Thursday, October 13, 2011

Refuting the L in Calvinism's TULIP "Limited Atonement"

"Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many'; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all)."


I hope this is not the defense, or the argument used for this view. Here is why-

The person who wrote this agrues that these verses teach that Jesus died for His sheep and for the Church. While this is true, these verses do not limit His death being for the sheep or Church. The writer goes beyond the teaching of scripture here by concluding something that is not concluded in the passage.

To lay it out clearly the verses teach:

1. Jesus died for the sheep, for the Church.

2. The veses do not LIMIT Jesus' death to only the sheep and Church.

3. The verses that talk of Jesus dying for the "many" includes the many, but does not limit it to only the many. It is not ethical to make such a jump.

That being said, the only verse I see here that merits interest, or holds any amount of water is John 17:9 where Jesus says that He is not praying for the world but for the elect. But even with this verse, while He is praying for the elect here, I cannot conclude, exegetically, that this verse teaches that He only died for the elect.

Therefore, if this is the argument for Limited Atonement, I cannot ethically support this, based on an exegetical understanding of Scripture. Also, it seems that John Calvin refutes the L in TULIP- here is a website that has a lot of information on this:

In conclusion- God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosever trusts in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world (people) may be saved through Him.

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