"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « The Parable of the Four Soils? | Main | Foreknowledge and the Grace of God »

    Everyone Believes the Atonement is Limited

    Since all are not redeemed in the end, even Arminians believe the atonement is limited. Both Reformed and non-Reformed believe that only some of the ill-deserving persons on earth will partake of the benefits of Christ's redemption. Both Reformed and non-Reformed declare that the benefits of Christ's atonement are available to all who believe. The difference is that particular redemption is saying that the redemptive benefits of the atonement will only be applied to that portion which is God's choosing from the mass of ill-deserving persons on the earth. Arminians, on the other hand, believe that the atonement will be applied only to those ill-deserving persons of man's own choosing. But again, what benefit is the atonement to those who are not saved? None which are redemptive. Christ knew before the world existed who would never benefit so it would be contradictory to say he died for all with some kind of hope that the future would be otherwise.

    Posted by John on March 27, 2013 02:02 PM


    Truly atonement is only effective in those who are gifted with faith, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, as mediator "the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world". This by the Holy Spirit, for "the sword of Spirit is the word of God." Herein is the paradox, The shedding of The blood of Christ is offered to all in the preaching of the gospel. "faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God and how shall they hear without a preacher?"Romans 10 The two thieves one on the left one on the right of God our savior as he reconciled the world unto himself. One was saved the other lost. Same words from Jesus heard by both. Was the word of God unable? No like Stephen preached "you are stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears and do always resist the Holy Spirit." It is our will that causes us to be lost, God cannot be blamed now for mans unbelief, anymore then when Adam blamed God for his unbelief. We have not saved ourselves, and we cannot keep ourselves, God saves and keeps his own by Jesus Christ. Preach the gospel of the bloody war hero Jesus Christ who said. "I come to seek and to save the lost." Why some are saved some lost? Duet 29 "the secret belong unto the lord our God.

    Thanks for your note, pastor Mark. It is indeed true that we are to declare to all people without distinction that Christ died for sinners and that the benefits of Christ's atonement (like forgiveness of sins) are available to all who will believe. But I see no paradox here. Christ died for those who would believe, but not for all men - unless you mean by that that he died to give them an opportunity to be saved if they believe; and that, the Reformed folk themselves have never denied. He did die for all in this non-redemptive sense, but this is hardly a benefit ... and will end up being a curse to them ultimately, no? So when we speak of particular redemption we are referring only to the redemptive benefits of Christs atonement, which only the elect are granted that they WOULD believe (John 6:65,37; 17:9; 24; 1 Pet 1:3).

    The secret things (such as who these people are) do belong to the Lord indeed.

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