By Nick Bibile
Did Christ die to redeem every single person that was born? Or did he come to redeem many, the elect of God, his Church? Limited Atonement states that Christ's redeeming work was intended to save the elect only that is his church and he secured salvation for the elect. If Christ died for every single person who ever lived then they all will be saved. If it was Gods intention to save all, however if all are not saved, then there is no value in the blood of Christ as many are going to hell. We will be going through a series of studies on this important subject of atonement, to whom did Christ die? We will first build a foundation on this subject, and then we will go through scriptures to show that Christ came to die for the church and we will go through objections to this topic as some say that Christ died for everybody. We will answer every objection in the light of scripture. When it comes to atonement, we will also learn the meaning of subjects like ransom, propitiation, expiation, satisfaction, mediator and reconciliation. When we read the Bible we come across these words and we cannot ignore them just because we do not understand them, the Holy Spirit put these words for us to understand, and without understanding these words we will not see the clearly the work of Christ on the cross. This is a very important subject as salvation depends on atonement, Christ work on the cross. I encourage you to listen all the series of this subject; if you miss one then you will not see the fullness of the picture.
Limited atonement is really a continuation of unconditional election. As we saw in our previous studies there are no conditions for election, it is totally by grace alone that we are saved and therefore it is unconditional, we are saved according to Gods sovereign grace.
The purpose of Christs death was to accomplish the will of the Father.
Heb 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
Joh 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
We saw in our previous studies in unconditional election it was the purpose of the Father to choose some to salvation.
In the covenant of grace, the Father chose a people, he loved them and gave them to his Son, and God knew they would fall under Adam. Christ promised to die for them, and the Holy Spirit regenerated them. Father made this covenant in the heavens eternity past. This was a covenant of grace, as we all deserve punishment for our sins, instead of punishment God showed mercy to the elect.
Ps 89:2 For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.
3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
5 5 And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.
First of all the covenant was made with his chosen not David as it was not Davids physical seed that was established, but Christ who was called the son of David. It is the seed of Christ that will be established forever. This is the mystery of salvation that all heavens shall praise the wonders of God for his saints. This mystery is beyond our understanding. Thats why apostle Paul said, This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (Eph 5:32) Mystery is something that was hidden in the past and now revealed. Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints. (Col 1:26) Note it is manifested only to the saints, to the elect not to the whole world.
What is the mystery?
We see that the
believers were from all eternity given to Jesus Christ. As believers were
chosen from all eternity, (Eph 1:4; 2
Atonement was necessary because of sin.
The first man Adam sinned and sinned brought curse, death and punishment to all. The first sin among all men was the worst sin as it is the fountain of sin among all men.
Ro 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
· Sin is transgression of the law.
· Sin is disobedience to the will of God.
· Sin is an offense.
Sin is defined as a transgression.
The word transgression means to violate the law.
Ro 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Sin is a transgression of the covenant.
The commandment of God was violated. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
1Jo 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Adam broke the covenant with God, when God commanded him not to eat of the fruit he did it anyway by listening to the devil. What is more heinous than breaking the covenant with God? To break a covenant with men is a sin, how much more if you break a covenant with God?
Sin is disobedience to the will of God.
Ro 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners.
Sin is an offense made to God.
Ro 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one.
Ro 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation.
How great must that sin be! As this sin caused death and judgment to all the children of Adam, as they were all under the wrath of God, including the elect, before the foundation of the world.
Gods grace for the elect seed.
Ge 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
This was the dawning of the gospel. The good news. There is no good news if not for the bad news. The Bad news is that all are under the wrath of God. The good news was promised to man that out of the woman would come the holy righteous seed of God. Out of the devil will come the wicked seed. There are two seeds, Christs seed and the devils seed. They will have enmity with each other. Christ will bruise the head of the devil and the devil will bruise the heel of Christ. The devil had his glory when he crucified Christ on the cross, but Christ conquered the power of the devil on the cross.
Let us see how clearly Genesis 3:15 is connected with Isa 53:10-12.
Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors
Christ came to save his people.
Mt 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
It does not say that Christ came to save all people, but his people; if his people were Jews did he come to save the Jews? No. He came to save his people. You can also say that Christ came to die for his people. His people are a special group of people, the spiritual seed of Abraham, the church. The work of salvation is limited only to his people. His people are of heaven, they are peculiar and royal.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Pet 2:9)
They are a distinct race of men. They are of a peculiar descent or pedigree, different from the rest of the world. They did not come from the earthly family tree, but from a different line of ancestors.
Mt 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
The chosen generation came from that race.
God is in the generation of the righteous. (Psalm 14:5)
The royal generation descended from God.
This godly generation descended from God. A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. (Ps 22:30) They are a heavenly generation as they descended from God. Therefore, the church came from God and the other people are from the earth.
Gen. 6:2, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. The sons of God were the children of the church, of the posterity of Seth. Seth was the first in line of the church. Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God. (Lu 3:38)
God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees, and afterwards out of Haran. Abraham came from the calling of God, and all Gods people in all succeeding ages are accounted as the children of Abraham. God promised Abraham that his seed should be as the stars of heaven, and as the sand on the seashore, meaning primarily not his posterity according to the flesh. John the Baptist said, God is able of the stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Those are the seed of Abraham, as we are taught in the New Testament, that are of the faith of Abraham. The true elect, are the seed of Abraham, Gal. 3:29, And if ye be Christs, then are ye Abrahams seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Gods people are immediately begotten of God. Although they are born to this world they are born again, and they have a new nature. They have a new life. They have a new family tree, as they are born of God. John 1:12, 13, But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
The believers belonged to Jesus before.
The devil came and snatched us into darkness, blinded us and we became slaves to him. We did not know that we belonged to Christ, but he knew, that is why he came to seek and to save those who were lost.
Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
He knows his sheep and he came to die for them. He did not die for the goats. He died only for the sheep, Christ death is limited only to the sheep, and that is his church. In verse 26, some are not his sheep.
Joh 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.
Limited atonement is called particular election, why? God knows the true elected persons individually by name. Through eternity, he single out and distinctly chose those who are his, and set his love upon them. Only to the true believer he can say, he loves you. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20) (Only the true elect saint can say this scripture and not an unbeliever.) God set his love from eternity upon the particular individuals and mentioned by name, God wrote their names in the book of life. Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20) Those whose names are not written in the book of life are the unbelievers. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. ((Rev. 13:8)
There is a difference between the sheep and the goats.
Mt 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom
He does know his sheep but he does not know the wicked.
Mt 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The ones that Jesus died will have their mind focus on heaven, as heaven is their home, they were born of God, they are a peculiar people, a royal priesthood and a holy nation, they will be different than the unbelievers. Their behavior and conduct will show that they are the true elect of God. (Col 3:1-6)