Thursday, November 1, 2007

Getting the L out. Part 4

Luke 23:34 And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments. ESV

One will never hear a person who holds to Limited Atonement proclaim all those in attendance at the crucifixion of Jesus eventually became believers. The forgiveness Jesus proclaimed on those crucifying Him was not the weak forgiveness we pronounce on those who offend us. This is a strong pronouncement of grace upon those who knew who Jesus is and did the strong sin of having Him crucified. In the act of atoning for the sin of the world Jesus shows it is for all people without exception.

This is hard to understand that God does not hold a person’s sin against them but in unbelief they still die eternally in sin. In trying to explain this Limited Atonement proclaim that the death of Jesus is only for those who will believe. This is tossing one back on him or herself to determine sufficient faith or trust in the faith rather than the Christ in Whom we are to trust.

By pressing upon them with questioning on how one is to know he or she is one for whom Jesus died ultimately works will come into discussion. A couple of acquaintances of mine will say that a believer is noticeably better than an unbeliever. Thin ice is being treaded upon with statements such as that:

Luke 18:10 "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." ESV

The Pharisee thanks God for a gift He has not given. In this life we are not given the gift of sinless perfection. The same with those who claim works are sufficient to have assurance of pardon are attempting to gaze upon a gift God has not given. In thought word and deed we are constantly falling short of the glory of God. Even if a person skirts specific sins and resists some temptation he or she keeps on sinning even in accomplishing that. The inner brat will always grab onto that and admire it, parade it in front of others as proof of salvation and look to that in their mind as proof of God's forgiveness. God grant people who see things this way repentance and desire to look only to Jesus.

The scripture proclaims that Jesus indeed died for the sin of every person so we no longer need look at how we believe or what we do. God grant that we always look upon Jesus the Gift that has been given for us for the forgiveness of our sin.

Praise to You O Christ. †

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