Thursday, June 21

Particular Redemption

Matthew 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

The photo above shows a barely noticeable scar from a smallpox vaccination from many years ago. With advances in medicine we have more and more vaccines to protect us from all kinds of diseases. Since humans have no way of knowing who will be exposed to these various diseases, we attempt to vaccinate all that we possibly can. If human beings possessed the foreknowledge that God has, we would need to vaccinate only those who would actually be exposed to the disease. With this same foreknowledge, Jesus gave his life for the many that his atonement redeemed and them only.

Since God does have this foreknowledge of exactly who will be redeemed by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, the verse above indicates that Jesus Christ came to the earth to serve and to give his life as a ransom for the many who are saved by the atonement of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Everyone agrees that the atonement of Jesus Christ is of infinite value and sufficient to save an infinite number of people. Some argue that Christ died for everyone. In this view, the atonement makes salvation possible for everyone, but actually saves no one. This, the Arminian view, limits the power or effectiveness of the atonement by leaving salvation up to human decision. This view leaves open the possibility of no one being saved and Jesus dying in vain. The reformed view does not limit the power as it holds that all that Christ died for (the many in Mt. 20:28) will be saved. This view limits the extent of the atonement by affirming that Christ died for only those that God chose before the foundation of the world. Jesus in the high priestly prayer said, “John 17:9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.” After reading this entire prayer in John 17, it is hard to believe that the atonement of Jesus was meant for anyone other than those redeemed by faith in his sacrificial death on the cross.

In Mt. 20:28 above Jesus died for the ‘many’. This either refers to believers only or everyone that has ever lived. Since the passage speaks of his death providing a ransom (redemption) for the many, this passage teaches universalism if the ‘many’ includes everyone that has ever lived. Therefore, since Scripture clearly does not teach universalism, this passage teaches that the atonement of Jesus was for believers only. This is referred to as limited atonement or particular redemption.

Praise God that Jesus’ atonement on the cross saves sinners. Jesus saved all the sinners he intended to save (John 6:37) and that is everyone that place their faith in him for paying their sin debt on the cross.


5 comments:

Susan said...

Yes, Jazzy!
And keep up the good fight for the faith! Folks are reading.
With respect to this post, I agree wholeheartedly. I think folks likewise twist John 3:16 way out of its proper context. Jesus was speaking with Nicodemus, who as a teacher of Israel, saw the "Jewish system" as the only way to God, not seeing as Jesus was speaking that God's mercy extends to all whom the Father gives to the Son, including some non-Jews (aka, the "cosmos," or world). How skewed is the thinking that teaches a universalism out of this and how it goes against the rest of Scripture regarding the 'world' (those who love it are enemies of God).
Narrow is the gate and few are those who go through. Those who teach otherwise are just teaching against Scripture.

Susan said...

And I have that same small pox scar, too (or one just like it).
How's Jazzy's d-i-e-t going, by the way? (I spelled it out in case you're reading out loud. Didn't want to offend her. Besides, I saw her reading on your post the other day. Maybe spelling it out will slow her down... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Justin says...

Susan, the verse from John 3:16 is indeed one of the most favorites used by hypothetical universalists. However, they fail to show that "world" means EPEB (every person ever born). It's just assumed, because their humanistic presupposition makes it so.

Hey JazzyCat, I saw a picture of you when you were only a kitten! So cute!

P&G,
-Justin

jazzycat said...

Susan,
Thanks. Jazzy's diet is not going well and neither is mine. I do my best dieting when I am not hungry. BTW, that was Jazzy's sister Cuffy reading in that picture. Jazzy's picture is in the upper right.

Justin,
Thanks. Some read into John 3:16 that everyone has the ability to come to faith. Actually it is neutral on man's ability. It neither confirms nor denies whether man has the ability to come to God in and of himself.

Anonymous said...

Justin says...

Jazzy, yeah. I read an article sometime ago, and it said something like, "If you become a fish, you can breathe underwater." Now, the statement in and of itself is true, but does that mean we have the ability to become fish? By no means! So, how is that different from saying, "If you believe, you will not perish"? It isn't. It simply is saying what will happen if something else happens first. I loved conditional statements in geometry. :)

Peace and grace,
-Justin