Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

You Supply the Caption


84 Comments:

  • Hi Rose:

    My caption:

    ...the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches; (2 Corinthians 8:18)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/09/2008 2:13 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    At least they're not on the sly. :)

    By Blogger Pizza Man, at 10/09/2008 4:20 PM  

  • Some are welcome!
    (you know who you are)

    By Blogger dorsey, at 10/09/2008 4:56 PM  

  • "A man-centered church preaching a God-centered theology.....as given to us by a man...."

    By Blogger Kurt, at 10/09/2008 5:21 PM  

  • Hi Rose! (I remembered)

    "A church that really focuses on the ELECTion!"

    By Blogger Looker4522, at 10/09/2008 10:25 PM  

  • I received this one via email:

    "Nice Trees"

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/10/2008 8:53 AM  

  • Pizza man,
    No, they are just putting it right out there, aren't they?

    Thanks gnsh :~)

    Dorsey,
    haha - very funny! Welcome again to this blog.

    Kurt,
    Have you ever seen a sign like this? ;~) Great slogan. Very anthropocentric. ;~)

    Hello Looker!
    excellent! Churches with that focus can lose their tax-exempt status, though, so they better be careful. heehee

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/10/2008 8:56 AM  

  • Let me give it a try:

    "The road sign said '270', but I did a '180' "

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/10/2008 8:58 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Could you imagine the "sovereign grace" convulsions over a sign that read, "Jack Hyles Independent Baptist Church"?

    The new magesterium -- Mohler, Piper, MacArthur, Sproul, Duncun, Mahanny, and Dever -- would call down bolts upon such creature worship.

    Have a good one!

    tjp

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/10/2008 4:02 PM  

  • Hi Rose:

    'Because "Ulrich Zwingli Presbyterian Church" was already taken and most people found it easier to pronounce "John Calvin" anyway.'

    By Blogger Daniel, at 10/10/2008 4:36 PM  

  • Blessings, Rose.

    I think the caption outside should reflect the teachings inside. That said, here are some ideas that would apply....

    From Homer Hoeksema....

    “A Christ for ALL is really a Christ for NONE.”

    From John Calvin....

    “One should not be content with simply killing such people, but should burn them cruelly.”

    From the WCF....

    “Elect infants, dying in infancy, are.....saved by Christ.....others, not elected....cannot be saved.”

    Now building upon these premises, here are some more....

    “You’ve either been predestined to salvation or predestined to eternal torment....deal with it.”

    Or...

    “The reason you are going to hell is because God didn’t want you in heaven.”

    Or even...

    “You didn’t reject God, God rejected you.”

    And perhaps the most fitting would be...

    “When Jesus said ‘for God so loved the world’ he didn’t mean all men without exception, but all men without distinction. What this means is that he probably doesn’t love you.”

    Come, Lord Jesus
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/10/2008 6:52 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Why do they need a sign?

    By Blogger goe, at 10/10/2008 8:34 PM  

  • TJP!
    So good to see you! When is L&O opening up again? Well, if not soon, at least I am thinkful to see you comment. :~) God bless.
    (I still have the link in hope...)

    Daniel,
    Hahaha! John and I got a very good chuckle out of that this morning at 7 am when we read the email notification? Very good!

    Wngfooted,
    You cut like a knife, brother.
    “You didn’t reject God, God rejected you.”
    What a message that would be. I think God that this is not a message I hear preached.
    Please come and visit again.

    Goe,
    I am trying to process your question. :~)
    hehehe Most churches have signs, but I think you are making a funny... I am just a little slow now and then. ;~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/11/2008 3:33 PM  

  • "thinkful"?
    I have gotten so sloppy.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/11/2008 3:33 PM  

  • "I think God "

    I need to proofread more

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/11/2008 3:34 PM  

  • goe,
    When are you going to post again? I have been checking your blog. I agree with what "interested spectator" said. I couldn't have said it better myself.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/11/2008 3:35 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Yes, I was trying to make a joke. I guess I was inspired by "wingedfooted1" to try one myself! I'm sure you've heard of 5-pt Calvinists or Presbyterians referred to as the "frozen chosen", haven't you? I just meant that if everything is predetermined by God, then the elect should have no problem finding the church if it's God's will for them to be there, right? And the non-elect, well...God wouldn't want them there anyway would He? Some Presbyterians aren't even motivated to evangelize the lost because God has already decided all of that, so what's the point? Anyway, I know not to use that joke again, because now you've made me give it away. A great joke--wasted!

    Let me try another one: 5-pt Calvinists never sing the words to "Just As I Am", because they know the elect will just recognize the tune and come forward anyway! I think everyone's heard that one, so it's probably lame too.

    Thanks for your kind words. Right now, I don't know if I will post again. I know nothing about blogs, so now that things have settled down, I might just go back to where I came from. Little did I know what I was getting into! For now, I'm just enjoying being back to normal.

    I do enjoy reading your blog though. Keep up the good work! But I've learned my lesson about trying to be funny! You are so cruel Rose!

    By Blogger goe, at 10/11/2008 6:52 PM  

  • Rose,

    Blessings to you and yours.

    In regards to... “you didn’t reject God, God rejected you.”....

    That mind-set is reflected and taught from the following quote.

    “Reprobation, like election, is unconditional. The non-elect are not rejected because of their sins-- because they were worse sinners than the elect. Instead, just as Christians are chosen based only upon the purposes of God and nothing in them, so also the non-elect are rejected solely due to the good pleasure of God's will--not because of anything in them or anything they have done. However, the reason that this rejection leaves them to eternal punishment is because of their sins. If they weren't sinners, this rejection wouldn't result in their eternal torment. So while they are not reprobated because of what they have done, they are punished for what they have done (sin). That is, God's rejection of the reprobate is not because of their sins (just as God's choice of the elect was not because of any goodness in them), but God's punishment of the reprobate is because of their sins.”

    Jesus said in Matthew 10:27...

    “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.”

    It appears the nasty little secret of “unconditional reprobation” and “unconditional rejection” is kept under the roof.

    He who has ears, let him hear.

    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/12/2008 8:52 PM  

  • Rose,

    Here’s another caption....

    “Bar-B-Que this weekend. Heretics, welcomed!”

    Here’s a little “Reformed” church history. In the burning of Servetus, Calvin used slightly green wood to pro-long the agony.

    John 16:2... “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”

    In Him,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/12/2008 10:03 PM  

  • Hi Rose!!!

    Wingfooted,

    Can you provide the reference information for the quote on reprobation?

    “Reprobation, like election, is unconditional. The non-elect are not rejected because of their sins-- because they were worse sinners than the elect. Instead, just as Christians are chosen based only upon the purposes of God and nothing in them, so also the non-elect are rejected solely due to the good pleasure of God's will--not because of anything in them or anything they have done........."

    I have been struggling with this area....I am very NON-CALVINIST....but when I discuss this very topic with a Calvinist, I get very strange answers, double-speak (it seems to me), and no direct straight answers like the quote you provided.

    I would like to know if this was from Calvin, or someone else.

    Thanks,

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 10/13/2008 12:46 PM  

  • Hi Rose

    Kurt: I think it is likely that you will continual to run round and round in circles. I don't blame the Calvinists though (although not every calvinist can articulate his belief, just as every Dispensationalist etc., fails to do so.)

    Take the quotation you want clarified. Immediately you started introducing three dots (...) which, of course, truncated the quote. I notice that you chopped off the important bit i.e. that the non elect are punished for their sins. By doing this, you have just spiced up what we might call "the juicey bits" and ignored the bit that brings t all into perspective. That's fine if that's what you want to do. But you do yourself a grave injustice (never mind the sincere Calvinist)by blaming the Calvinist for (what you call) speaking out of both sides of his mouth.

    Forgive me if I read you wrong on this one, but if I read you right, then no apology is necessary.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/13/2008 2:19 PM  

  • Hi Colin,

    No need to apologize, but you did read me wrong.

    I truncated the quote for brevity since Wingfooted had the entire quote just a couple comments above. I did not cut it at any strategic point...just a random act of stopping my mouse.

    The issue I refered to was when I try to get clarification as to how God can choose the elect out of depravity and then not choose others....and some how His "not choosing" them is thier fault. That sounds like double-speak.

    I don't see it.

    Here is the argument I see being made.
    1. Everyone is depraved and deserving of God's wrath.
    2. God provides Jesus as our sacrificial lamb, to provide atonement.
    3. God chooses only some depraved people to recieve the atonement.
    4. The rest of the depraved he leaves alone.
    5. He leaves them alone because it pleases him to do so and since he is sovereign, no one should question it.

    I understand that arguement (don't agree with it, but I understand it).

    Where I don't get it is when it is within God's power to save all (and we both agree it is) and he only chooses some..... then since it was in his power to save all, he in effect has taken the work of Christ (that was for all men) and has refused to give it to them.

    This is not the God of the Scriptures (OT and NT) that has made himself known through the Word.

    So....all of that just to say.....who was the author of the quote? :)

    By Blogger Kurt, at 10/13/2008 3:03 PM  

  • Hi Kurt,

    You trace the illogical part to the idea that Christ provided atonement for the reprobate but God refuses to give it to them. I agree that this would be illogical if this was the case. But it is not the case, as Calvinists see it. Christ made a definite atonement only for His elect – bearing their sins on His own body to the tree and actually securing their redemption with His own blood. Surely you can understand this, even if (as above) you do not agree with it?

    Even if it were true and therefore illogical, it would be no more illogical than your position of Christ actually bearing the sins of the reprobate even when He knew beforehand that they effectively did not want Him to do so and would ultimately reject it. He knows from the beginning who would believe (and therefore who would not believe) on Him and yet (according to you) He goes ahead and bears their sins anyway but still punishes the reprobate for these atoned for sins anyway in hell, where those liars etc., are said (as liars etc.,) to be cast.

    Secondly, I have never seen it written or heard it said that the reprobate is guilty for the Lord passing him by. The guilt belongs to him for his actual sins i.e. his lies, murders, lusts etc., The reprobate is left in his sins (as foreseen by God) but reprobation does not make him a sinner – this guilty charge is traced back both to Adam and the sinner himself.

    I do not know who made the elusive quote. There is certainly nothing in the quote to substantiate the idea that a Calvinist bill board should read: “You didn’t reject God, God rejected you.” Reprobates DO reject God and that is why they are damned. Reprobates DO reject God and that is why they are among the great mass of sinners in the first place – the great mass out of whom God chose to save some while leaving others to perish in their sins. Perhaps if instead we could have been supplied with a properly referenced quote from some noted Calvinist saying “You didn’t reject God, God rejected you.” then we might sit up and take notice. As it stands, it is just a mischievous piece of anti Calvinist spin, made worse (in my opinion) because it has been utilised supposedly in the defence of truth.

    Enjoying chatting you – (although I will be away for a couple of days in the middle of the week)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/13/2008 5:04 PM  

  • Colin,

    Wow, we are so far apart in our understanding of the Scripture, our understanding of the very nature and character of God, and our understanding of Jesus Christ's act and purpose of Atonement on the Cross.

    I have so many responses welling up inside me to so much of what you just wrote. But I know that nothing I will say will change your views....and likewise, nothing you propose in defense of Calvinism will change my views.

    We could go on debating for years (as has been happening throughout the ages)and we still will never agree.

    Maybe someday there will be a posted topic where you and I can agree .....hmmmmm ....maybe someday :)

    Anyway....have a good trip.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 10/13/2008 5:48 PM  

  • Rose and the gang,

    Does anyone know where Wingfooted's quote came from?

    Curious,

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 10/13/2008 5:50 PM  

  • Brother Kurt,

    Sorry for the delayed response. My opportunities to “log on” during the day are limited.

    The article is labeled “Election, Non-Election, and Romans 9”. The quote above can be found in section II, part B from the following link....

    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/8449/reprobation.html

    At this point, all I know is that it comes from someone initialed “MP”. The website is called “Contend For The Faith”.

    Also, notice the next section, III, starts out with....

    “Before we begin, it is important to see the importance of understanding the truths of unconditional election and unconditional reprobation. These truths are not ugly, but beautiful!”

    So not only are we to embrace the reprobation of millions upon millions of souls, but we must also recognize this “unconditional reprobation” as a thing of beauty.

    Grace,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/13/2008 7:50 PM  

  • Blessings, Colin.

    You said... "Reprobates DO reject God and that is why they are damned."

    I, respectfully, disagree. The quote above....

    “the non-elect are rejected solely due to the good pleasure of God's will--not because of anything in them or ANYTHING THEY HAVE DONE.”

    The caption “you did not reject God, God rejected you” only reflects the Calvinistic teaching that God decided the eternal destinies of the Lost from eternity past.

    1 John 4:19 says “We love him, because he first loved us.”

    Now we know, thru Calvinism, that the Lost can say “we hate God, because he first hated us.” They were just “unconditionally reprobated/rejected” because it pleased God to do so and not because of anything they have done or will do. This “anything” would include rejecting God and his only Son.

    Paul tell us in 2 Thess 2:10 that the Lost perish “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

    But, according to Calvinism, God doesn’t love them and Christ didn’t die for them. And because the Lost do not love this “truth”, they are eternally damned?

    Forgive me, but even I don’t see any “love” in this “truth”. And there is certainly no chance that the Lost “might be saved”.

    On another note, you stated.... “You trace the illogical part to the idea that Christ provided atonement for the reprobate but God refuses to give it to them. I agree that this would be illogical if this was the case. But it is not the case, as Calvinists see it.”

    Just one correction. “This is not the case, as 5 point Calvinists see it”. 4 point Calvinists clearly see that Christ died for all, they just believe that God gives the gift of faith only to the elect. So while the 4 pointers reject “limited atonement”, they do embrace what I call “limited access”.

    Either way, rest assured, the Lost are eternally damned.

    Come, Lord Jesus
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/13/2008 9:46 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Kurt/Wingfooted:

    Wingfooted: Until you observe the difference between the initial cause of damnation (always sin) and the cause of preterition (why God passes by those who are damned because of sin)then you are going to continue sending out misinformation.

    The wicked can only say; "We hate God because of the wickedness of our own hearts" - your spin on it is not only unhelpful, but it is untrue. If you must take on Calvinists, then at least engage us on what we do believe instead of making it up as you go along.

    I'll be away for a couple of days so I'll probably pull the plug on this one early. It doesn't seem to be going anywhere serious anyway.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/14/2008 1:59 AM  

  • Hi Rose.

    Wingfooted,

    Thanks for the response.

    Hebrews 2:9 "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone."

    Titus 2:11 "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

    These are just 2 of many verses that are clear that Christ's atonement and God's grace are offered to everyone.

    Limited Atonement is not Scriptural.

    Secondly, Colin stated:
    "...He goes ahead and bears their sins anyway but still punishes the reprobate for these atoned for sins anyway in hell,..."

    If we look at the passover lamb as the type/foreshadow of Christ as our Passover Lamb, it is clear that the death of the lamb was not the point of salvation. If the Israelites had not applied the blood to the doorposts in obedience to God's commands, the lambs death in and of itself would not have saved them. Even in the sacrificial system as God ordained, the blood was to be applied to the horns of the alter.

    The blood applied is what God is looking for.

    So, given this, does Christ's death on the cross pre-atone for our sins, or does the application of the blood through faith and trust in Christ's death provide the atonement. I believe the latter.

    This truth from Scripture does not support Calvinism....

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 10/14/2008 2:23 AM  

  • Hi Kurt,

    Thank you for your response. You have introduced a new subject into the proceedings here i.e. that of the free offer of the gospel. This is not an issue here between us in that preaching the gospel indiscriminately to all without exception is an acceptable practice to both Calvinists and non Calvinists alike. I certainly can look every last person I will ever meet straight in the eye and tell them that there is salvation for them if they will come to Christ. Calvin himself (who, incidentally, is not my be all and end all of faith) clearly taught this when he said; “The gospel is to be preached indiscriminately to the elect and to the reprobate: but the elect alone come to Christ, because they have been taught of God. (Commentary on Isaiah 4:146)

    Secondly, you quote texts which include the words “all” and “every” as if “all” and “every” can only mean “all without exception” and “every one without exception.” Surely you must know that these words can legitimately bear the meaning of “all/every one without distinction” i.e. “all/every kind(s) of…” Bearing in mind the very definite language that is employed, then we must do so in order to maintain the strength of Christ’s work. For example, in Titus 2:11 which you above about the grace of God bringing salvation. I interpret this text to mean much more than the grace of God merely providing the offer of salvation. If I read you right, then this is what you teach. (I assume that you are not a Universalist who believes that all men without exception have salvation.) But the text goes further than this. It teaches that salvation is not merely offered, but also applied. Salvation is not salvation without it being applied. I do not need a Saviour who merely offers to save, but a Saviour who actually saves. And this is how Christ has appeared to “all kinds” of men – bringing actual salvation to them and not a mere offer. If you think I am watering down the “all” – then at least you can see why I retort that you are watering down what Christ actually brought.

    Thirdly, your view in the atonement as expressed in this sentence; So, given this, does Christ's death on the cross pre-atone for our sins, or does the application of the blood through faith and trust in Christ's death provide the atonement. I believe the latter. makes the work of atonement to lie in the blood of Christ plus man’s faith. Actually, it is you that limits the atonement here. According to you (as you word it here) it cannot be atonement without the subjective matter of man’s faith. On paper at least, you could have had Christ dying on the Cross, going through all the horrors of Calvary and the Father’s wrath etc., and if the whole world have turned its back on the gospel, then no atonement would have been made.

    On the other hand, I see that my faith is directed towards a most objective matter i.e. a finished work that really is finished and needs no contribution of man to make it be what it purports to be. It is true that I need faith to enter into the benefit of the atonement, but it is an objective atonement nevertheless. My faith does not make it so. It merely recognises that it is so and responds accordingly by resting upon it as the sole grounds of my salvation.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/14/2008 9:12 AM  

  • Hi Colin,

    Again, we have such a large chasm between the interpretations of scripture. And again, I will not continue to pick at those arguments where we have disagreed many times.

    I do want to ask your view on this (and again, I would think that we will disagree, but I have not heard your thoughts before).

    In the sacrificial system ordained by God, the sin offering was to be made by the high priest for the covering of the sins of the entire nation. This was the closest thing to Atonement that Israel could get. It is also a foreshadow of Christ's work on the cross as the true atonement.

    That sin offering was made by the high priest for the entire nation and their sins were "covered". We surely agree that the entire nation of Israel was not saved....and in Calvinist terms... not elect. But the sin offering was made for the nation.

    As the foreshadowing of Christ as our High Priest and Sacrificial Lamb, it is clear that Christ's sin offering was made for all (the nations).

    It appears that you may be confusing the sin offering with salvation. Salvation comes through Faith in the work of Christ on the cross. The blood must be applied.

    This clear example of the sacrificial system, sin offering for the nation, etc does not support the Limited Atonement view or Calvinistic Doctrine. But truth is truth and if the Scripture does not bear one's doctrines to be true, then it is the doctrines that need to change.....one cannot seek out alternate interpretations of Scripture to fit their claim of Calvinism.

    And, by the way, NO, I am not a Universalist.....but I think you already knew that.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 10/14/2008 11:20 AM  

  • Goe,
    I thought that was what you were getting at - something like that!
    Yes, I have heard the term "frozen chosen." I enjoyed your comment, goe.

    I'm not really all that cruel. ;~)

    Wingfooted,
    It is nice to se you commenting again. I want you to know you are always welcome here. Your points are well taken.

    Kurt,
    Thank you as well. I do appreciate the civil way in which you and Colin disagree over these things. You know I see it your way.

    Colin,
    Receiving something by faith doesn' tmake you a "contributor" to it. I never get this argument from Calvinists. It just makes you a "recipient." Is there something meritoriuos about receiving Christ? Do you see receiving Christ as passive as receiving a blow to the head like one of my other friends?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/14/2008 11:21 AM  

  • Hi Rose/Kurt,

    Kurt: Two things about the OT sin offering.

    First of all, it never actually took away sins, because it was not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could do so. If it had’ve done so, then there was no need for the High Priest to offer for those sins every year. Etc . (You know the relevant references from Hebrews) All the sin offering effectively did was acknowledge sin, but it did not remove it. That had to wait until Calvary when Christ took away our sins.

    Secondly, the OT sin offering was not offered for the whole world i.e. the Gentiles. It was therefore limited in its nature. In the OT, it was limited to the Jews and I would contend that it was limited in the OT to those Jews who were Jews inwardly i.e. whose circumcision was of the heart and not of the flesh (Romans 2:29)

    Here’s a two fold question which is based on your thought that Christ has taken away the sins of the world (as interpreted by you that the “world” means “every last soul ever born”)

    [i] Where did Christ actually take the sins of the man who will finally spend eternity in hell?

    [ii] Where did Christ actually take the sins of the man who will finally spend eternity in heaven?

    Rose: I see receiving Christ as something active –I flee to him for refuge etc., I do not, however, see this as meritorious.

    Neither do I see the work of atonement only becoming so when I add my faith to it. Unless I read Kurt incorrectly, this is what he was advocating above and (correct me if I am wrong) this is what you endorsed when you write that you see things as Kurt sees them. I quote: ” So, given this, does Christ's death on the cross pre-atone for our sins, or does the application of the blood through faith and trust in Christ's death provide the atonement. I believe the latter.” This is certainly contributory.

    Christ’s blood + my faith = atonement

    I cannot agree.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/14/2008 2:04 PM  

  • Hi Rose. I will continue to be civil....promise... :)

    Colin,

    Finally we agree on something. Your first point. The OT sin offering only covered thier sins (as I stated).

    Second, you are interpreting the meaning of OT sacrificial system through the lenses of your doctrine of Limited Atonement. No where does the scripture state that the sin offering was for only those who were Jews inwardly. If is does, please show me.

    Lev. 4:17-20 "He shall dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it before the LORD seven times in front of the curtain. He is to put some of the blood on the horns of the altar that is before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting. The rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. He shall remove all the fat from it and burn it on the altar, and do with this bull just as he did with the bull for the sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven. Then he shall take the bull outside the camp and burn it as he burned the first bull. This is the sin offering for the community."

    For the community. I don't recall the nation of Israel segregating themselves into communities of inward Jews and outward Jews. Please show me where you get that.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 10/14/2008 2:34 PM  

  • Hi Kurt,

    The Apostle Paul makes the distinction which you cannot find:

    But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    I repeat (not, I trust, in any hectoring way) my twofold question again:

    [i] Where did Christ actually take the sins of the man who will finally spend eternity in hell?

    [ii] Where did Christ actually take the sins of the man who will finally spend eternity in heaven?


    If you can answer me these questions, then you can perhaps see where I am coming from on the doctrine of Limited Atonement or (a better term) Particular Redemption.

    Note: There is a good chance that I might be away tomorrow for 3 days, so if I am slow to make any further replies, you will know why.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/14/2008 4:44 PM  

  • Colin,

    I understand Paul's distinction as it relates in context to the covenant and circumcision. I don't see the distinction being defined when it comes to the sin offering. Show me where that distinction is.

    I don't see the answer to those 2questions being pertinent to our discussion. I don't have an answer, nor do I care where the "location" is. I think that, again, we are demonstrating the chasm that is between you and I. Sin is not a physical thing that can picked up and taken somewhere....it is referred to in a more abstract way. So, I am not sure I understand how this applies....but I am sure you will tell me.... :)

    Also, please tell me where the "community" of Israelites were segregated into inward and outward and only the inward ones had their sins covered by the sin offering. This is not the picture that is drawn for us, the foreshadowing of the Greater Sacrifice that was to come.

    I do understand how you could read into the scriptures those meanings that align with Limited Atonement...but you do so through the lenses of your doctrine. A clear, plain reading of scripture does not take you there.

    Have a good trip.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 10/14/2008 5:09 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I am a late comer to this discussion. One interesting thing to note is that John Calvin would not pass a Presbyterian presbytery (regional governing body of Presbyterian churches) doctrinal exam to become a teaching elder in a Presbyterian church. Ironic, isn't it?

    By Blogger Earl, at 10/14/2008 11:20 PM  

  • Kurt,

    You said... “Limited Atonement is not Scriptural”.

    Not in the Calvinistic sense, I agree completely. Sorry if I implied otherwise. To support your position....

    Leviticus 16:33.....
    “And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an atonement for the priests, AND FOR ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE CONGREGATION.”

    Then in 1 Corinthians 15:3 the apostle Paul said “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures”.

    Paul said this to them while they were still lost.

    In Luke 22:19-20 Jesus said to the 12 apostles.... “THIS IS MY BODY WHICH IS GIVEN FOR YOU: this do in remembrance of me.” Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new testament in MY BLOOD, WHICH IS SHED FOR YOU.”

    The “you” in these verses were directed just as much to Judas as they were to Peter. It was intended just as much for Judas as it was for John. He said this to the 12,of which Judas was one.

    In Romans 5:6, Paul says “Christ died for the ungodly” and told Timothy (1 Tim 1:15) “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”.

    So far in my witnessing, I haven’t come across anyone that didn’t qualify as being “ungodly” or a “sinner”.

    1 John 2:2 says “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    But Acts 10:43 also states “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”

    So while Christ is the “atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world”, only those who believe “receive the remission of sins”. In other words, no faith, no forgiveness.


    Rose,

    Thanks much for the very kind words. They are appreciated.

    Grace and peace,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/14/2008 11:53 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Kurt:

    Excuse the five minute answer here before I prepare to head off.

    When God took my sin (in the abstract, but real nevertheless - or maybe better worded: The guilt of my sin) - He put it into the depths of the sea (Micah 7) - somewhere where it would not be remembered against me anymore (Hebrews 10:17) - blotted out as a thick cloud (Isaiah 44)

    Has He done this with those who will prove themselves to have been reprobates. I think not. Their guilt is still there - or as Jesus told the reprobate Pharisees. Your sin remains (John 9) IOW: It was not taken away on th Cross, as those sins of the elect of God were.

    Sorry I can't write more, but I really must get a move on

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/15/2008 1:59 AM  

  • Rose, I would love to hear your contributions.

    Colin,

    Where is it stated that the Israelites were seperated into inward and outward Jews and only the inward Jews had thier sins atoned for? Scripture is clear that the sins were atoned for all of Israel.

    Where did their sins go (symbolically)? Answer: Out of the camp and into the wilderness. Aaron symbolically placed his hands on the scapegoat and transferred Israel's sins to the goat and sent it out of the camp.

    Lev 16:20-22 "When Aaron has finished making atonement for the Most Holy Place, the Tent of Meeting and the altar, he shall bring forward the live goat. He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites—all their sins—and put them on the goat's head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task. The goat will carry on itself all their sins to a solitary place; and the man shall release it in the desert.

    I don't have all the answers but Scripture does. And I cannot deny the clear picture that scripture gives regarding the atonement. And I believe in the typology of the high priest in Israel's history as a foreshadow of Christ as our High Priest, as well as Christ as our Passover Lamb.

    If the clear teaching of the sacrificial system, atonement, and the High Priest's role does not align with Limited Atonement or Calvinism, well, I cannot change scripture to make sure that it aligns with those man-made doctrines.

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 10/16/2008 11:30 AM  

  • Rose,

    This was emailed to me by a person we both know who has been reading along in this comment string and has some thoughts they shared with me and I thought I would add them. I really appreciated the thought process in these comments.


    On the Topic of Limited Atonement:

    The foundation of much of the Calvinistic perspective is a logical progression from point to point. Goodnight even mentions in his response that it would be “illogical” for Christ to die for those He knew would reject Him. He is right, it isn’t logical for Christ to die (pay) for all and only save some, so, they believe, He must have only died for some. But, this view is not supported by Scripture, it is a logical human progression to a point. What passages in Scripture say that Christ died only for the elect? He died for the elect, yes, as He died for all. What Scripture can they provide that specifically says He died only for some? The Scriptures do say that Christ loved the whole world (John 3:16), that He wants no one to perish but all to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9), that through Adam death came to all men and through Christ life comes to all men (1 Cor. 16:22), that God calls all men unto Himself (John 12:32), that the Grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men (Titus 2:11), God desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth (1 Tim. 2:4), He is called the Savior of all men (1 Tim. 40), He calls all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30). Also, the old testament is full of stories of God’s mercy given to men even when He knew they would not repent and through the prophets He called out to Israel to “repent and live” though He knew they would not repent.

    A Calvinist might say that “unlimited atonement (community-wide atonement) doesn’t make any sense – Christ died and paid for those who wouldn’t use it. That can’t be.” I would say, it can be. God can do whatever He wants for He does what pleases Him. It doesn’t have to make logical sense to us.

    Again, what Scriptures say that God died only for the elect and therefore negates all of the Word of God referenced above?

    God, in His merciful grace, died for all and wants all to repent, though many, when faced with the choice, will choose not to repent. They will not believe (Gen. 15:6, Acts 16:31) and for that decision they will be judged. But their decision is not God’s will for them. The Scriptures that tell us of God’s mercy for all do not lesson the sovereignty of God anymore than their perspective lessons the grace of our gracious God.

    The Calvinists have made God a very ungracious God. Though they say He is a God of grace Who saves the chosen through His grace and they emphasize His grace, but they make Him into a God whose character is very ungracious. An act of grace to save some does not give Him the character of graciousness. I can be nice to only some people. That would not cause me to be labeled as one with a gracious character. Only if I am consistently and unconditionally gracious to all would I be labeled as a gracious person. But our God is gracious and merciful to all the undeserving for He is a gracious merciful God.

    The rejection of the free gift offered through Christ is the reason people will end up in hell. It is not really a person’s sin which sends them to hell. Abraham was not sinless. Paul was not sinless. It is their lack of acceptance of Christ’s blood shed to pay their debt. The debt has been paid; it is “finished.” Whether or not a sinner accepts that payment will be the deciding factor of where they will spend eternity.

    My sins made it necessary for Christ to die, but my sin (or lack of sin) would never get me into heaven and my current sins do not keep me out. It is all about the blood of Christ “shed once for all” and if people believe in and accept that payment.

    If the argument were true that God chose the elect therefore Christ died only for the elect and others have no choice to accept or reject that payment (because the payment was not made for them) then it really wouldn’t be about the Lamb slain. Actually, the Lamb slain would be an ancillary point to the Gospel message. This is blasphemous!


    On the topic of "God didn’t reject them, they rejected God":

    If I am given the choice of balls from a basket full of 15 balls and I leave 10 balls and take 5, then I have chosen some and not chosen others. People would not say that I chose the 5 but the 10 rejected me. How absurd! I have the choice, the power to choose any and all balls I wish. I choose some and I leave others. For whatever reason I do that, it is my choice.

    Calvinists say that God is totally in control of everything and nothing happens outside of His will because He is sovereign, meaning totally in control of everything. Man, on the other hand, can not choose God because he doesn’t have the power to do so. According to Calvinists, man is totally depraved and, therefore, can not even hear from God unless God makes the man hear the call and changes the man so that man will respond through God’s power.

    In light of this, in His power (control) God chooses some to save. In His power alone, He transforms some unbelievers into believers. At the same time, other men (who are totally powerless and can not act out of God’s will) are said to reject God. How can a powerless creature reject an all powerful God Who makes all things happen according to His will?

    Saying that God is totally in control and man is powerless and yet man chooses to reject God and God didn’t make that happen is double talk. Both can not be true. It is another “logical” progression not supported by Scripture. The Scriptures that clearly reflect God’s desire for all to be saved prove the opposite is true.

    End of quote.

    AMEN!!!!!!!!!

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 10/16/2008 5:10 PM  

  • Blessings, Rose.

    Kurt/Colin

    Consider the following from Hebrews 9:19-22...

    “When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and SPRINKLED the scroll AND ALL THE PEOPLE. He said, "THIS IS THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT, which God has commanded you to keep." In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”

    1 Corinthians 10:1-5......

    “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that ALL OUR FATHERS WERE UNDER THE CLOUD, AND ALL PASSED THROUGH THE SEA; And were ALL BAPTIZED UNTO MOSES in the cloud and in the sea; And did ALL EAT THE SAME SPIRITUAL MEAT; And did ALL DRINK THE SAME SPIRITUAL DRINK: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.”

    So why wasn’t ALL Israel saved?

    Jude 1:5......

    “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward DESTROYED THEM THAT BELIEVED NOT.”

    Since God knows who believes and who doesn’t, why wasn’t the bread from heaven (Christ’s body), and the spiritual drink (Christ’s blood) sovereignly offered only to the believing ones? It appears, with scriptural support, that the body and blood of Christ were offered to those that perished (the Lost) as well.

    Saved by the blood of the Lamb,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/16/2008 10:11 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Kurt/Wingfooted1,

    The language of Scripture itself concerning the atonement shows that it was a definite atonement. He actually did something in that historical and actual moment of time that secured redemption for those for whom it was offered. Thus He cried “It is finished” (John 19:30) or “It is perfected” or (as it has been translated; “It is consummated”)

    At this stage, we are enquiring if it was even for those who will ultimately reject God’s word and perish in hell for eternity (self condemned reprobates) or whether it was for those who will ultimately receive the proffered gift of salvation (grace saved elect) and enjoy eternal bliss. Whichever side we come down on, these are the two options succinctly stated.

    Being both a definite and effectual atonement, if it is for the reprobate as equally for the elect, then the same work was equally accomplished for both. In other words, if Christ actually took away the sins of the world (interpreted in the one of two senses to mean every last sinner ever born including the reprobate) then that which has happened to the sins of the elect has also happened to the sins of the reprobate. If you want to go down that road – thinking (it seems) that it is somehow necessary to make God appear more loving – then you have the sins of the reprobate taken to the same place as the sins of the elect. For did Christ not actually and definitely bear them away? If not, then you have half an atonement and an exaggeration on the part of John the Baptist. Which is unthinkable. At least in my circles.

    We know that the sins of the elect were cast behind God’s back (Isaiah 38:17) plunged forever into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19) removed as far as the east is from the west - which is an immeasurable distance. You can measure from north to south because of the poles, but not east to west. (Psalm 103:12) – put into the place where God will not remember them anymore (Hebrews 10:17) This was all accomplished at Calvary when Christ cried it is finished.

    It is for the preacher to proclaim this fact, hence Paul said “We preach Christ crucified” i.e. “Christ crucified and bearing away our sins into the depths of the sea, as far as the east is from the west etc.,” To bring the sinner into the good of this great and finished work, we must impress upon him the requirement of faith in Christ (actually a repentant faith, but that is another matter, doubtless, for another day.) When the sinner calls upon the name of the Lord for salvation, then all the benefits thus procured for him at the Cross come into his actual and eternal possession.

    The reprobate sinner (by definition) does not receive the message of salvation in Jesus Christ, even though he is assured that if he will come, then he will not be cast out. He lives and dies in his sin (John 8:21) But wait! How can he die in his sins when according to your interpretation of John 1:29, his sins were laid on Jesus Christ, equally with the sins of the elect, and jointly (as the sin of the world) they were borne away – removed as far as the east from the west etc.? Without trying to be funny here: Does God go fishing in the depths of the sea for these once removed (and according to you atoned for sins) and bring them up again from the depths? Does He reach over His shoulder and bring these once-atoned-for and price-paid-for-in-full sins out again? What kind of atonement is this – and is to be proclaimed to the uttermost ends of the earth that it actually atones, but the sins which have been paid for in full are to be dragged out again and the case reopened and fresh penalty imposed?

    The issue here is not how many verses I can produce. It is how seriously I take Christ’s cry that “It is finished” in John 19:30 and how much I think He means it when He tells me that the sins that He bore away actually are borne away in full and that for eternity. To say that Christ has borne away sins that are later said to remain (John 9:41) contradicts Scripture. As said above, that is only a half atonement and that (in reality) is no atonement at all. Notice how you reduce the fullness of what Christ has done in other verses. One verse quoted above is that while all men die in Adam, all are made alive in Jesus Christ. Are all sin-dead sinners actually made alive in Jesus Christ? Every last one? Obviously not. So to cover the nakedness caused by your threadbare interpretation, you have to start making Christ’s life-for-all merely potential. Yet the text in question does not allow for that. I am not obliged to do that when I come to such Scriptures. I can give these texts all the force they require because I see them as effectual – and not merely potential. Where the Bible used definite language, then we should leave well alone. The danger in watering down the soup too much is that no one gets fed.

    Sorry this post is so long.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/17/2008 11:01 AM  

  • Colin,
    You said:
    Neither do I see the work of atonement only becoming so when I add my faith to it. Unless I read Kurt incorrectly, this is what he was advocating above and (correct me if I am wrong) this is what you endorsed when you write that you see things as Kurt sees them. I quote: ” So, given this, does Christ's death on the cross pre-atone for our sins, or does the application of the blood through faith and trust in Christ's death provide the atonement. I believe the latter.” This is certainly contributory.

    Christ’s blood + my faith = atonement


    I think Kurt and I may understand this a little differently, so I wasn't definitley saying that I see all of it just like him.

    Let me explain how I view this "atonement." I think I have explained this to you before, Colin, but I don't mind talking about it again. :~)

    Think about what happened when Christ died. The curtain between the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place was rent in two - quite a happening. This thing, this wall-like tapestry (I have heard that it was a hefty woven piece that was about 9 inches thick) was just cut in half. woosh!

    What did that represent? Formerly, only the High Priest was allowed to go in there once a year to approach God. Now, the way to God is open.

    The atonement *is* complete (although as I have said before I don't think 'atonement' is really the best word because it means "covering". Christ actually REMOVED sin as a barrier between God and man.) The REMOVAL is complete.

    So why doesn't everybody just go to heaven then if they have no sin between them and God? Because they haven't been reconciled to God; they haven't received Him with His gift of life, right-standing and son-hood.

    The way is open, but we have to enter. No, entering isn't meritorious and it doesn't "add to" God's work... it just makes it *realized* in our particular case.

    ("Entering" is the same as "Receiving Christ" is the same as "Faith" in my vernacular above)

    Christ’s blood = sin removed as a barrier =

    Christ’s blood = anyone can come and receive life in Christ

    Christ’s blood x faith = reconciliation; right standing with God; eternal life

    39You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39)

    10For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Romans 5:10)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/17/2008 2:48 PM  

  • Good morning Rose:

    Without adopting a “divide and conquer” strategy here, I am glad that you have stepped back (not, as you might say, that you never “stepped forward”) from Kurt’s Christ’s blood + my faith = atonement approach. This is wise and encouraging.

    I go both for the sin covered and the sin removed idea. Along with the sin forgiven and sin remembered no more idea – all are scriptural terms of what Christ wrought upon the Cross in regards to our sins.

    I agree with you that sin was indeed removed so that we might enter into the Holiest of all. The issue here, however, is whose sin was actually and eternally removed? Evidently you are of the view that everyone’s sins have been removed as implied in your words: So why doesn't everybody just go to heaven then if they have no sin between them and God? But here is the sticking point: Was everyone’s sins removed? Removed where? Kurt above confessed that he did not know where nor indeed cared where: I quote I don't have an answer, nor do I care where the "location" is. It certainly matters to me where those sins have gone. The last thing I want is for them to come back! Thankfully the Bible does give us the answer. When Christ took the sin of the world away (John 1:29) in that one great sacrifice on Calvary, He plunged it into the depths of the sea and removed them as far as the east is from the west etc., However, we know that the ultimate Christ rejecter IS faced with his sins again. His sin remains (John 9:41) – which can hardly be the case if “taken away” – and is the cause of his being cast into hell: The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) – written by Paul long after the curtain was rent in two. How are those folk who will have their part in the burning lake of fire and brimstone described? By their sins: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part etc.” These sins were not removed – they linger on as damning evidence and the sole and just cause as to why the wicked are condemned to hell. They certainly have not be removed – and if not removed, then Christ did not take them away on the Cross, which leaves the “world” in John 1:29 a more particular place than is often allowed.

    I agree with you that the sinner is to be urged to be reconciled to God i.e. that such reconciliation is received by faith. However, when we study what Christ actually achieved at the Cross, we come to see that those who actually receive the atonement or reconciliation (the language of Romans 5:11) are those alone for whom the atonement was made. The rest (the unbelieving) are left to die in their sin (John 8:21) – another evidence that it has not been removed. How can someone die in something that has been removed?

    Thankfully, not as long as the last post!

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/18/2008 7:20 AM  

  • Colin,
    I tend to agree with Kurt's sentiments that he doesn't care where the sin was removed to. I wonder what happened to Kurt. Kurt? Come back! :~)

    Here's the thing:

    I am thinking of three possibilitues to this:

    (Remembering all the while that I am learning and growing in theology and am by no means arrived)

    1. Christ only removed the elect's sins that He already determined beforehand would believe. Therefore He only removed these, only having reason to remove these because it fit with his plan to only and part8cularly redeem these certain people. Logically, He had no reason to remove or die for anyone else's sins.

    2. Christ died for all people but sins are still accountable by those who don't believe... because until they have faith in Christ their sins are still on their own shoulders. Somehow when the individual exercises faith, then their sins are transferred from them to Christ on the cross 2000 years ago.

    3. Christ actually removed the sins of the world 2000 years ago from everyone's accounts... and now, in order for anyone to escape the results of having been born into the human condition of being seperated from God, they must take the water of life... and nothing prevents them... because Christ has actually taken away the sin of the world. The way is open to God.

    The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

    I used to think of it in the #2 way but now I see it as #3. Things happen in time and unfold in time. #1 and #3 recognize this while #2 sort of messes around with sins time traveling or something weird like that. BC saints were waiting in "Abraham's bosom", but when Christ completed His work, these were taken to be with Christ.

    ;~)

    18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Cor. 5)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/21/2008 2:54 PM  

  • I typed "Hurt" and I meant to type "Kurt" and I am sorry for the double posting of the comment and then the third *sigh* repetition of the comment, but at least I fixed my typo.

    :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/21/2008 2:56 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Needless to say that I would run with your #1 view. #2 (I agree) presents its adherents with a few obvious problems but your confessed #3 scenerio is also loaded with problems.

    Your #3 scenario is: 3. Christ actually removed the sins of the world 2000 years ago from everyone's accounts... and now, in order for anyone to escape the results of having been born into the human condition of being seperated from God, they must take the water of life... and nothing prevents them... because Christ has actually taken away the sin of the world. The way is open to God.

    Here are the problems that I can see here:

    1) It is our sins and our iniquities that separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2) If Christ has taken away the sin from everyone’s account – then why is there still separation? I grant that I was alienated from God even when (historically) my sins were laid on Christ 2,000 years ago. But then, having said that, it was a certainty in the plan of God that I would enter into the fruit of Christ’s definite work. This is the beauty of the #1 scheme. Christ shall see the travail of his soul and He shall be satisfied. (I’m just thinking, as I type, of the recent debate about whether God can ever be said to be frustrated. But that is BTW) The sin was removed, not merely that I could partake of the water of life, but that I would partake.

    2) People still die in their sins (John 8:21) – something which could not be if these sins were removed.

    3) Those who go to hell do so as sinners. (Revelation 21:8) Their account has not been cleared as you are claiming.
    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (Romans 1:18) You seem to have them justified without faith – their sins blotted out and removed as far as the east is from the west etc., but all without faith. Do you want to (ahem) realign on that one? It is certainly new.

    I highly recommend #1 :o)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/21/2008 5:02 PM  

  • Hi Colin,
    I have two things I would like to talk to you about. First, can you tell me how you interpret the two verses that I posted in my last comment? Thanks.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/21/2008 5:12 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    In John 1:29/2 Corinthians 5:20-21 I see that God in Christ has done something definite at the Cross as opposed to doing something potential. Our friends who run with the #2 position have reduced it to the mere potential and leave it all a bit fuzzy – He did but He didn’t and don’t push it too hard. My position (#1) and yours (#3) escapes this watering down. Christ’s work definitely achieved something (reconciliation – forgiveness as in “not imputing their sins” – and taking away the sin as in John 1:29) and He did so for this group identified in two texts as “the world” – “the world” is solidly and certainly reconciled and their sins are not counted against them. You distinctly say above that ”Christ actually removed the sins of the world 2000 years ago from everyone's accounts... “ and therefore no one is in hell because of judgement for sin.

    The burning issue then: Who is “the world” in John 1:29 and 2 Corinthians 5? Grammatically, the world may mean “every last person in it” or “ every last kind of person in it” i.e. every nationality represented. Thus “The World Cup” in soccer means that every country in the world sends a football team (as opposed to every last citizen) to ultimately try and win the coveted prize. (I use this illustration to merely show that in English grammar – the word “world” does not exclusively mean “every last individual”. If the grammar doesn’t add up, it is superfluous to even start on the theology.) The issue now is: which of the grammatically acceptable meanings of “world” is doctrinally correct?

    If the “world” is taken in the widest possible sense – (“all without exception”) then we must not be able to produce any other Scripture at all that suggests that sins are imputed to any individual or that they are judicially condemned in any way for those sins. They cannot be taken away and yet appear on the charge sheet as one of the world (in the widest sense) ultimately is arrayed before God and punished for those same sins which are taken away and not imputed. Do I search the scriptures in vain for such texts?

    No, I don’t. Romans 1:18 as quoted shows that His wrath still burns against men specifically for their ungodliness. You might (rightly) point out that they refuse to drink of the water of life – but this refusal to drink is a sin, is it not? “Of sin, because they believe not in me” (John 16:9) “Condemned already because they believe not…” (John 3:18) Jesus spoke of people in this (according to you) reconciled and not-having-their-sins-imputed-to-them world dying in their sins (John 8:21) and missing heaven. Excluded from heaven, because their sin and guilt “still remains” (John 9:41) I forbear to multiply text after text as I might if I took the study further and showed how it is only those in Christ who have no condemnation (Romans 8:1) and the actual believer who alone does not come into condemnation (John 5:24) etc.,

    So this casts you back then to the other equally grammatically accepted and doctrinally consistent view that the “world” means “every last kind of person” as seen in Revelation 5:9 when the innumerable multitude who claim redemption are “out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;”

    I am glad that you seem to have abandoned your belief in #2, but I would worry that you are considering the #3 camp. This brings you noticeably closer to another camp (#4) which is the Universalist camp which it is even more consistent than the #3 camp. The reason why the #2 camp equivocate as they do is to avoid Universalism (#4) on one side and the #1 position on the other. But they avoid both by paying the heavy price of inconsistency. If you were moving from the #3 position to the #2 position, the Universalist would charge you with a drift towards Calvinism (#1) allowing that there are people whose sins have not been actually removed and are charged to their account. The Universalist is happier with your #3 position because once consistency kicks then you are only one step away from stating the obvious: No one can be lost in hell since (according to you) Christ removed all their sins in their totality and will not impute their sins to them.

    Wew! Another long post, but I trust clear on the various positions. When it comes to the Cross, the only truly consistent positions (with themselves) are either #1 or #4 – and only #1 is consistent with the Bible.

    Regards,

    P/s I’ll be away (again) for a few days from my computer. I have a niece getting married tomorrow and then some meetings in Northern Ireland. Hopefully, I can access a computer in the local library.

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/22/2008 5:14 AM  

  • Colin,
    I'm reading your comment now (and am not done yet) but wanted to quick address something you said:

    Jesus spoke of people in this (according to you) reconciled...

    I DO NOT believe (and did not say) that people who lack faith and life in Christ are "RECONCILED." They are not reconciled.

    So that is not "according to me" as you said.

    More later

    :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/22/2008 8:20 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I haven't followed this conversation completely, but saw the last few comments, especially regarding your 3 possibilities, and wanted to chime in.

    I hold to the #2 position. You may remember that I have discussed this with Alvin (who holds to #3) at length, right here on your blog awhile ago. Your #3 has many serious problems, IMO. I've addressed them here at my (old) group blog. I know this is a bit of a side issue from your conversation with Colin, but I did want to at least give some evidence for my side. So if you don't want to read the link, I'll just hit a couple highlights here.

    First, even Alvin has admitted that all people still need forgiveness of their sins. But this is a problem for your view, because if our sins are already paid for, why do we still need forgiveness? If no one is condemned for their sins, why do they still lack forgiveness?

    Perhaps you do not agree with Alvin that all people still need forgiveness. Yet unbelievers still do not have "life". Why is this? Why do believers have life while unbelievers still do not? What is it that keeps people from having life? IOW, what is it that separates us from God? Is it not our sin? Your view seems to put unbelievers in some sort of "neutral" state. No sin, yet no life either. Yet we do not find any such neutrality in Scripture. People are either condemned for sins or are free in Christ. There was a very interesting discussion of this "neutrality" issue at my group blog here. I think you would find it quite interesting.

    Additionally, your view has unbelievers going to hell for the sole reason that they don't have life. Doesn't this seem a bit harsh? An eternity in hell just for not asking for life? Also, what then do you do with passages such as Matthew 10:15 and 11:22 where Jesus says that it will be "more tolerable" for the people of certain cities than for others in the day of judgment because of their actions? These and other passages seem to indicate that people destined for hell will receive varying levels of punishment, just as people destined for heaven will receive varying levels of rewards. But varying levels of punishment in hell is impossible with your view. How do you reconcile that?

    Finally, you said that with view #2, people's sins are transferred from them to Christ 2000 years ago. This is not quite accurate, at least not for me. I believe that when Christ died, he did in fact pay for the sins of every person. But that payment is not actually applied to anyone until they believe (of course, the payment was applied immediately to all who had already believed up to that point in time). So, rather than my sins being transferred to Christ whenever I believed, it's actually the opposite - Christ's righteousness is transferred to me whenever I believe. Christ already paid for my sins. When I believed, the payment was at that time transferred to my account, and I received His righteousness instead of mine. It happened at the moment I believed and does not require any "messing" with time. It's sort of like, if someone had paid off your mortgage and the money is sitting at the bank - you just need to come claim it. The money might be sitting there for 20 years before you ever claim it. But the moment you walk into the bank and claim it is when it is applied to your account. It doesn't matter when the payment was actually made. So there are no time issues involved.

    I hope that helps your understanding of position #2 vs. position #3.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 10/22/2008 9:24 AM  

  • Rachel,
    I think all three of the positions have logical and scriptural problems.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/22/2008 9:27 AM  

  • Rachel,
    Maybe you can argue your case with Colin Maxwell. He is a pleasure to discuss things with. He never gets snarky and he never visits other blogs and talks about you after you disagree with him."

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/22/2008 9:50 AM  

  • Rose,

    The issue of whether or not all sins are already paid for is important to me. When I saw it pop up here, and also saw that my view was misrepresented somewhat, I wanted to say a few words. I shouldn't have, I guess. I'm sorry. Carry on.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 10/22/2008 10:33 AM  

  • Rachel,
    No need to be sorry for presenting your views. I, for one, think that people ought to be able to present their views and be treated with respect. You are welcome to discuss it with Colin if you like; as I said, he is a pleasure to discuss theology with.

    I am not sure why you are aplogizing.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/22/2008 10:40 AM  

  • It is amazing to me that as Christians who hold to universal atonement that there is still discussion if all sins are paid for.

    It just doesn't make sense that Jesus' death is only "potential". If this is the fact, it could be logically argued that such a position is indeed NOT universal atonement, but that Jesus only died for the elect (however you wish to define that).

    Either Jesus died for sins or He didn't.

    ----------
    First, even Alvin has admitted that all people still need forgiveness of their sins. But this is a problem for your view, because if our sins are already paid for, why do we still need forgiveness?
    ----------
    The sins are paid for in a limited sense. They are paid for in the sense that they no longer represent a barrier between God and man. God is now free to confer His acceptance wheras without Christ's death for sins He would not be able to confer acceptance because of His holiness and righteousness.

    One needs eternal and temporal forgiveness of sins even though Christ died to remove the barrier.

    Imagine two homes next door to each other but with a wall that encircles the globe inbetween and as high as then end of the universe. One cannot come over to the other side because of the wall.

    Christ on one side takes that wall and removes it.

    Yet now because the wall is removed, unless the neighbor comes over to Christ's house, he is still in his own house.

    Jesus made all things possible for God and man to be together, but the lost must still avail himself of the opportunity!

    Sins have been paid for in a limited sense, not in some grandiose, all-inclusive sense. They have been paid for in the sense that they no longer pose a barrier between God and man.

    Now that the sin barrier is removed, men and women need to avail themselves of the life that Christ offers to them Absolutely Free!

    The men and women go to hell because they lack life. And although God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, reconciliation is a two way street. As long as one party is not interested in reconciliation, there will not be any. That is why we as ambassadors of Christ, God pleading through us, are to speak to the lost to be reconciled to God. (2 Cor 5:18-21).

    The question is:

    Did Christ pay for the sins of the world or not?

    Rachel's and Colin's views must state that He did not.

    I am afraid that Colin doesn't shudder at being charged with such a thing, but I am afraid that those who hold to #2 would.

    If Christ "paid" for the sins of the world, His riches are not in limbo in some account waiting to be dispersed. Payment implies TRANSACTION. This is something that those those of #2 will have some problem explaining.

    How is it that Christ paid for the sins of the world yet such payment is not accounted to the world? You cannot have your cake and eat it too.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at 10/22/2008 1:53 PM  

  • Rose,

    Let me “bounce this off you” and see where it lands. Please let me know what you think....

    Could it be the effects of the cross were twofold? Could it be when John the Baptist said “behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”, he was referring to the great chasm, the sin barrier, that was established between God and mankind when man sinned against his creator? When Christ died on the cross, this great chasm was demolished, symbolic of the curtain being torn in two. The death of Christ on the cross “bridged the gap” and “reconciled the world” back with God. Now, because of Christ’s work on the cross, all mankind can now come to the Father.

    John 14:6 ... “I am the way, the truth, and the life: NO MAN cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

    His death on the Cross has now provided all mankind ACCESS to God.

    Romans 5:1-2... “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom ALSO we have ACCESS by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

    Ephesians 2:18... “For through him we both (Jews and Gentiles) have ACCESS by one Spirit unto the Father.”

    Ephesians 3:11-2... “According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and ACCESS with confidence by the faith of him.”

    However, this “bridging the gap” did not declare any one righteous. Faith in his blood is still necessary for each and every individual.

    Acts 10:43.... “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHALL RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS.”

    No personal faith, no personal remission of sins (forgiveness).

    Romans 3:25.... “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, THROUGH FAITH IN HIS BLOOD...”

    No personal faith, no personal atonement.

    If the body and blood of Christ are limited by God only to those who are saved, then the examples of those that are lost need to be explained.

    Leviticus 16:33.....

    “And he shall make an atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar, and he shall make an ATONEMENT for the priests, AND FOR ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE CONGREGATION.”

    If the atonement was for the entire congregation, which it was, then why wasn’t the entire congregation saved?

    And 1 Corinithians 10: 1-5.......

    “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that ALL our fathers were under the cloud, and ALL passed through the sea; And were ALL baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did ALL EAT THE SAME SPIRITUAL MEAT; And did ALL DRINK THE SAME SPIRITUAL DRINK: for THEY DRANK OF THAT SPIRITUAL ROCK THAT FOLLOWED THEM: AND THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.”

    The spiritual meat (symbolic of Christ’s body) and the spiritual drink (symbolic of Christ’s blood) were offered, intended, and available to ALL Israel. “ The saved” and “the Lost” of Israel ate the SAME MEAT and drank the SAME DRINK.

    No differentiation. At least, not on God’s part. Both the saved and the lost were provided the exact same provision.

    Yet MANY, in fact MOST, were destroyed in the desert because of unbelief (Jude 1:5).

    In Luke 22:19-20, Jesus said to the 12 apostles, of which Judas was one and present at the time...

    “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.....This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you”.

    So we have actual biblical examples of people being offered, and made readily available to, the atoning benefits of Christ’s body and blood who end up in the lake of fire.

    Something Calvinism states as an impossibility.

    To suggest that Jesus’ words on the cross “It is finished” implies that he “secured the salvation for those for whom it was intended” (aka: particular or definite atonement for the elect only) is a stretch (no disrespect, Colin. I have empathy for your position). What Jesus did at that historical moment was the fulfillment of the Law as it applies particularly to the sacrificial system.

    Matthew 5:17-18.....
    “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, BUT TO FULFILL (THE LAW). For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass FROM THE LAW, TILL ALL BE FULFILLED.”

    Ephesians 2:14-15.... “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, BY ABOLISHING IN HIS FLESH THE LAW WITH ITS COMMANDMENTS AND REGULATIONS.”

    The requirement of sacrifice in order for sins to be forgiven is still in effect (Hebrews 9:22 “without shedding of blood is no remission.”), but the requirement has been fulfilled by Jesus' death.

    Hebrews 10:18... “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

    Growing in Christ,

    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/22/2008 9:58 PM  

  • Rose,

    I apologized because it seemed that my comments prompted some negativity from you. I do not want to create any problems just by posting here.

    And actually, I was interested in discussing the issue with you rather than Colin, primarily because you indicated that you used to hold to my view. Plus, your theology (I think) will allow for either my view or your view. Colin's theology makes it more difficult for him to accept anything but #1, so he's less likely to be convinced. Lastly, since you said you used to hold to #2, I was genuninely curious as to what convinced you to change your mind, and how you have reconciled these other issues. I really do think you would find the links I provided quite thought-provoking.

    Antonio,

    You didn't answer any of the questions I raised, nor did you deal with the passages I brought up, so there's really nothing to say.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 10/22/2008 11:39 PM  

  • Hi Rose/all:

    I just (quickly)popped in the local library here in Enniskillen to see if Rose had made any reply to my last comment. I wasn't expecting 9 more comments in a 24 hour period!

    What can I say at the moment?

    Sorry, Rose, if I misrepresented you, but I sincerely thought that if God was in Christ (actually) reconciling the world (in the widest sense)unto Himself then, according to your view that the world would be reconciled - is this not what Christ did? Are you drifting back into the #2 position again: He did but He didn't...? i.e. making it possible, but not actually securing anything.

    Sorry I can't take up the rest of you on this matter. I'm away from my own computer for the guts of two weeks and I can see the need to supply long and measured answers here. It's a pity that I am not at home for this, as it looks a good discussion. Maybe Earl can step in and hold the fort on this one? I'll chip in when and if I can.

    Regards,
    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/23/2008 5:02 AM  

  • Hi Again,

    Just noticing Antonio's comments in full where he says twice:

    Sins have been paid for in a limited sense..."

    Is that not limited atonement, but limited as to be practically no use to anyone? As I commented above, if you water down the soup too much, then no one gets fed.

    Really must go.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/23/2008 5:09 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I am still around. I have been traveling alot.....St. Louis, South Carolina, New York, and now Minnesota next week.

    I have not responded, though, by choice. I have tired of the debate. I have found that the futile arguments are stealing my joy in Christ and in fellowship with his Body of Believers. I just don't love the fight like some others on these blogs. If I thought that my debating the errors of Calvinism were going to change anything, I would continue to persevere.....but it will not. It has turned into a game of "one-upsmanship". That is not healthy for anyone.

    Your Brother and Friend,

    Kurt

    By Blogger Kurt, at 10/23/2008 11:41 AM  

  • Kurt,
    I am feeling that way more and more lately. This photo that someone sent me just seemed to spark controversy and I was trying to get away from that on my blog!!! hahaha :~)

    Colin,
    I think all three positions have a problem in this. For example, if I were to ask you about elect people before they come to faith... are they reconciled? justified? Surely faith changes something about their standing with the Father, does it not, even in your view?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/23/2008 2:00 PM  

  • Wing,
    I can accept what you have explained; I find it very helpful. This makes sense to me.

    Antonio,
    Thanks for the comment. I do so appreciate it... and you.

    Rachel,
    No problem, no negativity meant. I was thinking that since Colin was also misrepresenting your view you might want to argue it with him. I did not mean to misrepresent your view, I was explaining the view that I used to hold. If I stated one aspect of it or facet of it in my previous understanding that was a little different than your current understanding, then that is OK and should be allowed for. :~) My "negative" statement was to contrast Colin with others on the internet who do those kinds of things when people disagree. Colin makes it enjoyable to discuss doctrine with him and I appreciate that about him. I wanted you to be comfortable in talking with Colin, knowing that he wouldn't do anything untoward to you.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/23/2008 9:15 PM  

  • Rose,

    I didn't really see where Colin was misrepresenting my view. And I was not saying that it's not "ok" for you to have a particular view. Of course you are free to hold whatever view you wish. It's just that if you say you used to hold to a view but don't anymore, then go on to describe your former view incorrectly, then it may be that you simply didn't correctly understand the former view. Therefore, if it is correctly explained to you, perhaps you will reconsider. That's why I decided to comment.

    And thanks for your assurances about Colin. But I'm not too worried. I spend a lot of time debating atheists and skeptics. While I hold professing Christians to higher standards of behavior, it would be really hard for anyone here to treat me worse than I've been treated on those sites. :-)

    By Blogger Rachel, at 10/23/2008 10:31 PM  

  • Hi Rose/all:

    I think those who hold to the #2 position need to explain how Christ has actually borne away (as in John 1:29) the sins of the whole world (i.e. every one who ever lived and died, as they interpret the word "world" to mean) and yet have those same sins come back again to damn the ultimate Christ rejecter. Our disagreement is not so much as to what happens to the sins of Christians (we find agreement here) but the sins of the chronic unbelievers. At least, Antonio sees the gross inconsistency in the #2 scenario, although offers another left-of-centre explanation (#3).

    Kurt: Although the Christians sins were actually and historically and literally taken away at the Cross, when God laid on Him the inquity of us all ("all" being in the sense of "all without distinction") yet the Bible itself teaches that justification does not come to the believer until faith is exercised i.e. faith is the instrument that brings the believing soul into the justified state (Romans 5:1). Until, faith is exercised, the soul is viewed as being in a state of condemnation (John 5:24)

    Those of us who hold to the #1 position (within a wider doctrinal framework) have the added advantage of believing that it can be said of those for whom Christ died - that it is not only a matter of they "may come" but that they "will come" which is a glorious truth missing in the other positions.

    One of the glorious things about Christ's death for His people is that His people get the best of all the various doctrinal positions where they are true. Even if any of the #2-4 positions are right, then I lose nothing by my faith in #1. If #1 is right (the "if" of argument, not of doubt on my part)then those who have come by faith to Christ are also likewise covered - having gained more than they have obviously realised. However, we all must contend for accuracy of doctrine.

    I think we can all seriously discuss/debate doctrine without seeking "oneupmanship"

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/24/2008 10:05 AM  

  • Blessings,Colin.

    You said...

    “...it can be said of those for whom Christ died - that it is not only a matter of they ‘may come’ but that they ‘will come’ which is a glorious truth missing in the other positions.”

    Jesus said in Luke 22:14-20... “And when the hour was come, he sat down, and THE TWELVE APOSTLES with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, TAKE THIS, AND DIVIDE IT AMONG YOURSELVES: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. AND HE TOOK BREAD, AND GAVE THANKS, AND BRAKE IT, AND GAVE UNTO THEM, SAYING, THIS IS MY BODY WHICH IS GIVEN FOR YOU: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, THIS CUP IS THE NEW TESTAMENT IN MY BLOOD, WHICH IS SHED FOR YOU.”

    I see the “shed for” paralleling the “died for”. You say that those for whom Christ died WILL COME to him. Why didn’t Judas come?

    In 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 Paul said... “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that ALL our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
    And were ALL baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did ALL EAT THE SAME SPIRITUAL MEAT; And did ALL DRINK THE SAME SPIRITUAL DRINK: for THEY DRANK OF THAT SPIRITUAL ROCK THAT FOLLOWED THEM: AND THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.”

    They were ALL provided the exact same provisions. So why didn’t ALL Israel “come to him”?

    In Romans 5:6-10 Paul says “For when we were yet without strength, in due time CHRIST DIED FOR THE UNGODLY. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were ENEMIES, we were reconciled to God BY THE DEATH OF HIS SON, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

    In the above verses, it appears clearly that Christ died for “the ungodly”. He died for “sinners” and that he even died for his “enemies”. I know you might say that the “we” in these verses are referring to “the elect”, but are we to believe that only the elect are considered to be ungodly? Are only “the elect” classified as sinners? Are only the elect considered to be “enemies” of God?

    In all his writings to the churches, can you provide even one verse where Paul says that Christ didn’t die for the Lost?

    Grace,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/25/2008 1:47 AM  

  • Hi Rose/Wingfooted1

    Wingfooted1:Perhaps (in order to answer your question) you can tell me what happened to the sins of Judas Iscariot whose sins you assure me where "taken away" in the "world" referred to in John 1:29. Taken where? Unless you are going to distinguish in this atonement, then you must say that they were removed from Judas as far as the east is from the west (an infinite distance) - into the depths of the sea etc.,

    Yet, like the Pharisees to whom Judas sold his soul, his "sin remained" - and in these self same sins, he lived and died - yet in your view of the atonement, they were taken away.

    No one in the #2 camp has really tackled this one - (unless I have missed it)- as I say above, it all gets a bit fuzzy. The fact that there is a #3 camp shows that there is a need for an alternative position, although (as I have said) it raises its own problems

    Your questions are very easily answered:

    1) Are only “the elect” classified as sinners? Are only the elect considered to be “enemies” of God?

    No - but then no one claimed that they were.

    2) In all his writings to the churches, can you provide even one verse where Paul says that Christ didn’t die for the Lost?

    No - but then again, no one claims that He didn't die for the lost. I was lost and He died for me.

    ?

    Rose: I know that there are new posts up and running here on your blog, but this issue which the #2 and #3 camps both face hasn't gone away and remian unanswered. How can the chronic ungodly live and die in sins that have been taken away according to both your interpretation of John 1:29 etc.,

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/27/2008 10:50 AM  

  • Colin,
    I read your comment to wingfooted.

    Do you sin? If so, then can it be said that your sin was not removed? The way you ask wingfooted the question - it can be turned right around on yourself. That would seem to be the obvious result of your charge against unlimited atonement. You imply a weekness in teaching that sin was removed yet people still son, still die in their sin and go on to sin in hell. But don't you face the same problem with sinning Chistians? Their sins remain with them often - in this life's experience. Even if they stop the dirty dozen - they still have sin in their heart.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/27/2008 4:51 PM  

  • ...which brings me to my second question I wanted to ask you from earlier before I got sidetracked with Rachel:


    You were talking about a problem with my view on sins' removal:

    If Christ has taken away the sin from everyone’s account – then why is there still separation?

    You recognized the fact that you...

    ...[were] alienated from God even when (historically) [your] sins were laid on Christ 2,000 years ago...

    So this brings an obvious parralel problem with your view and the problem you see with mine, which is very similar if not the same as the problem I highlighted in my last comment.

    If your sins were surely taken away at the cross 2000 years ago, then how could you have been said to be a child of wrath before you were saved? Why did you EVER experience sin at all if it was taken away 2000 years ago? Did you sin before the foundation of the world?

    You answer this problem by saying:
    The sin was removed, not merely that I could partake of the water of life, but that I would partake.

    But I don't see how that answers the problem.

    I think Antonio's expression of the fact that sin was taken away in one sense, but not every sense, is actually the answer to both our problems. Don't you think so? :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/27/2008 4:52 PM  

  • Rachel,
    how can I go on to describe [my own] former view incorrectly?
    :~)

    Maybe you just mis-worded that.

    I do understand your view. I just don't see how it can be said that Christ actually was "not holding [our] sins against us if he is still "holding our sins against us."

    I don't think the payment is in escrow waiting to be dispersed to God. I think when Christ said "it is finished" that He actually had died with sin on Him and suffered for it, taking it out of the way. This isn't waiting for faith and then the payment will be released. Faith is how we receive eternal life. We are in need of a positive impartation at this point because Christ took care of the negative. You call it "nuetral" but I am not sure that is the right word.

    13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

    14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross
    (Colossians 2)

    He actually took this out of the way by nailing [them] to the cross (already done) - these offenses, these sins and trespasses of ours. They are not between God and us any longer.

    This happened in the past at the cross and so there is no way we can say that God is still holding sin against people unless we view it as Colin does - that He only took the ones' sins who he knew was going to believe in Him (or as Colin would say, the ones He chose to believe in Him.)

    Still thinking through this. I, for one, recognize that there are problems for everyone in trying to understand this. None of us should pretend to perfectly grasp this.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 10/27/2008 5:13 PM  

  • Hi Colin.

    Why is it that I have to answer your questions before you answer mine? Oh well...

    What happened to Judas sins?

    Acts 10:43 “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHALL RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS.”

    If Judas was an unbeliever, his sins were not forgiven.

    Romans 3:24-25 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: WHOM GOD HATH SET FORTH TO BE A PROPITIATION (ATONING SACRIFICE) THROUGH FAITH IN HIS BLOOD...”

    John 8:24 “I said therefore unto you, that YE SHALL DIE IN YOUR SINS: FOR IF YE BELIEVE NOT THAT I AM HE, YE SHALL DIE IN YOUR SINS.”

    Hebrews 4:2 “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, NOT BEING MIXED WITH FAITH IN THEM THAT HEARD IT.”

    Without faith, there are no redemptive benefits applied to the sinner from the atoning sacrifice. Simply put, without faith, there is no remission of sins. Therefore, Judas’ sins remained.

    So what happened to Judas’ sins? They followed him to his grave. Is this a form of “limited atonement”? Yes. But not in the Calvinistic sense. Calvinism teaches that Christ only died for “the elect” and not for those who end up in the lake of fire.

    Scripture proves otherwise. Both the OT and NT show the unbelieving Israelites were provided the exact same provisions, Christ’s body and blood. Jesus even told Judas “This is my body which is given for you” and “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.”

    Calvinism teaches us that God “limits” the atoning benefits. Scripture shows that man “limits” the atoning benefits.

    2 Thessalonians 2:10 “And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; BECAUSE THEY RECEIVED NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, THAT THEY MIGHT BE SAVED.”

    They perish because of something they did (refusal), not because of something God didn’t do (deny the body and blood).

    In regards to John 1:29 when John the Baptist said “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”.........

    I believe, the emphasis here is on “THE SIN of the world” and not “the sin of THE WORLD”

    According to Calvinism, we should take a phrase like “the world”, which has a clear cosmos, or universal tone, and translate it into “a very small portion of the entire human race” or “the elect”.

    Quite a stretch.

    But this verse says “THE SIN of the world”. Singular. What “sin” would that be? Compare this with 1 John 2:2 “And he is the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our SINS: and not for ours only, but also for THE SINS of the whole world.” Plural.

    Colin, I agree with you here. Something was accomplished here. However, I believe “THE SIN” in John 1:29 is referring to the sin barrier between God and his creation, those creatures created in his own image. Man needed more than just forgiveness of sins. He needed access, or a way, back to God. Jesus is “the Way”.

    John 14:16.... “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

    Romans 5:1-2.... “Therefore being justified (declared not guilty) by faith (in his blood), we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom ALSO we have ACCESS by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    Ephesians 2:15-18... “Having ABOLISHED IN HIS FLESH THE ENMITY, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. FOR THROUGH HIM WE BOTH (JEWS AND GENTILES) HAVE ACCESS BY ONE SPIRIT UNTO THE FATHER.”

    The works of Christ on the cross does this. It “bridges the gap”, “closes the chasm”, destroys the “dividing wall of hostility” between mankind and his Creator.

    Now, let’s go back to your previous comment...

    “...it can be said of THOSE FOR WHOM CHRIST DIED - that it is not only a matter of they ‘may come’ but THAT THEY ‘WILL COME’ which is a glorious truth missing in the other positions.”

    This says that the reason people come to Christ, is because Christ died for them. Yet we have a biblical example of someone Lost (Judas) whom Jesus told “this is my blood...which is shed for you.”

    Again, since Jesus died (shed his blood) for Judas, why didn’t Judas come?

    Honestly, I appreciate the exchange.

    In Him,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/27/2008 11:09 PM  

  • Rose,

    You said “I, for one, recognize that there are problems for everyone in trying to understand this. None of us should pretend to perfectly grasp this.”

    I couldn’t agree more. However, I believe the works of Christ on the cross were twofold. Maybe even more. The scriptures make it abundantly clear that without faith, there is no remission, or forgiveness, of sins. But the cross must have another benefit as well. Think back to Adam and Eve. When they were evicted from the garden, they did so already wearing their “coats of skin” made by God. Just think. When they were evicted from the garden, their sins were already “covered”. Even with their sins covered, they were still denied access to God. They still had communion with God, but they were driven from the garden (paradise) without access to the tree of life. If man just needs forgiveness, why wasn’t Adam and Eve allowed back into the garden?

    On another note.....

    all this because I said “you didn’t reject God, God rejected you”?

    Always Growing in Christ,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/27/2008 11:11 PM  

  • Hi all,

    Perhaps when we use the word "sin" we should be more specific and accurate in referring to the judicial guilt of sin - it was this that was borne by Christ 2,000

    years ago, although only applied to the believer when he recieves Christ as in Romans 5:1/John 5:24

    It is this that John the Baptist had in mind when he tells us that Christ bore away the sin of the world i.e. the judicial guilt of sin. Now, if the world's judicial

    guilt was borne away by Christ - then why is the unbelieving part of that world still held to be guilty? You may reply "Unbelief" - but surely the guilt of this

    unbelief (according to both the #2 and #3 position) was also borne away, was it not? None of your candidates for hell can go there because they are guilty, yet James 2:10 (written after the Cross) is still pumping out that men who offend in one point stand guilty before God.

    Wingfooted1: In John 10, we read of Christ dying for His sheep - in v16, He says that there are sheep that are not of this fold and them also He must bring (v16) - not merely would like to bring or desires to bring - but must as of necessity bring.

    If Christ died for the guilt of the sin of Judas, including his apostacy, then why was he condemned to his own place in hell? Surely you can see the inconguruity of your position?

    Sorry, I can't write more here, but I am still not at my own computer. These are little snatches here and there. I see this page has actually slipped off the bottom of the current blog page.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/28/2008 12:55 PM  

  • Colin,

    I appreciate your response.

    So what do you think Jesus meant when he told Judas “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me...... This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you”?

    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/28/2008 10:47 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Wingfooted1

    Wingfooted: there is a debate (away and far beyond the Calvinistic one) whether Judas was present when the Lord dispensed the emblems. I accept that Luke heavily implies that he was present (although John allows that he left the room) but this itself opens up fresh problems, not least as to why the Lord openly served a known (at least to Him) reprobate the bread and wine when partaking of them unworthily would bring damnation to his soul.

    Furthermore, even if Judas were present, the Lord was speaking to a mixed multitude of people and the words "for you" would therefore be applicable to those "for whom" they were intended. This happens all the time, for example, when we encourage mixed congregations of saved and unsaved alike to sing hymns such as "Saved by grace alone - This is all my plea" when it is blatantly obvious that it is not the plea at all (never mind "all my plea") of those who are still livng in rebellion against God.

    But all this still doesn't answer on how the Lord could remove the guilt of Judas' sins as in John 1:29 and yet the guilt of those same sins supposedly removed in the once and for all time sacrifice for sins follow him to the grave and to hell itself.

    With all the to-ing and fro-ing here, this great question remains unanswered.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/29/2008 10:59 AM  

  • Colin,

    Luke 22:14-21...........
    And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the TWELVE APOSTLES with him. And he said unto THEM (the 12 Apostles), With desire I have desired to eat this passover with YOU (the 12 Apostles) before I suffer: For I say unto YOU, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among YOURSELVES (the 12 Apostles): For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto THEM, saying, This is my body which is given for YOU: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for YOU. But, behold, THE HAND OF HIM THAT BETRAYETH ME IS WITH ME ON THE TABLE.

    Now I am not an English major, but I think, based on the context of this text, Judas was indeed present. Jesus said he was and I take his word for it. And notice that when he was sharing the bread (his body) and the drink (his blood), it was provided to ALL 12 Apostles. But when it came to his betrayal, he singled Judas out.

    So, while we have the clear, biblical teaching of Christ saying to the 12 Apostles, including Judas, “this is my body, which is given to you....this is my blood, which is shed for you.....”

    The Calvinistic interpretation is......

    “This is my body, which is given for you...this is my blood, which is shed for you...well, for all of you except for Judas. I won’t shed any blood for that sorry reprobate.”

    I think that explanation speaks for itself.

    As for John 1:29, I provided you my explanation earlier in the discussion, though perhaps, not to your liking.

    Overall, I have enjoyed the exchange. I really do appreciate your time and careful consideration. May God bless you greatly.

    In Him,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/29/2008 8:03 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Wingfooted1:

    Wingfooted: (I had a whole reply typed out and lost it in cyber space)A shorter answer:

    1) In Matthew's account of the Lord's Supper - the Lord Jesus told those present: Mat 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom - Does this include Judas drinking it new with Christ in the Father's Kingdom? No, it doesn't. The words are only applicable to those to whom they are ...well only applicable.

    2) The very part of John 1:29 that you now claim should not be emphasised is the very part which non Calvinists uusually do emphasise! Are you saying that John 1:29 should no longer be considered as a proof text for Universal Atonement? Calvinists quite rightly emphasise both.

    Also enjoying these close exchanges with you.

    Regards,

    Goodnightsafehome

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/30/2008 12:22 PM  

  • Colin,

    Please look at the following verses....

    Matthew 26:29... "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."

    Mark 14:25.... “Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

    Luke 22:16.... "For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come."

    As far as Matthew’s words, I won’t insult you by saying that Judas must not have been present at the time. I will let my Lord’s words stand.

    I can appreciate your interpretation. I really can. As I have already said, I do have empathy for your position. But let’s look again at what exactly was going on at the Passover in the gospel of Luke. The bread (the body of Christ) and the drink (the blood of Christ) were given to Judas as well. Our Lord gave it to him, because it was intended for him. Judas wasn’t accidently provided the bread and drink at our Lord’s Table. It was done so under the instructions of our Lord and Saviour.

    When handing out the drink (his blood) Jesus said “Take this, and divide it among yourselves”.

    He didn’t say... “Take this and divide it among yourselves, but don’t give any to that reprobate Judas.”

    If Jesus had held back on giving Judas the bread and the wine, that might have been biblical support for your view....but he didn’t. It was by His word that it was given to Judas.

    The observation in Luke is that the “you” in these verses matches exactly the “who” the bread and drink were given to. Jesus said “this is my body which is given for you.” Who was the bread given to? All 12 Apostles. Jesus said “This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” Again, who was given the cup representing his blood? All 12 Apostles. Again, if the body and blood of Christ were intended only for the believing ones, then why did our Lord give them to Judas?

    Answer. Because the body and blood is for ALL.

    John 6:51 “and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

    The point here is that the blood and body of Christ is offered and available to ALL, not just the saved. Even the Lost, those who suffer eternal torment, are offered the atoning benefits of the cross. Calvinism teaches that God “limits” it only to the saved, but God provided it (the SAME MEAT and the SAME DRINK) to the unbelieving Israelites in the OT and Christ offered it (the SAME BREAD and the SAME DRINK) to Judas. Neither God (OT), nor Christ (NT) displayed any differentiation. Something Calvinism insists that they do.

    Even you have to admit, that the bread (the body of Christ) and the drink (the blood of Christ) was given to Judas. It wasn’t withheld from him by Jesus.

    In regards to John 1:29 “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world”......

    It wasn’t my intend to take away the emphasis of “the world”. For me, that is clearly understood. What I thought more peculiar was “the sin” of the world. What “sin” would that be? To me, whatever that sin is, it is a sin that “the world” has. I was just thinking that it was a sin that the whole world had in common. I could be wrong on this. I certainly don’t have all the answers. It could be that John the Baptist was merely stating that if anyone wanted their sin removed, then Jesus was the Lamb that would do it. I don’t have problems with that either. But one thing is obvious here, “the world” is clearly understood to be cosmic, or universal in tone. However, Calvinism translates “the world” into meaning “a very small portion of the earth’s population”.

    Again, any English major would laugh at that interpretation.

    1 John 2:2 “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

    1 Timothy 4:10 “......we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”

    He is definitely the Lamb that takes away the sins of mankind, if they will only believe.

    As far as your cyberspace fiasco, I have empathy for you there as well....

    Blessings,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 10/30/2008 7:53 PM  

  • Good morning Rose/Wingfooted1:

    Wingfooted1: In your reply, we seem to move from the body/blood being offered "FOR all" i.e. offered to God in an atoning sacrifice to the body/blood being offered "TO all". I quote: The point here is that the blood and body of Christ is offered and available to ALL, not just the saved. Even the Lost, those who suffer eternal torment, are offered the atoning benefits of the cross. This actually is not the issue and therefore your next sentence "Calvinism teaches that God “limits” it only to the saved, but God provided it (the SAME MEAT and the SAME DRINK) to the unbelieving Israelites in the OT and Christ offered it (the SAME BREAD and the SAME DRINK) to Judas. Neither God (OT), nor Christ (NT) displayed any differentiation. Something Calvinism insists that they do. is erroneous, because Calvinists DO believe that
    Even the Lost, those who suffer eternal torment, are offered the atoning benefits of the cross.

    This is not the issue here. The issue here is that Christ offered His body and blood as a definite atonement for sin. When on the Cross and bearing the sin of the world, He made an actual, literal, definite, historical, atonement for sin. God [actually] made Him who knew no sin, to [actually] become sin for us... (2 Corinthians 5:21)

    Unfortunately to escape the obvious conclusions of this to the chronic unbeliever (there being no problem as regards the saints) you have to water down what Christ did. For instance, in your comments on John 1:29, you write:
    It could be that John the Baptist was merely stating that if anyone wanted their sin removed, then Jesus was the Lamb that would do it. Even you use the words "merely...if...would do it" which takes a definite act and makes it merely provisional. I accept that you hesitate to affirm this, but the stating of it as a possibility is not something which a Calvinist will do with these great portions of Scripture.

    The word "world" does not always carry the all embracing "everyone ever born" meaning, even in John's gospel. Your English majors would soon learn that the whole world (kosmos) was said to have gone after Christ in John 12:19 - much to the chagrin of the Pharisees. I illustrated to Rose above how the word "world" even in standard English does not automatically mean every last person. The Olympics are a "world event" and they are so because each and every nation are represented there. This is the meaning which the Bible itself often gives to the word "world" as in Revelation 5:9

    I will be away over the weeknd, speaking at a conference for young people on the world missionary cause. It is unlikely that I will be back at a computer until Monday evening (BST)

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 10/31/2008 7:34 AM  

  • Colin,

    You said “Calvinists DO believe that Even the Lost, those who suffer eternal torment, are offered the atoning benefits of the cross.”

    Perhaps some do, but in Calvinism, the cup handed to Judas would have been empty, because Christ didn’t shed any blood for him [though Jesus said he did. Remember ALL 12 Apostles were provided the bread (his body) and the drink (his blood)].

    Also, you said “When on the Cross and bearing the sin of the world, He made an actual, literal, definite, historical, atonement for sin.”

    Are you suggesting that “the elect” are born saved? I see a distinction between “blood shed” and “blood applied”. Your statement above suggests you believe that atonement was made for all the saved, both past and future, the moment Jesus died on the cross.

    The scriptures make it abundantly clear....

    Romans 3:25.... “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in this blood....”

    No personal faith....No personal atonement.

    Acts 10:43... “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”

    No faith....No forgiveness.

    In the gospel of John, Caiaphas said “Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. AND THIS SPAKE HE NOT OF HIMSELF: but being high priest that year, he prophesied THAT JESUS SHOULD DIE FOR THAT NATION And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.....” (John 11:50-52)

    I understand the gathering of “the children of God”, but what “nation” did Jesus die for? The Jewish nation? Then why isn’t every Jew saved?

    With your definition of “the world” then you would have no problem with my comment earlier under this topic....

    “When Jesus said ‘for God so loved the world’ he didn’t mean all men without exception, but all men without distinction. What this means is that he probably doesn’t love you.”

    Now, you can “spin” this or “dance around” this however you want to, but I know this is really what you believe in your heart. That said...If you know this to be “the gospel”, then I challenge you to put it on your car as a bumper sticker. Again, since “the world” here mean “all kinds of men” and not every soul that has ever lived, and since “the elect” is only a small portion of the earth’s population, then statistically speaking, this bumper sticker would be 100% calvinistically accurate.

    Paul said “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ”.

    Why not wear what you so proudly believe?

    Grace,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 11/02/2008 10:55 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Wingfooted!

    Wingfooted1! You write: Are you suggesting that “the elect” are born saved? I see a distinction between “blood shed” and “blood applied”. Your statement above suggests you believe that atonement was made for all the saved, both past and future, the moment Jesus died on the cross.

    No. I do not believe that the elect are “born saved.” Neither I do not believe that Christ’s blood plus my faith = atonement. Atonement is Christ’s work alone. My faith lays hold upon an objective, actual, literal, definite, historical, atonement (“blood shed”) which brings the benefits of that once for all time and entirely finished atonement to my soul. (“blood applied”) Yes, I do believe that “atonement was made for all the saved, both past and future, the moment Jesus died on the cross.” This is standard Evangelical belief. It worries me to see it challenged within the confines of professing Evangelicalism.

    The explanation for “that nation” is in the context – it is in contradistinction to the rest of the world (where the rest of the future children of God are scattered abroad). Therefore, it does not mean every last Israelite without exception. Suppose that Christ did bear the guilt of every last Israelite as you propose. This brings us back to the burning point that you just cannot get away from – why are the chronic unbelieving Israelites then accounted guilty, when (according to you) their guilt was borne away on the Cross? Effectively, according to your theology, their guilt was borne away and yet it wasn’t borne away, or (at least) it comes back again, having once been borne away. I don’t think that the seriousness of your doctrinal position has hit home to you yet.

    Yes, I would have serious problems with your statement above when you wrote: “When Jesus said ‘for God so loved the world’ he didn’t mean all men without exception, but all men without distinction. What this means is that he probably doesn’t love you.” As I have often written on this and the UoG blog, I do believe that God loves all men without exception in John 3:16. Most Calvinists believe that God’s love is universal. So, telling someone that “God loves you” has never been a problem at all to me. I regret that you saw the need to write the next paragraph about spin etc., with various challenges about car bumpers etc., I have always been happy to defend and publicise what I truly believe and seek to explain it etc., I don’t do spin It might be more helpful to us both if you could keep to what I do believe rather than seeking to credit me with stuff that I have never been on record as believing.

    Lastly, you wrote: ”Again, since “the world” here mean “all kinds of men” and not every soul that has ever lived, and since “the elect” is only a small portion of the earth’s population, then statistically speaking, this bumper sticker would be 100% calvinistically accurate. That the elect are (according to your statement) “only a small portion of the earth’s population,” is a belief held by some Evangelicals in general, while refuted by others including many Calvinists e.g. Spurgeon. Therefore your “since” is (excuse the bluntness here) another fabrication and your “100% Calvinistically accurate” bit has simply no basis in truth. As for me, I simply do not know proportionately how many have been chosen in Christ from before the foundation of the world. My job is to evangelise as many people as I can, not count heads and compare numbers.

    There are other matters which I do not have the time (or space) here to deal with. It is always easier to let the hares out than it is to try and gather them up. Sadly, there were quite a few hares let out in your latest reply :o(

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/03/2008 11:49 AM  

  • Colin,

    First, let me apologize if my recent comments offended you. It was not my intent. Unfortunately, communication in this format does not always reflect the true tone of the discussion. I am just trying to get a better grasp of how you interpret certain verses of scripture. As I have already stated, I do have empathy for your position.

    For me, a clear distinction is made between “blood shed” and “blood applied”. As the scriptures allude to, it is the “blood applied” the Lord looks for. Until someone puts his/her faith in the blood of Christ, there is NO personal atonement (remission of sins). For non-believers, their sins remain. It is not because Jesus did not die (shed blood) for them. But that they have rejected the “sin offering” provided by God. This is why I can see Jesus telling Judas “this is my blood.....which is shed for you”, without having to question if Judas was even present, or explain exactly “who” the “you” was intended to. This explanation would also cover “the nation” from Acts.

    What I do find disturbing is a quote like “A Christ for all is really a Christ for none” being taught behind closed “reformed” doors, when I can not find one verse to support it in scripture.

    When I see you make comments like “watering down the soup and no one gets fed”, I can see this paralleling this quote. Hopefully, you would consider this quote as unbiblical as well.

    Again, I appreciate the exchange, your time, and careful consideration.

    God bless,
    wingedfooted1

    By Anonymous wingedfooted1, at 11/04/2008 11:22 PM  

  • Hi Rose/Wingfooted1

    Wingfooted1: I accept your professed sincerity here in what you are seeking to do. I am glad that you have empathy for my position. I think we both are seeking to honour the fullness of what Christ achieved upon the Cross, and if so, then I have every empathy for your position too. Perhaps it will help mollify things here, if I reassert my belief in the infinite value of Christ’s sacrifice and state that it has a value that could redeem a million worlds if such was the declared will of God. I have no problem with any one presenting Christ to each and every sinner they ever meet and assuring them that there is salvation for sinners and therefore for them. None are ever turned away who seek salvation and the invitation is to the “whosoever will”. I preached last Lord’s Day evening in a large Reformed (WCF) church and it had the whole text of Revelation 22:17 painted over the pulpit. Souls are saved regularly in this church and this in a barren day right across the whole Evangelical spectrum in the UK.

    Our sticking point here lies in the detail of what Christ actually achieved at the Cross and for whom He actually achieved it. I see Him actually taking away sins i.e. the guilt of sin. This is the language of Scripture itself. John 1:29, as seen, is a strong verse. There are plenty of others. I honestly see that if Christ bore away sins of men who will eventually be in hell, then that is a considerably lesser sacrifice than the one that actually secures the eternal salvation of all whom it was offered. Their sins really and truly are “borne away”. It is in this context that I have used the phrase about watering down the soup and so none get fed. The last time I used this phrase here on this comment blog was in response to Antonio’s twice asserted statement that ”Sins have been paid for in a limited sense..." If that doesn’t send alarm bells ringing, then nothing will. I would not unconditionally endorse the “A Christ for all is really a Christ for none” phrase. It does not stand alone without qualification. It only becomes a necessary observation (as opposed to an argument) in the light of the teaching that Christ can bear away men’s guilt and their guilt still remain. It only stands the test because despite such teaching that you are putting forth yet it is still evident that all men are not saved. Men are still living and dying in the guilt of their sins and going as guilty sinners to hell. To argue that Christ has borne the guilt of their sins on Calvary but that they are still guilty must then cast a shadow of doubt upon what He did for those who are saved. You are arguing that the same sacrifice provided equally for all. If you say that faith makes the difference, then we really do have a part to play in the atonement of Christ. I am, in part, my own Saviour. Instead of His objective sacrifice sparking (to use a rugged phrase) my faith and drawing to the Saviour – it is my faith that sparks His sacrifice and renders it useful instead of useless.

    As said, the desire on the Reformed part is to set the sacrifice on the highest ground and proclaim it to all. No man yet alive need conclude that there is nothing for him. He has no authority to do so. He is bidden and invited to seek the Lord and find pardon. If he does so, then he will find in an effectual atonement for his sins. If he fails to seek God, then he has no one to blame but himself, having loved darkness rather than light because his deeds are evil.

    I have enjoyed chatting you as well. Perhaps this is the closest we are going to find agreement on this matter. If my second paragraph fails to convince you, then at least take all the many positive things that you can from the first and third paragraphs.

    Regards,

    By Blogger GOODNIGHTSAFEHOME, at 11/05/2008 8:38 AM  

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