dave_l — 2017-01-18T07:07:15-05:00 — #1
I used to believe in universal atonement never having heard any alternative views. But sitting in a church one evening, the teacher, a TH.D formerly with a local seminary defined Limited Atonement from a standard textbook so he could challenge it, presenting the universal model as true.
But when I heard Limited Atonement for the first time, I realized we were looking at two different religions, both calling themselves Christian. If the atonement is universal and people perish, then it does not save anyone. It only clears the way for people to save themselves by meeting various conditions. Conditions based on the human will. Anything from meeting Evangelical sounding conditions to meeting Catholic sounding conditions.
But if Limited Atonement was true, that is, if Christ exhausted God's wrath for certain sinners on the cross, then God saves them as sinners apart from any conditions. In effect, absorbing the punishment for their sins, and removing all the big conditions only Christ could keep. In this sense, faith, repentance or the Eucharist are not conditions for salvation, but something saved people do.
My first problem was the "universal atonement" passages and especially 2 Peter 2:1. It says apostate teachers will deny the Lord that bought them. But in John 10 Jesus tells the Pharisees he did not give his life for them. And that is why they do not believe. Also the passages saying Jesus gave his life for many. Limiting the atonement’s application. After some study I could answer the questions presented by these texts.
As soon as I cleared the way for Limited Atonement, I breathed a sigh of relief. Instead of trusting in my faith to save me, I began looking at my faith as evidence God saved me, or else I would not have faith.
Any comments welcome.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-18T07:37:12-05:00 — #2
I find what you write there rather confusing ...
In addition, it seems to me that the information given for both positions is not quite in accordance with what Scripture reveals, but rather is giving conclusions based on assumptions for which some scripture passages are then used as supposed "proof text". (for example: "But in John 10 Jesus tells the Pharisees he did not give his life for them. And that is why they do not believe....")
Also, as I have mentioned in another thread, certain things seem exactly "backward" to what I would say the Scripture text states ...
Joh 3:16 (NASB)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:16 (backwards version)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever has been given eternal life and does not perish should and will believe in Him.
dave_l — 2017-01-18T07:47:18-05:00 — #3
Thanks for your comments. I should have posted the references to the John 10 passages, so these are the ones I'm referring to.
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11)
“But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.” (John 10:26)
Also the word "many" limits the atonement.
“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)
“Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” (Luke 13:23–24)
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-18T07:57:06-05:00 — #4
Just to clarify, I do not believe in some "universal atonement" (is that the same or similar to "all will eventually somehow be saved"? )
I do believe that God's desire is for all mankind to be saved, thus He devised a plan by which anyone could be saved .... but obviously there are those who reject God and His salvation (and not too few) who will not be saved due to their rejection.
dave_l — 2017-01-18T08:01:35-05:00 — #5
No, I think Bill C. believes all will be saved and uses "universal atonement" in this way. But in theology, the Arminians use the term saying Christ died for all universally, but only those who meet certain conditions activate the atonement, making it work of them.
justin_gatlin — 2017-01-18T23:33:31-05:00 — #6
Please explain 2 Peter 2:1 in context. In what sense did Jesus buy the damned, in your estimation?
dave_l — 2017-01-19T05:21:00-05:00 — #7
Thanks for your interest in this. The Calvinists explain that in the same way God bought the Israelites and false prophets among them in a non redemptive sense, so God bought the false teachers in a non redemptive sense. This being why Peter compares the two. That is, the thing they share in common.
“Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father that hath bought thee? Hath he not made thee, and established thee?” (Deuteronomy 32:6)
“For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, And redeemed thee out of the house of servants; And I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.” (Micah 6:4)
“Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: Destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: Though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me.” (Hosea 7:13)
They mention that the words for "Lord" and "bought" are flexible enough to show "lord" (small L) and a non redemptive purchase. Gary Long has an excellent book on this called Definite Atonement.
But I believe those who deny the Lord that bought them actually do this. But Christ never bought them in the first place, or they would overcome as Apostle John says in 1 John 3:9 and several more times in the context. The Lord who bought the Mormon or the Jehovah's Witness is not the same Lord that bought you or me. Even the Muslims deny the Lord that bought them when they convert to Christianity.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-19T06:51:19-05:00 — #8
Why would Jesus have told them "STRIVE TO ENTER IN AT THE STRAIT GATE ..." if -- as you claim - a person can do nothing to be saved ("to enter in at the strait gate") ??
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-19T06:59:25-05:00 — #9
Are these words clear in teaching that there were some whom YHWH in fact HAD REDEEMED (that is, they had been among the saved), but who then -- by their choice ? -- turned against YHWH and spoke lies, had forsaken Him, etc ??
So then, you think what was possible in OT times in regards to Israel (cp the passage above and others) is not possible in NT times for those who have become Christians?? In other words, someone who had been redeemed and saved ("bought") and become a Christian can not turn against God and Christ and become an apostate or false teacher ??
It seems to me that there is no need to introduce some different lord/Lord ideas to somehow explain the otherwise obvious, namely, that there are some who were bought by the Lord who afterwards at some point in time forsook the Lord and even tried to deceive the flock etc ....
dave_l — 2017-01-19T07:02:31-05:00 — #10
Many of the Old Covenant Jews believed in a true sense before ever hearing the Gospel. But they needed to make the transition into the New Covenant. And this took effort to lay down the old and pickup the new. The same holds true for us. Because the broad way, universal atonement, leads to salvation by works and destruction. The narrow way leads to salvation by grace. We might argue that the text does not speak of the atonement, but works and grace are a major New Testament theme.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-19T07:41:26-05:00 — #11
???? well the question Jesus was asked was about salvation ... so then Jesus' words don't apply to those who desire to be saved? old covenant Jews were truly saved by works ... but then needed "to change course" and needed another salvation (saved by grace) ???
It seems to me that the confusion arises from differing understandings of "works" and "grace" in reference to salvation / atonement ... What I mentioned before as "believe", "trust", "have confidence in" seems to be "works for salvation" in your estimation, whereas I do not regard such as "works for salvation" at all, since all the work to provide salvation has already been accomplished by Christ !! There is no work anyone can or would need to do for salvation .. Christ has already done it all.
Now, from Christ's own words "Strive to enter in ..." it seems that a person must enter in, and such requires "striving to do so" ... if they don't strive and don't enter, they won't be inside the gate, yes?
But is such striving and entering into the gate some kind of work which would do anything to that which is inside the gate and which then would be received by the person once they enter in? No! What is inside the gate is inside the gate and remains inside the gate ... whether a person enters (and then receives it and enjoys it) or stays outside (and the person won't receive it and won't enjoy it). Christ has done all the work to produce what is inside the gate!! The person produces NO WORK / NOTHING for that which is inside the gate !! Receiving what is inside the gate is therefore all by grace, as it was the gracious work of Christ which produced it.
dave_l — 2017-01-19T07:46:11-05:00 — #12
Redeemed is a broad term that includes physical deliverance. “But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” (Romans 11:4–5)
So there were physically redeemed and spiritually redeemed in Christ in OT Israel.
John says we cannot habitually live in sin. And whatever is Born of God overcomes sin. “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” (1 John 3:9–10)
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” (1 John 5:4)
So the short answer is that we will not fail in overcoming although we might be challenged.
Unless you understand the way Peter uses "Lord" and "bought", confusion exists about how God can buy and own someone yet they can go astray. Those in Christ cannot habitually live in sin.
dave_l — 2017-01-19T07:52:08-05:00 — #13
Salvation has always been by grace and never by works. The saved naturally lived in harmony with the Law because of their saved nature. The wicked needed the law to keep God from killing them. It had nothing to do with salvation.
“Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;” (1 Timothy 1:9–10)
You cannot strive enough to save yourself. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” (Titus 3:5)
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-19T08:46:14-05:00 — #14
Nobody is talking about "strive ENOUGH to save yourself"
The simple and plain truth is: Without a person striving and entering in they won't be receiving what is inside the gate !!! In other words, there is action required by the person, else what God in His grace is offering as a gift will not be received by the person.
You do not enter in => you do not receive God's gift of salvation.
You do enter in => you do receive God's gift of salvation.
dave_l — 2017-01-19T08:50:59-05:00 — #15
Who was Jesus' audience when he spoke these words? Had the New Covenant arrived? Did it take effort for a dyed in the wool Jew to drop everything and embrace the terms of the New Covenant? How do Jesus' words apply to us today? I know it took great effort for me to overcome most of what several churches taught me over the years.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-19T09:45:56-05:00 — #16
Just as it took effort in any man at any time past to chose the right way to salvation, so it takes effort today and will take effort in the future ... Man always has had a choice to make: Chose the way of life and believe what God has done and receive salvation/eternal life as His gift, or else chose any other way and reject what God has done and remain under condemnation of death eternal.
Very siimple ... now, please note carefully: neither believing nor rejecting are works which "produce" either salvation or condemnation, because both condemnation as well as bestowing eternal life as a gift of grace is God's doings.
dave_l — 2017-01-19T10:02:20-05:00 — #17
What are a few scriptures you base this on? I want to show you how I interpret them. My point is, there are no conditions for salvation. Salvation is by grace = unmerited favor.
wolfgang_schneider — 2017-01-19T11:29:25-05:00 — #18
Since when is a condition the same as work or merit ? A condition may be whether or not someone has a desire for something or not, whether one wants to receive a gift or not, etc ... All such have nothing to do with "merit" or with "work" for a gift.
Rev 22:17 (NASB)
And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
dave_l — 2017-01-19T11:52:30-05:00 — #19
An act of the will is a work according to the common Greek term. ἔργον, ου, τό (Hom.+) work.
① that which displays itself in activity of any kind, deed, action
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 390). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Also, the Law defines the works people try to earn salvation by doing. So anything you lite on as a condition is spoken for in one of the Ten Commandments. "Accepting Jesus" is an attempt to keep the first commandment. But if you are saved, you will accept Jesus and live in harmony with the commandments because it is in your new nature to do so.
And who will do this? Just anyone who hates God and loves their sins? “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30)
Again, who does this except those who believe Jesus is Christ?
bill_coley — 2017-01-19T13:38:08-05:00 — #20
I don't think it's the condition itself that constitutes the work, Wolfgang; it's the compliance with the condition that constitutes the work.
Parents who inform their child that he or she must return home by a certain time to avoid consequences establish a condition by which the child may avoid consequences. But the actions the child takes to get back home by that time indeed constitute works. Similarly, I believe, compliance with a requirement to confess Christ as a condition for their salvation requires people to take actions: the work of making such a confession.
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