Monday, November 16, 2009

Another Great Citation...

...from Kevin at Puritan Fellowship:

Jesus Died For All -Robert Murray M'Cheyne On The Free And Well Meant Offer of the Gospel

"It is nowhere said in the Bible that Christ died for this sinner or that sinner. If you are waiting till you find your own name in the Bible, you will wait for ever. But it is said a few verses before that: "He tasted death for everyman:" and again : "He is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world." Not that all men are saved by Him. Ah, no! the most never come to Jesus, and are lost! but this shows that any sinner may come, even the chief of sinners, and take Christ as his own Saviour, Come you then, anxious soul; say you, He is my refuge and my fortress; and then, be anxious, if you can."~Robert Murray M'Cheyne from sermon on Heb 3:1

Simple, really. So why complicate it? In what sense is Atonement Limited? Only ion the sense a prideful and stubborn heart would limit itself from tasting the riches of Christ's grace.


Anonymous said...

I haven't delved very deeply into the Limited Atonement issue. Oddly enough for this CPA the whole discussion seems very accounting-like to me and makes me think I'm missing the point.

One question for the anti-L.A. folks: If Jesus really died for every person, how can God still punish them? Wouldn't He be punishing the same sins twice. There is probably a tidy answer for that but in MacArthur Podcasts he's never alluded to it.

Marie said...

Well, there IS a sense in which the atonement is limited, of course - otherwise we'd be promoting universalism everytime we preach Christ.

In fact, the universalists take 1 John 2:2 out of context and try to make it say just that: "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."

As in anything else, you have to look at the whole of Scripture. The Atonement clearly was sufficient for every sin, committed by every person for all time. That is what is meant by "of the whole world". However, refusing to trust in Christ (which goes hand in hand with repentance) is, in essence, choosing to carry the weight of one's own sins.

So while Christ's death on the cross is sufficient to redeem every sinner, only those who choose to avail themselves of His grace will be the beneficiaries. Yet it is freely available to all. Jesus alluded to this Himself in John 5:40, when He told the Pharisees, "These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life."

So He certainly extends that invitation to all; it's "limited" only in the sense if one doesn't trust in Christ, by default he carries his own sin. The atonement, already offered, does him no good.

Last winter, right after reading Adams and Macarthur on the issue of not telling a seeker Christ died for his sins, (both men are widely read, quoted and respected at my church), I attended the funeral of a teenaged boy whose classmates and football team were in the sanctuary. OUr pastor made the following statement: "The tragedy is, most of the people for whom Christ died will reject Him." Immediately I though, "Aha! No self-respecting 5-pointer would say a thing like that!" I was actually delighted - I completely agreed. (Several of the boy's classmates were saved after that day, and are now walking with the Lord).

The thing about L. A. is that semantically it's almost right. But not quite. The angle sounds arbitrary - like whether an insurance company will grant full coverage for a certain claim. We are all free and repeatedly invited to make that "claim". I'm not explaining this nearly as well as another could, but I don't think it is unscriptural to tell an unbeliever that Christ died for his sins at all. He DID, but whether or not the individual will "take advantage" of that (by faith and repentance) has yet to be determined.

Anonymous said...

I'm really impressed with your consistency and with the careful, thoughtful way you write. I spent a bit of time scrolling down and reading several of your posts, and really like your stance and the manner in which you stand. There's no doubt in my mind that God is using you and will continue to do that. The note from the agent was nice. Keep up the good work!