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Owen, Spurgeon, Palmer and Packer on Particular Redemption

07 Aug

A Summary of the Death of Death in the Death of Christ

 The Father imposed His wrath due unto, and the Son underwent punishment for, either:

(1)  All the sins of all men

(2)  All the sins of some men

(3)  Some of the sins of some men

In which case it may be said:

A) That if the last be true, all men have some sins to answer for, and son none are saved.

B) That if the second is true, then Christ, in their stead suffered for all the sins of all the elect in the whole world, and this is the truth.

C) But if the first be the case, why are not all men free from the punishment due unto their sins?

You answer, because of unbelief. I ask, Is this unbelief a sin, or is it not? If it be, then Christ suffered the punishment due unto it, or He did not. If He did, why must that hinder them more than their other sins for which He died? If He did not, He did not die for all their sins. – John Owen

If the death of Jesus is what the Bible says it is – a substitutionary sacrifice for sins, an actual and not a hypothetical redemption, whereby the sinner is really reconciled to God – then, obviously, it cannot be for every man in the world. For then everybody would be saved, and obviously they are not. One of two things is true: either the atonement is limited in its extent or it is limited in its nature or power. It cannot be unlimited in both. – Edwin Palmer

We are often told that we limit the atonement of Christ, because we say that Christ has not made satisfaction for all men, or all men would be saved. Now, our reply to this is, that, on the other hand, our opponents limit it: we do not. The Arminians say, Christ died for all men.

Ask them what they mean by it. Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of all men? They certainly, “No, certainly not.”

We ask them the next question: Did Christ die so as to secure the salvation of any man in particular? They answer, “No.”

They are obliged to admit this, if they are consistent. They say, “No. Christ has died that any man may be saved if” and then follow certain conditions of salvation.

Now who is it that limits the death of Christ? Why, you. You say that Christ did not die so as infallibly to secure the salvation of anybody.

We beg your pardon, when you say we limit Christ’s death; we say, “No, my dear sir, it is you that do it.”

We say Christ so died that He infallibly secured the salvation of a multitude that no man can number, who through Christ’s death not only may be saved and cannot by any possibility run the hazard of being anything but saved. You are welcome to your atonement; you may keep it. We will never renounce ours for the sake of it…

I would rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than a universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will of men be added to it.” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Calvary not merely made possible the salvation of those for whom Christ died; it ensured that they would be brought to faith and their salvation made actual. – J.I. Packer

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