Thursday, August 6, 2009
Getting The L Out of Here. Part 6
Double Jeopardy! This is the response one gets from those who believe, teach and confess Limited Atonement. The thought behind it is that if Jesus died for the sins of every person then to send the unbeliever to eternal hell is to punish them a second time. This would be unfair to our fair mindedness but God is free to operate under his own rules or none at all.
2 Corinthians 5:18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.ESV
However, we see in the above section that because of Jesus’ perfect life, death, burial and resurrection God is no longer counting trespasses against anyone. One will object and mention that people still go to hell. Those who go into everlasting punishment do not end up there because of sin but rather unbelief. John 3:18.
Each and everyone of us are by nature sinful, unclean and an enemy of God. In loving kindness Jesus came and bore the entire curse of the law for every person ever born. This gift is received by faith and is reject able by those who either do not see the need for saving or rather try and do it for themselves. St Paul addressed this type of unbelief in his letter to the church at Galatia. So horrible is this and terrifying he uses extremely harsh language later stating that those who seek to justify themselves have fallen away from grace and are severed from Christ:
Galatians 5:2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. ESV
When we trust solely in the finished work of Jesus we have nothing to fear. The fact that he paid for all sin we do not have to fear that he did not pay for us. Rather we can look with confidence that our sin was nailed to the cross and paid for entirely by Jesus who was later raised so we also shall be raised. We can hear with confidence the good news that Jesus died to redeem us. This is probably why John Calvin was so unsure when teaching on the sacraments. One cannot have firm trust in baptism and the Lord’s Supper when one is convinced Jesus did not die for everyone for how can you know these gifts are for you? Jesus died for each of us! We can trust the promises associated with baptism and the Lord’s Supper not doubting that it is for us! Is that radical good news or what?
In the Name of Jesus. Amen. †