Who Limits the Atonement?


Our post today is taken from Charles Spurgeon’s Sermon: Particular Redemption, delivered on Morning, February 28, 1858.

Now, you are aware that there are different theories of Redemption. All Christians hold that Christ died to redeem, but all Christians do not teach the same redemption. We differ as to the nature of atonement, and as to the design of redemption. For instance, the Arminian holds that Christ, when He died, did not die with an intent to save any particular person; and they teach that Christ’s death does not in itself secure, beyond doubt, the salvation of any one man living. They believe that Christ died to make the salvation of all men possible, or that by the doing of something else, any man who pleases may attain unto eternal life; consequently, they are obliged to hold that if man’s will would not give way and voluntarily surrender to grace, then Christ’s atonement would be unavailing. They hold that there was no particularity and speciality in the death of Christ. Christ died, according to them, as much for Judas in Hell as for Peter who mounted to Heaven. They believe that for those who are consigned to eternal fire, there was a true and real a redemption made as for those who now stand before the throne of the Most High.

[Calvinists] are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made a satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is, that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it: we do not. The Arminians say, Christ died for all men. Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They say, “No, certainly not.” We ask them the next question—Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They answer “No.” They are obliged to admit this, if they are consistent. They say, “No; Christ has died that any man may be saved if”—and then follow certain conditions of salvation. We say, then, we will go back to the old statement—Christ did not die so as beyond a doubt to secure the salvation of anybody, did He? You must say “No;” you are obliged to say so, for you believe that even after a man has been pardoned, he may yet fall from grace, and perish. Now, who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you. You say that Christ did not die so as to infallibly secure the salvation of anybody. We beg your pardon, when you say we limit Christ’s death; we say, “No, my dear sir, it is you that do it.” We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ’s death not only may be saved but are saved, must be saved, and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
– Matt 1:21

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Who Limits the Atonement?

  1. Pingback: Letter to my brother in Christ | Nizy's Life Compendium

  2. Pingback: He Died on Purpose, for a Purpose, and Accomplished His Mission | I'm All Booked

  3. Pingback: Incarnational and Non-competitive Christianity | Bill Walker | Blog

  4. Spurgeon also believed that Christ died in some way for the non-elect as well. Sermon no. 650, “Judgment Threatening but Mercy Sparing,” delivered Sunday Morning, 17 September 1865 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London:


    “But did he in any other sense die for the rest of mankind? He did. Nothing can be much more plain in Scripture, it seems to me, than that all sinners are spared as the result of Jesus Christ’ death. And this is the sense in which men are said to trample on the blood of Jesus Christ. We read of some who denied the Lord that bought them. No one who is bought with blood for eternal salvation ever tramples on that blood; but Jesus Christ has shed his blood for the reprieve of men that they may be spared, and those who turn God’s sparing mercy into an occasion for fresh sin, do trample on the blood of Jesus Christ.”

    “You can hold that doctrine without holding universal redemption, or without at all contradicting that undoubted truth, that Jesus laid down his life for his sheep, and that where he suffered he suffered not in vain.”

    http://phillipjohnson.blogspot.com/2005/11/is-there-universal-aspect-to-atonement.html

  5. Titus 3:5 states that we were saved by the washing of regeneration, or the washing of new birth, even the renewing of the Holy Spirit. These are the things that happen to every person the moment they trust Christ as their Savior. 1 Corinthians 12:13 says that “by one Spirit were we all baptized into one body,” and that is also a reference to the instant we believed. Thus, Paul declares that our completeness in Christ is that we died, were buried, and were raised again with Christ. How much more complete could salvation be? Christ is the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and we are fully complete in Him, a completeness that rests not on our works or our worthiness but on the operation of God—performed the moment we believed!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s