Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Mt 20:28

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Particular Redemption

By Elder Zack Guess

Lesson Fourteen

Lesson Fifteen

Lesson Sixteen

Lesson Seventeen

Lesson Eighteen

Lesson Nineteen

Lesson Twenty

Lesson Twenty-One

Lesson Twenty-Two

Lesson Twenty-Three

Lesson Twenty-Four

Return to - Undeniable Doctrinal Truths Table of Contents


Lesson Fourteen

Particular Redemption

We have been studying the doctrine of election.  Election itself actually saved no one; it only marked out particular sinners (the elect) for salvation.  Those chosen by the Father were given to the Son who must redeem them or purchase their salvation by His own blood.  Redemption in the Scriptures carries with it the idea of a captive being set free on the payment of the proper ransom price.  The ransom price paid by the Son of God for His people was His own life. (Matt. 20:28).  When Christ paid this price on the cross He actually got what He paid for and He did just exactly what He came to do (Matt.1:21).

Many people teach that Christ did not actually save anyone by His death on the cross.  But rather, they say, He died to provide salvation for each and every human being in the world.  However, they say, each human must do his part or the work of Christ is in vain.  Most of these people will admit that there will be many people in hell‑‑in fact most of them teach that there will be more people in hell than in heaven.  So perhaps without realizing it, they have Christ a great failure who lost a great many of the ones for whom He died.  They have many people in hell for whom Christ died.

This is terrible and it is simply not true.  The Bible teaches that Christ did not lose even one for whom He died.  (John 6:38,39).

If Christ died for every individual of the human race then every individual will be saved.

But the Scriptures plainly teach that there are those who will not be saved.  (Matt.7:23; 25:41; John 8:44).  Therefore, Christ did not die for everyone, else all would be saved.

Questions

  1. What does redemption mean?

  2. Who did the work of redemption in the salvation of sinners?

  3. For whom did Christ die?

  4. Did Christ's death actually secure salvation for those for whom He died?

  5. If Christ actually died for every member of the human race, what would be the final destiny of every human being?

Memory Verse:  Matthew 1:21


Lesson Fifteen

Particular Redemption

The simple fact is that Christ simply did not die for all men.  He did not intend to save all men or He would have done so.  He certainly has enough power to do what He wants to do.  Many have the perverted idea that there will be persons in everlasting hell whom God loves.  Would you let someone you love suffer such a fate?  Some say that God's love changes to hate when the sinner rejects God's offer of salvation.  But God's love is not of this nature.  God's love is like God Himself--it is simply eternal and unchangeable (Jeremiah 31:3;  Malachi 3:6).  God simply doesn't love all men (Romans 9:13) and Christ didn't die for all men (John 10:11).

John Owen has pointed out that there are three possibilities of the extent of the death of Christ:

1.  Christ died for all the sins of all men

or

2.  Christ died for all the sins of some men

or

3.  Christ died for some of the sins of all men.

If #1 is true, then all men will be saved.  We know this is not true.

If #3 is true, then no one will be saved.

If #2 is true (and it is), then some men will be saved.  These are the "elect" spoken of in Scriptures.

Some people say that Christ died for your sins, but that your unbelief will keep you from being saved.  But is not unbelief a sin?  If Christ died for all the sins of some, He also died for the sin of unbelief.

People who believe that Christ died to provide salvation for everyone but did not actually secure salvation for anyone believe in the General Atonement.  Those who believe (rightly so) that Christ did not die for everyone, but that He actually secured salvation for everyone for whom He died, believe in the Limited Atonement (the work of Christ being limited intentionally by God to the elect) or in Particular Redemption (being purchased for particular individuals--the elect).

Loraine Boettner has aptly described the General Atonement as a wide bridge that only goes halfway across a stream.  Everyone gets on the bridge but no one gets across the stream.  He describes the Limited Atonement as a narrower bridge which goes all the way across the stream.  Not everyone gets on the bridge, but every one who gets on goes all the way to the other side.

Questions

  1. Will any that God loves go to hell?

  2. Does God's love ever change?

  3. Will unbelief keep one for whom Christ has died out of heaven?

  4. Why didn't Christ die for everyone?

Memory Verse:  We have memorized Matthew 1:21.  Let's learn John 10:11.


Lesson Sixteen

Particular Redemption

Redemption from sin was accomplished by the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This happened nearly two thousand years ago.  Therefore, when we talk about redemption, we are talking about an accomplished historical fact.  We are not talking about something that remains to be accomplished or completed, but something that was completely finished over nineteen hundred years ago.  The book of John points this out as follows:  "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."  (John 19:30)  Whatever was necessary for the removal of sin from the people of God was accomplished at Calvary.  It has been done perfectly and nothing from man needs to be added to it!  This was the work of Christ for His people.  We will consider later the work of Christ in His people (the new birth.)  But we can say now that everyone that Christ did something for on Calvary will, sometime in their lives on earth, experience the work of Christ in them as the benefits of salvation are brought to them by God, the Holy Spirit.

To further show, from Scripture, that Christ actually finished the work of redemption on Calvary, let us examine the following passages:

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (I Peter 1:18,19).

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." (Heb. 9:12)

Notice here, that it doesn't say that He tried to obtain eternal redemption or that "He did His part; now you must do yours to make it complete."  He actually obtained eternal redemption for those for whom He died.  If He died for the entire human race, then they have all been redeemed and there will be no one in hell.  But from other Scripture we know that this is not true.  So for whom did Christ die?  For the elect.  Every one of them will be eternally saved because Christ actually redeemed them from their sins on Calvary.

"And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof:  for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people, and nation." (Rev. 5:9)

Not one drop of Christ's blood was shed in vain!  But those who teach that Christ tried and intended to redeem the whole human race teach that much of Christ's blood was, in fact, shed in vain.

Christ's death was a substitutionary death.  He actually died as a substitute for certain people (the elect).  He satisfied the debt that these people owed to God.  The elect were set free because their debt had actually been paid.  If I go to the bank and pay off the debt for one hundred particular men, then these men are actually debt free.  But not everyone that owes the bank money is free of debt.

We find this principle of substitution set forth in the following Scriptures:

"Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for (lit. instead of, in the place of) many." (Matt. 20:28)

"For he hath made him to be sin for (lit. in behalf of) us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (II Cor. 5:21)

Questions

  1. When was redemption accomplished?

  2. Does any of the work of redemption remain to be done?

  3. What was the redemption price?

  4. Who offered the redemption price to God?  When was it offered?

  5. What do we mean when we say that Christ died as a substitute?

Memory Verse:  We have memorized Matthew 1:21 and John 10:11.  Let us memorize Matt. 20:28.


Lesson Seventeen

Particular Redemption

We have already stated that the doctrine of Particular Redemption teaches that Christ died for the elect and the elect only.  Christ did not die for any that would perish in hell.  Let us examine this teaching and see how reasonable and consistent it is.

All those for whom Christ gave His life as a ransom are either ransomed or they are not.  It is very evident, from Scripture and from observation, that not all the human race is ransomed from the penalty of God's law.  Now, if some for whom Christ gave His life are not ransomed then it follows that Christ at least partially died in vain!  This, of course, is absurd.  Since we know that Christ did not die in vain, we must conclude that He did not die for every individual in the human race.

The very song of the redeemed in glory is a joyful song of election and particular redemption:  "Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." (Rev. 5:9)  The elect are said to have been redeemed out of or from among (Rev. 14:4) the mass of mankind.  There is certainly no universal redemption taught here.

Consider further the fact that if there are people in hell for whom Christ died, suffering for their own sins, then God is demanding double payment.  Christ paid for their sins on the cross, and they are suffering for the same sins in eternal torment.  God does not operate like this.  He is a God of justice.  When His justice has been satisfied, those for whom satisfaction has been made go free.  The elect are Christ's by right of purchase. (I Cor. 6:20; Gal. 3:13, etc.)

To teach universal redemption is to teach that Christ died for the damned in hell as much as for the saved in heaven!  This would make the atonement a very haphazard and loose arrangement.  But the atonement (redemption) was precise and exact.  God's justice demanded that Christ pay the exact penalty of the sins of those who are saved.

There are many passages of Scripture where Christ is said to die for certain ones, not for every human being.  Let us examine some of these.

  1. John 10:11--Here the elect are called His sheep.  Notice that in this chapter there are other humans mentioned who are called "thieves," "robbers," "hireling," "wolf."  But Christ said that He laid down His life for the sheep.  John 10:26 plainly says that some of the Jews were not His sheep.  Therefore, He did not die for them.  This Scripture alone is ample proof that Christ did not die for every individual in the human race.

  2. Matthew 1:21--Here the elect are called His people.  And the emphatic statement was that He would save them from their sins.  He would actually save them--not just make provision for their salvation.

  3. John 6:37, 39; John 17:9--In these passages the elect are spoken of as those whom the Father had given to Christ.

  4. Hebrews 2:13--Here they are called the children.

Questions

  1. If some for whom Christ died are not saved, what does this tell us about the work of Christ?

  2. If Christ died for the sins of some people who will suffer for these same sins in hell, what does this tell us about the justice of God?

  3. Did Christ die for those who will be in hell?

  4. What are some of the names in Scripture by which those for whom Christ died are called?

Memory Verse:  We have memorized Matthew 1:21, John 10:11, and Matt. 20:28.  Let us memorize Hebrews 9:12.


Lesson Eighteen

Particular Redemption

There are some Scriptures which seem at first glance to support the idea of universal redemption.  But the Bible doesn't contradict itself and teach particular redemption in some places and universal redemption in others.  On closer study, each of the Scriptures which might seem to support the idea of universal redemption in fact teach that Christ died for the elect and for none other.

One of the most commonly used Scriptures to support the idea of universal redemption is John 3:16--"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

I.

Let us note, first of all, that God does not love all men without exception:  "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Rom 9:13);  "The foolish shall not stand in thy sight:  thou hatest all workers of iniquity" (Ps. 5:5);  "I never knew you:  depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matt. 7:23);  "Ye are of your father the devil..." (John 8:44).

These and other Scriptures plainly teach that God doesn't and never has loved each and every member of the human race.

But the Scriptures don't contradict each other, so what is meant when it is said that God loved the world?

II.

The word "world" is used in many different ways in Scripture.  Anyone who will simply examine a concordance and look up the passages where "world" occurs, will soon discover that this word is used in the New Testament in a variety of ways.  Sometimes the word "world" is used of unbelievers in distinction from believers (John 14:17;  15:18, 19;  17:9, 14).  Sometimes it refers to people in general (John 12:19).  Sometimes it refers to the created material system (John 1:10).  In the great majority of instances it is a general and indefinite expression which has reference to the Gentiles in contrast with the Jews.  Sometimes the word means everyone on earth (Rom. 3:19).

Here, in John 3:16, the word "world" means God's elect in all nations--Gentiles as well as Jews.  As a typical Jew, Nicodemus thought that God loved nobody but Jews.  The Jews of Christ's time on earth believed that all but Jews were unclean and could only be saved by becoming Jewish proselytes.  This idea prevailed even among some of the Jews who had been baptized into the Christian church (Acts 15:5).

In John 3:16, the Lord told Nicodemus that God so loved the world (elect Gentile as well as elect Jew), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever (elect Gentile as well as elect Jew) believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Commenting on John 17:9, dear old Elder C.E. Smith said, "And so Jesus prayed for those He died for, and He died for those He prayed for."

III.

The "whosoever believeth" in John 3:16 is a descriptive term, not a conditional term.  No one can be a believer in Christ but a born-again child of God.  All God's elect become believers when they are born of God.  Christ told some who were not God's chosen ones, "But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep..." (John 10:26).  In Acts 13:48, it is said, "And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."  Notice that they didn't believe in order to become ordained to eternal life.  They believed because they were ordained to eternal life.  Believing doesn't give one eternal life; one believes because he has eternal life.  The ability to believe (faith) is given to the child of God in the new birth (Phil. 1:29; Eph. 2:8; John 6:29).  Notice it says in John 6:47, "He that believeth on me hath (already has) everlasting life."  So belief (the exercise of faith) is an evidence of life, not a condition to be met in order to get life.  A baby cries because it is alive--a person believes in Jesus Christ because he has spiritual life.

Questions

  1. What is some of the Biblical evidence that God doesn't love all men?

  2. What are some of the ways the word "world" is used in the Scriptures?

  3. What does the word "world" mean in John 3:16?

  4. Who can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ?

  5. What is faith?

Memory Verse:  We have memorized Matthew 1:21, John 10:11, Matthew 20:28, and Hebrews 9:12.  Let us memorize I Peter 1:18, 19.


Lesson Nineteen

Particular Redemption

In the following lesson, we will continue to examine some Scriptures which are used by some to teach the doctrine of universal redemption.

I.

"And he is the propitiation for our sins:  and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:2).

First we must examine the word "propitiation."  The idea of propitiating is that of appeasing one who has been offended.  The offended one has been pacified--his good will has been won or regained.  Thus the basic idea is that of satisfaction--the offended party has been satisfied.

So we can see that whoever Christ is the propitiation for--satisfaction has been made to God for them.  For, here God is the offended party.  His righteous law has been broken by mankind and His holiness has been offended.  He would have forever remained offended at all mankind had not Christ made satisfaction.  The question is, who did Christ make satisfaction for?  If He is the propitiation for every human being, then every human being will be saved.  But we know that not every human being is saved so who constitutes the "whole world" spoken of in this text?

The answer is essentially the same that we gave on John 3:16 in the previous lesson.  As was pointed out there, the word "world" is used in many ways in Scripture.  Sometimes this term means only a relatively small part of the world, as when Paul wrote to the church at Rome that their faith was "spoken of throughout the whole world" (Rom. 1:8).  No one but other Christians would praise these Romans for their Christian testimony.  The world in general didn't even know that such a church existed at Rome.  So the reference to "world" here was only the believing world, which constituted an insignificant part of the entire world.  Shortly before Jesus was born, "There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed" (Luke 2:1).  The "world" here was only the comparatively small part of the total world which was controlled by Rome.

In ordinary conversation we speak of the business world, the sports world, the world of politics, etc.  But we always understand each of these "worlds" in a limited sense.

If in I John 5:19, "We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness," the author meant every individual of mankind, then he and those to whom he wrote were also in wickedness, and he contradicted himself in saying that they were of God.

The "our" in I John 2:2 refers to Jewish Christians, for John was an apostle to the "circumcision" (Gal. 2:9) and these were the people to whom he ministered primarily.  The "whole world" in I John 2:2 refers to God's elect scattered among the Gentiles.  To understand the meaning of I John 2:2, we would do well to consider John 11:51,52.  That the expression, the "whole world" is not an unlimited one, is clear from Rev. 12:9 compared with Matt. 24:24.

To repeat for emphasis what was in the previous lesson, there was a good reason for the New Testament writers to use such expressions as "the whole world," "world," "all the world," etc.  These expressions were used to correct the false notion that salvation was for the Jews only.  These expressions are intended to show that Christ died for all men without distinction (that is, He died for Jews and Gentiles alike) but they are not intended to indicate that Christ died for all men without exception (that is, He did not die for the purpose of saving each and every lost sinner).

II.

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29)

The same statements apply to this verse as apply to John 3:16 and I John 2:2.  If the world here is every human being, then the sins of every human being have been taken away and there will be no one in hell.  But we know that this isn't the case because of Scriptures like John 8:24.

It is also interesting to note that a portion of the human race was already in hell when Jesus spoke these words.  This compels us to admit that the world here is not the entire human family.

We must emphasize again that we often use general terms like this when we want to express a general principle.  When we read that a certain city is smitten with a smallpox epidemic, no one concludes that every individual in it has contracted the disease.

III.

In every Scripture where the word "world" is used in a similar sense the above statements will apply.

The Scriptures very plainly teach definite or particular redemption.  We have already seen this from such passages as John 10:11, John 17:9, etc.  Scripture doesn't contradict itself.  The only contradictions are found in the minds of sinful men.  Therefore, when the Bible speaks of the "world" in connection with the atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ, it does not teach something contrary to the plain Scriptural teaching of definite atonement.

 

Questions

  1. What is the basic idea in propitiation?

  2. Who made up the "whole world" spoken of in Romans 1:8?

  3. Who made up the "world" spoken of in Luke 2:1?

  4. What are some of the ways in which we use the word "world" in ordinary conversation?

  5. Who are the "our" spoken of in I John 2:2?

  6. Who are the "whole world" spoken of in I John 2:2?

  7. Why did the Bible writers use such expressions as "world," "the whole world," "all the world," etc., with reference to salvation?

Memory Verse:  We have memorized Matthew 1:21, John 10:11, Matthew 20:28, Hebrews 9:12, and I Peter 1:18, 19.  Let us memorize I Peter 2:24.


Lesson Twenty

Particular Redemption

There are some passages of Scripture where the use of the words "all," "every man" etc. are thought by some to teach universal redemption.  But as was the case with the word "world," an examination of such Scriptures in their contexts and in the light of the teaching of the Bible as a whole, will show clearly that these Scriptures actually teach particular redemption.

 First, we will show that the word "all" is used in many different senses in Scripture.  Usually the meaning of the word is "all who are under consideration." Who are the "all" in John 6:37? "All that the Father giveth me . . ." The Holy Spirit restricted the "all" with the modifying phrase, "that the Father giveth me," He didn't say "all the human race." In Matt- 3:5.6, we read, "Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins." Does this "all" mean that every single human being from Judea and Jerusalem came and were baptized by John? Certainly not! A few verses following plainly state that John refused to baptize many of the Pharisees and Saducees.  In Luke 2:10, the angel said at the birth of Jesus, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Did this mean that every single member of the human race would rejoice when Jesus was born? Of course not! King Herod wasn't happy; he was troubled (Matt. 2:3).  The "all people" in Luke 2:10 were all the people of God.

 These few considerations show unmistakably that the word "all" is used in different senses in Scripture.  To repeat what was said about the word "world"--one use for these seeming universal words was to correct the false notion that salvation was for the Jews only.  The salvation of the Gentiles was a mystery which had not been made known in other ages (Eph. 3:4-6; Col 1:16-27).  This then was a truth which was necessary to be brought out in the very strongest language.  Paul was for example, to be a witness "unto all men" of what he had seen and heard. (Acts 22:15).  As used in this sense the word "all" means to mankind in general-­to Jew and Gentile alike.

 We will now examine some specific Scriptures where these terms are used:

I.

Hebrews 2:9--the phrase "every man." In the first place the "man" is not in the original Greek.  So every what is under consideration? The next verse plainly shows that it is every son.  In fact the context of this entire chapter restricts the "every In v. 10, it is the "sons;" in v. 11 it is the "sanctified" and the "brethren." In verses 13 and 14 it is the "children." Verse 14 makes it plain.  He destroyed death for those for whom He died.  Therefore He destroyed death for the "every" for whom He tasted death in verse 9.  If this is the entire human race then the entire human race is saved.

II.

I Tim. 2:6--"who gave himself a ransom for all." In the first place whoever He gave Himself a ransom for are ransomed and saved.  So if the "all" means every human being then this Scripture teaches universal redemption.

In the second place Scripture always interprets Scripture.  This expression should be interpreted by Christ's own words: "Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28).  Titus 2:14 says that He "gave himself for us." The "all" in Timothy and the "us" in Titus and the "many" in Matthew are the same.  They are God's elect.  The elect are made up of all sorts of men--Jew, Gentile, rich, poor, black, white, etc.

III.

I Tim. 2:4--"Who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."

 In the first place, if Christ wills all men to be saved, then all men will be saved.  Whoever the "all men" are here will be saved.  God works "all things after the counsel of his own will". (Eph. 1:11).  He does, "according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (Dan. 4:35)

 In the second place, each of those who are saved are going to be brought to a knowledge of the truth.  I don't think this truth here means a complete system of doctrinal truth but rather an ex­periential knowledge of Jesus Christ as Savior (See John 17:3; Hebrews 8:10-11; I Thess. 4:9; John 6:45; I Cor. 2:10; Matt. 15:17; I John 2:27).  Every child of God comes to some inward acquaintance with the Lord Jesus Christ when he is born again.  And this is the "truth" under consideration here.  After all, Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6).

 The "all" here is God's elect among all classes of men.  They, and only they, are the ones for whom Christ is mediator between them and God (Verse 5).

 

Questions

  1. Who are the "all" in Matt. 3:5,6?

  2. Who are the "all" in Luke 2:10?

  3. What does the word "all" usually mean in Scripture?

  4. Who is the "every man" in Heb. 2:9?

  5. If every human being is included in the "all" of I Tim. 2:6, what does this mean?

  6. In what sense will all of God's people come to the truth?

  7. If God wills all men in the world to be saved will all men be saved?

Memory Verse:   We have memorized Matt. 1:21; John 10:11; Matt. 20:28; Heb. 9:12; I Peter 1:18,19, and I Peter 2:24.  Let us memorize Hebrews 9:28.


Lesson Twenty-One

Particular Redemption

In our previous studies, we have examined some Scriptures which, at first glance and isolated from other Scriptures, seem to some people to teach universal redemption.  In each case, we have seen that these and all other Scriptures teach that the redemption of Jesus Christ is limited to the elect people of God.

In this study sheet we will consider several other Scriptures which some use erroneously to teach universal redemption.

I.

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." (I Cor. 15:22)  In the first place this Scripture proves too much for those who advocate a universal atonement, for these are not statements of possibility--they are statements of fact.  If the "all" made alive in Christ include the whole human family then the whole human family will be saved.  No Bible believer holds to this position.

What is under consideration here is the fact that while Adam was the HEAD and REPRESENTATIVE of the human race, Jesus Christ, "the second man," "the last Adam" (I Cor. 15:45-47) was the HEAD and REPRESENTATIVE of God's elect.  Because God placed Adam as the federal head and representative of the entire human race, they all fell in him when he sinned (Rom. 5:12).  But, unlike the first Adam, Jesus rendered perfect obedience to the Father and merited a perfect righteousness which is imputed to all the children of God. (John 17:2; Heb. 2:13).

The "all" who die in Adam includes every member of the human race.  The "all" who are made alive in Christ include the elect.  Verse 23 of I Cor. 15 makes it plain the elect are under consideration in the second "all" of verse 22.  We die by means of Adam because we were IN Adam; and we live by means of Christ because we are IN Christ.  Union with Adam is the cause of death; union with Christ is the cause of life.

II.

"Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (Rom. 5:18).

The same arguments which applied to I Cor. 15:22 apply here.  Paul is dealing with FACTS here, not with possibilities.  It is a FACT that all mankind died in Adam.  The parallel would not hold if condemnation was a fact in the one case, but justification was only a possibility in the other.  Just as sure as condemnation came upon the all men in Adam (all mankind), so justification came upon the all men in Christ (the elect).  A limitation of the second "all men" of this verse is also suggested by the whole reasoning of the epistle, and especially in Rom. 8:30, where the JUSTIFIED are identified with the FOREKNOWN and GLORIFIED.

Union with Adam is both REPRESENTATIVE and VITAL (actual or living).  Representatively, his sin is the judicial ground of our dying. Representatively, his sin is the judicial ground of our condemnation.  Vitally, we derive from him a corrupt and enfeebled nature.  Union with Christ is also both representative and vital--for the elect.  Representatively, the righteousness of Christ is judicial ground of our justification.  Vitally, we derive from Him the Holy Spirit, which is the source of spiritual life (Rom. 8:9-11).  So the first "all men" of Romans 5:18 is the family of mankind; the second "all men" is the family of the elect.

III.

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." (II Peter 3:9).  "All" is explained by the word "us-ward."  It is to "them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"  (II Peter 1:1).  Whatever God wills will come to pass (Dan. 4:35; Eph. 1:11).  Since God wills that none of His elect will perish but that they will all come to repentance this will happen.  God's people are all given the ability to repent when they are born again.  The long-suffering referred to in this verse is the long-suffering that God exercises when He refuses to destroy this sinful world until all His elect are born into the world and then born again.

Questions

  1. Who are the "all" who die in Adam?

  2. Who are the "all" who are made alive in Christ?

  3. Who did judgment come upon to condemnation?

  4. To whom belongs the free gift of justification?

  5. In what two ways are we in union with Adam?

  6. In what two ways are we in union with Christ?

  7. Who are the "us-ward" in II Peter 3:9?

Memory Verse:  We have memorized Matt. 1:21; John 10:11; Matt. 20:28; Heb. 9:12; I Peter 1:18,19; I Peter 2:24; and Heb. 9:28.  Let us memorize II Cor. 5:21.


Lesson Twenty-Two

Particular Redemption

In this study, we will examine one passage of Scripture which Arminians, Universalists, and others use to teach the doctrine of General or Universal Atonement.  We have not studied all such Scriptures, but we have studied a sufficient number to give us some experience in the correct interpretation and application of Scripture.  With diligent, prayerful, study the student of the Scriptures who cares enough to find out what the Bible really teaches, has been given a few tools and guidelines with which to work.

Before considering our passages, let us look at a few principles of Bible study which are essential to "rightly dividing the word of truth." (II Tim. 2:15).

1.         We must first see who is doing the writing and to whom he is writing.  This will often greatly clarify the meaning of a passage.  In one of the Scriptures we will study II Peter 3:9.  A knowledge of the writer and the persons to whom the epistle is addressed, is absolutely essential to a correct understanding.

2.         The context (what goes before and what follows after) of a passage usually MUST be considered if a Scripture is to be correctly interpreted.  An example of a Scripture where a knowledge of the context greatly helps is Hebrews 2:9 where the following verses show who the "every man" (literally "every") is.

3.            Scripture never contradicts itself.  Therefore, for example, the "all" of I Tim. 2:6 must be interpreted in the light of the "many" of Matt. 20:28.

There are other principles to consider, but these are basic and it is impossible to understand the Bible without keeping them in mind.

"For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe."  (I Tim. 4:10)

In my mind, there are two possible explanations of this passage.  I will give both and then tell you which one I favor:

First, we know that the passage DOES NOT teach that Christ actually saved every member of the human race--this would be Universalism and no Bible believer is a universalist (one who believes that every human being will be eternally saved).

Second, this Scripture does NOT say that Christ is the POTENTIAL Saviour of every human being; that is, that He provided salvation for all on the cross, but the salvation will not really be theirs unless they accept it.  No, this passage does not teach that.  It does not say that God is the "potential Saviour" but, that He "is the Saviour" of all men.  So this Scripture doesn't teach the Arminian view any more than it does the Universalist view.

A.        One possible explanation of the passage goes something like this:  God is the Saviour of all His elect ones (the "all men") but in a special way He is the Saviour of those elect ones who believe the truth, or in a special way He is the Savior of those elect ones who are REALLY believing in Him (by strongly exercising their faith).  Now this is a possible explanation of the Scripture.

B.            Another explanation goes something like this:  Eternal salvation from sin is not even under consideration in this passage.  Notice that "the living God" is here mentioned not the Lord Jesus Christ in His specific role as Redeemer.  The work "Saviour" (SOTER in the Greek) can also mean "deliverer" or "preserver."  God is the preserver of all mankind in the sense that "He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt.  5:45).  All mankind is indebted to God for these temporal gifts without which they would immediately perish.

But God is "specially" the preserver and sustainer of "those that believe" (the elect).  Even in this temporal life, as David said, "I have been young, and am now old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread."  (Ps. 37:25).

God specially preserves His people from all manner of danger, both natural and spiritual.  This is seen by the hedge that God had around Job (Job 1:10).

I personally favor the last-given explanation, primarily because of the way that the New Testament usually speaks of "believers." There is a definite sense in which the New Testament speaks of all the elect as "believers." They did not believe IN ORDER TO become elect, but they believed when they came into contact with the gospel, BECAUSE they had been elected.  Of course, this was true only of those elect who had already been born again when they heard the gospel.  Paul rejected the preaching of Stephen (Acts 7:58; 8:1) because he had not yet been born again.  But, because he had been elected (Eph. 1:4) he was eventually born again by the Holy Spirit (on the road to Damascus) and then he MANIFESTED his new life by believing the witness of Ananias (Acts 9:17,18).  Every elect child of God is given faith (the ability to believe) when he is born again by the Holy Spirit (Gal.  5:22; II Peter 1:1; Phil. 1:29, etc.).  So, the New Testament usually puts people into two classes:  the believers (children of God) and the unbelievers (those who are not God's children).

Therefore, I understand the "those that believe" of I Tim. 4:10 to be the children of God.

A partial list of Scriptures that will show this great contrast between believers and unbelievers in the New Testament is as follows:  John 3:16; Acts 13:48; Mark 16:16;
I John 5:10; Eph. 1:19; Phil. 1:29; Heb. 11:6; I John 5:1,5; John 3:36.

I will now give a few quotations from the works of others that may help to shed light on this matter:

THE INTERLINEAR GREEK-ENGLISH NEW TESTAMENT by George Ricker Berry, "because we have hope in a God living, Who is Preserver of all men, specially of believers."

THE CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH by John Gill, p. 52, "The words are to be understood of providential goodness and temporal salvation; which all men have a share in, more or less, God the Father and not Christ, is here called "the living God," who is "the Saviour of all men," that is, the preserver of all men; who supports them in their being and supplies them with all the necessaries of life, and "especially them that believe," who are the particular care of His providence."

THE ATONEMENT by Arthur W. Pink, p. 264, "The 'living God' of I Tim. 4:10 is the Father (see Matt. 16:16), and 'Saviour' there means Preserver--in a temporal way."

THE NEW TESTAMENT AND WYCLIFFE BIBLE COMMENTARY, p. 855, "Savior (Gr. SOTER).  Used in the sense of "deliverer"; the word can have a wider and a narrower meaning . . . Paul's conception of God is such that all the blessings, deliverances, and kindly providences which men experience are to be attributed only to Him (Matt. 5:45).  In a special and higher sense, He is the deliverer of those who
believe . . ."

AN ANTIDOTE TO ARMINIANISM by Christopher Ness, p. 55.  "All this implies not eternal preservation, but only temporal providence and reservation; for the wages of sin would have been paid at the birth thereof, and the world (through confusion by sin) would have fallen about Adam's ears, had not Christ been the glorious undertaker."

Memory Verses:  We have memorized Matt. 1:21; John 10:11; Matt. 20:28; Heb.  9:12; I Peter 1:18,19; I Peter 2:24; Heb. 9:28; and II Cor. 5:21.  Let us memorize Gal. 3:13.


Lesson Twenty-Three

Particular Redemption

In this study we will examine II Peter 3:9 and endeavor to obtain the correct meaning:

"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

This scripture is commonly used to teach that God desires the whole human race to be saved.  He does not will that any human being should perish, but that they should all come to repentance.  He is delaying His Second Coming to give each and every human being an opportunity to repent.

This, as I said, is the commonly-held view of this scripture.  The vast majority of people who hold this view admit that not everyone will actually come to repentance even though God wants them to.  In fact, most of them teach that the vast majority of the human race will perish even though it is God's will that they be saved.

This scripture doesn't even come close to teaching this commonly-held view.

To help us in our study, we will review some of the principles of Biblical Interpretation that were introduced in our last study sheet.

First, we must see who is doing the writing and to whom he is writing.  From
II Peter 1:1, we can see that the writer is Simon Peter and that the ones to whom he was writing were "them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."  Notice the use of the word "us" in verses 3 and 4.  Peter also used the words "your" (v. 5), "you" (v. 8), "brethren" (v. 10).

Then, in chapter three, he referred to those to whom he was writing as "beloved" (3:1).  It is obvious that the "scoffers" of 3:3 are distinct from the beloved.

All this shows that Peter was writing to children of God.  The "beloved" of verse 8 are the same as the "usward" of 3:9.  When God is long-suffering (delaying His second coming), His long-suffering is exercised on behalf of His children.

Another rule of Scripture interpretation was that the Bible never contradicts itself.  But the commonly held view of II Peter 3:9 involves just such a contradiction.  Dan. 4:35 tells us that God "doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth."  Eph. 1:11 says that He "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will."  Phil. 2:13 plainly states, "for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."  These Scriptures plainly teach that God will do His will and that His will is never disappointed or frustrated.  Therefore, if as is said in II Peter 3:9, that He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance," it is plain that none of God's children will perish but that all shall come to repentance.

Repentance is a basic change of mind and is one of the gifts that God gives to His people in the new birth.  See Acts 5:31; 11:18.  A man can't repent unless God gives him this ability (which He does give to all His children).  See Heb. 12:17; Rev. 16:9,11.

The text in II Peter 3:9 also says God is "not willing that any should PERISH."  This reminds one of Matt. 18:14 where it is said:  "Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."  (From the context-Matt. 18:11-13, it is obvious that the "sheep" are under consideration).  Christ also said concerning His sheep, "and they shall never perish" (John 10:28).  The "sheep" are the ones for whom Christ died (John 10:11).

Therefore, if any of the ones of II Peter 3:9 perished contrary to the will of God, Scripture would again contradict itself.

To sum up in a few words, this is the meaning of II Peter 3:9.  The Lord is delaying His Second Coming even though the world is getting increasingly ungodly.  He is delaying His coming because of His attribute of long-suffering.  He is long-suffering because He is waiting for every one of His children (the "usward") to be born into the world and then to be brought to repentance (when they are born again).

I will close with this quotation from AN EXPOSITION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, vol. 6, p. 872, by John Gill:  "And upon account of these (the elect) the Lord stays His coming till their number is complete in effectual vocation; and for their sakes he is long-suffering to others, and bears with a wicked world . . . but when the last man that belongs to that number (the elect) is called, He will quickly descend in flames of fire, and burn the world and the wicked in it, and take His chosen ones to Himself."

Memory Verses:  We have memorized Matt. 1:21; John 10:11; Matt. 20:28; Heb. 9:12; I Peter 1:18,19; I Peter 2:24; Heb. 9:28; II Cor 5:21; and Gal. 3:13.  Let us memorize I Peter 3:18


Lesson Twenty-Four

Particular Redemption

This will be our final study sheet on the subject of Particular Redemption.  Most of the studies have been devoted to a defense of this doctrine against those who advocate Universal Redemption (the doctrine that Christ died for all men indiscriminately--for those that will be damned in hell as well as for those that will be saved in heaven.)

We will end our study of Particular Redemption on a positive note.  This study sheet will concentrate on what redemption actually is, not on what it is not.

Redemption concerns the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ.  That Christ died is a fact; and all Christians recognize the fact of Christ's death.  But there are great differences as to the MEANING of the death of Christ.  What did Christ actually accomplish by His suffering and death?

I.

There are several important things that Christ accomplished by His death on the cross.  First of all, Christ made SATISFACTION to a just God for the sin debt of His people.  Because of sin, God's people were in DEBT to God.  They were liable to punishment.  That debt must be paid.  If, among men, such satisfaction is made of a debt of $1000, then as soon as that satisfaction is made, that debt is gone.  If satisfaction of the debt of sin is made for any man, then that man's debt of sin and guilt is gone.  God Himself, for the sake of His own justice and righteousness, cannot hold that debt against the man for whom satisfaction has been made.

Satisfaction, while not itself a Scriptural word, is the key idea in Scriptural terms like PROPITIATION (Rom. 3:25); RANSOM (Matt. 20:28); and RECONCILIATION (II Cor. 5:19).  "Propitiate" means "to appease one who has been offended."  This can only take place when satisfaction has been made.  "Ransom" means "to obtain the release of a captive by paying the demanded price."  This can take place only when satisfaction (the price) has been made."  "Reconciliation" means "to restore to friendship."  Friendship between a holy God and guilty sinners can only be achieved when satisfaction has been made.

II.

The second main element of redemption is that of SUBSTITUTION.  The necessity of that substitution lies in the fact that we are unable to make satisfaction ourselves.  We are sinners!  Substitution means that Jesus Christ became the Substitute--He stood in the stead--for those for whom He died.  Before the bar of God's justice He represented His people.  He was their Substitute in a legal sense.

Put together the ideas of satisfaction and substitution and you have a very exact relationship.  If one man satisfied the debt on one thousand other men at the First National Bank, then the debt of these one thousand men is paid.  Others who owe debts to the bank are not affected.  Whoever are in Christ, whoever are represented by Him on the cross, their debt is paid.  If all men were in Him, then the debt of all men is forever gone.  If the elect were in Him, then the debt of the elect is gone.  This is taught plainly in Matt. 20:28.  "Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life a ransom for (instead of, in the place of) many."  This is also plainly taught in II Cor. 5:21:  "For He hath made Him to be sin for (in behalf of) us, who knew no sin: that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."

III.

The third element of redemption is that of its INFINITE VALUE.  The truth of the infinite value of the death of Christ answers such questions as these:  How could the death of one cover many sinners?  How could sin, which is against the infinite majesty of God and which deserves the infinite wrath of God in everlasting punishment,--how could that sin be paid for in a MOMENT in the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ?  All the terrible wrath of God was concentrated in that moment when the cry was pressed out of Jesus' soul, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46).

The truth of the infinite value of the death of Christ also answers this question:  How could we be raised out of our totally lost condition, not just back to the state of Adam in paradise, but with an everlasting righteousness which we could never lose?

The answer to all these questions is that it was the Son of God, the eternal and infinite God Himself, in the likeness of sinful flesh, but as a real and perfectly righteous and holy Man, Who brought that satisfaction (Heb. 2:9-18; Rom. 1:3,4; John 11:50-52).

IV.

A fourth element of the redemption of Christ is that it is PERSONAL.  Christ did not die indefinitely.  He did not die merely for a number of men, whoever they might turn out to be.  But Christ died for all the elect and for each of them personally.  There are many passages of Scripture which teach this beautiful truth.  Let us look at two:  "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.  As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father:  and I lay down My life for the sheep." (John 10:14,15).  "I am crucified with Christ:  nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for ME."  Every other child of God can make this personal confession.  See John 10:3.

Questions

  1. Can God justly hold a man guilty if his sin debt has been paid by the Lord Jesus Christ?

  2. What does "propitiate" mean?

  3. What does "ransom" mean?

  4. What does "reconciliation" mean?

  5. For whom did Christ die as a substitute?

  6. How could the one Christ pay the debt of many sinners?

Memory Verses:  We have memorized Matt. 1:21; John 10:11; Matt. 20:28; Heb. 9:12; I Pet 1:18,19; I Peter 2:24; Heb. 9:28; II Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:13, and I Peter 3:18.  Let us memorize Rom. 3:24.

 
 

10/1/2006

 

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