing due to the justice of God in the way of punishment from any believer; and though we owe God gratitude, though we owe much to his love, we owe nothing to his justice; for Christ in that hour took all our sins, past, present, and to come, and was punished for them all there and then, that we might never be punished, because he suffered in our stead.[1]

[1]Spurgeon, “The Death of Christ.”


posted at 7:00 PM  
Comments (4)

At 10:55 PM, Blogger SteveJ said...

There's a problem with the idea of penal substitution. Under that system, God never forgives anyone. He simply receives payment from another. God never discharges a debt; He only rolls the debt onto someone else.

Suppose a man owes me a debt he can't pay. Along comes a benevolent stranger who lays out the cash on the debtor's behalf. It's true that the debtor is off the hook, but no one can reason that I have forgiven the debt: I haven't.

The doctrine doesn't work.

At 11:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve, if the debt is paid, it's forgiven.

However, I might suggest to you that instead of forming a doctrine based on what your brain reasons, listen to the Bible.

Isaiah 53:5-6, "But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him."

"By His scourging we are healed." I cannot pay the debt God demands of me and still expect to live in Heaven. Therefore, I rejoice that I have a Savior who has done what God promised He would do: pay my debt.

At 5:21 PM, Blogger Bnonn said...

Hi John. I've enjoyed this series very much. Keep up the good work.

Regards in Christ,
Dominic Bnonn Tennant

At 8:09 PM, Blogger SteveJ said...


A paid debt is most certainly not a forgiven debt. That's a contradiction in terms. When I make my mortgage payment, the bank doesn't forgive that payment.

The Isaiah text does teach that the Suffering Servant was bruised on account of others' sins. But to say that a literal punishment was actually rolled onto him in some metaphysical sense (to balance the divine ledger sheet) doesn't follow.

What is the punishment of sin? An eternity in hell? Jesus suffered for hours, not for eternity, so he could not have literally intercepted our punishment.


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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)

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