15 July 2000

"Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us"-Luke 1:1 The doctrine of limited atonement is also found among the doctrines of those things most surely believed among us. When we say limited, we do not mean that God is limited, nor are we saying that the mediatorial work of Christ upon the cross was incomplete. Limited atonement means that the atonement of Christ was limited only to the objects of His grace, those chosen and loved before the foundation of the world. ATONEMENT Atonement means to 'restore to divine favor'. God's people were adopted from the fallen family of Adam and placed in the redeemed family of God, a place of divine favor, by the redemptive work of Christ upon the cross. The Old Testament day of atonement is a type and shadow of our day of atonement as Jesus, by His one sacrifice, forever put away the sins of His people. Their day of atonement occurred once, every year, at perpetual reminder of their need for further cleansing, "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God." The High Priest could never sit down, his work would never be complete. The atonement of Christ was one sacrifice for ever! We can add nothing to it, and thankfully, we can take nothing from it. LIMITED ATONEMENT AGREES WITH PREDESTINATION Limited atonement agrees with the doctrine of predestination. Peter said we were redeemed by "the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world"-I Peter 1:19,20. God's people have never been in danger of hell. Before the foundation of the world, the lamb was selected, the sacrifice of God's own Son was planned by the Godhead. John wrote of Jesus as a "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world". Though sin has caused great suffering and pain, the plan to rescue God's elect has always been intact, planned and sure. What great security we find in the doctrines of grace! LIMITED ATONEMENT AGREES WITH ELECTION The doctrine of Limited Atonement agrees with the doctrine of election. The angel that spoke to Joseph concerning the birth of Christ declared, "She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins"-Matthew 1:21. His name; His people; they both belong to Jesus. The day of atonement was not for the Syrians, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Jebusites or any other people. The High Priest went into the most Holy place for Israel alone. So, Christ suffered for the sins of "His people." LIMITED ATONEMENT MAGNIFIES CHRIST'S OMNISCIENCE We most surely believe that Jesus knew why He was dying upon the cross as well as who He was dying for. His eyes were not closed when He freely offered Himself without spot and blemish to the Father. Isaiah wrote, "by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities'-Isaiah 53:11. Christ went to the cross with knowledge. He is the omniscient God. This thought should humble every heir of grace. Just to know that Jesus knew you personally and intimately as He suffered for your sins. In spite of our failings, He was faithful. Precious Jesus. THE APPLICATION OF THE ATONEMENT The legal and lasting application of the atonement was made for every heir of grace upon the cross of Calvary. If this is not so, what did Jesus accomplish? How could Jesus say, "It is finished"? The application is made to the conscience by the preaching of the cross. This application, as well as the legal application, may only be enjoyed by the elect, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." To those who were saved by the atonement, the gospel comes with power. CONSIDER Consider this thought concerning the atonement of Christ. By His redemptive work upon the cross, either Jesus died for all the sins of all people; or he died for some of the sins of all people; or he died for all the sins of some people. If you believe the latter, you believe in the doctrine of limited atonement. Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Visit our web page at www.primitivebaptist.org/donaldson/ Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor