Calvinism and Atonement

If you tell a Calvinist that you are only a four-point Calvinist, they know the one point you are not sold on is Limited Atonement.

The L of the TULIP is the weakest link. It says that Christ only died for the elect, so the atonement was not for everyone.

I think this is the most obvious example of Calvinism’s extremism that goes so far as to ignore Scripture. I’m not even sure Calvin ascribed to Limited Atonement, but boy howdy do his adherents.

In order to prove Limited Atonement you have to redefine the word “world.” Christ died for the sins of the world is a fact stated in Scripture. It’s a rather inconvenient fact for Calvinists because it refutes Limited Atonement.

I go with Scripture. Call me backward, but I do. There is no way the word “world” means “the elect” or “the world of believers.” It just doesn’t and any effort to say otherwise looks increasingly foolish.

12 thoughts on “Calvinism and Atonement”

  1. I have to agree that Christ defeated all sins on the cross, not just some sins.

  2. I have delt with this subject for over five years now. I used to be a Free will Baptist all the way. I even was part of a church that voted out a pastor for being Calvinist. My point is I started to really study God’s Word more than I had ever done before to prove that preacher was wrong. But the opposite happened, I saw that there was nothing I could do, it HAD to come from God. It is by God’s grace and his grace alone that saved me.
    I was just of guilty of this and I think most free will people are to, I would get angry if someone said they were Calvinist, why is that? Calvinist wants to talk about a scripture but others want them gone. We should never get angry at others but go to God’s Word as you say. People say I see it one way and you see it another but that is wrong. There is only one way with God and we are to seek that will. We are to go to scripture with an open mind, asking God to reveal his Word no matter what that may be. Don’t skip over certain verses, take each one and study them to see God’s truth.
    Jesus says in john 6:37-40 and 10:14-18 that God will send all the ones to him that will be his sheep. Is he picking ones out like it says? It is not a mere possibility but an absolute certainty!
    The world is talking about all kinds of people, the Jews and the Greeks. It is not the sins of everyone that are forgiven but only those that trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. In v. 17-18 we see that we are all condemned already we are only saved when we give it all to Christ. The next verses 19-21 ,shows that we love darkness, only God brings light to our eyes.
    We must decide if God is in control of everything or just something’s ,that is the question.

  3. Dustin,
    I would agree that of our own ability we would not seek or submit to God. There are plenty of Scriptures that speak of the condition of the human heart, apart from God’s Spirit. My one contention with Calvinism is the issue of limited atonement. The word of God tells us the Lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the earth. Now how that took place is beyond me, but it did because God’s word says it happen. The whole purpose of the cross was to display God’s goodness and glory, and to defeat the power of sin.

    Now if Christ only partially defeated sin, as in only defeating the sins of the elect, then it is only a partial victory. But God’s word clearly tells us that Christ’s death on the cross completely defeated the power of sin.

    Hebrews 1:3
    The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

  4. I honestly have not yet come to a point of conviction regarding the various shades of election, but one thing has always been a hangup for me with hard-line Calvinism. Why would God give breath to a person who is already sentenced to eternal punishment?

  5. Karen,
    The hard-line Calvinist answer to your question is–God makes people to send to hell for His glory. That’s the answer you would get from them.

    All day long God has stretched out His arm to save a disobedient and stubborn people. One would think He would save Himself the trouble and become a Calvinist and put His arm down all ready.

  6. Paul,
    When is a mans sin forgiven? Yes, Christ defeated all sin but he did not forgive all of “mans” sin only those who put there trust and faith in Christ. If he forgave all sin everyone would be righteous before God. There is no kind of sin that he did not die for that is true.
    Karen,
    It is not that God sends us to hell, we are already going there. The wonderful thing is that he saved some from going there. God will be glorified no matter what, the Bible is not about us, it’s about Christ. He would be glorified even if every one of us went to hell!
    Jeff,
    Paul wrote about Christ being slain before the foundation of the earth, what do you think he is talking about? God knew man would sin before he put them there. Christ was to come and die on this earth before man ever breathed his first breath. It is all about Christ, from the first chapter of the Bible to the last.

  7. And Jesus said

    “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often WOULD I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye WOULD not!”

    It was Jesus’ will to gather Jerusalem, it was their will not to come. Jesus does not save people apart from their will. These are words of Jesus, of whom all the Scripture is about.

    The Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world and is the only basis upon which man can be saved. But not all are saved and this is man’s will, not God’s. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Something other than God’s will is at work. Why did Jesus tell us to pray that “God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven” If everything is “God’s will” already?

    Calvinism wraps the bundle too tightly. It ignores Scripture and changes the meanings of words. Foreknowledge and predestination are at work, but we are also told our will is essential to God’s saving plan (whosoever will may come). I can’t go beyond that nor can I limit those straightforward Scriptural truths.

  8. Dustin,
    How would you interpert this verse?
    1John:2 2
    He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

  9. Dustin,
    I should qualified my response by saying I don’t believe all men’s sins will be atoned for, but the work of the cross is not limited, my disagreement with Calvinism is the L, limited atonement. That Christ die only for the sins of the elect, how can the work of the cross be only for the elect, when we read 1 John:2 2 with any type of discernment?

  10. The word foreknowledge is the word all agree is in the Bible, correct? Are you saying that God only knows what is going to happen but has no hand in it? He watches and hopes that everything works out, that is not a sovereign God. Yes, we have a will but it will always go the wrong way. Yes, we do have a choice, but we will always choose wrong, unless God removes the scales from our eyes, brings light into our dark world, and gives us grace that we do not deserve. I look at it this way, I have no idea who will be saved or not so I treat every person on this earth the same. It is not for me to figure it out but to share the gospel of Christ with the lost and to learn from and disciple other brothers and sisters in the faith. This has been a good discussion and I thank you brothers and sisters for coming in peace and kindness. This is the way we should act and talk about the teachings of our Lord. I look forward to many more talks concerning God’s Word. with you all. God Bless

  11. Dustin,
    Yes it has been nice to discuss with you in a civil manners these questions. As I have mentioned before I believe predestination and free will are both equally true. How they exactly work in conjunction with each other is a mystery to me I admit. I agree that God is sovereign over His creation, and that ultimately His will shall be done.

    I use to be a five point Calvinist myself, so again I will ask you, how do you read 1 John 2:2, and interpret it to mean that Christ died for the sins of the elect only? I’m not trying to engage you in an argument but rather just trying to get you to see Scripture outside of your theology.

  12. Paul,
    Christ died for those that would come to him, that is the gospel. For all those who will believe! What make a man believe, that is the question. He is the propitiation for our sins, propitiation means that Christ satisfied the wrath of God with his death on the cross. Christ died so that we could be righteous before a Holy God. This verse does not say they can come to Christ on there own.
    We must be careful not to us one verse to show the whole meaning of the Bible. Is John talking about everyone being covered by the blood of Christ? Is he talking to the Jews and meaning the Gentiles when he says “the word ” as it is meant throughout the New Testament. John 3:17-21 talks about how bad of we are, we are condemned, we are fallen, we want nothing to do with the light we love darkness, we are totally depraved. Eph 2:8-9 we are not saved by our own doing it is a gift of God.. Phil 1:6 he begins a good work in us. What about Phil. 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Read Romans 9, it is all God!
    I am a chaplain for the local sheriffs office and I also work with the prisoners when asked, I see everyone of them as being able to be saved, but I know that it is in God’s hands. I preach as if the whole world can be saved because that is what the Lord tells me to do, but I also know that his Word is true and that he does the saving, not me.

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