Saturday, September 8, 2012


John Calvin's theology can be summarized by the letters T.U.L.I.P.   The "L" stands for  "limited atonement."  It is the teaching that Christ died on the cross and paid the penalty only for the sins of the elect.  He did not die for the ones who eventually will be in the lake of fire.  Often it is worded as follows: "Christ died for all men without distinction but He did not die for all men without exception."  This is a subtle game of semantics which makes it possible to say that He died for all without really meaning that He died for all.  What they really mean is that Christ died for all kinds of people and all classes of people, but He did not die for every single person.  That is, He died for Jews and Gentiles, rich and poor, slave and free, male and female, etc., but it is understood that He died for only elect Jews and Gentiles, only elect rich and poor, etc.
Dr. Paul Reiter, has clearly and simply summarized the Scriptural teaching on this issue.  For whom did Christ die?  Jesus died for:  all (1 Tim.2:6; Isa. 53:6); every man (Heb. 2:9); the world (Jn. 1:29; 3:16); the ungodly (Rom. 5:6); false teachers (2 Pet. 2:1); the many (Mt. 20:28); for Israel (Jn. 11:50-51); for the Church (Eph. 5:25); and most importantly, for you and me (Gal. 2:20)!
The Scriptures teach that the sacrifice of the Lamb of God involved the sin of the world (John 1:29) and that the Savior’s work of redemption (1 Tim. 2:6; 2 Pet. 2:1), reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19) and propitiation (1 Jn. 2:2) was for all men (1 Tim. 4:10), but the cross–work of Christ is efficient, effectual and applicable only for those who believe (1 Tim. 4:10; Jn. 3:16). We could even say it in a simpler way: "Christ’s death was sufficient for all, but efficient for only those who believe in Him." The sacrifice of Christ is not limited, but the application of His sacrifice is limited to believers.
Do you believe Jesus died for you?  Are you willing to live for Him?

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