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Reformed Theology – Limited Atonement

Limited Atonement

What did Christ’s death accomplish:

Romans 3:24
24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

Romans 3:24
24 [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus,

Galatians 1:3-4
3 Grace and spiritual blessing be to you and [soul] peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah),
4 Who gave (yielded) Himself up to atone] for our sins [and to save and sanctify us], in order to rescue and deliver us from this present wicked age and world order, in accordance with the will and purpose and plan of our God and Father-

Colossians 1:21-22
21 And although you at one time were estranged and alienated from Him and were of hostile attitude of mind in your wicked activities,
22 Yet now has [Christ, the Messiah] reconciled [you to God] in the body of His flesh through death, in order to present you holy and faultless and irreproachable in His [the Father’s] presence.

1 Timothy 1:15
15 The saying is sure and true and worthy of full and universal acceptance, that Christ Jesus (the Messiah) came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost.

Titus 2:13-14
13 Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
14 Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds.

1 Peter 3:18
18 For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit,

Verses dealing with other aspects of the Atonement

John 10:11,14-15,24-26,28
11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,
15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
24 The Jews then gathered around Him, and were saying to Him, “How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me.
26 “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep.
28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

Ephesians 5:25-27
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. (Nasb95)

John 15:13-14
13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you.(NASB)

Acts 20:28
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (NASB)

Amos 3:2
2 “From among all the families on the earth, I chose you alone. That is why I must punish you for all your sins.” (NLT)(CP. John 6:37-40; 1John 4:10 cp-with 2:12-13, 3:1-2)

Romans 8:32-34
32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;
34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

John 17:1-2,4,9-11
1 When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone in all the earth. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. 4 I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to do. 9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 And all of them, since they are mine, belong to you; and you have given them back to me, so they are my glory! 11 Now I am departing the world; I am leaving them behind and coming to you. Holy Father, keep them and care for them-all those you have given me-so that they will be united just as we are. (NLT)

Matthew 1:21
21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Nasb)

Romans 5:8-10
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Nasb)

Galatians 3:13
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”-

Hebrews 9:12,15,28
12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

Matthew 20:28
28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Nasb)

Matthew 26:28
28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. (Nasb)

John 11:50-52
50 Why should the whole nation be destroyed? Let this one man die for the people.”
51 This prophecy that Jesus should die for the entire nation came from Caiaphas in his position as high priest. He didn’t think of it himself; he was inspired to say it. 52 It was a prediction that Jesus’ death would be not for Israel only, but for the gathering together of all the children of God scattered around the world. (NLT)

Hebrews 9:15
15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Nasb)

Revelation 5:9
9 And they *sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. (Nasb)

Hebrews 9:23,26-27
23 Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, (Nasb)

Luke 16:26
26 ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’

1 Corinthians 5:7
7 Purge (clean out) the old leaven that you may be fresh (new) dough, still uncontaminated [as you are], for Christ, our Passover [Lamb], has been sacrificed.

John 6:36-40
36 “But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe.
37 “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.
38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
39 “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

Ephesians 1:4-5,7
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love
5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

Nine Lines of Evidence for “Particular Atonement”

1.The Particularistic Vocabulary of Scripture:

Jeremiah 31:31
31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

Luke 22:20
20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

Hebrews 9:15
15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Matthew 1:21
21 “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

John 15:13
13 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

John 10:11,15
11 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

Ephesians 5:23-26
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

Acts 20:28
28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Romans 8:32-34
32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;
34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

Isaiah 53:12
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

Matthew 26:28
28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

Mark 10:45
45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Titus 2:14
14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

2. Not “unlimited:” Doesn’t include fallen angels.

Hebrews 2:16
16 For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.

3. The irreversible Condition of Lost men Already in Hell when Christ Died (He couldn’t have died with the intention of saving them).

Hebrews 9:27
27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,

Luke 16:26
26 ‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’

4.The limited number of people, by God’s Divine arrangement who actually Hear the gospel (it is unthinkable to suppose that God sent His Son to save people who, by the ordering of His own providence, never hear the gospel in order that they may believe and be saved).

Acts 16:6-8
6 They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia;
7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;
8 and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.

Matthew 11:25
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.

Psalm 147:19-20
19 He declares His words to Jacob,
His statutes and His ordinances to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any nation;
And as for His ordinances, they have not known them.
Praise the Lord!

Romans 9:4
4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,

Ephesians 2:12
12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Acts 14:16
16 “In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways;”

5. Christ’s High Priestly work restricted to the Elect:

John 17:9,20
9 “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;
20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;

Luke 22:31-32
31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;
32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Romans 8:32-34
32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;
34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

6. The Father’s Particularistic Will and Work (The Father and Jesus are always in agreement as to goals, will, desire. The Father chooses and predestines only the elect)
-Christ came to do the will of the Father:

Matthew 26:39
39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”

Hebrews 10:7
7 “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come
(In the scroll of the book it is written of Me)
To do Your will, O God.’ ”

John 6:38
38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

-The Father only calls, chooses some (see the section on election which includes the following verses, and more: Rom. 8:28-30; Rom. 9:11-23; Eph. 1:4-5,11; 2 Thes. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:9; Rom. 11:6-7,28

7. The Death to Sin and Resurrection to Newness of Life of All those for Whom Christ Died:

Romans 6:5-11
5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,
6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.
10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15
14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died;
15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Romans 6:14,17-22
14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.
21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.
22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

8. The Intrinsic Efficacy of Christ’s Cross Work Necessarily Exclusivistic (Christ did not die “potentially” on the Cross for sin but “an Actual Sacrificial death”(1cor. 5:7; Heb 9:23,26;Heb 10:24) becoming sin (2cor. 5:21) and curse (Gal. 3:13) as the substitute for others (1John3:8, Heb. 2:14-15; Col. 2:14-15; Rom. 3:25; Heb. 2:17; Rom. 5:10-11; 2Cor. 5:18-20; Eph. 2:16; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14; Tit. 2:14) If He did this for all, then ALL would be saved.
See also these verses: Rom. 8:3; Gal. 1:4; 1 Pet. 3:18; Rom. 5:6-8; 8:32; 14:15;
Gal. 2:13,20; 1 Cor. 15:3; Heb. 2:9; 2 Cor. 5:5
9. An Atonement of High Value Necessarily Exclusive of an Atonement of Univeral Extension (If the nature of his atoning work actually propitiated the wrath of God, removed the Holy sense of alienation, and paid the price for sin that God’s offended justice required, and He did this sacrificially on behalf of all, then all will be saved. If the Atonement extended to all then all are: Propitiated, reconciled, and redeemed.
What did Jesus’ death provide? Heb.9-10, Rom. 3:25, Heb. 2:17, 1John 2:2, 4:10, Rom. 5:10, 2 Cor. 5:20, Gal. 3:13.
Below is the greek word that is often translated as “all.” As you can see, all does not always mean everyone, but representatives of all groups or nationalities.

3956 ALL { pas}

including all the forms of declension; TDNT – 5:886,795; adj

AV – all 748, all things 170, every 117, all men 41, whosoever 31, everyone 28, whole 12, all manner of 11, every man 11, no + 3756 9, every thing 7, any 7, whatsoever 6, whosoever + 3739 + 302 3, always + 1223 3, daily + 2250 2, any thing 2, no + 3361 2, not tr 7, misc 26; 1243

GK – 4246 { pa`” }

1) individually
1a) each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything
2) collectively
2a) some of all types

… “the whole world has gone after him” Did all the world go after Christ? “then went all Judea, and were baptized of him in Jordan.” Was all Judea, or all Jerusalem, baptized in Jordan? “Ye are of God, little children”, and the whole world lieth in the wicked one”. Does the whole world there mean everybody? The words “world” and “all” are used in some seven or eight senses in Scripture, and it is very rarely the “all” means all persons, taken individually. The words are generally used to signify that Christ has redeemed some of all sorts – some Jews, some Gentiles, some rich, some poor, and has not restricted His redemption to either Jew or Gentile …
C.H. Spurgeon from a sermon on Particular Redemption
Passages often used to teach a “universal atonement”: 1 John2:2, John 3:16, 4:42, John1:29, 2Cor.5:14-15, 1 Tim. 2:6
Luke 2:1-2
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
(NKJV) (Example of how “all” didn’t mean “ALL.”

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