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Substitutionary Atonement

My fourteen year old sent me this video with this comment:

“…apparently calvinists are heretics now hahaha”

My response to my son is as follows:

Amazing, he doesn’t understand the link between substitutionary atonement and particular atonement. If Christ made a substitutionary atonement for all men, then all men would be saved having their sins completely paid for, regardless of whether they accepted it or not, it would be paid for and there would no longer be a foundation for condemnation. He doesn’t make the connection, then cannot see that his universalism is more of a problem than my particularism.

Beware of deep thinkers like Jerry Falwell.

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10 Responses

  1. I believe that nothing happens apart from divine determination and decree. We shall never be able to escape from the doctrine of divine predestination – the doctrine that God has foreordained certain people unto eternal life.

  2. Dear Friends,

    I am writing in response to the thread on Substitutionary atonement… I am new to this stuff, so please bear with me!
    I think there is actually more common ground here than might be readily apparent on the surface. Christ did die once for all… Romans 6:10, Hebrews 7:26-27… so no one will spend eternity in hell for their sins, save for the sin of unbelief… John 3:16-18 and 1 John 5:12… as with any gift it must be both given and received… ps I am a Calvinistic Arminianist (or is that an Arminianistic Calvinist?) All I know is this… God is God, and so he knows what I will choose before I do, in fact he knew before the creation (that’s foreknowledge)… but in addition to his complete soveriegnty, he allows me free will… and loves me enough to let me truly choose! Make no mistake he will do everything to call us, to woo us, because as 2 Peter 3 states, he is not willing (wanting/desiring) that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. This is a limit that God, who is love has placed on himself… he will not force himself on anyone. God Bless each of us as we work out our on salvation in fear and trembling predestined to have the opportunity to accept and receive such a great salvation and yet by the same love and grace given the opportunity to reject it if we choose! And in his foreknowledge, God already knew!

    Be Blessed and be a Blessing


    sorry so long winded

  3. Terry,
    Thanks for reading and responding… I have much to say in response to your comments but they will have to wait…Racine’s with my wife calls (Racine’s is a Mediterranean restaurant and I am hungry), maybe more later tonight…or maybe Charles Spurgeon will see fit to chime in.

  4. Terry, this is definitely an interesting subject. However, I’m finding it hard to reconcile the fact that all the sins of unregenerate man were transferred upon the Christ except one sin of unbelief. So basically Jesus suffered 99% of mans sins, but failed to achieve the remaining? The result failure to save over and over again as many souls are lost. It sounds like synergism to me.

  5. Terry,
    I don’t know if you will check back for my very late response to your post…but here goes anyway.
    You assume in your post that the usage of the word “all” means for every individual that exists in the world, past and future. Here is the problem: the word in Romans and Hebrews that you site in your comments is the word “ephapax” which is an adverb that means “taking place once and to the exclusion of any further occurrence, once for all, once and never again” (Bauer, Danker, Arndt and Gingrich Lexicon). It has to do with Jesus’ sacrifice, his one and only sacrifice being accomplished and never needing to be repeated. So those two references have to do with something other than whether or not Jesus died for every single individual who ever lived.
    “no one will spend eternity in hell for their sin, save for the sin of unbelief”
    There are many problems with this statement. First, anyone in hell is there because of their own sin. All are guilty before God, for their own sin and for Adam’s sin, before they ever have any opportunity or knowledge of Jesus. People are condemned for many sins besides unbelief – look at 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. Here is how you need to see it: If I have cancer and someone discovers the cure, but I refuse the treatment, what killed me? The cancer or my choice to refuse the medicine? The cancer killed me! Sin condemns us. Taking the medicine saved me, but cancer killed me. Believing in Jesus saves us, but sin condemns us. Is rejecting Jesus sin? yes. So it is included in that condemnation, but you have no biblical basis for saying that every single individual’s sin was paid for and unbelief is the only remaining condemning sin.
    “He will not force himself on anyone”
    Does this include Pharoah? Or is your usage of the word “anyone” here limited in some sense?
    “predestined to have the opportunity”
    This misses the majesty of the doctrine and puts man in the drivers seat. If this is a true statement, then it is possible that Jesus died for no one. If it is up to us, and God will not impose himself on us, and we are truly “free” to choose, then it is possible that Jesus came, suffered and died, and no one would have received him, because everyone would have been able to say no, and God would have to settle for that. That must be a possibility in your understanding. That does not seem to me to be what is being said in the Scripture.
    Another challenge by way of analogy. If my son is doing drugs, running with the wrong crowd, sleeping with multiple young ladies and I as a father say this: “He has free will, it would not be right to impose my will upon his – that wouldn’t be the loving thing to do” what would you say? I think you would justly condemn me. I would not stand back and idly let my son destroy himself. I would do everything within my power to compel him to change. I am so glad that God changed my heart (you use the term forced) to be able to respond to Him. I couldn’t do it on my own, and if he left me to my will I would still be in my sin. That is the marvel of grace. Your description of the process still leaves the decision up to me and I am better than the next guy because I “received” the gift that he did not. You have made receiving the gift the one work that I do that sets me apart from all others who had the same opportunity as I did, but were not as good as I am.
    I challenge your definitions of “foreknowledge” and “predestination”.
    I define foreknowledge not simple as God being able to “know what I will choose before I do” rather it means to have knowledge beforehand. God knew beforehand, not God knew who would know Him beforehand. It is personal knowledge, the Bible uses it to describe God’s knowledge of individuals, not simply their acts. This is a key difference and distinction. The Bible does not use this term as you do. God foreknows his people, it should not be reduced to fortune-telling.
    Predestined means to predetermine, or to decide beforehand. It is much more specific than simply to create an opportunity.
    Finally, where in the Bible is the idea of free will taught? Man makes choices, and he makes those choices willingly according to his nature. Men with a sin nature naturally and wholeheartedly choose sin. IN this state they cannot choose God. This means they have no freedom of the will. Until God chooses to free an individual from the bondage of sin, he will be in bondage to sin, even though he would never define this state as bondage. When God frees him and changes his will, he can then respond and choose to follow God. Or are you saying that man can choose on his own, apart from the intervention of God to follow God?

  6. The fact of Jesus’ crucifixion is that it is the sin of murder caused by bloodshed which resulted in loss of life. Relative to this is the fact that God demands an accounting directly to him for the action of taking a male human life by bloodshed. Post of Jesus’ crucifixion is the fact that God’s spirit by Jesus’ crucifixion being the sin of murder caused by bloodshed is by this evidence has been enabled to convict each individual of guilt of the one sin of Jesus’ crucifixion. Because of Jesus having been given all authority by God making him Lord Jesus has added to the law of God Rom.5:20, Heb 7:12, the law Repent. The only way this new law can be obey is by the faith of repenting of the one sin of Jesus murder for the forgiveness of all sins. for God demands an accounting regarding that Jesus’ life has been taken by bloodshed. Not accounting directly to God by the faith to apoloigize for his only begotten son’s murder is a disobedience of God, Jesus and the Holy spirit for which there is no forgiveness. The problem with the theory of substitutionary atonement is that any message of salvation constructed on this concept always teaches a person to disobey the Acts 2:38 command.

  7. Theodore, are you implying that men go to hell solely on the basis of spiritually killing the Son of God. Paul says by nature we are objects of wrath and that you and I are dead in trespasses and in sins. (Ephesians 2:2-3)

    Also, Acts 4:27-28 says that, 27″For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,

    28to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.

    It looks like God predestined the death of His Son so that we could be freed from the bondage of sin and death through the faith of Jesus.

    Jesus also states before his death, that whoever does not believe is condemned already. Mankind was already under the curse of sin and death and held accountable for his own nature (as the enemy of God).

    I do agree that the only way to obey the command of repentance is by faith and faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10:17). However, man must first be regenerated by the Spirit of God. Otherwise, man cannot accept the things of the spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14.

    Actually no one can obey the command of Acts 2:38 unless he is first quickened by the Spirit of God. (Romans 8:7-8) For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to Gods law; INDEED, IT CANNOT, Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

  8. Nadda.
    The topic is, if the theory of substitutionary is true. It is not true. The problem with substitutionary atonement, penal atonement and all other forms of this conjecture is the presuppositional content and expectation of benefit. The truth, in contrast to this theory , is the absence of a preexisting statue that will allow a benefit to be obtained by committing a sin. But the theoretical supposition for the basic support for substitutionary atonement is the contempt of preexistent statue. There is no direct benefit available to anyone by committing the sin of murder or any other sin for that matter.

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