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Is the atonement of Christ unlimited?



    
    

Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie

On the word atonement:

Atonement is 'kaphar' in Hebrew. It means "to pitch" (Gen 6:14), hence to cover over or make propitiation (such as to make God less angry by offering a sacrifice).

Noah 'covered over' the wood of the ark with pitch inside and out. This did not change the fundamental nature of the wood, but it made the wood watertight. Sacrifices were brought to the temple to "cover over" sin. The people were not suddenly sinless - rather God's justice was appeased and He did not count their sin against them.

Atonement was made by the High priest for all the Israelites (Lev 16:34, Ex 30:10) as Jesus later does for the people of God (Heb 2:17). Jesus also became the scapegoat, bearing the punishment for our iniquities.

While atonement in the OT covers a broad range of sacrifices, it boiled down to God no longer looking on their sin that a right relationship could be restored.

In the greek, the word is "hilasmos" and means propitiation (atoning act/sacrifice, sin offering) (1 John 2:2, I John 4:10, Rom 3:25). It is not a common term in the NT, and refers more specifically to the atoning sacrifice itself.

Some key verses on atonement: Lev 16:15-22, I Jon 2:1-2, Rom 3:21-26, I John 4:7-16, Heb 2:14-18, Lev 17:11, Num 16:27-29, Lev 9:7, Heb 9:28

July 28 2014 Report

Mini James Kraft

The bible says faith comes by hearing the word of God. It does not say everyone who hears will believe. I use to believe that it was the Holy Spirit that gave us the faith to believe, so that we had no part in our salvation at all. And I also believe that we cannot believe unless the spirit draws us. The bible also says our faith is accounted to us for righteousness. If our faith is accounted to us for righteousness, then our faith must be worth something to God.

As a side note; When the Lord said their will be those that come to Him and say," Lord Lord, we have done all these good works and even cast out demons in your name." I believe the only ones these can be are the false teachers that preach salvation by works.

Jesus also said that when He returns will He find faith on the earth. Not people living Holy lives. Just faith. Faith in what Jesus did on the cross for us seems to be very important to GOD. If we could live holy lives Jesus would not have had to go to the cross for us. Paul's last words were " I have kept the faith and have finished the race." Faith seemed very important to Paul too.

The bible says without faith it is impossible to please Him. But it is not just faith in faith either. It is faith in our only savior the Son of God Jesus Christ. Those of us that know Him know that nothing is hidden from His eyes. He looks on our hearts and not on our outward things. I, like JD, wonder why He should ever save such a wretched sinner as I. But then I read "by grace ye are saved, not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph 2:8).

And then I boast in the cross that Jesus bled and died for my sins. He nailed them all to the cross and washed them away with his blood. Keep the faith brothers and sisters.

May 14 2015 Report

Mini Edwin Danny Reaid

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, (not of blood) nor of the (will of the flesh) nor of the (will of man), but of {God}. (John 1:12-13 ESV). The Sovereignty of God is a theme that runs through the entire Bible and this verse does not suggest that man's ability to chose God on his own is supported - for it is entirely God. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! (James 2:19 ESV). So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. (Romans 9:16 ESV). For by grace you have been saved through (faith). And this is not your own doing; it is the (gift of God), not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV). He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:5 ESV). And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; (Ephesians 2:1 KJV). And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:1, 5 KJV). And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; (Colossians 2:13 KJV). So, it does not depend on the will of man, but God.

May 14 2015 Report

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie

God, in His sovereignty, graciously gave man the choice to have faith or not. Those who do not believe stand condemned, those who believe are saved. This ability to enter a covenant with God through Christ is not from ourselves, as man on his own could not enter such a covenant, nor could man keep the terms of such a covenant, nor would man even come up with such a covenant. We know of the covenant because of Christ. God graciously has made the New Covenant with Christ as mediator, and allowed any man to freely enter by faith, giving the Holy Spirit as His seal that we will receive the promised inheritance.

John 1:12-13 says this quite clearly: any who believe are granted by God the right to become children of God. We are born again - dying to self and living to God (Gal 2:19-20), not of our own works but because of the promise of God (Gal 3:17-18). Through faith we are brought into the kingdom of God, forgiven, quickened, and made new creations (Col 1:9-14, II Cor 5:16-18, Eph 1:3-23 + Eph 2:1-18, etc). The context of Rom 9 is also about the 'children of the promise'. Salvation is by faith in the promised Messiah, not by works. This is the merciful act of God to all men.

https://ebible.com/questions/3317-how-does-god-s-sovereignty-work-together-with-free-will#answer-17091
https://ebible.com/questions/3753-if-god-is-the-author-and-perfecter-of-our-faith-and-if-god-promises-to-complete-the-work-that-he-begins-in-us-then-do-we-have-a-deciding-factor-in-our-faith#answer-20210

May 14 2015 Report

Mini James Kraft

I am beginning to believe this is one of those areas where God says to trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. Just to throw out another, the bible teaches that unbelievers are without excuse. So did they choose not to believe? Not all of the Jews were saved. Jesus said that the Pharisees were of there father the devil. But the Jews are still Gods chosen people.

May 15 2015 Report

Mini Edwin Danny Reaid

My sheep hear My voice, and (I know them), and (they follow Me); and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand," (John 10:27-28). No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and (I will) raise him up in the last day. (John 6:44). Is the draw happening to everyone? The Father draws and I will raise him up on the last day - the statement does not reflect a mere possibility. For many are called, but few chosen. (Mat 22:14). So, there is an effectual call, something more than the outward message of the Word of God to men. It is internal, and is the result of the enlightening and sanctifying influence of the Holy Spirit that brings about God's Plan of Salvation. Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him in love (Ephesians 1:4). Father, I desire that they also, (whom you have given me), may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. (John 17:24). One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. (The Lord opened her heart to pay attention) to what was said by Paul. (Acts 16:14). Christ's sacrifice was for an actual purpose and not a possible purpose. The Atonement was A DEFINITE ATONEMENT. I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. (Isaiah 42:8). May the "Glory be all His for I do not share".

May 15 2015 Report

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie

Let's break John 6:44 down logically:

Premise: No one can come to Christ unless the Father draws him.
Premise: If someone comes to Christ, then Christ will raise Him up on the last day.

This leads us to five possibilities, based only on this verse:
A. God draws some, and only some of those come
B. God draws all, but only some come
C. God draws some, all He draws come [Calvinism]
D. God draws no-one, so no one can come [Nonsense]
E. God draws all, and everyone comes [Universalism]

We then must go to other scripture to narrow down which is a true possibility, rather than just assuming C. Perhaps the very next verse gives a clue:

"It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God'. Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me". John 6:45

This gives us two more premises:
Premise: Everyone is taught of God (Is 54:13; Jer 31:33-34 - both external revelation and internal conviction (Rom 1:20).
Premise: Those who hear and learn will come to Christ

This leads to more groups: #1 Those taught of God #2 Those who hear and learn (recognize key principles, become disciples, practice their knowledge, etc)

In combination with John 6:44, as well as other scripture (John 12:32, Matt 22:1-14, II Pet 3:9, Heb 2:9, John 3:16-18, etc), we can narrow the possibilities down to B: God draws all, but only some come.

See also: https://ebible.com/questions/3273-how-are-predestination-and-election-connected-with-foreknowledge

May 15 2015 Report

Mini Edwin Danny Reaid

Sovereignty, Grace, and Mercy or words we like to define in order to be palatable - it is only "Human" to do so. God does not make things possible so it is not possibility thinking but of absolutes - "Gospel of Grace". No problem with Israel being chosen: For you are a holy people to Yahweh your God: Yahweh your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples who are on the face of the earth. (Deu 7:6).--- But, God to remain the same (yesterday, today and tomorrow) we have a problem as applied to salvation today. (2Th 2:13) But we are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth; (John 13:18) I don't speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen. But that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me. This is a very hard scripture to embrace: to do whatever your hand and your council foreordained to happen (Acts 4:28). The Gospel = Faith + Nothing. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (Eph 2:8).

May 15 2015 Report

Mini Edwin Danny Reaid

Quote:
“But in his lapsed and sinful state, man is not capable, of any by himself, either to think, to will, or to do that which is really good, but it is necessary for him to be regenerated and renewed in his intellect, affections or will, and in all his powers, by God in Christ through the Holy Spirit, that he may be qualified rightly to understand, esteem, consider, will, and perform whatever is truly good. When he is made a partaker of this regeneration or renovation, I consider that, since he is delivered from sin, he is capable of thinking, willing, and doing that which is good, but yet not without the continued aids of Divine Grace.”
― James Arminius

May 15 2015 Report

Closeup Jennifer Rothnie

Here is an excellent article I ran across that has a lot of relevance to this topic, showing how the question of 'unlimited' vs. 'limited' atonement might be artificially narrowing the scope through which we should be viewing the work of Christ; that we should start with the framework that Christ came to restore all of creation, not just man, instead.

https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org/trevinwax/2007/01/05/why-limited-and-unlimited-atonement-debates-miss-the-point/

August 13 2016 Report

Mini Edwin Danny Reaid

“When your will is God's will, you will have your will.”
― Charles Haddon Spurgeon

When man has exercised his "free will" in regards to salvation - whether it be to salvation or damnation then God's will and purpose has been fulfilled.

Christ's Atonement was not merely a possibility but effectual and real.

August 14 2016 Report

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