Spurgeon on Limited Atonement

Some insist that Christ died for everybody. Why, then, are not all men saved? Because all men will not believe? That is to say that believing is necessary in order to make the blood of Christ efficacious for redemption. We hold that to be a great lie.

Some say that all men are Christ’s by purchase. But, beloved, you and I do not believe in a sham redemption which does not redeem.

We hold that Christ, when He died, had an object in view; and that object will most assuredly and beyond a doubt be accomplished.

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3 thoughts on “Spurgeon on Limited Atonement

  1. I’d have to take issue with that particular statement. I will not rest on my own ideas, but on God’s Word. Referring to Jesus Christ, the Righteous One, 1 John 2:2 says very plainly “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” That means he died for everyone, not just believers. And doesn’t Hebrews 11:6 say that without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him? So yes, I believe that Jesus’ death was efficacious for all men from the beginning of time to the end of time and yes, belief is in fact necessary for redemption.

    1. Jonathan,
      Thanks for the reply! I love the quote from 1 John too. I believe that passage, along with many others, teaches that Christ died to secure actual salvation for people, not potential. Propitiation means “appeasement for wrath”. So either Jesus appeases God’s wrath, i.e. hell for everyone, which would mean that hell would cease to exist, or the phrase “whole world” means something else besides “every individual who ever existed”(John 11:51-52). In addition, throughout First John he distinguishes many times between the children of God and the children of the devil (3:1,10) and then concludes that “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (3:16). In John 10 we find that Jesus lays down his life for the sheep (10:14-15), in John 17, the entire high-priestly prayer contains references to Christ securing those chosen by the Father (John 17:6-12, 20-21, 24-26; See “I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours”), in Matthew 22 we see that many are called, but few are chosen (22:14). Ephesians 5 is also clear when it says that husbands are to love their wives like Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. And Hebrews 11:6 does say that without faith it is impossible to please God, but Ephesians 2:8-10 says that faith is a gift, not a work humans do (Ephesians 1:4; Deuteronomy 7:7; Romans 9:11-13; 1 Corinthians 4:7; 1 Timothy 2:9) In all, we may struggle with the syntax of the statements, but we can find joy in the reality that salvation belongs to our God, that there was nothing lacking in Christ’s atonement and that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, not through works done by men. I pray your day goes well and thanks again for your reply.

  2. Amen.

    It is certainly not a simple issue, nor do I pretend to have command of the theological intricacies related to this discussion. I love how you summed up your statement. That is really what matters most. We may find ourselves on slightly different hermaneutical ground, but when I share the gospel with my neighbor, it’s all about Jesus. I want him to know Jesus, the Savior of the world and find the joy and amazement of a relationship with the God who made us and loved us enough to send his Son Jesus Christ to die in order that we might become his children. I would also like to learn how to avoid run-on sentences. Love you, brother.

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